Happy Holidays (And things to plan for 2013)

As we begin our journeys into a new year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish that you, your families and your friends have an excellent time celebrating the holidays! For those who plan to spend some time thinking about their expert witness practice, here are a few things which you may want to iron out before the new year begins: -

1. Update your Expert Witness CV

Your CV is one of the first things that an attorney would use to assess you as a potential expert for her case. If you have a website where you provide a PDF version of your CV or if its available through your directory listings, you must update it and replace the old version with the new one. Send the updated version of your CV to your website administrator and your account representative at your expert directory. Also, do not forget to watermark your CV with the words “Not to be used for Designation without Permission” to protect your interests.

2. Send A Card to your Clients

If you do not already, take the time to prepare a list of all the attorneys you have worked in the past. It will be a good idea to send them a real New Year Greeting Card. I say real because even in this world of digital technology, a real paper Greeting Card is more likely to be appreciated and remembered. With the sheer number of online greetings flooding everybody’s inboxes, most people are already tired and do not want any more online greetings, unless from a really close family member of friend. Try to personalize the cards and make sure you include your Name, Expertise, Phone Number and Email Address.

3. Plan Your Marketing Budget for the next year

This is a good time to plan for the coming year. There are several avenues to market your expert witness services and you will keep receiving emails with promotions and offers throughout the year. Your advertising money, I believe, is limited and needs to be spent wisely. Take a hard look at how (and if) your marketing dollars worked for your advantage in 2012 and decide what changes you need to make in order to generate more business for your expert witness practice.

4. Take a look at your Expert Witness Website

When was the last time you added content to your expert witness website? If it was anything more than 2 years ago, it is time to revisit and consider upgrading it. Check if your website still looks like it was designed in the 90s. If you use Google Analytics or any other similar services, login and generate an annual report for your website visitors. See where the visitors are coming from, what keywords are bringing visitors to your website, how your website ranks when you Google your area of expertise with your location. All this information will provide you insights into what changes you may need to make for your website to serve you better. If you need assistance, hire an SEO consultant, someone who knows about all this and is not prohibitively expensive.

5. Set Up Google Alerts for your name and your Discipline

While there is no doubt that you are already one of the top people in your profession and are hence retained as an expert witness, it will be a great idea to keep a tap on what’s happening in the world of expert witness testimony in the coming year. Set up at least two Google Alerts: one for your name and another for your discipline. For example, “Ashish Arun” and “Accounting Expert”. You can choose to receive alerts daily, weekly, monthly or on an as it happens basis. You also have the option to receiving new alerts by email or through a feed which you can synchronize with any of the popular feed-readers such as Outlook and Google Reader.

6. Participate in Discussions on LinkedIn and Google+

LinkedIn is an indispensible resource for any professional and expert witnesses are no exception. The same goes for Google+. While its a new service, the fact that its owned by Google and postings on Google+ are integrated with Google Search results make it another place to be for everyone. You can also create a page for your business here and link it to your website. Both LinkedIn and Google+ have several communities for expert witnesses where active discussions about expert witness issues, leads, problems and solutions happen on a regular basis. Participating here not only helps you grow your network, many a times, experts and recruiters post their requirements for expert witness services.

While there are way too many things you could do and way too many tools you could use to market your expert witness services, one of the most important tools is discretion! Every service has a few takers and that’s why they all exist, but it servers us best to do our research, identify the few useful ones and avoid spreading ourselves too thin.

On that note, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2013!

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