Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 1
Learn to use your software so you can teach others how to use it. If you cannot use your software you will be dependent on third parties (to whom you will pay a lot of money) for your productivity and profitability. These third parties include consultants, but also include secretaries. Every time you get a new secretary you must hope he or she knows how to use your software because if not, there will probably not be anybody in the firm who can teach the secretary how to use the software beyond a basic entry level. See Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 3. In 1986, a lawyer friend who also used CMS billing software that I used called and said that his billing clerk told him that CMS did not have the capability of printing a list of the names and addresses of all clients. Of course it did, but the billing clerk was not sufficiently knowledgeable about CMS to know how to use all of its features. This leads me to the second rule of technology.
Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 2
Everybody needs a good contact management program. There is no better way to collect, retain, find and access information about ANYTHING than within a good contact management program. For example, I have a contact in Time Matters for each of my cars. If I go to the record for a particular car, I can find every important fact about that car such as copies of the title, the registration, every invoice for maintenance and description of the work done. Create a record in your contact management program for everything that is or may be important and then collect all information and documents pertaining to that item within its record
Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 3
Most people will only take the time to learn the bare minimum necessary to use a software program. Word is the most popular word processing program, but I have rarely met anybody who knows more than the basics, i.e., how to save and print a document. You may think you do not fit this description, but if you do not understand and use styles when you use Word you are a bare minimum Word user. Almost all of the lawyers and legal secretaries I have ever known are bare minimum users of Word and every other software program they use. To become an expert at any software program requires time and effort and maybe even reading the manual. Have you ever studied the manual for any software you use in your law practice? Few lawyers have the time or the inclination to learn software. When my large law firm converted from WordPerfect 5.2 for DOS to Word 97 for Windows in 1998, all lawyers and legal assistants were given three hours of Word training and all secretaries were given 20 hours of Word training. I was one of only a few lawyers in the firm who took the 20 hour class instead of working 20 billable hours. Although the class was a good introduction to Word, I did not learn enough to become a Word expert. Being a Word expert was of paramount importance to me because since 1980, I made my living as a writer of legal documents. My word processor software is the tool I use to make my documents. I must always be an expert in using my word processor. I purchased “Word 97 for Law Firms” and studied it. Because I devoted a lot of time initially to learning Word, I became a true Word expert in thirty days. I modified my word processing habits to conform to the way Word worked and made a series of useful macros that I use to this day. Everybody else in the firm pulled their hair out for months because changing from WordPerfect 5.2 for DOS to Word 97 for Windows is a nightmare unless you understand Word 97 and how to make the conversion.
Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 4
If you build a website or blog they will not come. Yes your law firm needs a website or blog or both, but do not expect that it will get much traffic initially. Content is king. A lot of good original content is what results in high search engine rankings which in turn send visitors to your website or blog. It takes time to create content so the sooner your law firm starts adding content the sooner it will get high search engine rankings. Without content your website/blog is nothing more than an electronic firm brochure that will not bring traffic to your website. Make a commitment to yourself and keep it that you set aside time every day or week to create original content. Your goal should be to add a minimum of 50 – 100 original articles a year to your site. In ten years your site would have 500 or 1,000 articles. Getting traffic to your site is a long term goal.
Keyt’s Technology Rule Number 5
I call this the Website Content Equation. It is the website formula for making more money. The equation is:
more blog posts or website articles = more website content = higher search engine rankings = higher web traffic = more new clients = more revenue