Posts Tagged ‘legal marketing’

Law Firms Are A’Tweeting

February 14, 2011

This article discusses the recent adoption by law firms of social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  The article goes on to say that law firms are basically reposting their news and events as tweeted headlines with links to the articles.  There isn’t the sense that a professional service firm need to engage its audience in the same way a consumer products’ company like Apple or Nike would.

Provide real value

It would take staff time and attorney resources to brainstorm how to create a unique client or prospect experience on Twitter, time and resources that are better spent on more traditional forms of marketing – or so goes the argument.

But I think a firm could take an existing practice or sector newsletter that provides recent developments in a particular niche, create Twitter friendly headlines and provide unique value for clients.  Too often these recent development newsletters are just summaries of recent relevant cases. Attorneys don’t ask a simple question – why does this ruling or legislation matter to our clients?  That simple exercise would add tremendous value to clients and prospects and would be good training for young attorneys.

An Example

The recent settlement between an employee and American Medical Response generated tweets such as, “NLRB Settles Charge Claiming Employee was Sued for Facebook.” But this doesn’t alert an employer to the real issue.   The tweet could read, “Employers should review employee policies in light of NLRB settlement.” This reframing gets the attention of employers.  The recent development article can still be a case summary but at least now Tweeter followers know why they should read it.


Prediction for 2011? More Lawyer Videos

December 30, 2010

Services unlike products are intangible.   If I want a phone with Android software, I can go to a phone store and try out the various options.  But typically, I can’t test out a lawyer without paying for them.  Some offer 30 minute of free consultation but that’s quite a commitment.  I’d rather be able to look at their website and figure out if I like and trust them but cold text doesn’t give me much information.

Video, video, video

Increasingly, attorneys are turning to videos and I think the improvement in video technology and their popularity will fuel the video trend begun last year and ramp up the use of video in 2011.  A few signs of this trend:

Video for lawyer seminars

Google Videositemaps

Ease of making professinal videos


BusDev Tips for Attorneys in 2011

December 23, 2010

Here is an okay article providing tips to young attorneys on business development issues.  Its just okay because the suggestions provided are so superficial as to be useless.


“Identify the types of people who will bring you work and target your efforts to them. If you are a business lawyer, networking with other business lawyers will only take you so far; you need to meet businesspeople — the consumers of your legal services.”


This advice is an excellent start but neglects to address two essentials questions – how to find out the right places to network and how to network effectively?

1.  Find the right place to network – start small and learn the basics of networking. This can be Business Networking International (BNI) or the Rotary or many other networking groups.

2. Give yourself at least a year in any organization. It takes time for people to get a sense of you are and for you to know who they are.  Also it takes time to understand the referral process – who most naturally works with other people.  Its not always a matter of complimentary businesses. Sometime its based on a personal affinities.

3. Make sure where-ever you network that there is accountability as part of the process – yours and others.  Any group that lets you come and go as you please, isn’t much use.  People need to be accountable to network because its hard to get yourself to a meeting on a voluntary basis. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it but if your membership is on the line, you will do it anyway.

4. Listen, listen, listen: What are people saying and how do they say it?  Part of listening is to pay attention to body language.  When you tell people what you do, are their eyes glazing over?  Do they turn away?  Do they quickly change the subject?  These are all signs that you need to improve your quick pitch about your business.  Keep working on it.  Networking will improve how you talk about what you do.  At first I stumbled and looked away, my voice dropped and I communicated nervousness and discomfort.  Now I speak up, look the person in the eye and express my gratitude for getting a chance to give them information about myself.  And the responses I get are much more positive.

5.  Refer thoughtfully and often: You are much more valuable if you are someone who knows lots of great professionals and are willing to help out those in need.  Go to networking events listening for how you can help others with their business problems – regardless of whether its a lawyer who can solve their problem.

Attorneys: Reach Out to Small Biz

October 21, 2010

Here is an interesting post from Legal Marketing Blog about how 51% of small businesses avoid hiring lawyers because they fear the cost yet 25% believe legal issues are the biggest risk to their business.  Obviously there is a disconnect.

How to Market to Small Businesses

1.  Let them know you welcome small businesses as clients

2.  Join Chamber of Commerce, a BNI chapter and other small business hubs

3.  Offer set fees for common legal tasks

4.  Write a blog focused on legal issues in a particular small business sector

5.  Make sure you include all this in your website messaging!

When Will a Potential Client Contact You?

October 6, 2010

This article talks about how to attact your ideal client as lawyer.  The author, Matt Hohman, a practicing attorney,  does a good job of describing what an attorney should be doing to attract such a client to their business.

He also does a good job of describing the new competitive realities in the age of social networking.

I would add the following to his analysis:

  • Identify specific types of services for your practice – if you are family law attorney, describe specifically how you assist client with a divorce.
  • Identify the specific scenarios, a client in need will come to your website, Facebook page etc. and write your descriptions in a way that speaks to them.  Again, if you help people going through a divorce, write simply, compassionately and helpfully about how you work with clients.  Don’t talk about your mediation or conflict resolution services, talk about how you believe in taking  some of the stress out of divorce.  How you make it easier for your clients to move on with their lives.

MoFo iPhone app – strategically flawed

August 25, 2010

Here is an article praising the launch of MoFo’s iphone application “MoFo2Go.”  It argues that the app is successful because there have been 1,500 downloads, client praise and positive press.  The article then goes on to pose six questions a law firm should answer before moving forward with their own ap.

How many MoFo employees are there?

My guess is that 1,500 downloads constitutes less than all the employees of Morrison and Foerster.  And remember this is a free ap and with its reference for looking up for MoFo lawyers, this would be particularly handy for MoFo employees.  However, I’m not convinced that clients are eagerly downloading MoFo2Go.

Wrong Question

The second question posed by the article is, “What types of features can you offer app users?” I think this is the wrong question.  The right question is, “what pre-existing MoFo electronic content would most benefit MoFos’ clients and prospects?” MoFo2Go is focused on MoFo NOT on what the clients and prospects need.

For Example…

MoFo publishes lots of client alerts and rather than focuses on “People” and a game,  focus the app just around the client alerts and re-purposes the PDF content to make it easy for clients and prospect to scan this rich and valuable resource.  Is it fun?  No but that’s not what people look for from their law firm.

Facebook for Attorneys – Use with Caution

August 9, 2010

Should lawyers and law firms have a presence on Facebook?  If I swapped out Facebook with LinkedIn, I would eagerly answer, “yes!”  However, I think Facebook is less obvious.  Here’s why:

It’s consumer driven: Facebook is primarily for consumers to interact with other consumers or businesses with a consumer focus.  If your legal practice also focuses on consumers, then this might be an appropriate venue.  If your practice focuses on start-up or other innovative companies, having a Facebook page is probably important to your audience even if your practice is business to business.

Requires work: Linkedin is focused on professionals and the company pages don’t allow for much customization.  However, Facebook has lots of add-ons and is a much more dynamic site.  You competing against business that have very active pages and if you don’t, that could look worse than having no page at all.  An example of a good Facebook page is here.  Stem Legal has added custom pages and included effective integration with LinkedIn and JD Supra.

Ubiquitous: Facebook is becoming the Yellow Pages of the new millennium. Before long, all law firms will want to include a listing. Those that get significant traffic from Facebook will spend resources like personal injury attorneys in the Yellow Pages that take out full-page ads.  Others that don’t use Facebook for business may still want a listing just to be found there.

Attorneys’ blogging – different experiences

July 10, 2010

This article from a newspaper in North Carolina does a good job of explaining the various ways the blogging can help attorneys in their practice.  The most interesting comment is from the attorney who isn’t receiving more calls from his blog but the calls he gets are more “focused.”

Better qualifying

If prospective clients have an opportunity to read your blog, they will have a better sense about whether you are an attorney they want to hire.  The blog helps to pre-qualify your clients, make them more likely to be good, educated clients and ones that are less likely to waste your time with a matter that you can’t or don’t want to handle.

Put the market back into marketing

June 10, 2010

Susan Cartier Liebel has once again provided a thought-provoking post defending the concept of “legal marketing” because many attorneys react like they are sucking on a lemon when they hear the phrase.

With her usual eloquence, she makes the point that marketing is no less than everything that is involved in obtaining and retaining clients. I would just add one more thing – visualize your market as specific people.

Your potential client isn’t everybody, somebody, anybody.  Your potential client is a particular person who you want to help.  The more attorneys are able to visualize specific people – whether they are claims adjusters in big property and casualty insurers, general counsel at Fortune 500 conglomerates, a family facing foreclosure, or a wife making the wrenching decision to divorce her husband, the more palatable marketing becomes. Your market isn’t abstract but real.  Your potential clients are specific people with fears, dreams, doubts, anxiety, ambitions just like you.  They are your market.  If you focus on knowing who they are to you and how you can make their lives better, you are marketing and if that’s a dirty word then so is compassion.

Videos for lawyer websites

May 16, 2010

Across the web, people are using videos for their websites.  What about attorneys?  Here are some pros & cons.


  • Great if you have a consumer focused practice – for example, it you are an estate planning attorney, what about a short video on the questions you should ask any attorney about drafting a will or trust?
  • Lets potential clients see and hear you.  Good way for potential clients to get to know you
  • Makes your website immediately engaging: visitors just click on your video – no reading necessary
  • Multi-purposing: post your video to Youtube and add an additional way to build traffic to your website


  • Not so hot if you are appealing primarily to other lawyers or professionals who might see it as gimmicky
  • If video doesn’t offer value – just you talking about yourself or just selling yourself with a scrolling phone number at the bottom
  • If the video is poorly shot or you come across awkward, uncomfortable, tense or unattractive
  • If you force your web visitors to watch the video each time they come to your site.  They will definitely stop coming!