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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

How Branding Works (And Why Law Firms Should Care)

In the olden days we weren’t allowed to say the M word (marketing) within 50 meters of a law firm because it was considered too unprofessional and trendy. Now, Partners throw around the B word (branding) like there’s no tomorrow! Yet in my experience, very few lawyers understand what branding is, why it works, and how to use it to their advantage. So here’s a primer on branding for lawyers and those who support them marketing-wise.

If you’ve seen Mad Men then you know about the ad agency business in the fifties. That was the advent of strategic marketing. At . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Success Doesn’t Just Happen. It’s Planned For.”

According to a recent video post by BTI’s Mad Clientist, Big Law is winning new work and new clients, due in part to the adoption of an aggressive mindset and the strategic allocation its business development and marketing resources. Having worked in Big Law for the last six years, this was one of two recent posts that validates my experience in Big Law amid a lot of noise about its decline (the other was a great article by Josh Kubicki of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which appeared in the OBA’s JUST ‘Debatable’ column in June). Both articles underscore the importance . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: Are You “Networking”… or Building Relationships?

Networking… I hate that term. It conjures up images of “working a room”… smiling, shaking hands and collecting business cards. Business cards that end up on your desk under a pile of papers or left in your suit pocket only to be found the next time you wear that jacket. Sound familiar? What a waste of time and energy, don’t you agree? I think we need to redefine what needs to be done. To build a solid book of business requires strong relationships and that doesn’t happen with the typical networking methodology.

Building relationships: First you have to listen. Then . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Can You Stop Networking?

It is not an understatement to say that in professional services, networking is one of the most important parts of our job. Connections are critical, projects cannot be completed without people. There are lots of different ways to network and finding what works for you is essential. Recently, I connected with someone that defies conventional wisdom. He doesn’t care about first impressions, considers nearly all networking a waste of time and believes the key to networking is to stop networking.

What he realized is that people are not interested in networking conversation, they want real conversations and real relationships. And . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

How Do I Begin Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

You know that professional reputations can be made and maintained by what you write. But if you’ve ever struggled to write a blog post or a legal commentary or a presentation to the local Chamber of Commerce, you know it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, just getting the opening sentence gets you going.

In my last column, I said that if you haven’t captured your readers in your opening sentence, you can kiss them goodbye. So what makes a good opening sentence? Let’s look at 10 good ways and 10 more very well-used—but not good—ways.

A question

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Move to Visuals (And Why You Should Care)

Social Media Camp is the national conference on social media that attracts international speakers and attendees. At this year’s event, virtually all presenters agreed that images and video are taking over the internet. What do they mean by this? Consider the following:

  • YouTube is now the second largest search engine – just behind Google – and may soon surpass it. (Don’t feel badly for Google as they own YouTube).
  • Google is now building four-story data centre buildings to house the servers required to support increased data space needed on the cloud for things like images and video. These guys plan
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Value Gap

Much of the current discourse and activity in our industry seems to be focused on evolving approaches to fees and pricing, budgeting, project management, better leverage of technology, and insourcing/near-shoring/outsourcing. While these are critically important aspects of modernizing law firm service delivery models, is our focus on value – discretely defined as the monetary worth of something – distracting us from thinking about value in a more holistic or integrated way?

I offer some data points based on my own recent experiences. Earlier this month, I attended a client panel discussion featuring four senior-level in-house lawyers representing different segments of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: the Possibility of Optimism

The possibility of optimism, Seth Godin explains…

“Is the glass half full or half empty?

The pessimist sees what’s present today and can only imagine eventual decline. The glass is already half empty and its only going to get worse.

The optimist understands that there’s a difference between today and tomorrow. The glass is half full, with room for more. The vision is based on possibility, the future tense, not the present one.

Pessimists have trouble making room for possibility, and thus possibility has trouble finding room for pessimists.

As soon as we realize that there is a difference between

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Stars in Their Eyes: the Growing Influence of Online Lawyer Reviews

Boring but important fact: law firm clients of all types – sophisticated, unsophisticated, big, small (and everywhere in between) increasingly use the Internet to research, vet, and select their lawyers. This is not news. But what is noteworthy is that online ratings & reviews of lawyers generated by the public are becoming a more predominant part of the overall picture of your firm that prospective clients see when they look you up online. You may want to address that.

Ratings are not new either. I’m old enough to remember when Martindale-Hubbell’s highly coveted AV ratings were doled out in giant-book . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Make Words Count

A funny thing happens when lawyers set out to write articles or blog posts. Even though they’re told the required number of words, they write twice that number. Ironically, the worst offenders are those who refuse to read long email messages—or indeed anything longer than a page.

Brevity is not only the soul of wit, it’s also very effective in communication. Whether you’re summarizing your argument before a judge or writing a blog post about why it’s important to have a will, keep it short! One of McCaffery’s Maxims is that half as long is probably twice as good.

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Predicting Revenue

Often when someone takes over a new position where they are responsible for, dare I say it, the sales funnel, one of their goals is to predict revenue. Most firms try to predict revenue, albeit with different levels of success. Some firms use a backlogs or potentials method for proposal tracking, others ask the professionals to maintain a rolling 12 month projection, and others may simply set a target hoping for the best. One thing is for sure, targeting revenue in professional services is different than for products but a level of predictability is still required.

Companies that sell widgets . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Client Seminars: Please Don’t Wing It

I wasn’t planning on writing about best practices in client seminars this month, but two bits of disparate information made me reconsider. First, BTI’s research summarized in the April 6 Mad Clientist blog indicates that the largest 30 firms in the world are diverting budget from general audience events, seminars and webinars to fund strategic, highly-targeted client development initiatives. These initiatives can and should include customized programming for clients. [1] Second, a legal marketing colleague shared a somewhat surprising client seminar planning experience: on the eve of the seminar, very little lawyer-side preparation had been done, despite his cajoling, stalking . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing