Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

The Professional Business Plan

Many professionals find developing a business plan a daunting and somewhat scary thing to do. In law, so much of what a professional does is taught and yet one of the most important parts of practice – finding and keeping clients – is not. Lawyers like things that are definable and business plans can be made to be just that.

If we break down a business plan to its simplest form, there are three areas: Objectives;
Strategies; and Action Plans.

Well conceived Objectives will help focus towards specific results, provide targets, define success, minimize subjectivity and establish a framework for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Be the Change You Want to See in the World.”

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi’s words could be women lawyers’ “call to arms.”

Over the past few months, the conversations regarding the challenges that working women face have been loud… but maybe not so clear. Articles like… Atlantic Magazine’s, “Can Women Have It All? and The Wall Street Journal’s, “The Tyranny of the Queen Bee”, seemed like the opening act for the launch of Sheryl Sandberg’s well-publicized book, “Lean In.

Unfortunately, the message is often lost on those complaining and whining—and even Sandberg’s encouragement is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

25 Tips From the Best in Legal Marketing

More than 1200 legal marketing professionals gathered in Las Vegas for the industry’s largest conference earlier this month. This where marketers with a shared obsession for business development and client retention, sharpen their skills.

Here are the best nuggets from the sessions I attended:

  1. Client focus simply defined: always doing what’s best for the client.
  2. Understanding the client’s business means being responsive because you understand (and share) in the urgency, follow client directions and never, ever, undermine general counsel.
  3. Business strategy knowledge includes understanding the products, competitors and their geographic market.
  4. Law firm client relationships are stickier than first thought
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Is the “Professional Network” Becoming More Social?

In December, fellow Slaw marketing columnist Doug Jasinski wrote a great post about LinkedIn’s new makeover. His post walked you through the Skills and Endorsements feature (that LinkedIn is placing a lot of emphasis on), and the new look for LinkedIn Company Pages, with their new large image-based banner and prominent status update box.

But there have been even more changes to LinkedIn’s platform that may have gone unnoticed, particularly in the legal community. These changes are making LinkedIn more interactive, and more akin to other, more ‘social’ networks.

Sharing Options

In the past, publishing Updates to LinkedIn was largely . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Is It Time for a National Retail Law Firm?

I came into the legal profession in the early 1990’s, just as the age of the “national” law firms was dawning. The big downtown Vancouver firms of my formative years – all independents – were soon swept up in a maelstrom of merger mania with their equivalents in Toronto and Montreal. When the dust settled a few years later, we had the basic framework of the large law firm landscape that has prevailed in this country for the better part of the past two decades. In the ensuing years the nationals built out their networks with offices in Calgary, Ottawa . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Dreaded Promotional Package

Many marketing professionals have been in a situation where they are packed up and leaving the office when a partner comes by and says they need a promotional package for a perspective client they are meeting first thing in the morning. Generally what will happen is the marketing person will sit back down at their desk and put together a package of material, much of which is available on the website, so that the partner has something to give to the client as a take away the next morning.

Funny thing is, potential clients don’t want it.

Often, not always, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Know What You’re Selling

Lawyers’ eyes usually glaze over when marketers talk about the six Ps of marketing: Product, Position, Package, Promotion, Price, and Place. You can’t sell legal services the same way you sell soap, they declare, because the products are different. 

OK, so how would you define your product?

That’s where the fun starts. The usual first words are some combination of the three E’s—education, expertise, and experience. Well, the fact is, while each of these has a role in making a good lawyer, none of them is actually the lawyer’s product. Education is nice to have and it makes your mother . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: Lessons From a Consumer Brand Expert

What can legal business developers learn from a consumer brand expert? Quite a bit, actually, Forbes Magazine contributor Patrick Spenner points out in his article that engagement is important… but that the new frontier in 2013 for consumer brands is… SIMPLICITY. How simple can we make it for a customer to make a decision to choose you? 

As you know the legal profession is behind when it comes to adapting to trends… some lawyers are still not convinced that market engagement is a worthy goal. If you are one of the believers, then you know that market engagement matters! If . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Four Ways to Improve Your Marketing ROI

We all want our marketing efforts to go the distance. We want our work to be valued and valuable. I don’t know any legal marketing professional who doesn’t want their efforts to count. For these reasons, I believe, the Legal Marketing Association, Vancouver Chapter, asked me recently to present a session on how to increase marketing’s return on investment (ROI). How can our firms get even more from the ‘busy work’ of their marketing teams?

Put lightly, it’s a deep and complex topic and a challenge to skim its surface in a lunch session. Nevertheless, four key ways to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Law Firm SEO Tactics to Avoid in 2013

Over the past year, Google has made a number of significant changes to its delivery of search engine rankings. In light of those changes, law firms that employ various aggressive search marketing tactics need to reconsider them. In this column, I want to highlight some of the major web-spam filters that Google has created and offer some important (and ethical) lessons for maintaining a strong search engine presence.

Let’s start by discussing a couple of those changes.

Penguin and Panda

Major alterations to Google’s ranking methods tend to be given nicknames, kind of like hurricanes — but for some businesses, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Firm Retreat: How to Make It an Advance

A law firm client once asked me to facilitate their retreat—with two weeks’ notice. Gulp. 

At the hastily called planning meeting, I asked the crucial question: why were they having the retreat? From my knowledge of their situation, I could have anticipated any one of several answers—except for the one I got. The managing partner first looked puzzled by the question and then said, “Well, we always go away somewhere!”

OK, so maybe I should have asked what they wanted to achieve, or what their goal was, or what they saw as the theme…but actually, I’d rather have an . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Infographics for Lawyers

One of the hottest ‘new’ tools for marketing and business development is infographics. Infographics are visually appealing, highly shareable and, when done right, can convey a lot of information quickly and easily, or make a mountain of data easy to understand. By combining text and visuals into one, infographics make the most of both to reinforce a message.

For lawyers, infographics are another tool that can be used to help differentiate a firm from others in the same practice area and a way to help clients and potential clients understand the legal process.

Lawyers are generally a text-heavy bunch. For . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing