Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

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

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

“I’m convinced half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” John Wannamaker

If you manage – or help pay for – your firm’s marketing expenditures, this quote likely has some resonance for you. “How do you know if it will work?” is a question I hear frequently in meetings with lawyers while discussing different marketing initiatives.

How does a firm track the effectiveness of its marketing efforts? The answer in most cases is anecdotally, if at all. If you are a sole practitioner dealing with every phone call . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Is Buying a House Like Buying Legal Services? It May Be in Toronto

Recently I decided to move house. We love our neighbourhood and neighbours but the house itself just wasn’t what we needed for our family. We had done a number of renovations to make it work but it was still missing a few things we really wanted so it was time for a new home. By “new” I mean moving from a house that was built in 1913 to one that was built in 1920…

When speaking with our agent about our wish list for the new house, inevitably the question of budget came up. I had a rough idea of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Law Firm Branding – Lessons From the Trenches

I suppose it could be like setting up a start-up with their first set of corporate records and related legal documents. There’s a nervous excitement in the air of what’s to come. The possibilities. The probabilities.

What’s not to love? For me, the only thing better than branding a start-up business, is getting invited to rebrand an existing mature firm whose current brand is gasping for air and no longer really … sorry to say… visually relevant. In fact, most of the tired brands don’t say much or stand for anything. In reality, most legal brands are developed without much . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: By Optimism and Serendipity?

Are you developing business solely by optimism and serendipity? Be honest. If that is how you have done it in the past, declare that 2013 is the year it will change! But, change to what? That is the question. In order for it to be driven by more than optimism and serendipity you must think about where you want to go and how to get there. That is a PLAN.

Your plan can be a page, 10 pages, a binder full or simply some notes on a napkin. It’s not about the form; it’s about the content. Write it down, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Web Law Predictions for 2013

It’s become my December routine. First, get the Clawbies season started: check. Then, turn my attention to legal web trends and predictions for the upcoming calendar year. Now, yes, I am the guy who told you in 2012 that Twitter was going to become a Facebook acquisition, so you know I’m not afraid to take a shot in the dark. (And that I’m going to have a little fun in the process.) No guarantees that I’ll be that creative this year, but your mileage may vary.... So, let’s see what law firms might have coming to them in the new year.
Posted in: Legal Marketing

All I Really Need to Know About Marketing I Learned in Kindergarten

Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a collection of essays that demonstrate that the basic rules we all learned in kindergarten are all that is necessary to successfully navigate the adult world. The same can be said for legal marketing. The following legal marketing rules are adapted from some of the lessons contained in Fulghum’s “Kindergarten Credo”:

Share. What’s happening in your firm? What is the latest news in your area of practice, or in your clients’ industry? What current events could impact your client’s bottom line? It’s a world of content . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Linkedin Makeover – What You Need to Know

Over the past year Linkedin has made a number of changes to what information they showcase on both personal bio and company pages. The underlying intent of the redesign seems focused on two things: 1) increasing user engagement and 2) making the pages more visual and less text-heavy. Here is a brief recap of the most relevant changes for lawyers:

Personal Bio Pages

Skills + Endorsements

Skills and endorsements are the most notable new feature in the redesigned bio pages. Linkedin now asks you to list a handful of skills or areas of expertise. Others can then “endorse” you for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Hello, My Name Is…” – Introducing a New Lawyer to Your Firm

With all the international law firm mergers currently taking place, marketing departments around the world will be scurrying to remake their firms in the new image. An international merger is a greatly magnified version of the procedure that takes place in all law firms when new lawyers join the firm. HR is preoccupied with payroll, benefits, and insurance. Facilities is scrambling to find a place for the new lawyers near their practice group—often causing the domino effect of multiple moves. IT is getting the new lawyers’ computer and phone systems set up. And that’s in firms big enough to have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

OMG Pro Sports Strike Again, Now What?

For the second straight year pro sports in North America had a work stoppage. For many lawyers this is a catastrophe as they have no idea how to entertain clients without a game to attend.

What is interesting about business development is that we regularly go back to the tried and true without ever asking our clients if that is what they like to do. If every year for the past decade you have taken a client out for dinner for a steak dinner followed by a hockey or basketball game and every year billings go up slightly it must . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Telephone – What’s Old Is New Again

Turn away from e-mail and pick up the phone.

Lately I’ve found myself starting to draft a lengthy e-mail, and then realizing I ought to just make a quick phone call instead. It may sound silly, but if you’re like me, when times are extremely busy and I am racing from one deadline to the next, a phone call feels like a luxury.

I’ve recently discovered that I’ll go too long before I speak with or visit a client. Sure, the work gets done and clients are happy, but e-mail alone does not deepen a work relationship.

We rely heavily . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing