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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

“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

Death of Blogging? Not So Fast

Adrian Lurssen’s recent piece, “Are We Heading to a Post-Blogging World?”, made waves last month, and I’ve been mulling it over ever since. In short, Adrian discusses the growing trend of writers foregoing their own blogs to publish under branded media platforms such as the Huffington Post. He cites the presence of a built-in audience and the ability to piggyback on brand reputation as answers to the problems of “how to be read” – reasoning that “how to publish” has never been easier.

Adrian is spot-on in his assessment of the value of developing a targeted readership. I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: Succession Planning

Do you and your firm have a succession plan? Or maybe this sounds familiar: “I’ve been meaning to think about it, but it always gets pushed to the side by the everyday demands of the practice.”

I met a partner from a small firm that said nearly everyone in the firm was approaching retirement in the next nine years. When I asked what their succession plan looked like, his response was typical… “Quite frankly we haven’t given it a thought.” I followed up with… “Will you close the doors when the last partner retires?” He shrugged his shoulders indicating that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Professionals’ Holiday Party

As 2012 draws to a close you will likely be invited to a number of holiday celebrations with your clients and co-workers. Many important business relationships have been formed around the buffet table or the bar. Unfortunately if you go to enough parties, and you’re bound to see a few good reputations crumble.

Holiday parties offer a great opportunity to mingle and network but you need a game plan and plenty of common sense. The type of party will determine your game plan. If it is an internal party, are there people in the firm you want to get to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Nurturing Referral Relationships: Write Your Thank-You Notes!

According to Martindale-Hubbell’s latest Canadian research, at least 20% of law firms’ total revenue comes from referrals (http://www.martindale-hubbell.ca/lawyer-to-lawyer-canada). One in ten of the 70 firms surveyed earned 50% of their revenue from referrals. With this order of magnitude, you would think that nurturing referral relationships would be pretty high on any firm’s marketing agenda. However, 14% of respondents don’t even track their referral sources.

I found this particularly interesting, having just completed some research on referrals myself. I found, as did Martindale-Hubbell, that the key quality referring professionals are looking for is a mixture of competence, expertise, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Online Display Advertising Grows Up

Online display ads (a.k.a. “banner ads”) have been seen for most of their short existence as a kind of marketing table scrap of the modern age, an unloved byproduct created alongside the explosive growth of websites. It took about a day (circa 1997 or so) for the initial novelty to wear off of seeing something whirring or flashing on the corner of your screen while you were trying to read an article, after which banner ads simply became part of the online landscape that we grudgingly learned to live with. Their value in the marketplace limped along accordingly. Frequently, publications . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

How Usable Is Your Website?

Although these days most lawyers and law firms have some form of website, the ability of those sites to not only attract visitors, but to prompt those visitors to take action (fill in a contact form, call the firm for a consultation, etc.) varies widely. That may be due in large part to how easy the site is for web visitors to use, known as “usability.”

People read and consume information differently online than they do offline. For example, people tend to skim or scan web content; they’re looking for specific information. Rarely do web visitors read large quantities of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Marketing Effort Must Allow for Business Development

Stop marketing. Stop all the events, sponsorships and advertising. Stop updating your website, the firm blog and lawyer bios. Stop all the busy work that is often necessary in legal marketing.

If you don’t, you (and your lawyers) are at risk of not making adequate time to zero in on critical business development activities that bring in new work. The marketing function exists to build your reputation, raise your profile, establish credibility and generate interest. It will also help to identify where relationships stand and perhaps even the needs of your clients and prospects. And this is where marketing passes . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ten Tips for Building a Law Firm Publishing Culture

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the zeitgeist of legal web marketing the last couple years, you know that producing and publishing content is the best possible way to grow your online reputation. But “content, content, content” is so much easier said than done. Firms need specific strategies for building an internal publishing culture. Here, I’ve assembled a list of ten tips to do this.

1. Think inside the firm, but make it smaller

If your firm is bigger than say, a dozen people, the idea of coordinating publishing across the board is pretty daunting and not . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Business Development: Do You Really Know Who You Are?

Do you really know who you are? Maybe… maybe not. When I work with lawyers to articulate their personal brand it is generally clear… that it is not clear. What is the solution? We need outside perspective. So, I have them ask a few people who know them very well, to answer a few questions. Such as… How would you describe me? What do you see as my strengths? The answers are often times extremely enlightening. We just don’t see ourselves as other do.

Why is this so? Heidi Grant Halvorson, a contributor to Forbes Magazine has some answers . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing