In November, I was invited to speak as part of a panel discussion on “Legal Marketing 101” before an audience of new legal marketers. Near the end of the discussion, a member of the audience asked for some tips on how to get buy-in from lawyers on more meaningful business development and marketing activities – moving “beyond the USB keys,” as she put it. There was obvious frustration embedded in her question, and panel discussions being what they are, there was little opportunity to provide her with a thoughtful answer to what is a big question with a multi-faceted answer. . . . [more]
Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns
Lo and behold, it’s that time of year again when we will soon be exhorted to compile our recurring yin/yang list of a) all the things we’ll stop doing in the year ahead (eat too much, drink too much, work too much, buy too much) and b) all the things we’ll do oodles more of (eat healthy food, exercise like a triathalete, spend time with loved ones, get outside, save money, read fiction, be grateful, write more, make stuff, etc.) You get the idea.
For most of us, I am sad to report that positive change will likely not come . . . [more]
I started my career working for the medical profession. During that time, I heard many teachers of medicine say to their residents, “Listen to the patients. They’re giving you the diagnosis.” Now, as a teacher of business development, my key message is: “Listen to your clients. They will tell you what legal services they need.”
I write this as I’m preparing a presentation for Mackrell International’s meeting of its referral network. My topic is “20 Questions for Prospective Clients”. As I try to ensure that I have a good reason for asking each of the 20 questions, it strikes . . . [more]
Most often when an employer wants to connect with staff to find out how the firm is doing or where they can make improvements, they will create a survey that allows people to answer anonymously. Employee engagement programs and the surveys that go with them are usually led by the human resource department and (hopefully) an external, impartial 3rd party. This makes sense but what can be lacking from these programs is an understanding of how to get the greatest participation through messaging and a marketing process. This is a bit off topic from the usual marketing and business . . . [more]
One of the cornerstones of building your profile as a lawyer is to give presentations—to client groups, referral sources, and other lawyers. The objective is to showcase your expertise, alert your audience to problems they may not know they could have (and that you can solve), and ultimately bring in new business. So the impression you make when you speak has a direct bearing on future business. However, in their haste to showcase their expertise, many lawyers end up making a very poor impression.
Any communication, whether it’s an argument presented to a judge, a talk to a trade association, . . . [more]
It’s been a fun stretch at my marketing agency of late. We’re busy, and the new business and new clients coming in are more consistently “the right fit” for our team and our talents. One intake route for that new business has been the contact form on our agency website. When new business inquiries come through this channel, a couple of really good things happen from my perspective as a business owner.
First, although our contact form has only five simple fields (name, email, company name, company website url, message), even that limited data set frequently provides us a pretty . . . [more]
The idea of collaboration has been around forever. This of course means that the idea of collaboration is included in all varieties of sales pitches including document sharing, social intranets and knowledge bases, and even conferencing solutions. In professional services, they know our primary asset is the combined experience and knowledge that we can offer as a firm – it is why we have firms and not just individuals practicing. The pitch is that collaboration will make you more efficient, which will make clients and staff happier and in turn help generate revenue.
And they are right. The more efficient . . . [more]
I feel that now is the time to bring an important issue to your attention but, since it’s coming to the end of summer, I’m going to keep this short. How much did your law firm spend on its last firm retreat? What was your return on the investment? Did you expect there to be a return or did you even view the money spent as an investment?
The average 50 lawyer firm can spend anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 on a retreat, depending on location and activities. So once every year or two that’s the retreat budget for a weekend away. . . . [more]
I spend a lot of time in law firm offices. Besides having one of the best collections of law firm mugs in Canada, I also have an extensive set of first impressions. There are the firms that clutter up their coat closets with stuff they don’t want visitors to see—which the visitors see when they hang up their coats, of course. There are the firms that have lots of firm literature displayed in their reception area—but it’s printed on everyday printer paper and it’s curling over, making it look both old and invisible. There are the firms with expensive art . . . [more]
Whether you are drafting a message to your boss, a client or prospect there are a number of key elements you should consider in order to get your point across and ensure that the recipient will understand what it is you are trying to convey. Obviously, depending on the message, the amount of time needed to develop will vary, however, the basics will stay the same.
For this post let’s stick with broader messages, where you need to convey an idea. To start with, you need to understand that messages are not necessarily “facts” no matter how they are presented. . . . [more]
Your online presence plays a more prominent role than ever in your marketing, your brand, your reputation. That presence is defined in part by the “look and feel” of your various online outposts (including your website, social media accounts, and blog) but also by what you write in those places. The pretty veneer is mostly the domain of outside experts (graphic designers, photographers, web developers), but the writing – well, that’s largely on you.
Earlier this year I was asked by a Canadian legal stakeholder organization to present a customized seminar series for their staff on “writing for the web”. . . . [more]
“Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away.”
(Lyrics by Kenny Rogers)
We are not all meant to work together. There, I’ve said it. Some of us just work more productively together than others. Anyone in the professional services field for any reasonable length of time, can attest to a client relationship that just didn’t work. There are a myriad of reasons: You were on a different wave length, didn’t communicate well, didn’t understand each other, couldn’t work efficiently, or had different expectations of each of other … and so on.
There comes a time – at least . . . [more]