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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

A Gifted Approach to Client Appreciation and Holiday-Giving

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or another cause for celebration that triggers you to pause, over-eat, connect with loved ones, the winter holiday is a blessing. It also reminds us to stop and appreciate our clients, especially if we haven’t done so during the year. 

A few years back I was working on a project and my law firm client retained a well-known Vancouver design firm. On the eve of Thanksgiving, all of us on the project received pumpkin pies with a note of appreciation attached. Simple and sweet. It was their strategy to offer a memorable token of appreciation during . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Why Law Firm Marketing Plans Fail

Does your firm have a marketing plan? When was the last time it was reviewed? How well do you follow your marketing plan? You’re not alone if your marketing plan is collecting dust in a drawer, hidden somewhere on your firm’s server, or simply hasn’t been implemented effectively. But why do these plans fail so often?

Marketing is generally outward-focused, concentrating on your clients, their wants and needs and the services you provide to help them reach their goals. But in order to be truly successful when it comes to actual implementation of the marketing plan, you must look inward . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Managing Expectations When You Bring in a Marketing Consultant

In my last column, I talked about staffing the marketing department and deciding whether you need to “rent or buy”. Almost any marketing function can be outsourced if attention is paid to maintaining relationships, but being clear about expectations is important from the outset.

The first step in getting the most out of a marketing consultant or agency is to be clear about why you’re hiring them. Law firms usually bring in outside marketing help for one of four reasons:

  • Something needs to be done, but you’re not sure what 
  • You know what needs to be done, but you don’t
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing


It is well known in this industry that clients want more out of the firms they work with than ever before. In years past you could take a client out to dinner a couple of times per year and that would be enough to hold onto that healthy retainer. Today, however, it is all about extras – the “value-adds”.

One of the most effective value-adds is a knowledge transfer event. This type of event provides an opportunity to meet face to face with several clients and prospects at the same time, while providing lawyers an opportunity to showcase their knowledge . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Marketing Legal Services on the Deepening, Splintering Web

Five years ago, law firm web strategy for most firms I encountered consisted of the following statement: “Yes, we have a website”. If a firm could check that box, most felt they had done their duty and could get back to the more important work of practicing law. No longer.

The last half-decade has seen us move from a prevailing standard of mere existence online to a new framework where the firm website now forms the backbone of many firms’ marketing efforts, irrespective of firm size. Looking ahead, I see increasing emphasis on three broad areas: content, conversations and search . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Law Firm Reputation Management: Who’s Keeping Watch?

A rogue and disgruntled associate in a large Canadian law firm had a bone to pick with a few of its partners. Rather than pull in one of those discrete committees that operates just under the surface of every large firm and deals with sensitive internal matters, this associate opted for an office-wide diatribe sent via e-mail from his home. 

The scandalous statements created shockwaves and went through the local legal community like a missile. Inside 24 hours the first media outlet called the firm and the associate for interviews, with many more to follow, including national print media. Then, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Thoughts & Tactics for Practice Group SEO

We’re used to thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) as a tool for law firms’ general web presence. But a growing opportunity, still under many firms’ radar, lies with a slightly different approach: practice group SEO, tailoring SEO tactics for specific practice areas within the firm. In many respects, practice focused SEO has the potential to be substantially more effective than the firm’s larger SEO strategy, which is often (necessarily) broad and less aligned with the services provided.

Let’s look at an example of how practice groups typically use search engines to improve business development. A patent law practice group, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Question-Able Marketing

At the top of my list of things that should never be uttered in a marketing meeting is “because we’ve always done it this way” and “we’ll be the first in our industry to do it.” These are simply not acceptable answers to the most important marketing questions that you should ask yourself before you incur any marketing expense. 

Think of marketing as a type of investment. While rates of return and maturation periods vary, a sound investment plan should ultimately help you meet financial goals. Likewise each marketing dollar spent should net you returns if marketing expenses are carefully . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Building a Business Case for an External Blog

In June, Hicks Morley launched its first external blog, “Human Resources Legislative Update”. The blog replaces a monthly newsletter on legislative changes in human resources law that was sent to clients by email and posted on our website. The downside of the newsletter format was that by the time it was published, it was often already out of date due to the frequency of legislative changes and updates. We needed a time-sensitive solution that was accessible 24/7 to our legislative writers, provided a quick and easy publishing solution and gave readers the ability to ask questions or leave . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Staffing the Law Firm Marketing Department: Do You Rent or Do You Buy?

In my last column, I said that asking how many people you need in your law firm marketing department is the wrong question: you need to know what you want to achieve and how quickly you want to see results. I also said that the key marketing appointment is the person who is going to lead the charge, whether that person is a lawyer in the firm, a staff person, or a consultant. The important thing is to have someone making the decisions, based on a goal. 

Once you know what you want to do, finding the kind of help . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Who Are You Marketing To?

To market successfully, you need to speak the language of your target audience. To do that, you first need to identify who you’re targeting. Many lawyers make the mistake of trying to target too broad an audience. The result is a watered down message that doesn’t really speak to anyone.

The first step in creating a marketing strategy is to explore your current client base and identify the clients with whom you work best and bring the most value to your firm. Next, you’ll identify those clients with whom you do not enjoy working, and ascertain the characteristics of ‘undesirable’ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Brands Don’t Matter. or Do They?

In my experience, lawyers as a whole are not overly enthused about talk of brands and branding. If you must focus time, thought, money or all of the foregoing on a marketing effort of some kind, most would prefer to spend it on something distinctly more tangible – hosting a seminar perhaps, or taking clients to lunch, or even organizing a client golf tournament. Anything but being locked in a boardroom with the consultant-du-jour talking incoherent marketing-speak as part of an abstract navel-gazing exercise, or being asked to foot an exorbitant bill for a designer squiggle to adorn the firm’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing