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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

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 The downside of the newsletter format was that by the time it was published, it was often already out of date due to the frequency of legislative changes and updates.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

Ever Notice That People Do Business With People They Like?

Let me expand on this idea: people will continue to do business with people they like. 

Seems like a pretty simple concept, doesn’t it? Yet so many people miss out on business opportunities simply because they do not come across as likeable. I’m not here to tell you to become best friends with everyone you meet, but if you present yourself as a likable person it will go along way to getting more business.

Everyday we interact with all different kinds of people from the coffee barista, to your boss or your clients. Unless you are a hobbit, you will . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Client Surveys, Client Feedback, and the Dog

I was in Whistler, British Columbia, for a law firm retreat and stayed at one of the best hotels – you know, one of those places with the ultra plush bedding, towels that stack high and spa-inspired toiletries that smell good enough to taste. 

About a month before my stay, this hotel started a pilot program to accept dogs. So, not only did my family join me, so did our beloved Golden Retriever. After two nights in the palace, complete with The Dog, I spent the better part of an hour filling out their dog service survey. I used every . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Personal Branding: A Rose by Any Other Name

Recently there has been debate about the concept of personal branding. Detractors of personal branding argue that companies, objects and services can be branded, but that people cannot be branded in the same way. Much of this debate seems to hinge on the idea that to undertake acts of personal branding, one must relinquish a degree of humanity and individuality. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is purely an issue of semantics.

Branding is the process required to create (and maintain) a controlled and instant impression of the identity or personality of the subject in the minds of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Injection Marketing Undermines Credibility

If there’s one lesson lawyers really should learn about participating in online communities, it’s this: how you contribute to a conversation is at least as important as what you contribute. Those who don’t appreciate this guideline run the risk not just of seeing their comments ignored, but also of earning a bad reputation that’s hard to shake.

I’m thinking specifically of lawyers who engage in strafing an online conversation, scattering self-promotional marketing messages at each landing point. They’re newcomers with some credibility in the marketplace, but have little invested in any specific virtual community. So they charge in, market, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Tips & Myths of Web Usability

What makes a website a great experience from an end user’s perspective? This topic was recently discussed at a meeting of legal knowledge managers in Toronto where Kerri McKenna from imason and Heather Ritchie from McCarthy Tétrault shared some excellent tips and challenged some myths. Most of the tips are common sense, with the key to web usability being consistency – within the site itself and with web design standards and conventions.

One of the best tips is to maximize the use of white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins which makes the site easier to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Client Experience

Three simple words that just might be the single most important concept to getting, keeping and strengthening your business relationships. Often, however, living the client experience is one of those things that we talk about much more than we do.

Let’s first consider how hard it is to get a new client; wouldn’t we be better off spending some of that effort on holding onto the clients we already have? By taking the time to get to know our clients and their businesses?

All customers want to believe they are cared about and that their best interests are at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing