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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

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

Are We Big Enough to Need a Marketing Department?

The title, “Are We Big Enough to Need a Marketing Department?,” is a question I’m often asked by smaller and mid-sized firms. Larger firms will ask, “How many people do we need in our marketing department?” Neither is the right question to be asking.

The “right answer” to your marketing staffing needs is in fact two more questions: what do you want to achieve and how quickly do you want to see results? 

If you’re a large, recently merged firm that needs to promote its new name widely and quickly, you need a lot of creative horsepower—for a short period . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Make Marketing a Habit

Running a business (and make no mistake, a law practice is a business) is a marathon, rather than a sprint. That is especially true when it comes to marketing. I see many lawyers who make the mistake of giving up too easily because they don’t see immediate results from their efforts. 

Marketing is about building relationships. In the same way that you can’t expect to have immediate results when you enter the dating pool, you can’t expect to have immediate results with marketing. It takes time to get known within the community where your target market ‘hangs out’ and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Do Political Donations Still Make Sense for Law Firms?

Earlier this month, British Columbia residents witnessed political awkwardness at a level unusual even by West Coast standards when a special prosecutor cleared B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed of wrongdoing in a criminal investigation. Mr. Heed was re-appointed to cabinet later that day, only to re-resign the next morning after the special prosecutor stepped down as a result of his law firm’s $1,000 contribution to the Heed campaign shortly before the last provincial election.

The special prosecutor has stated that he was aware of his law firm’s donation early on. However, he did not consider it an apparent or perceived . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Geotargeting: A Must-Know Concept for Those Marketing Outside Canada 

As noted in my last Web Law Connected column, the topic I want to address this month is geotargeting within Google’s search results. While I expect some of you would prefer to watch paint dry over reading further, I’m asking you – as a Canadian – to explore this subject. The reason? If you publish a website (or expect to the future) and want that website to be visible within the search results to US audiences – then you are facing a substantial and little understood obstacle. This is an important topic.

What is geotargeting?

Geotargeting is Google’s way of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Domain Name Issues for Law Firms

These days, it’s a given that within its collection of web properties, a law firm must have its own website. Every year, the legal industry spends a pretty penny hiring consultants, designers and copywriters to produce a website that will serve as the firm’s online headquarters. 

Much attention is given (at least we hope it is…) to the aesthetics: colour and font choices, graphical images, photos, etc. And if the firm is smart, the actual content of the website is given just as much consideration. But what about the site’s most basic, fundamental element: the domain name? How much thought . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing