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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

Legal Business Development: the Possibility of Optimism

The possibility of optimism, Seth Godin explains…

“Is the glass half full or half empty?

The pessimist sees what’s present today and can only imagine eventual decline. The glass is already half empty and its only going to get worse.

The optimist understands that there’s a difference between today and tomorrow. The glass is half full, with room for more. The vision is based on possibility, the future tense, not the present one.

Pessimists have trouble making room for possibility, and thus possibility has trouble finding room for pessimists.

As soon as we realize that there is a difference between

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Stars in Their Eyes: the Growing Influence of Online Lawyer Reviews

Boring but important fact: law firm clients of all types – sophisticated, unsophisticated, big, small (and everywhere in between) increasingly use the Internet to research, vet, and select their lawyers. This is not news. But what is noteworthy is that online ratings & reviews of lawyers generated by the public are becoming a more predominant part of the overall picture of your firm that prospective clients see when they look you up online. You may want to address that.

Ratings are not new either. I’m old enough to remember when Martindale-Hubbell’s highly coveted AV ratings were doled out in giant-book . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Make Words Count

A funny thing happens when lawyers set out to write articles or blog posts. Even though they’re told the required number of words, they write twice that number. Ironically, the worst offenders are those who refuse to read long email messages—or indeed anything longer than a page.

Brevity is not only the soul of wit, it’s also very effective in communication. Whether you’re summarizing your argument before a judge or writing a blog post about why it’s important to have a will, keep it short! One of McCaffery’s Maxims is that half as long is probably twice as good.

I . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Predicting Revenue

Often when someone takes over a new position where they are responsible for, dare I say it, the sales funnel, one of their goals is to predict revenue. Most firms try to predict revenue, albeit with different levels of success. Some firms use a backlogs or potentials method for proposal tracking, others ask the professionals to maintain a rolling 12 month projection, and others may simply set a target hoping for the best. One thing is for sure, targeting revenue in professional services is different than for products but a level of predictability is still required.

Companies that sell widgets . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Client Seminars: Please Don’t Wing It

I wasn’t planning on writing about best practices in client seminars this month, but two bits of disparate information made me reconsider. First, BTI’s research summarized in the April 6 Mad Clientist blog indicates that the largest 30 firms in the world are diverting budget from general audience events, seminars and webinars to fund strategic, highly-targeted client development initiatives. These initiatives can and should include customized programming for clients. [1] Second, a legal marketing colleague shared a somewhat surprising client seminar planning experience: on the eve of the seminar, very little lawyer-side preparation had been done, despite his cajoling, stalking . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Do It Your Way

Almost every time I sit down with a law firm for the first time, someone around the table asks me what “really works” when it comes to legal marketing. Is it Google AdWords? Blogging? This new “content marketing” stuff someone’s heard about? Maybe marketing to our referral sources instead of directly to clients. What about social media – is there anything to that? Videos – do we really need those? Or maybe we should focus on our annual client event and do that up on a larger scale?

Fair questions all. And I can almost hear the plaintive longing in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Small Talk Can Lead to Big Business

Picture this. You finally get together with a classmate, having rescheduled three times. He opens the conversation with: “So, how are things, busy?” You run your fingers through your hair and tell him you can’t remember when you had a weekend off, you missed your kid’s concert, yada, yada, yada, and you end with “yeah, I’m crazy busy.”

Was his question just idle chitchat—or could he now be thinking that maybe he shouldn’t refer a plum piece of work to you?

Or picture it this way. You schedule a lunch with a classmate because you want to explore the possibility . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

We Kept What?

If you have ever had the un-enviable job of re-building a corporate intranet you will know where I am coming from. Corporate intranets tend to be a mass repository of just about everything, from everyone that your firm has ever produced. Intranets unintentionally become dumping grounds that are never cleaned up. Of course much of the content was important at some point, so how do you turn a vast wasteland of information into something usable, friendly and fit within your culture? It starts with a rethink.

There are many articles about how to get the project started, approved, launched, etc. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Take Action: Four Ways to Challenge the Status Quo in Your Practice

Complacency is a dangerous force. It blinds us to possible threats and keeps us from pursuing opportunities. It lulls us to sleep…and by the time we wake up, it may be too late.

And let’s face it; it can be easy to become complacent. If your practice is running smoothly, if you’re making enough to pay the bills, and if you know there are clients with cases in your pipeline…it’s easy to let your guard down.

But when that happens, you’re in danger. And let me tell you something…there’s NEVER any good reason to become complacent. There are always opportunities . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Innovate or Die…”

A good portion of my time to date this year has been devoted to planning and launching Innovation Month at my firm, including our kick-off event called the “Osler Big Law Hackathon”, an event hosted in partnership with Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone to examine how big law could be done differently.

As part of the organizing committee, I got a better understanding of how my firm is approaching innovation (it’s a well-developed and experienced initiative, as it turns out). I also took it as an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. Innovation is the trending topic du . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“The Franchise”

Almost two years ago, I asked here on Slaw “Is It Time For A National Retail Law Firm?”. I argued that some twenty plus years on from the dawn of the national firm model in the business law context, there was a growing opportunity – at least to my mind – for the emergence of a similarly scaled venture focused on consumer-oriented legal services: family law, personal injury, simple wills, basic contracts and other legal services required by individuals and small businesses.

I left off that earlier column as follows:

The gradual loosening of inter-jurisdictional practice rules, the twenty-year . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

“Thank You”: The Two Most Important Keywords in Business Development

The friendly folks at SLAW remind us regularly when columns are due. On receiving one such reminder when I was at a family gathering, I asked everyone what I should write about next (my family happens to include five young lawyers). The youngest of them responded instantly: “Courtesy—and how little of it young lawyers have.”

This, from a first-year associate? It’s the kind of comment I expect from a grizzled veteran, accompanied by the inevitable “I dunno, kids today….” rant. When I asked her to elaborate, she noted that communications quickly become personal, as in: “If you had read my . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing