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“I don’t understand why we don’t get more calls from our website,” Linda Lawyer said to her brother, Lance, at their monthly marketing meeting. “The content is good and the design is attractive. Why don’t visitors contact us?” “Maybe our call to action isn’t effective,” Lance said. “It’s only on one page.” Lance is right. Effective calls to action encouraging contact must be easy for prospective clients to find and use. What is a call to action? A call to action (CTA) is any section on a website that inspires a visitor to do something. Your CTA should be short, simple, and action-oriented. It should be on each page of your website. ...
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Your online reputation and identity are vital to your practice. It doesn't matter if the information on the internet is true or false; who you are in that community becomes reality to the consumers searching for a lawyer. It’s important to know what’s being said about you online so you can protect your reputation. These steps can help ensure your online reputation is not costing you clients. Check Search Engines Monthly: Consumers are searching for lawyers online in record numbers. To discover what people are saying about you on review sites, blogs, and social media, search your name and firm on major search engines. The results are ...
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Standing in line at Bestsellers, a coffee shop across the street from the courthouse in Mason, I overheard two lawyers discussing their business. Both were new to the practice—one leaving public service after several years and one fresh out of law school. “I hope I get some paying clients,” one lawyer said. The other expressed a similar sentiment. Hoping for clients may be beneficial, but analyzing the type of practice you wish to create, the clients you wish to serve, and the marketing methods needed to connect with those clients will bring better results. What type of law will I practice? To answer this question, you must know yourself ...
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Long ago, the drafters of legal documents in the United Kingdom were paid by the word. This led to needless verbiage to raise the word count and fee. The practice was banned in the 19th century, but the habit of creating long wordy documents too dense to understand continued. In the 90s, an executive memo from President Bill Clinton required government agencies to write in plain English. The Michigan legal community was ahead of the trend away from legalese to plain English with its Plain Language column in the Michigan Bar Journal which began in May 1984, and continues to this day. Using plain language helps you to be precise in your ...
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Before LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and websites, law firms regularly published newsletters with valuable content to stay in touch with clients and contacts. Newsletters are still useful to show your expertise in an area of practice and indicate that you care enough to keep your clients informed. An actual letter or sent electronically? That answer lies with your audience. The committee responsible for “ The Mentor ,” the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter, decided to use both formats. The audience consists of lawyers over 60 or those who have been practicing at least 30 years. Most were raised on paper, so while all 19,000-plus ...
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Lance and Linda Lawyer are sitting in their conference room enjoying a brief respite from their busy practice when their associate, Aaron, comes to the door. “I just spent an hour on the phone with a client concerned about veterans’ benefits,” he said. “I’ve had three requests for information this week.” After acknowledging that focused and measured marketing strategies work best, the group decides to put together an integrated campaign on this topic. Integrated marketing An integrated marketing campaign is an approach that ensures all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked. At its most basic level, integrated ...
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Content is the most important element of your marketing campaign. The core assumption of content strategy is that if you deliver consistent, worthwhile information to prospective clients, you’ll be rewarded with their business. The following steps will help you attract consumers. Your Audience: Think about who hires attorneys offering the service you provide. If you focus on employment law, for example, do you prefer to represent employers? Paint a picture in your mind of these employers—their size, their interests, organizations they join, legal needs, or questions they’ve asked. Knowing your prospective reader helps you create content ...
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When Sally wants to find a lawyer to help with her estate planning, she will ask friends and relatives, research for local estate planning lawyers on the Internet, call the State Bar Referral Service, or possibly look in the local phone book. Once she gets a list of possibilities, Sally will go back to the Internet to find more information about each lawyer. The State Bar of Michigan has made it easier for people like Sally to find your profile with the addition of a badge you can post on your website and blog. Clicking on the badge allows Sally to connect to your SBM enhanced profile, where she can see your picture and read more about you. ...
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The key to developing your law practice is staying at the top of the minds of your clients, referral sources, and contacts. Some lawyers are natural rainmakers, while others have to work at it. But even natural rainmakers use an organized, thoughtful approach to business development. How to start Begin with a master list of your contacts to remind yourself of people who might be able to help you in the future or with whom you’d like to reconnect. Your list can include current, past, and potential clients; current and past referral sources; co-counsel on cases or friendly opposing lawyers; undergraduate and law school friends; law school ...
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Is it Time for Video?

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Do consumers hire the lawyer or the law firm? Clients will tell you they hire the lawyer, not the law firm. If this is true, the primary goal of marketing should be presenting the firm’s lawyers in the best possible way. Using video on your website captures attorneys in action, showing prospective clients the service they will receive from that lawyer. Are videos popular? A 2014 Pew Research Center study of online adults found that 77  percent of Internet users are on Facebook and 63  percent use YouTube. Although YouTube has a smaller reach than Facebook, it is more widely used than LinkedIn (25  percent), Google Plus (24  percent) ...
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Fifteen-Minute Marketing

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Many legal professionals approach marketing as a chore that is expensive, requires vast technical knowledge, and eats up hours of billable time. Would you be surprised to learn you can accomplish marketing tasks in 15-minute blocks of time? It can be done, but before you begin your 15-minute marketing campaign, you have to set goals. Perhaps you want to become an authority in your practice area or attract more consumers to your website or e-mail list? Decide which consumers you want to reach. Then, discover where they hang out online (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter). Once you find your readers, create a network by commenting on their ...
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Referrals are vital to a successful law practice. To get as many referrals as possible remember that every person you meet is someone who will need a lawyer at some point. That includes everyone who comes to your office, present and former clients, and your fellow lawyers. Letting your legal colleagues know what makes you unique and building long-lasting relationships can generate new business. How do you market to lawyers and other members of the legal community? You could begin with the Lawyer2Lawyer Professional Referral Directory , a part of the SBM Member Directory. With this service, you can advertise your practice areas to over ...
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The business card is one of the most compact business marketing tools in use today. It fits in your pocket, sits in card files, card cases, and desk drawers, you can make notes on it, and it never needs charging. Cards first appeared in England and France in the late sixteenth century. Bearer cards, calling cards, and trade cards were the three main predecessors of today's business cards. They were early forms of advertising and symbols of status. Present-day cards are also forms of advertising and should be part of your marketing plans. Three Reasons the Business Card is a Valuable Business Tool Not all clients have digital devices. ...
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Online consumers are changing how they find information. Rather than clicking on several pages to gather all the information they seek, the trend is toward reading one long article, otherwise known as long-form content. What is long-form content? Long-form content is longer than most blog posts, which are 300–500 words. Long form offers a greater depth of information, is more comprehensive, and provides visual support of the written text. The copy can be 1,000–2,000 words or more, and it can be presented as a consumer guide, an e-book, or in a format that includes graphics, headers, and sub-headers. Why have long-form content? ...
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Lance Lawyer sat staring at his blank computer screen. "Can't think of anything to write?" said his sister Linda standing in the doorway. Lance jumped. "No. Help." Fortunately for Lance, Linda had recently been asked an elder law question he could use as the basis for a topic. But, what about next week? Bloggers, like Lance, have to regularly search for topics to keep readers. It's important in your search for topics to understand who your target reader is and what they want to know about. Ask yourself: What are the most common questions you get from clients? Make a list of the answers to these questions and you'll be on your ...
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We've celebrated Independence Day with parades, fireworks, and barbecues. Now it's vacation time and the office is a little quieter. Clients are out of town too, giving you a little time to track, compile, and analyze data related to your website. Measuring your website's return on investment (ROI) is the key to assessing the effectiveness of your Internet marketing efforts. Google Analytics, which is free, can be incredibly useful for tracking your site's traffic. It can tell you how many people visit, how they get there, how long they stay, where they live, and how many fill out the contact form. This information can help you find underperforming ...
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In 2003, Reid Hoffman, after six months of back-end work, officially launched LinkedIn. Because he needed to build a user base of 1M people, he began with all 13 employees inviting a total of 112 users. Once they added the technology for users to upload their address books, there was more direct user-to-user marketing—an online form of word of mouth. LinkedIn’s success was made possible by following its own concept—networking. Fast forward to 2017; LinkedIn is said to be one of the most powerful social networking tools available for lawyers. Statistics bear this out: 80% of law firms maintain a LinkedIn presence (ABA 2016 Tech Report) ...
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Recently, I talked to Cathy Church, of Church & Korhonen, who has a bankruptcy practice in Marquette. Her clients come from the Upper Peninsula, which is mostly rural. As we spoke, she mentioned that many of her clients came to her from Facebook. This is not surprising since a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center (Mobile Messaging & Social Media)—which compared several different demographic groups and how they use social media—showed that, while rural users use social media less than urban users, Facebook is their most popular site. 67% of them log on to Facebook. Michigan covers 56,804 square miles, with a 2016 estimated population of ...
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Podcast: A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be automatically received by subscribers . The newest and fastest growing entrant into the digital marketing world is the podcast. An Edison Research study found that podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. It also found that 21% of Americans, or approximately 57 million people aged 12 and up, have listened to a podcast in the last month. This is a 4% increase in listening over the last year. Why the increase in listening? The answer is simple: mobility. ...
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"How did your speech go?" Lance asked sister Linda as she walked through the door of L & L Law. "Great," said Linda. "I think the whole chamber of commerce was there. I was asked lots of questions about wills and trusts and handed out all my cards. I think we might get some business out of it." "I think so too," said Lance, "and I have some ideas on other ways to use your information." Lance suggested the following: Give the speech a new audience. There are several ways to connect with another group interested in the same topic. Start by asking the people who invited you to speak if they know of others who might be interested ...
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