Blogs

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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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"Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants."  — Jonathan Perelman, head of Digital Ventures at ICM Partners  You've decided to write a blog in your practice area, family law. You've had a lot of questions about adoption lately so you will write about the current trends in adoption. Your first step before you write should be to plan ahead about how, where, and when to announce the publication of your blog to get it in front of your target readers. Learning the best distribution techniques is essential to make sure the time and thought you spent creating the blog is not wasted. It does little good to write a series ...
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In-house counsel, inundated with information coming their way every day, prefer client alerts as a source of legal information. When asked in a 2017 survey conducted by Greentarget and Zeughauser Group , "What types of law firm-generated content do you find most valuable?" 87% of in-house counsel answered "client alerts," as opposed to practice-group newsletters (67%), blogs (35%), or website content (22%). What is a Client Alert? A client alert is a mass e-mail message addressing a new or developing legal topic—perhaps a recent precedent-setting decision, a pending change to federal or state law, or a trend you've observed. It is sent ...
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“Today we are going to talk about business development,” said Linda Lawyer opening the monthly meeting of the L & L Law Firm. Her brother Lance and their associates Aaron and Jennifer all sighed and looked up at her. “I know; marketing is hard, but without it, we won’t have any business. Since I believe that, for marketing to work, we need to focus on the activities each of you do well and that you can carry out consistently. I have compiled a list of thirteen marketing ideas. I am asking each of you to pick two or three that you think you can accomplish in the next two weeks. It’s okay if someone else is doing the same thing. Remember to select ...
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Once upon a time, lawyers started their practice by hanging out their shingle, joining local groups, and meeting potential clients. Then there were more lawyers, so they had to expand their efforts to attract more clients and, ultimately, lawyers were allowed to advertise. They used, and still use, billboards, yellow pages, membership in local groups, and volunteering to sit on boards and bring in business. They judged how these efforts worked by noting how many people came to them after a speech at the Rotary or seeing a billboard. In other words, which of their marketing efforts brought the most clients through the door? Lawyers of the past ...
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Jennifer, the newest associate with L & L Law Firm, has been tasked with sorting out information from Google Analytics about the firm's website. She has been given this task because she has a little extra time and also took marketing courses in college. After a little research, she decides on four ways she can use Google Analytics to help L & L Law make better marketing decisions. Where do the consumers come from? The answer to that question is found in the acquisitions section of Google Analytics—found on the left side of the page. It gives you detailed information on how people arrive at your site. By clicking on "All Traffic," you'll ...
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According to the 2016 Thomson Reuters U.S. Small Firm Study , small firms are not so small. By one estimate, small law firms account for $108 billion of the estimated $437 billion total legal market. Small law firms in aggregate exceed big law firms estimated $95 billion in revenue. Reuters reports that many industry experts predict that small firms will continue to grow as consumer clients look for good representation close to home and more responsive to their cost concerns. Seventy-nine percent of small firms report that their biggest challenge is reaching potential clients. In the past, lawyers used to advertise in the phone book, joined ...
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The second most-visited page on your website is your profile page. Readers rarely start there, but they will click on your bio at some point during their search. The legal profession is a service industry, so clients are more concerned about who they're working with rather than the brand of the firm. This also holds true for your profile page in the SBM Member Directory —if potential clients find your name, it's likely they will want to look at your profile. Your profile is not a resume or CV, nor is it a laundry list of your accomplishments. The best way to include that information is to upload a PDF to your website with a link to it on your ...
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