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Last month in the December 8 column , I suggested you use Google Analytics to assess how well your website is performing. After just a few clicks, you should be able to determine how many people visit your website, who they were, what action they took, and how long they stayed. One key statistic to look for is the bounce rate , which tells you the percentage of people leaving your site after just one page. If your bounce rate, for example, is 75%, it means that ¾ths of your visitors left after one page. A bounce rate of 50% or less is good. Another useful statistic is pages visited per session, which measures how many pages visitors navigate to within ...
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The "About Us" or "Profile" page is the second most visited page on your website. Potential clients find the home page and then click on your profile to learn more about you. Often, these readers are under the stress of a legal problem so they want and need to connect with someone who can help. Therefore, your profile page as the place where they can learn about you and your practice, is a significant part of their decision making process. Because your profile page is so important, it is vital that you review and update it every three to four months. Here are some items to consider. Your name, title, and contact info: This information should always come ...
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Niche Market: a focused, targetable portion of a market. It is a narrowly defined group of potential customers who have specific needs. A law firm that focuses on a niche is addressing a need for a service not being addressed by mainstream providers.  Lawyers, like other professionals, can no longer be generalists. Because the law is too complex for you to be all things to all clients, it is necessary to select an area of practice that suits you and your firm. Once that decision is made, your marketing should be selective—aimed at your niche market. A niche market is a target market that can be classified by demographics such as age, location, gender, ...
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In part one of Your 2018 Marketing Plan you set the goals and purposes of the plan. In part two we’ll look at some elements you must establish to accomplish those goals. Networking Generally, referrals are the primary source of new business for law firms. People who know and trust the firm will refer friends or business acquaintances to you when there is a service they need. To generate new referrals, you can be active in both legal and business professional organizations, teach continuing legal education courses, go to networking events, or take clients or colleagues to lunch. Simply letting others know who you are and what you do will generate new business. ...
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“Why do we need a marketing plan?” associate Jennifer asked at the L & L Law monthly business meeting. “We are bringing in lots of business.” “True,” said Lance Lawyer, “but without a plan for 2018 we might slack off, waste time, and lose some new customers.” Lance is right. A marketing plan that considers the firm’s purpose, goals, and results of past efforts and describes how to reach future goals will help spur growth in 2018. It need not be a 30-page document—one or two pages clearly outlining the goals, practices, and tactics of your marketing plan will do. Benefits of a Written Marketing Plan A written plan helps you to focus on activities ...
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It’s December and the year is coming to a close. You’re beginning to think about 2018, but before you start planning for the new year, take some time to look back at how your internet marketing efforts performed. Perhaps you revised your website and have been reasonably posting new content to your blog, but the feedback has been restricted to casual comments from clients or colleagues. You need to take some time to jump into the world of Google Analytics , a free and useful tool that can give you answers to questions such as: How many people visit my website? Who are my readers? Do they take action or convert? How long do they stay? Go ...
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“As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education.”—Preamble to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct Dan Abrams, chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News, was working to strengthen legal education as he explained the concept of the statute of limitations. Reporters at the table asked questions, and he did his best to give concise, understandable answers. When reporters come to you for information, they want a clear, succinct discussion of a legal question that adds information to their story. How should ...
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If you haven’t visited LinkedIn in the last three months to review your profile, it’s time for an update. LinkedIn is now one of the most powerful social networking tools for lawyers. Consider that 80% of law firms maintain a LinkedIn presence (ABA 2016 Tech Report), 74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people, and LinkedIn drives 64% of all social media visits. General counsel, in-house attorneys, and potential clients are frequent users of LinkedIn. It is often the first place they look to learn about you. That means your profile must be current and accurately reflect you and your practice. Here are some suggestions. Add a ...
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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. It can be a button, ...
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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 presented in this ...
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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 and your community. ...
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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 writing, whether ...
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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 members get the electronic ...
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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 marketing means ...
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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 they can use. ...
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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. If you have added ...
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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 professors; and ...
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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) and Twitter (21 ...
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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 articles or sharing ...
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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 40,000 Michigan ...
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