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I changed dentists recently. Not noteworthy, except that after my first visit, I received a card in my mailbox. It was a thank you for using our service and some information about their practice. That same week, I contacted a pest control service. Again, not very noteworthy, except for the letter I received after the service thanking me for the business included a magnetized business card for the refrigerator. Both of those establishments, like law firms, are service oriented. A Bit of History In the early 1980s, service marketing emerged as a separate category of marketing. This change was in response to the shift in employment from product ...
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Legal marketing is complicated. You are subject to ethical rules and you are selling a service that is only used occasionally. That means you must create a memorable identity that holds up over time. A logo or symbol representing your firm can help. A great logo helps identify your firm to the world. New clients will be drawn to it, making it a valuable marketing tool for your firm. A law firm generally uses its founding partners as the name of the firm regardless of the addition of partners over time. To turn that name into a logo, ask yourself: What does your law firm stand for? What separates your law firm from others? Does your name say ...
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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 of well-written ...
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Hyperlinks, or links, are the mainstay of the internet. A link in your blog indicates you’ve researched your content and offer additional information to readers. Types of links Internal : A link between two pages on your website. Your website depends on those links for effective navigation. External link:  A link from your site to another site. Without external links, there’s no World Wide Web. External links can direct readers to information that supplements your content. Incoming links: A link from another site to your site. Also called a back link , the quantity and quality of sources of backlinks to your site are among the factors ...
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Pro bono publico (English: For the public good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment. It is service that uses specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them. Many of you first learned the importance of providing pro bono services in law school. Once in private practice, you continued the practice offering no or low-fee service to non-profits or low-income consumers and donating to civil legal aid organizations. Your efforts benefited your professional development, the public, and the profession. Offering Pro Bono Benefits ...
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An email newsletter is an easy and effective way to contact all of your clients at once. It helps keep your name in mind when you are not in regular contact. Preliminary Steps Identify your goals. What do you want to accomplish with a newsletter? Perhaps you want to keep clients informed of changes in the law or to increase your referral base. Knowing your goals will help you decide on the content and how frequently you’ll publish. Review the ethics rules. The rules regarding advertising are found in Rules 7.1–7.5, or Information About Legal Services in the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct . It’s a good idea to read the rules and follow ...
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You’ve reviewed your website, compared it to your competitors, and decided it’s time for an overhaul. However, you are not a website designer nor do you desire to be one. It's time for professional help. How do you select the best designer for you? Set a Budget Know what you’re comfortable spending and what you want to accomplish for that price. If your budget is small, pick a simple, well designed site that will professionally represent your firm. You should also establish an annual budget to maintain and update your website. Define the Goals for Your Website Are you trying to increase brand awareness or looking for new leads for your practice? ...
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Your firm’s website is one of the most important marketing tools you have in your business development tool kit. It is the place where clients come to discover who you are and what type of legal service you offer. Because of its importance, it’s worthy of periodic review. Your first question should be—who am I trying to reach? Write up or review the profile of your target audience. Consider their legal questions, their interests, and concerns. Knowing your audience will help you design a website that meets their needs and keeps them coming back. What pages are necessary? 1. Home Page No matter the size of your firm, large or solo, your home page ...
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What’s in a Font?

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You’ve spent time researching and writing your latest blog post, but have you given thought to the font you use for display? Visual elements are just as important to the success of your blog as the words you select. The font you use helps transmit the message you want to impart to your readers. What is a font? A font is a design term for a set of characters which include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols. A font combines typeface and other qualities, such as size, pitch, and spacing. Originally, the term "font" referred to a size and style of typeface. In recent years, however, the terms have been used interchangeably ...
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“I’ve been asked to present a seminar on elder law for the employees of SDJ Corp.” Lance announced to Linda, his partner. “Sally, the owner, is my client—I helped her with estate planning. She said a lot of their employees are approaching retirement and have questions.” Lance is fortunate. He has met several of the employees of SDJ Corp. and understands that, while highly skilled with tools, they are not so comfortable with words. He will design his presentation accordingly. Planning Know your audience . Who are you speaking to, and what are they expecting or needing from your presentation. To obtain a complete analysis of who will be in the ...
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Develop a client base that perpetuates itself. Words of Wisdom, Master Lawyers Section The above words of wisdom from a member of the Master Lawyers Section are supported by the research. A client base that continues to use and refer your services is cost effective and increases your bottom line. Consider: It can cost five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. National Law Review A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Bain & Company How to keep clients satisfied and coming back. The impression your office creates begins with the first contact the prospective ...
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"Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 8% from 2016–2026. Demand for legal work is expected to continue as individuals, businesses, and all levels of government require legal services in many areas."—(10/2018, Bureau of Labor Statistics ) According to the federal government, the prospects for lawyers are good. The projected 8% growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, competition for jobs over the next ten years will be strong. Therefore, finding your niche practice area in your desired community can help you rise above the competition in 2019. How do I find my niche? To find your niche, look at your experience, ...
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A well-written and well-received blog needs some planning. Start by blocking out some time to write the post—you’ll probably need two to three hours. Then: Review your description of your target reader— know who they are and plan to write to them. Think about your writing voice; write in a style that communicates your personality, builds a relationship with your potential clients, and makes you stand out. Choose topics that show your knowledge in your niche market and appeal to the largest possible audience. Every few months, plan for one 1,000 to 1,500-word post on a complicated topic that your readers will want to share. Writing the ...
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January is the time of year to look to the past and plan for your marketing future. Listing the successes and failures of 2018 can help you make effective goals for 2019. First, define your target client. Think back on the clients you worked with in 2018—list their age range, educational background, income level, occupation, and interests. Knowing your average client will help you know where to market to attract more clients who want and need your services. Second, recognize that the purpose of marketing is to keep your name top of mind when consumers are seeking a lawyer. Finally, create a marketing plan around activities you enjoy. If you like ...
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Your profile has a lot of power. It is the highest trafficked page on your law firm website. Surveys show that consumers hire lawyers they like and trust and who they consider to be an expert. A well-written bio can convince potential clients that you are trustworthy and can help them solve their legal problems. It’s your chance to highlight your work and areas of expertise. What constitutes a well-written profile? Make it easy for clients to find you and put your contact information in a conspicuous spot, like the upper right-hand corner. Also, provide links to your social media, publications, events, and news about the firm. These items should ...
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Sally Consumer is looking for a lawyer. She collects suggestions from friends and family, then turns to the Internet for more information. Like most consumers, Sally will visit the review section of a lawyer's profile. Internet reviews are the modern version of word-of-mouth referrals. Future clients want reliable information when deciding on an attorney for their legal needs. Client reviews, like those found in the SBM Member Directory, are an important part of Sally's decision-making process. Should you want to add reviews to your Internet presence, you can start by updating your SBM online Member Directory profile . The client review and endorsement ...
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“It says here that 63 % of all internet traffic comes from smart phones and tablets, and that number is growing,” Linda Lawyer said to partner and brother, Lance. “That’s the reason we had our web designer make sure our website and blog are mobile friendly,” said Lance. “Our digital sites load quickly. Consumers are impatient—they will leave after three seconds—and our pages fit the smaller screen so readers don’t have to pinch or zoom in order to read the content.” L & L Law is ready for mobile consumers. Are you? Test your website for mobility. Ever-efficient Google has created a site where you can enter your web address to test its ...
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Before the internet, websites, and social media, there was attorney advertising. It was advertising as simple as attending the local Rotary luncheon or sending a card for a special event. Advertising designed to build relationships in real life. Now called analog marketing, as opposed to digital marketing, it was and is a real, tangible, and personalized connection with potential clients. Analog Marketing Analog marketing depends on getting to know individuals and other professionals through small, meaningful gestures. It takes more time and effort and includes techniques focused on building real friendships. Some old but still good analog marketing ...
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“Alexa, find a personal injury attorney near me.” This is an example of a voice search given to Alexa, Siri, or another virtual assistant, which will then try to provide the most helpful answer by location and specialty. Voice searches are increasing. Consider: Fifty percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 ( comScore ). One in six Americans own a voice-activated speaker ( Edison Research & NPR ). As of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month (Alpine.AI). Realizing that it’s projected that half of all internet queries will be made through voice search or search engine optimization (SEO), ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) Overlook Lake Michigan from Arcadia Dunes this winter. Photo by Nate Richardson. #EnvironmentalLawJourna
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