Law Firms: “Be Bloody Bold and Resolute” in 2014

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Jan 09, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Be Bloody Bold and resoluteLists: I love them.

I had fun compiling New Years Resolutions for Law Firms last year and am thrilled to do so again for 2014.

Personal recommendation for lawyers and word of mouth reputation are still the cornerstone for successful law firms. But, increasingly clients and potential clients are inexorably moving towards the internet where they can get a flavour and judge for themselves the “cut of our legal jibs”

I kid you not: algorithms are already determining the percentage chances of successful litigation, yet the flat-earth branch of the profession still denies the internet is having an effect or will have an effect on their law firms. So good luck with that one.

There has been a splurge of new lawyers and law firms with an internet and social media presence. Inbound marketing continues to grow rapidly but inbound marketing for law firms is still nascent.

Social Media for lawyers is no longer a minority past time, as more and more lawyers dip their toes in – although to be fair some less subtle law firms are stomping around with hobnail boots on.

As I exalt in the freedom of by-gone worries of splitting my infinitives, let me be one of the first lawyers, to boldly go on a trek through the internet marketing and social media universe, and give you my list of self proclaimed aphorisms, pointers and tips sprinkled a few bon mots and links to people I enjoyed connecting with in 2013.

The following legal musings are in a handy bite-sized chunk format.

Law Firm Management

  • Get closer to your clients. It’s not new but unless you care immensely more for your clients your competitor law firms and ABSs will do it for you.
  • Audit the whole experience of working with your law firm through the eyes of your clients. Yes, we can all improve
  • Banish the “C” word – Commoditisation. It’s a sackable offence in my law firm.
  • Avoid the race to the bottom on legal fees especially Conveyancing.
  • Learn more about the art and science of Pricing your Law Firm services
  • Sign up and follow the advice of Richard Burcher at Validatum or Kim Tasso on pricing for professionals 
  • Write a “Thank You “ note to each week to a client or contact who won’t be expecting it
  • Promise yourself you will cure your law firm myopia by working  more “on” your business rather than just in “it”
  • Demote the excuse “I am too busy” to market my firm: work smarter and/or put your fees up
  • Give all your staff company encrusted road haulage trucks like Eddie Stobart does.
  • Exceed expectation – get on board for destination Wow
  • Sign up for Joe Reevy’s newsletter. Gems and Golden Nuggets of common sense advice guaranteed
  • Read my blog: Circle the Wagons and Come Out All Guns Blazing
  • Hit the Road, Jack – speak and visit other law firms, talk learn, and share: protect our solicitor brand. I’ve travelled to meet some great solicitors this year to “chew the legal cud”
  • Reduce reliance on third party paid referrals
  • Read my blog: Match Point: What More Could Your Law Firm Achieve?
  • Remember client retention is much cheaper than client acquisition

 Internet and Inbound Marketing for Law Firms

  • No one really cares about your law firm website – get over it
  • Mens sana in corpore sano - a fit mind in a fit body..and that includes working out personally and with and on your law firm website
  • Invest in marketing technology such as Hubspot to help run your firm effortlessly 24/7/365
  • Talk to me about Hubspot – I’m evangelical
  • Repeat the mantra “My law firm will get found online and we will convert leads into clients”
  • I said repeat it
  • Start an E-Newsletter or improve on an existing newsletter.
  • Evaluate your own law firm website with fresh eyes: overhaul the home page at the very least if it doesn’t cut the mustard
  • Consumers complete 60% of their buying decisions before talking to a sales rep – work out how that will impact your online law firm strategy
  • Read my blog: Get the Love –Inbound Marketing is the Future
  • Sign up with Boyd Butler at Great Legal Marketing and learn to think differently.
  • Read my blog: Are You Investing in Chinese Fishing Nets?
  • Get proof of how good you are – get testimonials from satisfied clients and keep asking those clients to refer new work to your firm
  • Marketing your law firm is an endless tour – don’t let yourselves be bowled out in 31.4 overs like the England Cricket team in the last Test Match in Australia:concentrate and be bold.

 Blogging for Lawyers

  • Look to build a blog not launch one
  • Work out an antidote for any “Lexblogophobia” in your firm.
  • Find a blogging champion within your firm but never force anyone –it will show.
  • Make it easier for potential clients to discover what you’re bloody at –create great content 
  • Increase your blogging and content output by 50% over the next twelve months
  • Write 2 blogs a week for your website –that will increase your law firm website by 100 over a year. Powerful
  • Start your blog editorial now and round of the year with your first eBook
  • Make sure you write that eBook (If you have a 100 new blogs next year that should more than cover it!)
  • Sign up and follow the blog of Irish Solicitor Flor McCarthy from Clonakilty County Cork – and be enchanted.
  • Find your niche Create great legal content and become “the go-to lawyer or firm” like I have done with Chancel Repair Liability
  • Never post a blog without a thumbnail image and an alt tag. Images add power.
  • Mix and Match your blog article lengths and be sure to do an in depth blog at least once a month. Google likes in depth content - it’s official
  • Sign up to the Solicitors Online Success blog below and never miss an article again
  • Your law firm is now a media publishing business embrace it and excel.
  • Educate your clients and help them learn about the legal process as it affects them
  • Ask your staff to name the 10 most common questions asked daily and create your first 10 blogs or another 10 blogs if you’re already up and running.
  • Learn to multi-task and think, write and construct blogs – Watch Monday Night Football and Blog; Watch Rugby and Blog; Watch Breaking Bad and on second thoughts..

 Content Marketing for Law Firms

  • Cut the Crap (1) avoid bombastic, turgid and orotund blog posts and content
  • Cut the Crap (2) No more inane tweets informing the Twittersphere that you are available for a quote for conveyancing, a divorce or a Will. Yuk!
  • Download Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge by Velocity Partners and follow @dougkessler its creative director to see what fantastic content looks like –be inspired
  • Veni Vidi Video –especially the last one and don’t be so precious and eschew the library books at the back
  • Don’t fear your law firm’s content management system – learn a bit of code and feel more in control.
  • Ensure every page of your law firm website has a sufficient Call to Action – or stand on the naughty step
  • Make your content shareable and sociable, allow people to easily follow you and share your content

 Social Media for Solicitors and Lawyers

  • Treasure your invite to the world’s largest cocktail party that is Twitter
  • Understand that Twitter is primarily a listening medium
  • Read the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk and learn how to tell your story in a noisy social world.
  • Consider other social media not just the usual suspects such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Slideshare and Prezzi and Uberflip could help your practice but:
  • Don’t try and do every “social media” stick to what you think will work best
  • Perfect your blogging style over time – don’t rush ( please don’t hold any of my original blogs back in 2008 against me)
  • Exit a group on LinkedIn which no longer inspires you
  • Join a new group on LinkedIn which may inspire you and join in the discussions

 SEO for Law Firms

  • Don’t get fixated and hung up with SEO, but do concentrate on creating great content. You’re writing for humans not robots!
  • Think twice and then thrice again before instructing a so called SEO expert sign up to Moz to find out what SEO is really all about.

Law Firms and Google+

  • Google+ will grow in importance and influence search results. Google+ is here for the long haul
  • Inhabit Google+ and work out how it can benefit your clients and staff
  • Claim your content with Google Authorship markup and if you are lucky Google will post your photo next to your blog like here

Which, if any, Were Advertising Slogans Used by Alternative Business Structures in 2013?

  • Feeling Flat?: Let Our Legal Team Put the Wind Back In Your Tyres
  • It’s not just car breakdowns we cover but also marital breakdowns.
  • Free Marital Breakdown Cover When You Sign Up for Roadside Breakdown Cover
  • Free Roadside Breakdown Cover When You Sign Up To Marital Breakdown Cover
  • Your tyres may have let you down but our legal services team won’t
  • Wills While You Wait………. For Our Van To Arrive
  • Injured in a car accident in the last three years? ( That one may have been overplayed a bit now, admittedly)
  • We’d like you to turn all your legal problems into a Saga
  • We can’t run a Bank but boy oh boy do we know how to run a law firm
  • The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive - but not our Truck Stop Lawyers, Eh Eddie?

Extract from my Unforthcoming  Book on Conveyancing

‘Two Tick’ Tulisa, an 18 year old, highly experienced one-to-one, customer-facing conveyancing coordinator with Inter Galactic Estate Agents.com (and author of ‘How to Successfully Tick Your Way Through the Conveyancing Process and Wave Goodbye to Common Sense’) was delighted.

The enthusiastic Tulisa, acting upon a hot lead from her punter procurement department, had persuaded first time buyers Mr Poor and Miss Unfortunate (not their real names) to use the conveyancing services provided by their sister company and fledgling ABS Your-Call-is-Important-To-Us.com.

For you see, Tulisa had shown Mr Poor and Miss Unfortunate the light: their appointed lawyers were the future of conveyancing.

Apropos Nothing

  • So you’re in a lift/elevator- tell me what you do in 29.9 seconds or thereabouts
  • Only talk to passionate and enthusiastic people in said lifts/elevators
  • Avoid temptation to utter whilst in said lift/elevator “I’m ready to take this baby to the next level are you?”
  • Shun Mr. Mrs and Ms Negative and all their family and relatives and all their close personal friends
  • Look forward ( if rumours are to be believed) to joyous wincing at Saul Goodman the outrageously corrupt, ghastly and appalling attorney from Breaking Bad in his new eponymous series
  • Have an inflatable “scales of justice” proudly above your office – only joking –see above
  • Avoid TV adverts for your law firm  – and I’m not just talking about Call Saul
  • Create your own three word aphorism for ABS – never harms to amuse oneself 

Macbeth

Above all else avoid complacency in your law firms.

“Be bloody bold and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth

After all it’s what did for poor old Macbeth in the end.

And finally..

A Happy, Content Enriched and Wonderfully Prosperous New Year to you.

Topics: content marketing for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, online marketing for law firms, inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, solicitors online success, social media for law firms, ABS, internet marketing for law firms, law firm marketing, Alternative Business structures, marketing for solicitors, twitter for law firms, Internet marketing

Erratum: Replace Blogging With Content Marketing for Law Firms. Throughout

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

An erratum published in a magazine many years ago continues to amuse me. It read:

“In my previous article on the Milk Marketing Board, please replace the word “horse” with “cow” throughout”Cow erratum 1

Mind boggling aside, I feel a bit like that now.

Coaxing, cajoling and nagging law firms to raise their profile through blogging was my mission.

But I see now that all my previous articles on blogging for law firms should have been more expansive.

Replace law firm blogging with content marketing for law firms. Throughout. 

Law Firm Blogging: Dirty Words

Blogging in law firms has never really gained the traction in England and Wales it should have done. Many solicitors have mentioned to me that they simply don’t like the word blogging.

Many feel that the word blogging is a stripped down version of what defines them as lawyers, namely, writing and advising clients about the law. It’s demeaning to many solicitors.

I’ve never been one to stand on such ceremony. Call it what you will, I say.

Write articles or publish information, answer questions or give help with common legal problems.  Just so long as you do it.

Content Marketing for Law Firms

You should consider turning your law firm and in particular your law firm website in to a valuable source of content. Think and act like a publisher.

And as you publish valuable content you can unshackle yourself from the weight of blogging by focusing on content in general.

You can use valuable content to “pull” clients and potential clients to your website.

Although the concept is not new and has been around in different incarnations, you’ll be hearing a lot about content marketing for law firms as I see it as one of the new buzzwords for 2014 and beyond.

What Does Content Marketing for Law Firms Involve?

Joe Pullizi in his new book Epic Content Marketing defines content marketing as:

“The marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience –with the objective of driving profitable customer action”

The last sentence is most important and sets content marketing from just content.

In, a law firm context, content marketing must embrace a firm- wide process of developing and sharing valuable and engaging content, with the goal of, not only, acquiring new clients, but also, retaining existing clients and increasing business from your existing clients.

Emphasis must be on targeting. You must have a good idea at whom your valuable content is targeted.

Not so much a problem for smaller firms more challenging for bigger law firms.

Liberate Yourself from the Tyranny of Law Firm Blogging

Don’t be put off or feel constrained by the tyranny of just blogging as the only way to retain and attract clients in your inbound marketing strategy.

If you think like a publisher of valuable legal content you can soar higher.

In content marketing, your website enables you to create many different types of valuable content.

As a law firm you can publish on your website

And once you have created your valuable content you can then PROMOTE it through social media, e-mail marketing and other channels both online and offline.

And of course, if your content is considered valuable, it will be shared by existing clients and potential clients alike.

Social Media First, Content Marketing Second, Right?

There are so many more law firms now engaged in social media than a couple of years ago.

Yet, I see so many law firms getting it so badly wrong. Bulls in social media china shops.

Why should I ring you for a quote on Conveyancing when you have no original or compelling content on your law firm website to convince me you are the firm I should instruct.

Get your content strategy in place before muscling in on Twitter et al.

Content Marketing Strategy first – social media strategy second.

What Are You Waiting For?

So there you are, dear reader, I have hopefully freed you from worrying about just one medium. You can now get everyone in the firm enthused by all the media.

Set your law firm up to be renowned for great and remarkable legal content.

Get the attention of your clients and targeted potential clients and stop them in their tracks.

Make clients and targeted potential clients think about you in a new and different way.

I’m watching.

I'd Like to Chew the Legal Cud with You, Paul

Paul Hajek

Topics: content marketing for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, blogging for lawyers, blogging for law firms

Does Your Law Firm Content Pong?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

does your law firm content pongI was lucky enough to attend the Inbound Marketing UK 2013 Conference in London last week.

The speakers ranged from a headlining Brian Halligan the CEO of Hubspot and the author of the term “inbound marketing” though to the captivating and entertaining Carrie Longton co founder of Mumsnet

For me the speaker with the most resonance for law firms and their content marketing was Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners who talked a lot of crap – or to be precise “Content Marketing in the Age of Crap.

Now, dear loyal reader that got me thinking about the current state of online content amongst firms of Solicitors.

In short, in my humble opinion, there is a lot of crap content being produced on law firm websites.

You need to avoid falling into the crap legal content trap.

Content is King of Law Firm Websites

My fervent belief is in law firms creating great content for their law firm websites.

My evangelical conviction is that law firms should turn themselves into educational treasure troves for clients and potential clients to discover initial answers to questions and possible solutions to their problems.

Client relationships in this Digital Age will be enhanced and new relationships started from the powerful content of your law firm website.

And crucially such content should be home- grown, in-house and organic.

But, Every Bugger’s At It

Yet, chances are you have not yet produced much if any of your own content on your law firm website.

You will have been offered - All for a pretty penny - website content by every Tom Dick and Harriet from SEO agencies (don’t get me started); Social Media agencies; Website Designers and Marketing Agencies.

And you can throw into the mix reincarnated copywriting agencies, video production companies and contract publishers who miraculously have transmogrified into content farms, rich content creators and content marketing experts.

And here is the danger: more content the more likelihood of pong.

Below par, average, mundane (and my pet hate of lawyer content) the turgid bombastic and orotund content is appearing on law firm websites so much so that it risks diluting the power of great content as a marketing tool to attract and satisfy existing and potential clients.

Generating Great Content for Your Law Firm

You know me well enough to protect you against such a ghastly outcome.

It is in your hands –literally.

You are the best placed and most qualified to provide great legal content which answers questions, guides with problems, helps clients be entertained as well as better informed, and which clients and potential clients ache to share with friends family and colleagues.

In short, your goal should be to elevate your firm into one of the great law firm content brands.

What You Need to be a Great Legal Content Brand

Great because you reach for the stars and seek to rise above the morass of general law firm output.

Great Law Firm Content because your goal is to be bigger and better regarded for your content than your competitors.

Great Law Firm Content Brand because you are able to deliver on your promise of great law firm content and the best brands always deliver on their promises.

Aspire to those goals and ensure your law firm will be famous for producing thought-provoking, pragmatic and entertaining content that your clients and potential clients will always be willing to devour with gusto.

And for many years to come thereafter, your great law firm content has the power to be your gift which keeps on giving.

5 Principals of Great Law Firm Content

Here is my take on what you will need to produce great law firm content:

1.      See From Your Clients’ Eyes: Become Your Client

Write as you would wish to be informed.

Ask your self the questions that clients are always asking you.

How can you make your clients more successful, meet their concerns and guide with their problems.

2.      Say It As It Is

Your goal will be to answer your clients and potential clients’ needs and worries before they ask the question. Be there for them in a way which breeds warmth and authority.

3.      Say it Now and Often

Don’t hang around thinking about it- just get on with it. The more you reach out with your great law firm content the more likely you will be appreciated by your existing clients and discovered by new potential clients.

You will improve over time. Guaranteed.

4.      Put In Your Heart and Soul

Passion is tangible - You can’t fake it. If you are disinterested or disengaged you will not create great legal content.

Stamp your personality on everything you do and avoid the same old or perceived style of academic legal writing.

If you don’t care passionately about making a difference it will show in your legal content.

If you are not up for it, don’t beat yourself up about: move aside and find someone in your firm who has the passion and desire.

5.      Be bloody hard on yourself – or get a coach

Great legal content is hard work. “Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” are bound to get in the way of your best intentions.

If you are self-motivated then that’s fine, but seek help if that will achieve your goals more readily.

Think Mo Farah getting up at the crack of dawn in the bleakest winter to put in his 130 training miles a week. It helps that his coach is beside him to guide him, to cajole him and to praise him when the session is completed.

The Return on Investment of Great Law Firm Content

Great Law Firm Content gets shared.

Your greatest content gets shared by many.

And those people who have be given your great content will share it with their friends in one great big exponential love-in.

And when great legal content gets shared it will lessen your reliance on the search engines and paradoxically be better appreciated by the search engines.

Your Law Firm Brand In the Spotlight

The greatest result will be the spotlight, hitherto unilluminated, which lights up all your legal services to adoring clients and potential clients alike.

And the best news of all is that you can let other law firms worry about the “pong” emanating from their websites.

Paul, I May Need Some Aromatherapy

Paul Hajek

Topics: content marketing for law firms, online marketing for law firms, inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, internet marketing for law firms, IMUK2013

Law Firm Marketing: Are You Investing In Chinese Fishing Nets?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 04:10 PM

inbound marketing for law firms

I took this photgraph of Chinese fishing nets earlier this year.

I was on a visit to Kerala in Southern India,  a huge port and coastal area dotted with inland waterways.The Chinese fishing nets are a feature of the shores around Keralan waterways.

Minimal effort is required: the Keralan fishermen lower, their ancient “Chinese” fishing nets into the shallow waterswhere the nets are left for many hours often over night.

When the fishermen raise the nets their catch of is reveled: prawns and other small crustaceans who have stumbled across the net and walked right in.

Inbound Marketing for Law Firms and Chinese Fishing Nets

Now, you know, I love a good metaphor,  and you are (and apologies) probably way ahead of me already.

How about a way of consistently growing your law firm by putting in mechanisms and systems that can help keep existing clients and help attract potential clients to your law firm? Mechanisms and systems which require a bit of work but once in situ can always be attracting clients and potential clients.

The reveal: your law firm website should be the pulley mechanism used to lower and haul your Chinese nets. The nets are the content provided on your law firm website as part of an overall strategy of inbound marketing for your law firm.

Content, Content, Content

Creating great content for your clients and potential clients alike should be part of every law firms’ online or inbound marketing strategy.

Content is your Chinese fishing net and the greater the content the corresponding increase in the diameter of your law firm website nets.

Yes, your law firm “rainmakers” can still go deep sea fishing or salmon fishing in Scotland for more excitement and greater client captures, but there is much to recommend simple mechanisms and systems for keeping existing clients and attracting new clients to your law firm website.

Your law firm website acts as a net for clients and potential clients 24 days a week 365 days a year throughout the day and night.

Without “content nets” potential clients are “quite literally” (as Alan Partridge might say) walking on by and into the nets of your law firm competitors.

Content or Blog Marketing and How The Internet Has Changed How Clients Buy Legal Services

The internet has changed and continues to change how clients decide to buy services and legal services.

Content and blog marketing in particular is a way of educating your existing and potential clients and influencers enough to do business with you.

Potential Clients are proactively gathering information, peer recommendations and forming and making decisions about you and your competitors: the power of pre-selection.

Content or rather great content will attract a following or audience to your website.

Blogging and Content Objectives for Law Firms

Good content via your blogs or articles should fulfil 4 essential components:

  1. Be useful i.e. solves problems or gives useful advice
  2. Be compelling and hold interest  ( my mantra avoid the turgid, bombastic and orotund)
  3. Have catchy headlines ( time is precious and great content will be foregone for want of a title which grabs interest)
  4. Be “Sticky” - great content will engender an urge to find out more and stay glued to your website.

The Chinese Net Challenge for Law Firms

The internet is a sea which can provide a rich diet of potential clients and also satisfy existing clients of your law firm.

Creating  a successful inbound marketing strategy for your law firm which can act as a net for potential client capture won’t happen overnight as in the case of the Chinese nets.

An inbound marketing strategy for law firms takes time and has worked wonderfully well for my law firm Clutton Cox.

But, just cobbling together batches of articles or blogs and hoping for the best would be like creating a Chinese fishing net with too many big holes.Yet, the worst you could do as a law firm would be to create no content at all. As then you’ll never know how many potential clients could have walked into your nets – will you?

If you would like to receive my blog or the short articles I write by email please provide your details in the mailing list box to the right

Or alternatively

Take Up the Chinese Net Challenge

Help Me Build My Law Firm Content

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, solicitors online success, inbound marketing blog for law firms

Are You Content With Your Law Firm Content?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 @ 12:12 PM

Law firm contentAre you happy or can you improve your law firm website?

I’m not talking about a fancy redesign or putting a new-fangled gizmo on your home page, or [mixed metaphor alert!] - a legal silver bullet to blow other law firms’ websites out of the water.

No, one simple question: how hard is your website working to attract existing and potential clients to your law firm website?

Are you content with your content?

Content Paralysis of Law Firm Websites

For me, there are many law firms who must be very disappointed with their websites.

Many law firm websites are still stuck in medieval web times with little more than a fancy brochure website.

Other law firms who have updated their websites and now look reasonably attractive have no context and are devoid of great content.

Nor, is it a small law firm website problem. There are many large law firm websites with much room for improvement.

Many law firms to whom I speak are suffering from what I characterise as a content paralysis: inertia mixed with an almost biblical fear of upsetting clients or alienating potential clients who may happen upon their law firm website.

This content paralysis prevents great content (through helpful articles and blog posts) from reaching and delighting a whole legion of clients and potential clients whom you really should be caring about deeply.

A 5 Point Content Stress Test for Law Firm Websites

You should be asking yourself about the effectiveness of your law firm website.

To paraphrase will a client or potential client be able to answer simply “What’s in it for me?”

Here is a 5 Point Content Stress Test you can implement for your law firm website:

  1. Are you comfortable that before you post content on your law firm website you know that it will be discovered easily by search engines?

  2. Can you answer easily the question: To whom is this blog or article aimed?

  3. Do you have a strategy to ensure your blog or articles are published so as to be accessed by the maximum number of clients and potential clients?

  4. Can you honestly say that your particular content has sufficient power to ensure further action?

  5. Are you able to track measure and follow up the leads you have created?

 Inbound Marketing for Law Firms and the Jigsaw Puzzle

Solicitors’ Online Success (my new brand name, by the way) is like a jigsaw puzzle.

No matter how easy or difficult the puzzle, you cannot complete it without all the pieces.

For Solicitors’ Online Success you need the following pieces to complete the puzzle:

  • A fully functioning law firm website

  • A blog or blogs

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • Analytics

  • Email marketing

  • Calls to Action

  • Landing Pages

  • Lead Nurturing

  • Social Media

  • Continually testing of what works and doesn’t work

  • Mobile capability for smart phones and tablets

Your inbound marketing goal as a law firm will be to assemble the jigsaw in a way that seamlessly interlocks and compliments all the pieces.

Pieces that cannot stand on their own will make perfect sense when put all together.

Law Firm Inbound Marketing Myopia

Many of the law firms whom I have helped “get” this overall strategy. Other law firms to whom I’ve spoken suffer from an inbound marketing myopia and want to concentrate on one piece of the jigsaw puzzle to the exclusion of all others.

Some law firms still need to run a committee over any piece of content before it is “worthy” enough for publication.

A further example of this inbound marketing myopia is SEO and nothing but the SEO: my hunch the partner or director responsible for the law firm website has been charmed by SEO “snake oil” salesmen casting wicked spells promising the elixir of “your law firm getting to #1 on Google”

But, enough, what’s in it for me?

What Could Your Law Firm Achieve an Effective Content Strategy?

If your whistles have been well and truly whetted, you will see the rhetorical nature of that question: Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

If you would like to get help with creating great legal content for your law firm website I’d be delighted to coach you,  mentor (and cajole if needs be) inspire and teach you all I know about content creation and blogging for your law firm.

It will set you up nicely on your path towards a total inbound marketing strategy for your law firm.

Now you have to be content with that!

Itching To Find Out More? 

Topics: blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, internet marketing for solicitors, blog marketing, solicitors online success

Match Point: What Could Your Law Firm Achieve?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 05:24 PM

match pointI, for one am still basking in the glory of the British & Irish Lions victory in Australia last weekend and a certain Andy Murray’s triumph at Wimbledon.

I’m not ashamed I shed a tear or two.

The Influence of the Coach

Step forward and take a bow Warren Gatland and Ivan Lendl coaches of the Lions and Andy Murray respectively.

I could go on - and thank you dear reader for your perseverance and loyalty – it’s simple: behind every top athlete is a top coach.

We have a couple of world renowned sporting events talking place right now and in the near future where the same effects of expert coaching can be witnessed.

Tour de France and Open Championship 

Who can forget Bradley Wiggins (as he then was) last year and Chris Froome, as we speak, leading from the front through the help and assistance of their performance director Dave Brailsford (as he also then was)

And as we look forward to the Open Championship next week at Muirfield cast an eye back to last year’s winner Ernie Els, who took expert advice from the “eye doctor” Dr. Sherylle Calder to help with the visualisation of his putting. Case in point: Ernie Els holed a putt for a birdie on the 18th to effectively win the Championship.

Luke Donald (no knighthood on the way just yet) until this last year the World’s No 1 golfer enlisted the help of Jonny Wilkinson’s kicking Coach Dave Alred to help with dynamics of his swing. Luke Donald was the World’s No 29 at the time.

Dave Alred and Sherylle Calder were part of the Clive Woodward’s back room staff for England’s victorious World Cup Rugby team in 2003.

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl

Nor is it a coincidence that Andy Murray (as David Cameron thinks he should not remain) dedicated his victory to his coach Ivan Lendl.

It may not be a stretch to say that without Lendl those the extra “two inches” that Andy Murray required to win Wimbledon may not have been possible without the coaching expertise of Ivan Lendl.

So What Could Your Law Firm Achieve with Coaching Excellence ?

The question for me is a rhetorical one.

An easy question for me when I was looking to kick-start my law firm website just after another great sporting occasion the Olympics Games in Beijing in 2008.

I sought out experts, and still do, to make my Clutton Cox website, the best it can be.

I positively devoured everything there is to know about creating great legal content for my website. And over the last 4 and half years managed to create in Clutton Cox one of the best law firm websites.

If you would like to get help with creating great legal content for your law firm websites I’d be delighted to coach you,  mentor (and cajole if needs be) inspire and teach you all I know about blogging for your law firm.


Be My Blogging Coach

Topics: blogging for law firms, solicitors online success, advanced blogging school for lawyers, law firm coaching

New Ideas: Is Your Law Firm A Rock or a Sponge?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 @ 12:16 PM

Law Firm Rock or SpongeAt a conference  last year, Sir Clive Woodward, former England, Lions and Director of Elite Performance for the GB Olympic team, maintained that top players like top business men and women needed to be willing to be taught - to be sponges instead of rocks.

Successful businesses like successful sports teams needed to remain open to new ideas.

Does this characterise your behaviour as a lawyer or your law firm?

Sir Clive also emphatically stated “I'd fly anywhere in the world if I thought there was the smallest chance of helping me become a better coach or a better manager”

My Travels Over The Last Few Weeks

I've taken those exhalations to heart and I've traveled over the country in the last few weeks to meet and talk with other Solicitors to “chew the legal cud” to see how they run in particular their conveyancing and Wills and Probate departments and to see how I can learn and to improve my knowledge.

Hungry to Improve My Law Firm

I am hungry to improve how we can, at my law firm Clutton Cox, manage our clients better and improve their experience as a client with us.

Any improvement however slight can make a huge difference in how we can make our clients’ experience more memorable and commendable to their friends colleagues in person and via social media.

Open and Honest and Refreshing Responses from Other Law Firms

I have been open and honest about how we do things at Clutton Cox and what marketing and sales approaches we adopt especially with our inbound marketing via the Clutton Cox website.

In 30 years as a lawyer, I think I've been able to sponge rather well

It has been extremely gratifying that the responses from the Law Firms I have met have been equally as open honest and very refreshing. All the more refreshing as the law firms I have met have been both regional and national- way bigger than my own law firm.

I am a great believer in our “Solicitor” brand and feel we have a duty to each other to maintain and promote the Solicitor brand in the face of encroachment in the legal services arena from Alternative Business Structures.

Simply ,we as Solicitors, should be much more open in helping each other.

We as Solicitors should be willing to share our approaches to business without having to give away the “secret sauce” with fellow law firms .

I mean, Bloody Nora, the growth in outside competitive forces over the next few years should make closer co operation between solicitors paramount

If you would like to “chew the legal cud” with me contact me below, we both may have an awful lot to gain.

I'd Like to Chew the Legal Cud with You, Paul

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for law firms, blog marketing, advanced blogging school for lawyers

Law Firm Blogs: What’s The Point?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 12:13 PM

law firm blogs what's th epoint“Blogs: What’s The Point” was a provocative paragraph in Joe Reevy’s excellent Words 4 Business monthly newsletter last week.

If you haven’t signed up to yet to Joe’s monthly newsletter you are missing out on his no nonsense, matter of fact, insights into how Law Firms can improve their performance.

Better still before you forget sign up here now

Joe Reevy’s Delve into Law Firm Blogs

Joe had spent a couple of days looking at Law Firm blogs and this was his conclusion:

The blogging activity I have seen probably has cost [law firms] upwards of £100,000 put together. The amount of engagement with these blogs I looked at was almost exactly  ZERO. 

A blog without engagement just tells users that no-one is interested in what you are talking about.

My advice? If you are blogging and not evaluating the feedback, do. If the engagement is zero (which in more than 95% of cases it is), kill the blog – or do the sensible thing and do enewsletters. Easier, faster, cheaper, more effective.

Joe and I see eye to eye on most things –even poor defending at corners!

And yes there are many a law firm blog out there which teeters on the edge of the turgid, bombastic or orotund. In fact, most law firm’s blogs simply fail to deliver sufficiently to raise any desired reaction from the reader.

Evaluating Law Firm Blogs

Joe is spot on with his clamour for evaluation, but I think too narrow in just seeking to evaluate feedback.

Law Firms need to have a good handle on their data and sources and may need something more than just Google Analytics. My software of choice is HubSpot and SEOMoz.

Great Legal Content

Good for you, if your law firm can throw up lob after lob of great legal content which is capable of response.

But, for me, great legal content is not defined by the level of engagement.

The main point of law firm blogging is to help those seeking answers to frequently asked questions and to publish information which may be of interest to your existing and potential clients. Your law firm blog could be the first step in a relationship with a new client or a re enforcement that an existing client is with the right law firm

The most read blog on my Clutton Cox law firm website is on Chancel Repair Liability.

My Chancel Repair Liability blog has resulted in new work for my law firm, but does not achieve much comment, nor would I expect it to do so.

In fact, because the legal content on law firm websites tends towards the complex as well as trying to simply, I think comments will be very scarce.

The Law Firm Blog or Law Firm Newsletter: The Chicken or Egg Conundrum

Joe has powerful statistics to back up the positive results from newsletters. Newsletters work very well for his business. There is no doubt that as a way of communication with your existing law firm clients newsletters are a potent marketing tool.

However, blogging can work just as well and can publish more regularly than a newsletter.

Every blog I publish is picked up by my current email service Aweber through my blog’s RSS feed and automatically sent to my contacts.

Where blogging trumps newsletters is the simple fact of access. Normally, you have to be a client of a client of a Law Firm to receive a newsletter.

The Blogging Egg certainly comes before the Newsletter Chicken

Significant Benefits of Law Firm Blogging Over Newsletters

The entry of the big ABS brands makes law firms pay more attention to how they are perceived by existing and potential clients alike. Even small law firms can strengthen their brand by producing great legal content on their law firm websites.

Word of mouth does not disappear but word of mouth via social media creates greater opportunities, especially where your blogs and content inspire sharing.

You will certainly know by now, dear reader, that regularly publishing great legal content on your law firm website will produce a significant SEO advantage for you over your competitors

Newsletters are valuable in Law Firms’ arsenals (it pain me greatly to use that word) but you put in jeopardy your law firms future if you eschew (when done well) the power of law firm blogging.

Next Enrolment of Advanced Blogging School for Lawyers

My consultancy in helping law firms with their advanced blog marketing will open again soon.

If you would like to be considered just fill in the form below.

Get Notified

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, advanced blogging school for lawyers

Law Firms: Don’t Get Blogged Down with Your Content Output

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, May 14, 2013 @ 12:13 PM

Whats in it for me resized 600We’ve all been there!

That rush of rosy-cheeked enthusiasm to write the best blog for your law firm meets the looming deadline of a client meeting or some other pressing urgent must-be-done piece of work.

Where’s the time?

Well, alert dear reader, you know about my rather exemplary multi tasking skill sets during Monday Night Football on Sky.

My self conscious ability not only to think and use a remote control almost simultaneously but to work on my latest blog or blog ideas. It really does work!

Law Firm Blogging and the Steep Learning Curve

Yet, over the years I have learned so much about blogging and how to implement a blogging strategy for my law firm Clutton Cox. I certainly know so much more now than when I set foot into the blogging hinterland.

And once in that hinterland (I feel a mixed metaphor coming on!) it really is difficult to see the wood for the trees.

Blogging Strategy for Law Firms

The best advice for any law firm who wants to start publishing blogs or articles on their website is that well known aphorism “Just Do It”. With proper systems in place and proper guidance you can begin to turn your law firm into a legal content machine

Blogged Down

Those law firms who start blogging and then give up due to lack of success or interest should bear in mind the Gym membership analogy. Legions of gym memberships are taken out early in the New Year only for some to be jettisoned before Easter on the grounds it wasn’t working. Blogging and a Blog Market Strategy for your law firms are similar.

Keep Blogging Regularly

You must admit the winning argument outlined above that by keeping up your gym membership and going to the gym regularly will make you improve. The longer you keep going the better you will become.

Early Successes of Advance Blogging School for Lawyers

The reason for the now fortnightly blogs on Solicitors Marketing Success has been to bed in the law firms who enrolled into my Advanced Bogging School for Lawyers Consultancy.

I must say that those law firms have taken on their increased “To Do” Lists have done so with aplomb and great fortitude.

It has been very exciting working with law firms who are keen to learn and implement all my ideas and expertise on blog marketing and inbound marketing . One Senior Partner of a Law Firm described it as akin to finding “the missing pieces of the jigsaw”

Next Enrolment of Advanced Blogging School for Lawyers

I will be reopening the doors for my next consultancy soon, so if you would like to be considered just fill in the form below.

So, no excuses now for getting blogged down with your law firm blog marketing then!

Get Notified

http://hub.am/13hUOHU

Topics: blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms

Law Firms: How You Can Get Excited About Search Engine Optimisation

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, May 01, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

SEO Internet Marketing resized 600I introduced the concept of Inbound Marketing for Law Firms in my last post Law Firms Get the Love: Inbound Marketing is the Future.

My definition of Inbound Marketing for Law Firms is:

“..marketing that’s useful in  the retention of existing clients and the acquisition of new customers and clients by attracting and nurturing them with exceptional content, data and customer service”

In this post, I will look at the data part of that definition in particular:-

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Law Firms, which is an integral part of Inbound Marketing and
  • How easy it is to access data about traffic and links to your law firm website

And yes, you may even get a little bit excited.

SEO: The Building Blocks for Your Law Firm’s Inbound Marketing Strategy

SEO for law firms is a process to improve your rankings among the search engines such as Google and Bing to ensure your great legal content has the best possible opportunities to be found and read by existing clients, potential clients and influencers alike.

This is achieved by essential SEO building blocks such as keyword research; meta descriptions; page titles and appropriate heading tags.

Simply, the better able your SEO and Inbound Marketing Strategy are aligned the better you will be found by clients and potential clients.

Time : The Enemy of Law Firms and SEO

We lawyers are all too well aware of the increasingly difficult tasks of servicing the needs of our clients and running our law firms.

The thought, for many solicitors, of turning their attention to SEO is nothing more than a complete anathema.

Yet, as law firms we cannot disregard SEO.

Your continued and future success as an online law firm may depend on it.

Sexy, Esoteric, Alluring and Mysterious

I dare say SEO is one of the most spammed pieces of email we lawyers receive each day.

Indeed, many law firms, in my experience, believe SEO or fully optimised website is all they need for online success.

SEO is sexy, esoteric, alluring, mysterious; all things, in fact, that lawyers dream of being (LOL)

I set about debunking several SEO myths in my post: Law Firms: Time to Explode Some SEO Myths

In that article, I expressed the opinion that:

“The veritable massed ranks of the SEO snake oil salesmen out there will pontificate about this that and the other SEO technique you should adopt for your [law firm] website.”

Cutting through the steep learning curve of SEO is a turn off for most solicitors.

I estimate that solicitors must shell out hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month with little or no idea about “what the SEO hell” is going on

Law Firms and Lack of SEO Data

There is always room to improve the search rankings for your law firm.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a piece of software which:

  • Went beyond the basics of Google Analytics
  • Informed you which sites are linking to yours over time?
  • How reputable are the sites linking to you?
  • What anchor text was used in links to your site?
  • Gave you full, page-level SEO analysis for each page on your law firm website
  • Produced reports making it easy to track your traffic-driving keywords;, total number of page visits, internal links and number of inbound links to your law firm website
  • Made it easy to identify high-volume, non-competitive terms that you can optimize for in order to attract relevant traffic to your site
  • Prompt you with tips on how to improve your law firm web pages for SEO purposes
  • Analyze the keywords and inbound links that are driving traffic to specific pages.
  • Find out what keywords your law firm ranks for
  • Discover what keywords your competitors rank for and how they compare to you.
  • Generate a list of alternatives to keywords that aren't converting.

The SEO Solution for Law Firms

 The Hubspot software I have been using in my businesses for 4 years or so does all of the above and much more. I also use software from SEOMoz to drill down even further into my SEO DNA

I can show you how easy it is to have such crucial data at your finger tips as you guide your law firm into the digital age.

SEO and Data analysis for your Law Firm. Exciting? You Bet!


Itching To Find Out More- Go On!

Itching To Find Out More- Go On!

Paul Hajek would love to coach, mentor (and cajole if needs be) inspire and teach you all he knows about blog and inbound marketing for your business.

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for lawyers, blogging for solicitors, blogging for law firms, SEO for law firms