And The Winner of Best Law Firm Marketing And Social Media Award Is…

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 01:57 PM

Social media award logo 2014   winner 1Autumn is Keats’ time – “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”

Autumn happens also to be the start of the Law Firm Awards Season.

Why Should Your Law Firm Enter Legal Awards?

Or to put another way why not recognise the efforts and  successes of those Law Firms who rise above the ordinary and take their law firms to the extra-ordinary.

All the more important in this age of increased competition from big brand Alternative Business Structures.

When your law firm seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors winning awards can be a real beacon to clients and potential clients that you may actually be as good as you say you are.

As most awards are independently judged by experts winning such an award gives credence to your law firm. Winning also gives comfort to existing clients and positive food for thought for potential clients thinking of instructing you.

Who would also eschew that warm glow and dopamine inducing reaction an award can bestow.

The congratulatory handshake is not only a great feeling for the recipient in person at the Award Ceremony but great for staff morale back at the ranch.

Most law firms would cite the positive PR with local, regional and national exposure that winning awards can bring as the most obvious immediate benefit. But, also in this digital age winners can blog, tweet and puff their feathers out to all who will listen and are interested in their award.

And, you should not underestimate the networking opportunities on the Big Night itself. 

The 5th Annual LFS Conveyancing Awards

The LFS Conveyancing Awards are now the National Conveyancing Awards.

The short list included multi-branched, regionally and nationally Conveyancers as well as the minnows such as our good selves; Clutton Cox.

Gongs were awarded in regional categories, an award for best Direct Conveyancer, Best Conveyancing Firm as voted by Estate Agents, Best Young Conveyancer, Best Website and Marketing and Use of Social Media and Best Overall Conveyancing Firm of the Year.

And the Winner of the Best Law Firm Marketing And Use of Social Media Award Goes To…

Let the judges do the next bit:

"This year’s winners stood out for the judges due to the clear differentiation of its presentation and offering.  Centred on Paul Hajek, the business had concentrated on developing a strong online presence via producing large quantities of relevant content and using a large range of social media channels to drive traffic to the website and the business.

They have excellent follow up of online enquiries with strong sales edge, ensuring good conversion from opportunities."

Conveyancing Award Winner 2014 LFS

So a big thank you to the organisers of the Law Firm Services Conveyancing Awards and a hearty thanks to my wonderful staff at Clutton Cox for their efforts.

A Full List of Winners at the LFS Conference Awards 2014 can be found by clicking here

But, to get back to the last line of John Keats poem “To Autumn” 

            “And gathering swallows twitter in the skies”

Indeed I shall!

STOP PRESS: Clutton Cox have won the 2014 Most Innovative Marketing Idea at the 360 Legal Group Awards. Read more here

Awards logos 2014 Marketing

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, social media for law firms, marketing for solicitors, LFS conveyancing awards

The 4 P’s of Content Marketing for Law Firms

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @ 05:05 PM

4 Ps of Content Marketing for Law FirmsI‘ve been enjoying myself.

I’ve travelled around the country speaking to solicitors at various seminars and conferences about content marketing.

I almost managed a full 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium (the home of you know who - *holds nose*) and came off five minutes before the end to a sitting ovation.

I particularly enjoyed being on a panel at the Legal Futures “Clicks to Client” Conference in London in June. The panel, which also included Slater & Gordon, had 5 minutes or so to tell their back-story and give a few tips and advice on how to run a successful digital or content marketing strategy for law firms.

Brevity concentrates the mind and craves the pithy so I thought about the 4 Ps.

You already know about the traditional 4 Ps of marketing - Product; Price; Promotion and Place - so I came up with my own 4 Ps of Digital or Content Marketing for Law Firms: Pragmatism; Perseverance; Patience and Passion.

The 4Ps of Content Marketing for Law Firms

1.     Pragmatism

A simple one but nevertheless worth emphasising.

You will not, save for the law firms with the greatest resource, be able to have a cogent presence in every social media and content marketing sphere.

Stick to what you know best and feel most comfortable in, so long as, if you have not already started do so as soon as possible.

Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich written way back in 1938 advised:

“Do not wait: the time will never be "just right" Start where you stand, and better tools will be found along the way”

Most lawyers feel most comfortable in LinkedIn as they are in the company of other professionals. As a Business to Business model it works very well for lawyers wanting to spread news of their specialties far and wide but doesn’t really allow for interaction with clients.

Many lawyers are put off Twitter and Facebook as they are not their natural habitats.

Facebook is making it increasingly difficult (without payment!) to market yourself or your law firm

I am very much at home on Twitter and find it a great listening medium, whereas I am banjaxed by Facebook and to be honest petrified of it.

So pragmatic you must be.

2.     Perseverance

Once you decide to introduce yourself and your law firm into the content marketing world and inhabit social media  as ways to reach out and engage with your existing and potential or targeted audiences - you need to keep at it.

Don’t be bowled out in 31.4 overs like England last winter in Australia. You need to build an innings.

The more you try the better you will become.

You can hone your skills along the way. As Gary Player once said “the harder I practice the luckier I become”

Best-selling author Malcom Gladwell looks at Practice as not being “the thing  you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good”

There are no silver bullets, as in all examples of endeavour, it takes guts and determination to do it well.

There will be winning and losing skirmishes along the road but if you believe your are giving and adding value to your existing clients and target markets persevere and you will eventually succeed.

3.     Patience

Patience is indeed a virtue.

You are laying the foundations for you and your law firm’s digital footprint.

You can revisit and reinvigorate your great legal content over time adding more and updated content and repurposing your content in different media as I have done with Chancel Repair Liability.

Please eschew the snake oil salesmen who promise the riches of 1st page of Google etc. 1st page of Google is relatively easy if you concentrate on intelligent long tail keywords. The holy grail is to keep your law firm at the forefront of the search engines.

Build your reserves over time and you will be repaid.

Great legal content is the gift that keeps on giving – if you are prepared to be patient.

4.     Passion

And last but not least: Passion.

Passion, for me, is by far the most import of the 4Ps of Content Marketing for Law Firms.

Lip-service and perfunctory nods and winks to great legal content just won’t do.

You need to be passionate about creating great legal content and have a burning desire to enrich and improve your clients and potential clients informational needs.

The proof of the pudding is in the passion fruit.

And you just can’t fake it either.

Poor uncommitted content is better off not being written at all as it will fail to engage and be ignored.

I have seen all too many poor and perfunctory attempts: law firms jumping on the bandwagon of social media and (mixed metaphor alert) stomping with their hobnail boots all over Twitter and Facebook.

There will always be one or two within your law firms who have a passion and desire to succeed at Social Media and Content Marketing.

Let them loose and step back.

Why The 4 Ps of Content Marketing Are So Important

Now you may not wish to get hung up on phrases like content marketing especially when you are talking with fellow partners, members or directors.

What we really mean as lawyers when we talk about Content Marketing is simply our response to  clients and potential clients informational needs for any given problem or process.

Marcus Sheridan demystifies and distils content marketing into the abilities of listening , communicating, teaching and helping customers or clients

I concluded at the Legal Futures Conference that too much time is spent by law firms worrying about the next “disruptor” in the legal services market place.

Law firms seem preoccupied with the next new entrant in to the legal services market place and overawed by new technology?

But, in my opinion, most law firms have not yet woken up to the current disruptor – the internet itself.

The traditional 4 Ps have not disappeared. But you should make extra sure that your law firm knows the new 4 Ps of Content Marketing and learn to assimilate them into your new marketing mix.

If you would like to chew the legal content marketing cud with me some more just hit the link below, I’d love to hear from you.

View Paul Hajek's profile on LinkedIn

Let's Chew The Content Marketing Cud 

Topics: content marketing for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, inbound marketing for law firms, social media for law firms, law firm marketing, solicitors marketing

How To Avoid World Cup Heartaches in Your Law Firm Marketing

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 @ 05:30 AM

Gazza cryingThe World Cup is in full swing.

The excitement is palpable.

Well, admittedly, the excitement is probably more palpable in Brazil and Argentina where their expectations of victory are greater than in England.

Undoubtedly, there will be moments of great elation and crunching disappointment - bit like content marketing for your law firm in fact.

So what better time to luxuriate in some football lessons and metaphors that the World Cup can provide for you and your law firm content marketing and social media strategy.

Goals for Your Law Firm Content and Social Media Strategy

It is a simple game.

You need to score more goals than your opposition.

Carolyn Elefant and Nicole Black, two US attorneys in their book “Social Media for Lawyers – The Next Frontier” describe Social Media as:

“The ideal platform to expand your influence and showcase your expertise, effectively bringing your practice to the attention of colleagues, the media and potential clients.

If you use social media wisely and narrowly tailor your online activities toward the pursuit of specific goals, in this case, showcasing your expertise you will easily stand out from the crowd”

Each time you reach out to a client or potential client via your great legal content or through social media and educate or improve their knowledge, you will attain those goals.

In the immortal words of Alan Partridge “Back of the Net!” and lest we forget David Coleman “One-Nil”

Pumping Long Balls Down the Pitch

I’m afraid we’ve all been there: Big Law and Small Law

Our approach and the approach of many other law firms was to use the same old tactic.

As soon as an existing matter was completed we sought to ensure those clients knew all about our other areas of legal specialty.

Not so much a cross-field pass but the under used cross-selling opportunity.

Except that we rarely did.

A hoof of the ball down the pitch every once in a while became the sum total of our ambition.

You never knew we might get lucky once and score.

No consistency.

The result: more often rather than scoring our goals we were leaking own goals.

We’ve lost existing clients to the lure of the new and incomprehensible ( insert your own competing law firm here)

“Just didn’t know you did that as well”

“Assumed that as they said they could do it they must be experts as well”

Modern football has changed- pass, movement, false No.9, 4-2-3-1, high-line, in the pocket, through the channels, innovation- so must your law firm marketing

1966 And All That

England won the World Cup in 1966.

Can our law firm not bask in the former glories of our aged law firm marketing?

Richard Susskind said in an interview in National Law Journal in the US that:-

 “Law firms are less interested in achieving competitive advantage than in avoiding competitive disadvantage. They are far more worried about their competitors are doing than what the correct strategy is for them”

In footballing parlance that translates into dour unimaginative football, making no mistakes, keeping a clean sheet and playing for a penalty shoot-out (please England let’s be more positive than that)

Be bloody bold and resolute in your law firm content marketing

Group of Death

There’s always a group of death.

You get lumped in with the pre –tournament favourites, second favourites and the in-form team.

But can you afford to lose 3 games or 3 transactions.

No law firm can afford to lose clients no matter how stiff the competition.

Ensure you keep in contact with your existing clients and keep them happy with your great legal content.

Tournament Burnout

Heavy legged, knackered after a long and arduous domestic campaign?

And why is it always England that seems to suffer from tournament burnout?

Content marketing is a tough slog but you should have enough about you to ride out the exhaustion or content droughts.

Conserve your energy to its best use.

If you are concerned your fitness levels are flagging, you’re not getting the best out of yourself or find motivation a problem - get expert help - all the most successful teams do.

Selection Headaches

All successful teams have players vying for the starting XI.

All mangers yearn for a fully fit team with no injury concerns.

I can hear Roy Hodgson the England Manager steadying himself for the question

“Roy: any selection headaches ahead of the Italy game?

“No, everyone is fit and available for selection – it’s a nice headache to have”

Your content marketing should be a well-oiled cog with great legal content just itching to get the chance to shine. A nice headache to have.

But, if you do not operate with an editorial calendar your attempts to succeed will be a bit hit and miss.

We Didn’t Leave Anything on the Pitch – We Gave It Everything

Law firms have been guilty in the past (surely not anymore?) of spending too much time “in” their law firms than actually spending time “on” their law firms.

We may have winged the odd newsletter to clients and referrers, but consistency was non-existent.

One month’s success was followed up by a succession of losses.

Another cardinal sin or red card is not to have done everything in your power to win the game and achieve your goals.

Don’t rely on a penalty shoot.

Win in the permitted time with great unstoppable legal content.

Give it everything you’ve got!

A Straight Red Card

No excuses for your law firm if guilty of any of the above.

The ease of keeping in touch with existing clients and reaching out to potential clients has never been easier or quicker.

I’m a strict disciplinarian on this one: It’s a straight red!

Getting Your Hands on the World Cup.

Many take part but only a few can succeed and get their hands on the World Cup.

Yet, World Cup glory is available to all those law firms who embrace content marketing and turn their law firms in to great resources of information and knowledge for their clients and potential clients.

Happy, happy clients. Successful Law Firm.

The Open Top Bus Ride

And so the ultimate accolade for every player and squad and back-room staff awaits: the open top bus ride through the streets of your town or city.

And you would’ve earned it.

But, no time to wallow in all the warmth of the glory.

Your next campaign in time for the 2018 World Cup starts in July.

Fancy Chewing The Legal Cud With Me?

Photo: My football hero Paul Gascoigne at Italia90

Paul Hajek

Topics: content marketing for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, inbound marketing for law firms, solicitors online success, social media for law firms, internet marketing for law firms

How to Banish the Boring and Turgid From Your Law Firm Content

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Banish the Boring and TurgidContent has evolved and doesn’t just involve blogging anymore.

Now, as lawyers, we are only truly harnessed by our own imagination or rather lack of it.

Great legal content is breaking past new frontiers with slideshare, infographics, video and hubs.

Slideshare for Law Firms

What about a visual, easy to understand presentation using plain English with everything you need to know.

I think Slideshare offers great opportunities for law firms.

Slideshare allows for those boring shackles to be released (from the vertiginous mounds of paper with which we are duty bound to suffocate our clients) in favour of something much more engaging.

We’ve done it recently to liberate our compulsory complaints documentation.

 


There is, of course, a serious message here but the essence is working together with common goals with the minimum of fuss and greater peace of mind to give a greater opportunity for an enhanced client experience.

Win Win.

Infographics for Law Firms

BBC online asked me a couple of weeks ago to come up with an Infographic to explain the still confused state of Chancel Repair Liability.

I enjoyed the challenge: the result a Snakes and Ladders board game.

Chancel Repair Liability FlowChart  and Words

If you would like to download the full PDF version you can here.

And the benefit?: my second best recorded day for visitors to the Clutton Cox website.

By the way, my best day was on the evening the One Show did a piece on Chancel Repair Liability.

Law Firm Video

Video has been around for a while and quite a few law firms have had a go on YouTube.

We have our own YouTube channel on which we have been repurposing our existing content. Mainly, by reading chapters from my book on Conveyancing.

 

The tangential nature of internet browsing means that you legal content can show up by many diverse means. The more varied your legal content the more chance it will be found and in turn shared with others.

Law Firm Content Hubs

If you’ve got it –flaunt it!: great legal content that is.

Limitations of home pages on law firm websites often mean only a glimpse of your great legal content is available to view instantly.

There are software packages which make your legal content much more engaging and keep existing and potential clients interested for longer.

On our Clutton Cox Hub once you open the page you can keep scrolling down and all our wonderful content just keeps on rolling – interspersed with the obligatory calls to action of course.

You can even use the software to create flipbooks of ebooks as below

And One More Important Thing

The beauty of all of the above is that if your law firm content is worthy enough it becomes sharable and your law firm becomes less in thrall to that precocious 6 year old known as Google.

Sharing is the future.

Paul Hajek

Topics: content marketing for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, online marketing for law firms, inbound marketing for law firms

Captain’s Log:Star Date 2020“I Discern No Life Among Small Law Firms”

Posted by Paul Hajek on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:16 PM

toastThis article first appeared in Solicitors Journal but without my title and ending

Small law firms are doomed. And it’s not much rosier for medium size law firms either!

No need for 20-20 hindsight by 2020 small law firms will be toast. End of!

How do I know? - As Freddie and the Dreamers sang – “Everybody Tells Me So”.

And not just Richard Susskind telling me so.

Legal Services as a Cottage Industry

Let’s take Susskind’s view that “we should dispose of what is largely a cottage industry, in order to satisfy clients' needs, and reinvent the way that legal services are delivered"

The Internet, that nasty gobbler-up of all things High Street, will do for us small law firms.

Most people will, as Susskind predicts, turn to online legal services for basic guidance on procedural and substantive issues of law.

But here is the thing the Internet is itself actually cottage industry writ large.

Everyone is invited to play (small law firms included) but the big boys (Google et al) get to choose whom you get to meet.

The Internet: A great Opportunity for Small Law Firms 

New tools previously unavailable make the Internet the new frontier for keeping and attracting clients.

Social Media was too new a concept for Susskind in his first book - not even a twinkle in his disintermediative eyes.

But its affect on how law firms can engage and stay engaged with existing clients and potential clients gives opportunities for small law firms to excel and grow bigger.

“Meet the New Boss Same As The Old Boss”

Small law firms exist and continue to exist because of the people, their clients, they serve.

Law firms should embrace the tools that the internet gives us, but to go back to old fashioned values of client service which served previous generations so well.

Social media allows us to get closer to our clients; to engender the care and commitment of older generations who built their businesses on old fashioned virtues.

The butcher, the baker who knew all their  customers backgrounds, conversed in real time about what was going on in their lives and gave added value when it was most unexpected viz. why a Baker’s dozen would equal 13.

Law firms, small or bigger, must make caring more scalable.

Let’s face it with the ubiquity of social media you should be able in most cases to find out much about what makes your clients tick and dovetail your services accordingly.

Banish Thoughts of Commoditisation

Commoditisation is a race to the bottom.

Provide your clients with a better understanding of how the law affects their lives at particular moments. How they can have successful outcomes.

Provide great content in an easily understood and jargon free way.

You need to set your law firm apart.

So Are Small Law Firms Doomed?

Success like failure is purely optional.

The internet is a true meritocracy, where great content will attract a new audience for law firms.

By utilising the internet your great content can flourish and innovation and differentiation can reach a wider audience. Innovative legal services will be quicker to market.

Social Media will enable stronger relationships to be forged with existing clients and lure new clients to your law firm

But, and it is a big but, the time to act for law firms is now, heed Susskind’s exhortations to have a long hard look at your law firm.

But as for me, beam me back on board, Scottie!

Why Not Keep in Touch?

Topics: online marketing for law firms, inbound marketing for law firms, internet marketing for solicitors, small law firm survival, high street solicitors

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

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: Circle the Wagons or Come Out All Guns Blazing

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

Circle the WagonsThis is a version of my first article for the Solicitors Journal which was published last week.

Life was so much simpler in Westerns: good guys wore white hats and the baddies black hats or used bows, arrows and tomahawks. The good guys usually won out.

In our new legal landscape post Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) we have new “black hat” marauders to contend with who are looking at taking our real estate in a legal services land grab.

The first shots have already been fired.

Law Firm Strategy in the New Wild West

In this new Wild West, I can characterise the available strategies for small (and not so small) law firms as follows:

"CIRCLE THE WAGONS"; carry on as before, drive down costs and drive out inefficiencies and keep fingers crossed that the Cavalry or the Lone Ranger in some form of regulatory or combined marketing venture or other will come to your rescue;

SURRENDER: wave the white flag, simply give up conveyancing, PI or legal aid and concentrate on other more contemporary or bespoke areas of the law;

FIGHT BACK; come out all guns blazing and truly set your law firm apart with great service, innovation and embrace the challenge of ABSs.

From my experience at my law firm lawyers can take up the fight using the Internet as the weapon of choice.

Why Now for the Internet and Law Firms?

The internet has been around for a while now, but many law firms in particular have been slow to recognise its benefits. The web is changing pretty much everything it touches.

Patterns of shopping are changing and so are buying habits including how clients look for and evaluate legal services. The Internet is increasingly the tool of choice for people preselecting solicitors and law firms.

Potential clients are able to judge the expertise of a law firm for themselves simply by the look and feel quality of the website content.

The power of pre selection without the need to have any interaction other than viewing a website cannot be underestimated.

Differentiating Your Law Firm

Differentiating yourselves from your competitors on the internet will allow you to grow your market share significantly.

At our law firm we’ve made our website the hub of all our marketing efforts, both on and offline. It’s a dynamic tool for attracting existing and potentially new clients alike by:

  • CREATING remarkable content

 Type “Chancel Repair Liability” into Google to see. As a result of that one post (often revised) we contacted by the BBC, Radio 5 Live and the One Show

  • OPTIMISING that content for search engines (SEO)
  • PROMOTING that content in social media, e-mail marketing and other channels

We’ve developed own law firm brand by blogging and writing articles and showing personality through social media channels such as Twitter.

Let your potential clients know who you are (and indeed your existing clients who may not be aware), where you are; what you do and hey presto, they will get to understand that you may indeed be bloody good at what you do.

Go Get Them

We received few Conveyancing instructions from a nearby town such was the blanket coverage of corporate Estate Agents.

Now as more people undertake their own research on the internet, Google obliges by pointing their enquiries to our blog posts. We as a result have regained large numbers of clients.

Will the Cavalry Save Your Law Firm?

Whatever strategy your law firm adopts, without an internet presence it will be increasingly more difficulty to compete, survive and thrive.

And for the winning law firms the internet and their internet marketing strategy may well be the cavalry coming round the mountain in the final reel

Would You Like Me To Help?

 Paul Hajek

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blog marketing, small law firm survival, law firm marketing, Alternative Business structures

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

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