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

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 Firms Get The Love: Inbound Marketing Is The Future

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 09:22 AM
Inbound 12
When I qualified as a Solicitor, in 1983, I didn’t have the first idea what role marketing played in winning clients.

Marketing for solicitors, or so it seemed to me, was an invention waiting to happen.

If I were to characterise Law Firm Marketing back then it was thus: Open Solicitor’s Office; Buy Yellow Pages Advert; Answer Phone; ergo, Client Deluge.


Law Firm Marketing Has Changed: Outbound versus Inbound Marketing

My first ever experience of solicitor marketing came from a conference by practicing solicitors John Loosemore and Robert Parsons tantalisingly entitled “What They Didn’t Teach You in Law School”

Thank you John and Robert as I have never looked back since.

Many law firms still believe in the traditional marketing routes of advertising.

I dare say some law firms still rely on Yellow Pages almost exclusively as their advertising and (by extension) their marketing of choice.

Those outmoded forms of what may be termed old –fashioned or outbound marketing are being replaced by inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing for Law Firm: Get the Love

Your law firm may not have heard of the term “inbound marketing”.

Inbound marketing does not involve an exclusive law firm upgrade of Photoshop designed to vanish blemishes and air brush your lawyers’ profile shots.

Inbound marketing is the way to get your law firm loved by your existing clients and potential clients alike, to ensure continuing instructions.

Intrigued?

What Law Firms Should Know About Inbound Marketing

Let’s start with a definition of Inbound Marketing from the creators of the term Hubspot.

“Inbound Marketing is marketing that’s useful. It means acquiring customers by attracting and nurturing prospects with exceptional content, data and customer service”

Your law firm may even be in the vanguard of inbound marketing without actually knowing it: powerful website providing useful information and opportunities with your targeted clients in mind

But, although a simple enough concept, in my opinion, too few law firms have grasped the power of inbound marketing.

How Law Firms Should Adopt Inbound Marketing

Avid dear reader you will be well accustomed to inbound marketing as a strategy for law firms as we have been promoting inbound marketing as a strategy for solicitors and law firms since we began blogging on Solicitors Marketing Success at the beginning of 2011.

Inbound Marketing, in the sale of legal services involves using great online content as the core component.

The 3 Basic Tenets of Inbound Marketing for Law Firms

There are three basic tenets of inbound marketing for law firms

 

  • Get Found – Tactics like, search engine optimisation, promotion through social media, blog and content marketing, that aim to attract potential clients to your law firm
  • Convert  – The use of calls to action, landing pages, email marketing and marketing automation that are intended to convert your law firm website visitors in to paying customers and clients
  • Analyse – Using the right software tools to improve your law firm’s efficiency of the entire process.

The Difference between Old or Outbound Marketing and New Or Inbound Marketing for Law Firms

Yellow Pages Directories are now a sliver of their former weight and size.
Adverts are expensive and a very blunt tool best kept to the major brands and their product awareness campaigns. Sky Plus and TiVo based products allow us to block out adverts (yes, even adverts from Quality Solicitors)

Law Firm clients and potential clients all have the same thing in common: they are more in control, more independent than ever before -  and they decide when they want to hear or read from your law firm.

Pre Selection of Law Firms by Client Research

For most law firms this is the invisible elephant in the room.

Many solicitors and law firms have simply no idea that they are being selected by the content (or rather lack of it), and look and feel of their website.

I experience this weekly on my Clutton Cox website where we receive online instructions and we have had no contact with that client other than from interaction within our law firm website.

Solicitors Marketing Success, Hubspot and Your Law Firm

Time is the enemy for most solicitors who do not have the resource of a bespoke marketing department.

Law Firms of all sizes large and small need to think smarter about their marketing and inbound marketing in particular. And above all law firms need the tools to make their marketing experience as painless and as efficient as possible.

Hubspot provides all the tools a law firm would need to turn their website into a legal powerhouse and fight on a level playing field with much bigger law firms and new entrants in to the legal services market.

I have been using Hubspot software for my law firm Clutton Cox for over 4 years.

As Solicitors Marketing Success is now an affiliate of Hubspot, I want to teach you to use what I consider to be the best, most comprehensive software available for law firm’s and their inbound marketing strategy.

Talk To Me

Give me 15 minutes of your time to begin to explain how Hubspot can work for your law firm and set you up with a free 30 day trial.

And see how you and your law firm can be loved all over again.

Itching To Find Out More- Go On!

Paul Hajek is a Solicitor with over 30 years experience in private practice. He is one of the most prolific law and marketing bloggers in the UK.

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



Topics: online marketing for law firms, internet marketing for solicitors, internet marketing for law firms, marketing for solicitors, blogging

Small Law Firms: "We're Doomed, Captain, We're All Doomed"

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 04:55 AM

Private Frazer resized 600

In case, you haven’t heard, small law firms will be “toast” by 2020: “are no more, ceased to be..” And it’s not much rosier for medium size law firms either!

My characterisation's based on Professor Susskind's predictions in his new book “Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future”.

It is decreed that unless small firms offer a genuinely specialised or personal service that the legal services market is prepared to pay, small law firms do not have much future past 2020.

Why are Small Law Firms Doomed?

In Susskind’s opinion legal services are primarily a cottage industry, so disparate, you wouldn't believe: "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"

And that nasty gobbler-up of all things High Street, the Internet, will do for us.

One mustn’t shoot the messenger for Susskind rightly provokes or should be provoking law firms to have a good hard look at themselves: repositioning or at the very least some reappraising of your law firms’ raison d’être and where your law firm is heading.

Evidence of Change in the Legal Services Market:

Susskind quotes William Gibson, the science fiction writer, to characterise the present state of the legal services - "The future has already arrived its just not evenly distributed yet."

Susskind points out that systems such as RocketLawyer (and my firm Clutton Cox is proudly one of the 20 or so Law Firms on their law firm panel) are already operational.

ABSs are coming at us thick and slow at the moment. Doubtless, many more ABSs are in the departure lounge waiting for take-off.

Is There an Antidote to Susskind for Small Law Firms?

Most people will, in Susskind’s view, 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 (law firms included) to play but the big boys (Google et al) get to choose whom you get to meet.

Social Media for Law Firms

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

Social Media and 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.

New World Same As The Old World

In spite of the luddite calls of some lawyers, the law is not a different business to which other rules apply.

Law is a people business. Law firms exist because of the people, the clients, they serve.

The way forward for law firms is to embrace the tools that the internet allows 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 need to secure, as one of my hero’s Gary Vaynerchuk would say, the emotional equity in their clients. Clients want real not just lip service to a so called “quality service”. Social media offers an opportunity to be real.

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.

The goal is to retain and acquire clients by attracting and educating them with great content and providing them with great service.

Law Firms as Educators and Legal Publishers

Part of our goal at my law firm Clutton Cox is to educate our clients in all things conveyancing, wills and probate.

We aim to provide our clients with a better understanding of how the law affects their lives at particular moments.

We provide great content in an easily understood and jargon free way.

In essence, in order to differentiate Clutton Cox for our competitors, we have turned our website in part into a legal publishing platform for the benefit of existing clients and new clients.

Social Media is Hard Work

Getting word of mouth recommendation takes no little skill, time and effort to accomplish.

What social media can now do is translate that word of mouth reputation onto an informational platform for more to see. Such social proof is a powerful magnet for attracting new clients and will be for years to come

It’s tough, it always has been tough. It’s like running a marathon but, social media allows for one to one interaction with clients and potential clients as never before.

Is There a Future for Small Law Firms?

Of course, there is.

The internet is a great enabler for small law firms who are able to compete on a level playing field with the bigger law firms.

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

Innovative legal services may be quicker to market and be viewed by a greater audience

Every law firm should have a blog and at least a Twitter or Facebook presence: it should be easy for you to communicate and respond to clients immediately.

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

The next big thing will be mobile: smartphones and tablets. Get your law firm strategy in place to make the most of these platforms

Don’t Panic

As Corporal Jones would have concluded to the “we’re doomed” exclamation – Don’t Panic.

But, and it is a big but, the time to act for law firms is now if you are to avoid popping out of a toaster in 2020 – or before!


Solicitors “Done for You” Solution

I am building an “ultimate design, build and implement package for law firms”

Whether you are a sole practitioner, a small medium or large law firm we will provide you with everything you need to catapult your law firm web site in to the premier league...

    • E-mail marketing strategy for client attraction and retention

    • Internet marketing strategy for solicitors including best-practice traffic tactics

    • One to one coaching and mentoring with award winning social media expert and practising solicitor and an Amazon 5-star rated author and web design expert.

    • Content marketing including Blogging and social media management (so you will know exactly what to do and when to do it!)

    • And a lot more...

And it will all be backed with a cast-iron guarantee that it will generate significantly more enquiries for your law firm than what you currently getting from your website (if any!)

If you are interested in finally using the web to attract more visitors to your website and generate more enquiries from potential clients use the form below to sign up for free announcements about the ultimate package.

That will tell us you are interested to know more and is of course without obligation.

Fill out the form above, and we look forward to sending you more information about this exciting new development shortly.

Itching To Find Out More?

Photo: Private Frazer played by John Laurie via BBC Dads' Army

Topics: online marketing for law firms, blogging for law firms, high street law firms, internet marketing for law firms

Shock Survey Reveals Big Law Firm Websites Not Immune

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 @ 02:50 AM

law firm websitesLaw firms have much to learn from other sectors in website design and navigation. So maintained the results of a survey of legal websites reported in the Law Society Gazette just before Christmas.


Confusing:

The report complied by Last Exit a digital strategy agency complained that “ visitors ..are often faced with too much information that is poorly presented... and it’s a confusing experience trying to navigate masses of information that is not clearly sign posted.”

Big Law Not Immune

The interesting point is that it is not small law firms who are the brunt of the criticism (for there are many very small law firm websites in my opinion) but the big boys – magic circle included!


Of 30 law firm websites surveyed 18 sites were ranked as mediocre, and only 12 as good. No law firm was rated excellent for their website.

Out of Touch

The survey concluded that the legal sector is in danger of appearing out of touch and overly introspective, if its web presences do not move with the times”

The DNA of a Great Law Firm Website Design

One of my suggested New Year’s Resolutions was to investigate a new website or at the very least a redesign of your law firm’s homepage.

The essence of great law firm website design is universal. Your law firm website is after all your very own digital shop front.

You need to entice visitors onto your website, educate them and turn them into paying clients over time if not immediately.

Your law firm website:


    • must be optimised for search engines (SEO)

    • must have proper title and meta tags

    • must have a proper XML sitemap and navigation

    • must create a great first impression

    • must have a simple and easy to follow structure


    • must have consistently great content production


    • must contain great content which is easily shared


    • must display great testimonials


    • must make it easy to stay in touch or contact easily


    • must include significant calls to action


    • must have a liberal sprinkling of focused landing pages


    • must be imbued with social media cross-fertilisation

If you combine those elements, you will create a great law firm website... which will generate potential new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Solicitors Website Design and Ultimate “Done for You” Solution


Ed and I are building our “ultimate design, build and implement package for law firms”

Whether you are a sole practitioner, a small medium or large law firm we will provide you with everything you need to catapult your law firm web site in to the premier league...


    • Professional law firm web design (or re-design)

    • E-mail marketing strategy for client attraction and retention

    • Internet marketing strategy for solicitors including best-practice traffic tactics

    • One to one coaching and mentoring with award winning social media expert and practising solicitor and an Amazon 5-star rated author and web design expert.

    • Content marketing including Blogging and social media management (so you will know exactly what to do and when to do it!)

    • And a lot more...


And it will all be backed with a cast-iron guarantee that it will generate significantly more enquiries for your law firm than what you currently getting from your website (if any!)



If you are interested in finally using the web to attract more visitors to your website and generate more enquiries from potential clients use the form below to sign up for free announcements about the ultimate package.


That will tell us you are interested to know more and is of course without obligation.


Do it now...


Fill out the form now, and we look forward to sending you more information about this exciting new development shortly.


Warmly,

Paul & Ed.

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, internet marketing for law firms, law firm websites, General

Law Firms: Be Bloody, Bold and Resolute in 2013

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jan 09, 2013 @ 07:44 AM
MacbethI love lists, me.

No doubt, Dear Reader, you will have made good resolutions for you and your law firms this year.

You may “quite literally” be brimming with enthusiasm to get started.

New Year’s List

So, with the freedom of no longer paining over split infinitives, may we be the first to boldly go on a trek through the internet marketing for law firms' universe, and give you our list of self proclaimed aphorisms and things to do for 2013.


    • Continuously improve: Improve everything within your Law Firm by 1%: it worked for Sir Dave Brailsford and the GB Cycling Team

    • Connect with 5 other professionals on LinkedIn each week because you never know what business opportunities will arise



    • Join a new group on LinkedIn

    • Exit a group on LinkedIn which no longer inspires you

    • No one really cares about your law firm website – get over it

    • Improve your LinkedIn profile- it only takes a few minutes


    • Keep calm and carry on blogging. Make it easier for potential clients to discover you and what you are about

    • Write 2 blogs a week for your website –that will increase your law firm's website size by 100 pages over a year. Powerful.

    • Be consistent, write at least one blog per week and stick to the task.

    • Avoid the bombastic, turgid and orotund



    • Exercise 2-3 times a week; a fit mind in a fit body..and that includes working on your law firm website


    • Exceed expectation

    • Don’t try and do every “social media” stick to what you think will work best

    • Shun negative people

    • Write an eBook (Tip: If you have a 100 new blogs next year, that should more than cover it!)


    • Know your limitations and get help form experts

    • Look to build a blog not launch one

    • Write a “Thank You “ note each week to a client or contact who won’t be expecting it

    • Offer to write a Guest Blog article for a non competing law firm ( At Clutton Cox, I’d love to publish something of yours)

    • Promise yourself you will work more “on” your business and not just in “it”

    • Eschew the phrase “I am too busy” from your lexicon of excuses: work smarter or put your fees up.

    • Repeat the mantra “My law firm will get found online and we will convert leads into clients”


    • Sign up to the Solicitors Online Success blog and never miss an article again.

    • Don’t concentrate too much SEO, but do concentrate on creating great content. You’re writing for humans not robots!

    • Get off the golf course and get on social media.



    • 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.



    • Make your content shareable and sociable, allow people to easily follow you and share your content.

    • Get proof of how good you are – get testimonials from satisfied clients.

    • Work as though you don’t need the money

    • Dance as if no one is watching

    • Love as if you’ve never been hurt.


    • If you haven’t a Call to Action on every page of your website, start putting them on your website.

    • Remember client retention is much cheaper than client acquisition.

The Scottish Play:

The internet is changing the way legal services are researched and bought.

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

Above all, avoid complacency it's what did for Macbeth in the end.

And finally..

Ed and I are here ready to catapult your internet marketing into orbit.

Let us know where we can help you.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.

Topics: inbound marketing for law firms, blogging for solicitors, internet marketing for solicitors, blog marketing, social media for law firms, internet marketing for law firms, law firm websites, blogging, blog

Care Immensely or Die: A Lesson for Law Firms

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Sep 06, 2012 @ 04:15 AM
I popped across "the pond" last week to Boston to attend Inbound12.inbound12

Inbound12 was the self styled biggest Inbound Marketing Conference in the world organised by Hubspot – 2800 attendees there or thereabouts.

The reason for my attending was to see what small and medium sized law firms could learn from cutting edge marketers in the US.

As law firms, in England and Wales, we face huge disruption to our legal services market with the advent of Alternative Business Structures ( ABSs). Non lawyers can now own law firms and it’s probably fair to say “we ain’t see nothing yet”.

I was intrigued to learn what tools and strategies law firms may adopt not only to ensure survival but to thrive in the face of “big business” intervention into our traditional legal markets.

Law Firms: we are not alone!

And guess what? Every business is at risk of disruption by technology and companies using innovative ways of delivering old services and products.

Yet, reassuringly, the cornerstones of what our businesses stood for and made them successful are probably more crucial in the digital age than ever before.

Keynote Talk

The closing keynote talk was given by noted entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk.Gary Vee and Me

Gary is a larger than life character who is totally incapable of speaking without passion. It’s in his DNA and pervades everything he does.

And when he speaks, as we were warned, he is partial to the odd (frequent) “F-Bomb” but in a rather acceptable Billy Connolly type way.

For Gary, authenticity is crucial and that includes the way he speaks. You just can’t fail be roused and enthused. He is simply the best conference speaker I have ever witnessed and I gave him (along with pretty much everyone else) a standing ovation.

I have condensed some of Gary’s key points below.

Care Immensely or Die

This was the banner title of his keynote address: You need to care about your clients; Build your brand around “out caring “every one else.

If you do not care about your client immensely your brand will ultimately die out sooner or later.

Innovation will be critical to survival.

Client Retention

Client retention is key. Firms can pay too much heed to client acquisition.

We as law firms have been pretty useless in keeping in touch with our clients. Yet, if we keep them happy and loyal we can ring fence against the likes of the Co op and other ABSs.

Social Media

Social Media is about humans and communication. And it takes time.

Social Media has turned the world in to a village again where people can communicate and interact one to one.

Social Media allows us to get closer to our clients as our grandfathers and great grandfathers did with their businesses: first name terms; knowing their likes and dislikes and demonstrably showing we care.

Yet Social media is ridiculously hard and massively frustrating as a consequence.

To paraphrase there is no “Silver Bullet”.

There are great tools to give us data on every aspect of client interaction but it is undoubtedly hard graft.

As we are going through the biggest ever cultural shift, are we willing to do it and do we have the requisite emotional IQ to succeed?

Client Experience Audit

Gary’s closing advice was to audit every step of our business processes and discover how to make the customer/client experience better.

Gary is convinced we could shed 20% of inefficiencies.

And the Good News

Gary left us with this: If you give a “damn” (or words to that effect) about your clients and customers, you may not be surprised to know that actually caring makes you feel good!

describe the imageAs an aside, Cyndi Lauper, may have unwittingly prefaced Gary earlier in the week by singing at the Conference:

" don't be afraid to see your true colours come shining through"

So for small and medium sized law firms in the new legal landscape in England and Wales, ask yourselves this question:

Will your law firm be able to out care the Coop?

I really wish you could have been there, but if you would like a link to Gary’s hour long talk, email me paul [at] cluttoncox.co.uk. It could be the best hour you have spent “on your business” in a long while.


Topics: high street law firms, internet marketing for law firms, Alternative Business structures, blog, Inbound12

Is SEO Really the Best Way to Go for Law Firm Websites?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 @ 03:57 AM
SEO for Law Firms?As more solicitors and law firms take on the task of self-marketing, there's a desire to learn as much as possible about online marketing.



Trendy buzz words such as SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) abound.



As regular readers of this blog you already know we have been banging on about the benefits of internet marketing for law firms for quite a while.



New Law Firm Survey in US on Internet Marketing



Always interesting to find out what lawyers are up to in the field of internet marketing "across the pond"



So step up one of my Twitter buddies Kevin O'Keefe from Lexblog and Avvo, a leading legal forum and professional directory who have produced the 2012 Legal Marketing Survey Report.



The authors of the report received over 1300 responses from sole practitioners (40%) and law firms with 2-9 partners (40%)



I will return to other findings of the report in future posts.



What Area of Marketing Would You Like to Learn More About?



This question excited me, as it the one I invariably ask other solicitors - What area of (internet or online) marketing for your law firm would you like to know more about?



Here are the all the responses from the Legal Marketing Survey :-



*44% SEO 



*41% Online Reputation Management



*32% Business Development Strategies



*31% Social Media



*28% Blogging



*28% Website Analytics



*27% Mobile Optimisation



*26% Website Design



*24% Marketing and Advertising Ethics



Is SEO the way to go, really?



This one surprised me.



Lawyers love jargon and a piece of jargon picked up elsewhere can sound even sexier.



It often amuses me when people refer to their websites as "fully optimised" without really having a clue what that means.



I fear SEO has a similar fate.



Reading Between The Lines



My hunch is that when lawyers refer to SEO what they really mean is that they want to attract traffic to their website.



Methinks, the lawyers might have heard or read about the power of SEO -search engine optimisation- as the means to achieve a high traffic law firm website.



Don't get me wrong SEO is an important building block of a internet marketing based campaign for law firms, but not really the "silver bullet" which will drive potential clients to your law firm website.



Great Content, Great Content, Great Content



What will make your law firm website really hum is great content, great content and even more great content.



Great content makes up about 25% of a website's authority in the eyes of the search engines, but 75% of a website's authority comes from other people sharing your content and linking to your your website.



This is beyond your control and cannot be influenced by SEO alone only great content that people read and share over and over again.



Beautiful Law Firm Website Design



But, for those solicitors who desire to crawl before walking and are not quite ready to compose great content, your heart and your head may just simply yearn for a beautifully designed law firm website.



No harm in that, as we can all point to some truly horrific looking law firm websites.



After all, a beautifully designed, fully functioning, fully optimised and dynamic website will get you up and running.



And here's the thing: Ed and I can do both the former and the latter for you - just call out your name and we'll come running as well

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, internet marketing for law firms, Content, solicitor websites

Will High Noon Hit High Street Law Firms?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 07:49 AM
High Noon for High Street Law FirmsA year or so today, The Sunday Times in it's business section, published an article, entitled “High Noon on the High Street”.



The article formed the core of one of our early posts. If anything, the position has worsened and now we are in the realms of double-dip recession.



The Sunday Times predicted that thousands of shops would close their doors that summer.



“Retailers big and small are under assault from a rapid shift to internet shopping, a slump in consumer confidence – and from some chains having too much debt and over expanded during the boom”



The pattern of shopping is changing and so are our buying habits.



The internet has become the default way to shop for millions. More and more people research and order on line from the comfort of their own home.



 The “Tesco and Chanel” model



Retail analysts are describing the phenomenon as the “Tesco and Chanel” model



There will be, they argue, at one end, Tesco selling pretty much everything at the other end the luxury high value high margin specialist retailers.



The conclusion drawn was that everything in the middle [of the High Street] was being squeezed and fighting for survival.



Parallels with High Street Law Firms



It is not difficult to draw parallels in the legal field with law firms big and small and not just on the High Street; even before we take into account the introduction of Alternative Business Structures.



In the legal sector, we will see the big brands selling transactional legal services (Co -op seem to be the front runners) and at the other or top end, the magic circle of law firms as well as niche firms advising in very narrow areas of law.



There will I feel undoubtedly also be a squeeze in the middle for transactional legal services.



Merger may well be a reasonable aspiration for firms in small towns to even out the competition.



Ensuring you have a plan to counteract the threats is a bare minimum, yet it seems that over two thirds of law  firms are seemingly content, unaware or not concerned with the looming threats.



The Role of the Internet in Law Firm Strategy:



The internet is becoming increasingly influential in all retailing, the legal services market will not be immune.



The internet can provide ease of access, growth and an alternative way to sell legal services. This will only increase in popularity.



What a law firm needs to put in place is an internet strategy and ways to offer legal services on line; at the very least make it easier to instruct your law firm on line.



The internet and internet marketing can facilitate your law firm competing on a level playing field.



Your law firm website needs to be the hub of your internet strategy.



And the good news you can start right away.



But, more importantly, there is simply no time to loose.



This was an imperative for law firms a year ago and it is even more pressing today.



If you would like to know how to kick start your law firm website and learn how your law firm website can be the starting point of your on line strategy, get Paul and Ed's report entitled “The 7 Best Kept Secrets of Law Firm Websites”



 

Topics: high street law firms, internet marketing for law firms, Alternative Business structures, high street solicitors, General, blog