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

Are You Content With Your Law Firm Content?

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

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

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

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

Are you content with your content?

Content Paralysis of Law Firm Websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 5 Point Content Stress Test for Law Firm Websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Inbound Marketing for Law Firms and the Jigsaw Puzzle

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

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

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

  • A fully functioning law firm website

  • A blog or blogs

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • Analytics

  • Email marketing

  • Calls to Action

  • Landing Pages

  • Lead Nurturing

  • Social Media

  • Continually testing of what works and doesn’t work

  • Mobile capability for smart phones and tablets

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

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

Law Firm Inbound Marketing Myopia

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

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

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

But, enough, what’s in it for me?

What Could Your Law Firm Achieve an Effective Content Strategy?

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

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

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

Now you have to be content with that!

Itching To Find Out More? 

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

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

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

Law Firm Marketing: Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Nov 08, 2012 @ 06:50 AM
Extra Extra Read All About itEd and I are freshly back from the Annual Solicitors Online Success Conference.

Don’t worry; you didn’t miss the publicity, as it was a highly guarded secret.

And to be honest it was just me and Ed.

At the “conference” we took stock of all the fears, worries and frustrations of law firms in the brave new world of internet marketing and social media and set about creating solutions.

And we only mentioned ABSs just once!

Cunning Plans

Ed and I with no distractions ‘deliberated, cogitated and digested” all the feedback we have had from solicitors and law firms on the challenges faced in their internet marketing and social media strategies from SEO, Knockout Headlines, Content Creation, Getting Found Online, Blogging and Social Media.

And we think we have hatched a rather cunning plan! But more of that later.

SEO for Law Firms

This is the recurring nightmare for law firms who are worried that it is something they need to know about but are worried that they may be employing a snake oil salesman to teach them all about it.

Content Creation

How as a law firm can we create content that clients and potential clients will want to read and instruct us.

In other words – what do we write about?

Getting Found Online

Another perennial and a close neighbour of Content Creation ,even were law firms are able to create great content how, where , how often, with whom should they share their wonderful content.

Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook et al

Confusion abounds and a lack of focus about what law firms should be concentrating on: all or some and if so which and what about a return on investment.

How can we persuade our colleagues in our law firms that it will all be worth it in the end.

Law Firm Blogging

It’s not for us, don’t like the terminology, it’s too American, why should I divulge my knowledge and not get paid, how often and what if I get bored or lose interest is that even worse than not blogging in the first place.

Father Time

Please transport me to a parallel universe where as a law firm we can create extra hours in a day to accomplish that, without supernatural powers, we cannot achieve our internet marketing and social media goals.

Headlines: Where Do You Get Them From?

It’s tough, but Headlines are often overlooked in the overall content creation for law firm websites.

Our rule of thumb – 35% of the overall time on content creation should be spent on the Headline.

Extra, Extra Read All About It

And the first product of the Solicitors Online Success Conference is, well stay tuned for further details………

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, social media for law firms, announcements

Solicitors Get Off The Golf Course And Get On Social Media

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 @ 05:25 AM
Lawyers stay off golf courseAn interesting report and entitled “Generating Business Online” has some solid advice for law firms facing up to the new realities of the Internet and  Alternative Business Structures.

The new report by Moore Legal Technology and previewed in Legal Futures this week, argues that:  Successful[law] firms will have to move from a “passive marketing model to a more forceful one… The traditional model of opening an office and generating business through the golf club, old school contacts or clients wandering in through the door will no longer suffice

Over the 70 or so blogs Ed and I have published on Solicitors Marketing Success, our loyal reader will have noted that particular drum banging loudly and clearly here in Nearly 8 Out of 10 Cats Prefer Law Firms on the Internet and here in Small Law Firms: Online is the New High Street.

Marketing or rather Internet Marketing is set to play a crucial role in law firms’ future success.

Law Firm Internet Marketing Skills

The critical skills required for law firms competing with new ABS who are already skilled retailers will says the report be “networking, selling, social media, internet marketing, branding”

Furthermore: Law firms will have to embrace technology… As modern, dynamic firms engage more with technology and import expertise from other industry sectors, traditional law firms will have to embrace the internet for marketing purposes and automate those parts of their work which they can.”

Law Firm Internet Marketing Strategy

The report should be music to the ears of those law firms who are already pursuing an internet marketing and social media strategy.

There are however few firms that I can see that “get it”

The report encapsulates what law firms should be considering as part of any Internet Marketing and Social media strategy namely:

In place of simple websites, firms must make use of sophisticated marketing techniques, including search engine optimisation (SEO) to drive internet traffic and attract customers with content such as blogs, videos, podcasts, articles and news items – the object is to build an online brand.

Twitter and Facebook the New Golf Course

As the report points out: Social media facilitates conversations and connections. In this way, Twitter and Facebook are the new golf course… Your name, your firm’s name and your brand are passed on to others who may potentially become clients.”

Golf Lessons for Law Firms

The good news for law firms is, that as with golf, in order to improve you can take lessons.

Your law firm should not be handicapped by a lack of knowledge about how to implement an internet marketing and social media strategy.

And as a bonus, assuage you fears of golfing sartorial inelegance, by taking Richard Branson’s advice that no tie is required for social media.

How Lucky Will Your Law Firm be in Attracting Clients

I’ll leave you with the oft quoted Gary Player’s retort when asked about his golfing success:

“it seems the more I practice the luckier I get”

Start planning your law firm internet and social media strategy now and find out how you lucky will be in retaining and attracting clients to your Law Firm.

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, social media for law firms, small law firm survival, blog, solicitor websites

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

Law Firms: How Strong Are Your Castles and How Deep Are Your Moats?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 @ 04:29 AM
How srong is your law firm castleWarren Buffet likes businesses with "castles and moats".



In business, Buffet says, " I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats".



An "economic castle" is a great business, and the "unbreachable moat" is the strategy or market dynamic that heightens the barriers-to-entry and makes it difficult or ideally impossible to compete with, or gain access to, the economic castle. . ."



Now that got me thinking:



Law Firm Website - Castle; Internet Marketing and Social Media -Moat



"Online" the new battleground on the High Street:



I've posted before about how smaller law firms without a viable internet strategy will find it increasingly difficult to survive and thrive.



In the internet age, the challenge for law firms and their law firm websites will be how to fend off other law firms and new entrants into legal services from gaining traction in their local, regional or national markets.



If you visualise your law firm castle comprising, your people, your law firm brand, intellectual capital and your existing clients, then your law firm moat will comprise: search engine optimisation (key words and phrases strategy); social media and internet marketing techniques.



"Weapons Grade Content": The New Molten Oil



Great weapons grade content powers up a law firm's online presence and attracts more potential clients. Weapons grade content is the new molten oil pouring your law firm content all over your competitors output and the new upstarts



The search engines such as Google and Bing seek, devour and feed relevant content to eager search enquirers-potential clients in other words.



Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):



All law firms who have a website should at least of heard of, although, may have not done much about, SEO.



Any firm embarking or being serious about an internet marketing strategy will need to pay some heed to SEO. But, be careful and avoid slavish adherence to SEO. Once found on line ,if your content is bloated, uninteresting and focuses too much on keywords, it is likely to remain unread.



Google Wants To Index Your Content



The more great and relevant content that appears on your website the more readily Google will send its robots to your website to discover it.



Sure, it may be intermittent when you first start, but the more regularly you post or add content and articles, the greater the frequency of revisits will be.



My record at Clutton Cox was a blog, which was posted by me, indexed and available for search by Google within 43 minutes!



SEO Tip: Are You Solicitors of Quality?:



Yes, at the very least you should incorporate the fact that your law firm is a quality firm of solicitors in whichever suburb. village town or city you reside. Hopefully, no explanation needed on that one!



Keywords and phrases, and not just the obvious, but what are known as "long tail phrases"; clever less fought over phrases which you try and call your own - type into Google the phrase "guaranteed fixed fees with no hidden extras" and see what comes up?



Don't get hung up on the word Blog



A word of advice, don't get hung up on the word "blog".



Blog is but one part of putting content on your law firm website. It is actual content that is paramount, in whatever form that takes.



Blogging allows you to create a more relaxed style for potential clients to frame a personality for the firm. But, if you prefer to call your content articles or legal briefings, please do "knock your self out".



The golden rule is to create content which is of interest to your clients and potential clients, not to show how great your legal mind or research capabilities are.



When can I stop and admire my internet moat?



Not until ,it is the deepest and widest moat, filled with the iciest waters ,oversized sharks and piranha fish. Simple, don't stop.



If you stop you risk a breach and your preeminent position challenged.



My law firm does not have time to blog or create content



I hear it all the time. We, as a law firm, just don't have a enough time to blog or create content.



Even if you decide that lack of time and inclination prohibits you from creating your own blogs and content, there really are no excuses: Outsource your great content to some one who can do it for you.



Do you think you can really afford not to protect your law firm castle?



If you haven't already started to build your internet moat, start digging now!

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, high street law firms, small law firm survival, Alternative Business structures, Content, paul hajek

Nearly 8 Out 10 Cats Prefer Law Firms on The Internet

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 @ 06:37 AM
Another day: another survey about shifting client attitudes to the provision of legal services.



Another survey, but the overwhelming evidence is that law firms who do not devote time and energy to their websites risk being overlooked altogether.



The latest survey released by LexisNexis in the US last month found that 76% of consumers seeking a lawyer over the last twelve months used online resources at some point in the process.



The usual suspects were rolled out; advent of social media, smart phones and most importantly, search engines.



All have had and are continuing to have a dramatic effect on the way clients research and choose their lawyers.



Law Firms: The train is leaving the platform



Last summer in a post "Law Firms Slow to Grasp Internet Opportunities" we digested research here in the UK about the increased usage of the internet in finding law firms. Yet, so few firms have grasped the opportunity to use internet marketing to promote and attract clients by way of their law firm website.



This latest Lexis Nexis survey from the US surely blows out of the water the argument that a website and internet marketing have no relevance for solicitors and law firms in the UK



Law firms need to get on board the internet marketing train or risk losing out to their internet savvy competitors, both law firms and new entrants via Alternative Business Structures.



Why the Internet Makes Choosing a Solicitor So Easy



Consumers have access to more information from more resources than ever before.



Potential clients will have no need to ask law firms directly for all their answers, when everything they might need to make a choice is at their fingertips.



In today's competitive legal landscape:



Clients can ask questions; Clients can read reviews, digest content( in the form of articles and blogs) start conversations with people they've never met.



And here's the thing:



All of this will be done on the web, all on their terms and at a time day or night of their choosing.



EASY!



The Internet has Changed Client Behaviour for Good



Put your self in the shoes or mindset of a potential client looking to instruct a firm of solicitors e.g. in a conveyancing transaction.



What would you do - ring straight away for a quote? Is that what you would do if you were booking a flight or a holiday?



My experience at my law firm Clutton Cox is that potential clients now use the Internet to get information about conveyancing services in advance of contacting conveyancing law firms.



Potential clients are looking for more depth and a more detailed understanding of the conveyancing process, what it entails and they would like that information at their fingertips -right here right now.



And what do you think would be the most obvious feature a client might be looking for from a Conveyancing website? Cost.



Conveyancing Calculator



The Clutton Cox Conveyancing Calculator is a huge boon for potential clients and us!( by the way, contact me if you would like to have a Conveyancing Calculator on your law firm website)



Yet, so few law firms, are bold enough to put their fees out in the open for all to see ( misguided worries perhaps that its only other law firms who would check the fees and offer £5 less to win the client?)



Improve Potential Clients' Buying Experience



Think about it.



Would you prefer to use a law firm who provides enough high quality content to answer all your questions. In the potential clients' eye would not the fact that such helpful content were available from you but not other law firms make you the obvious safe and trustworthy choice for conveyancing?



Validation by Testimonial



Let's face it we all have dipped into Trip Advisor to justify a choice of hotel or restaurant.



It would be natural to show testimonials from existing clients to ram home your advantage, yet again so few firms have sufficient testimonials on the law firm websites.



Slow Death by Silent Cuts



At Clutton Cox we have great content, a Conveyancing Calculator and multiple testimonials.



No surprise then that a significant number of new clients see no need to go elsewhere or ring another firm of Conveyancing Solicitors - they are happy to instruct us on line!



Many traditional firms of Conveyancing Solicitors will not even get a phone call requesting a Conveyancing quote, the Conveyancing buying experience has already taken place elsewhere - on the internet!



The danger for traditional law firms is that if you fail to adapt to the new shift in buying patterns you risk a slow death by silent cuts. It is a risk to rely solely on your pool of existing clients.



Are You Sitting Uncomfortably?



Most of you may not, some will be luxuriating in a warm glow of partial accomplishment



Never mind 8 out of 10 cats: 3 out of 4 existing clients and potential clients are showing you the direction your law firm must take.



We can help your law firm step up to the plate and win business



Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, high street law firms, small law firm survival, internet marketing for law firms, General, Content