The 4 P’s of Content Marketing for Law Firms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 4Ps of Content Marketing for Law Firms

1.     Pragmatism

A simple one but nevertheless worth emphasising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So pragmatic you must be.

2.     Perseverance

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

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

The more you try the better you will become.

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

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

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

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

3.     Patience

Patience is indeed a virtue.

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

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

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

Build your reserves over time and you will be repaid.

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

4.     Passion

And last but not least: Passion.

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

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

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

The proof of the pudding is in the passion fruit.

And you just can’t fake it either.

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

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

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

Let them loose and step back.

Why The 4 Ps of Content Marketing Are So Important

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Paul Hajek's profile on LinkedIn

Let's Chew The Content Marketing Cud 

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

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

Fixed Fees and Clarity in Tomorrow’s Legal Services:

Posted by Paul Hajek on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 02:00 PM

the law wizard tom hiskeyFixed fees and clarity in tomorrow’s legal services is a guest post by Tom Hiskey, former probate solicitor and co founder of fast-growing legal technology company The Law Wizard. The Law Wizard supplies the clever technology behind Clutton Cox's fixed price probate service.

I often run guest posts over on my Clutton Cox website ( extraordinarily it would appear whenever I am on holiday) and I am grateful to Tom for contributing this post.

Tom has a couple of predictions about the future of legal services –over to you Tom.

Prediction 1: in the next few years, all but the most complex non-contentious matters will be charged by fixed fee

No solicitor costs files by weight any more (or do they?). The way in which matters are charged is changing fast. In probate the move towards fixed fees is inexorable. It must be this way, if for no other reason that consumers prefer fixed fees above all other charging methods by some distance.

According to one recent survey, fixed fee is now the most common charging method for probate.

It should come as no surprise then that the vast majority of law firms we have spoken to already offer one fixed fee probate package, and sometimes more than one. Typically, this is a fixed fee grant extraction service, usually around £350 – £700 + VAT, with £500 + VAT perhaps most common.

At least one firm we know of is already moving towards offering all non-contentious probate work on a fixed fee.

These law firms tell us that the demand for fixed fees started around 10 years ago and, today, requests for fixed fees are commonplace. This is reflected in client satisfaction rates, with 87% of consumers satisfied with fixed fee services, compared to 73% for services charged by hourly rate (down from 79% in 2012).

This 10-year shift mirrors the rise in internet users. 6 years ago (let alone 10), there were just half the internet users in the UK there are today. In 2013, 33 million of us use the internet daily. The Web has empowered consumers, who are now, as a whole, informed, educated and expect more for less.

There are growing pains. With the above fixed fee grant extraction services, the law firm typically hands some form of questionnaire to the client, or the client simply hands a completed spreadsheet or IHT205 to the solicitor. It can be a clunky, inefficient process.

The challenge of attaching fixed fees to estate administration (as opposed to grant extraction) should not be underestimated, and the same goes for many other areas of law. It requires experience, technology, processes and analysis of metrics – things that are not yet in place for the vast majority of law firms.

Progress is also hindered by misunderstandings about fixed fees: one firm we spoke to considered a fixed percentage rate to be a fixed fee.

Prediction 2: prices and service levels will be clear, transparent and capable of comparison

Law firms may be some years away from a fixed fee panacea, but try telling that to probate providers such as Co-op Legal Services, Kings Court Trust, ITC and others. They are pushing hard towards fixed fees. These specialist probate providers also tend the lead the way (some more successfully than others) on the other side of the fixed fee coin: pricing, service levels and branding which are clear, transparent and capable of comparison.

For law firms, as with these volume providers, it is a bumpy road. One firm left me scratching my head recently when they declined to tell me what they charge for their fixed fee grant extraction service, explaining that they do not tell clients their fixed fee prices over the telephone or online. These are only revealed once a client has made an appointment and is at the office. Even Co-op is notoriously coy about its fixed fee pricing structure, with no hint of costs on its website.

This may or may not be adequate for the time being, but the market is changing. Co-op intercept clients at the funeral stage, referring probate work to their legal services team. Volume provider Kings Court Trust recently received £4m VC investment. They are not alone in targeting a greater share of the probate market.

The rise of volume providers is of greater concern for law firms than mere fixed fees, and that is true not only for probate. Nevertheless, the reality is that if law firms wish to compete, they will have to do more.

Quality Solicitors hope to do just that. Though unable at present to guarantee fixed fees, their promises, including no hidden costs and Saturday openings, point towards transparent service levels. With increasingly clear and consistent messaging and branding, plus TV ads, they recognise that consumers are increasingly shopping around (even if they still do so for legal services somewhat less than they would for other services).

This trend will continue, supported by the fact that 18-34 year-olds are now more likely to find their legal service provider online than by any other means. In terms of probate, this may not be the demographic of the typical client, but it is indicative of a permanent shift. Tomorrow’s consumers of probate services will increasingly find their providers online, comparing costs and service levels as they would for car insurance and credit cards.

Unclear pricing is at odds with this future. It is even at odds with the present. All our clients publish their fixed fee probate prices on their websites. Many other law firms publish one or more fixed fee prices.

The research, stats and results all point to one thing – consumers increasingly demand clear, fixed, up-front pricing, along with consistent, clear branding and service levels. However fantastic your law firm’s service and expertise, this will be of little comfort when the internet generation skips over your website in favour of something clearer, more transparent and more appealing.

For details of how The Law Wizard helps law firms to capture more of the DIY probate market, please visit our website, www.thelawwizard.com

Topics: high street law firms, law firm marketing, Alternative Business structures, law firm websites, Fixed Legal Fees

Law Firm Marketing: Circle the Wagons or Come Out All Guns Blazing

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

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

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

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

The first shots have already been fired.

Law Firm Strategy in the New Wild West

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

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

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

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

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

Why Now for the Internet and Law Firms?

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

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

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

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

Differentiating Your Law Firm

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

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

  • CREATING remarkable content

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

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

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

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

Go Get Them

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

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

Will the Cavalry Save Your Law Firm?

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

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

Would You Like Me To Help?

 Paul Hajek

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

Is Your Law Firm Caught in the Headlights of Social Media?

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 05:36 AM
Headlights dazzlingSocial Media are out there!

We’re in the middle of the road surrounded by it, you can sense it but not see it; it’s whistling past your ears; it’s noisy – but what as law firms are you supposed to do with social media.

Is your law firm trapped like rabbits in the social media headlights?

Article in the Guardian

Nicola Laver in the Guardian last week published an article entitled “Lawyers struggle to take commercial advantage of social media”

In the article, Nicola asked consultants and a few biggish law firms  (regrettably no small firms were interviewed) what their experiences of social media were.

A couple of observations are worth exploring.

Big Law Firm v Small Law Firm

Size does not matter as far as social media is concerned.

Law firm, Pannone, claimed that over 30% of the firms business is generated from its website.

I would hazard a guess that is 30% of leads rather than client instructions which nevertheless is a huge step forward in client acquisition for law firms.

It is however small firms who can make greater strides in this area: Clutton Cox my law firm acquires 44% of its leads directly from our website. Our conversion rate from our special landing pages is an impressive 33%.

Social Media Icons: Really?

Law firm Thomas Eggar proudly launched their new website last month and boasted that the firm uses social media icons to encourage readers to share their content: Really?

A big black mark and stand at the back of the class for any law firms reading this who do not make their content sharable already!

Don’t be those Bunnies!

Our loyal reader will not be shocked and over the last 18 months or so wised up to opportunities social media brings to law firms.

Law firms need to take action to bring their law firms in line with what is happening in the legal services market place.

Your clients are being targeted and lured away from you with forward thinking firms who “get” social media , blogging and internet marketing. And, that’s with just a trickle of ABSs joining the party.

Dip Those Headlights

If you do not have a social media strategy the time to take action is now.

Ed and I have a Social Media Package for Law Firms who for whatever reason don’t have the time to do it themselves, but know they must take action soon.

Let us dip those headlights for you

Beep, Beep!

Topics: online marketing for law firms, inbound marketing for law firms, solicitors online success, high street law firms, social media for law firms, law firm marketing, blog

Law Firms: Know Your Client Before You Start Blogging

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 03:08 AM
I had an interesting conversation with a solicitor this week about the style and tone of law firm blogs.



The solicitor was concerned that if she followed the  Clutton Cox style of blogs  she may come over as too relaxed and shallow for her mainly commercial clients.



That lead me on to the number one rule of blogging -Know your client



Know Your Client



There is no point using blogging as a law firm strategy to attract potential clients without knowing what market you are trying to reach.



At Clutton Cox we concentrate on Conveyancing Wills and Probate, so the tone and style is less stuffy with an emphasis on trying to make everything easier to understand and digest. indeed, one of our most popular series of posts was entitled "Everything You Need To Know About Buying and Selling Your House - in 31 Daily Bite-Sized Chunks"



The "Go To" Solicitor



Although an inelegant phrase, what solicitors should be striving for within their specialities is to become one of the "go to" sources of legal expertise.



Commercial Law Blogs



Where you are hoping to attract owners of businesses to your law firm, you will need to course a more in depth and more technical approach to law firm blogging.



The concept remains the same, however, with great content provided regularly on your law firm website.



Why Stop at One Blog?



When I first started blogging, I wrote about everything that I found interesting in Conveyancing (remarkably not an oxymoron) Wills and Probate.



After several months I realised that I could sub-divide my blogs into smaller categories so ended up with 9 different blogs although really with only one original source -tributaries, if you will, which included Estate Agency, Mortgages and the Housing Market in general.



Law Firm Websites with an Easy To Use Content Management System



The beauty and power of modern law firm website design is that you as the Solicitor have at your fingertips the ability to compose and post blogs with in built search engine optimisation or as is also referred to as "fully optimised" pages.



We're building websites at the moment for law firms which are not only beautiful but powerful and liberating.



And in case you are curious this blog post took 30 minutes to compose and upload into our content management system and then publish.



As some solicitors (mea culpa) are prone still to say -quod erat demonstratum

Topics: law firm marketing, law firm websites, law firm website design, Web Design, solicitors websites

Heed the Olympians: Lessons on Internet Marketing for Law Firms.

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 06:57 AM
London 2012I shall be wearing my GB Team Olympic T Shirt with pride on Friday evening along with most of you (except the moaning minnies, of course)



I shall have a celebratory glass in hand and be singing - if rumours are to be believed - "Hey Jude" at "closing of the opening" at the top of my voice. The neighbours have, to be fair, gone on holiday



The T-Shirt was a present from Karen Mcleod, one of my erstwhile training partners, which she received for representing Great Britain in the Ladies Marathon in Atlanta Olympics in 1996.



Now, that got my reticular brain activity going.

The Best of the Best



Once the games commence, most athletes will have achieved their goal of competing with the best in the world.



For some, they will additionally achieve personal bests, great performances and for the very few, a bronze silver or gold.



All their effort, skill and endeavour will have been the culmination of at the very least 4 years of hard graft, sacrifice, expert coaching and a fair bit of natural ability.



Each Olympic athlete and competitor will experience immense pride, joy and give thought to everyone who inspired them and helped them achieve their ultimate goal.



"Overnight Sensation"



We will hear names of athletes and competitors who will seem to be overnight sensations. But, as someone else once, so pithily put it "it has taken many years for me to be an overnight sensation"

Do As Athletes Do



To achieve gold and compete with the best, I proffer an exhausting if not exhaustive list which will give you a glimpse of what is required:



  • Conditioning and building strength and power;


  • Planning and Schedules;


  • Measurable Targets ;


  • Self- Sacrifice;


  • Skills training and most importantly Coaching.


  • Top Coaching- not just in Athletics




Behind every top athlete is a top coach - most recently in the Tour de France with Bradley Wiggins and Dave Brailsford.



Luke Donald, the World's No 1 golfer enlisted the help of Jonny Wilkinson's kicking Coach Dave Alred to help with dynamics of his swing. Luke Donald was the World's No 29 at the time.



And Ernie Els, the winner of the Open last Sunday enlisted "eye doctor" Dr. Sherylle Calder to help with the visualisation of his putting. He holed a putt for a birdie on the 18th to effectively win the Championship.



No coincidence that both Dave Alred and Sherylle Calder were part of the Clive Woodward's back room staff for England's victorious World Cup Rugby team in 2003



What Could Your Law Firm Achieve with Expert Coaching?



The question is a rhetorical one.



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



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



Time is against most law firms. Internet Marketing and building a world class website tends to be postponed for another day.



But, just think.



If you start now, put in the commitment to excellence, hire the best coaches, you could achieve your very own Olympic class law firm website in time for Rio in 2016.



But, for the present: "Nah, nah, nah, nana, nana, nah.....nana nana nah" 

Topics: internet marketing for law firms, law firm marketing, General, Content, solicitor websites

Social Media Revolution: Right Here, Right Now, Right Here, Right Now!

Posted by Paul Hajek on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 @ 07:02 AM
[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignright" width="225" caption="The Social Media Revolution"]social media revolution[/caption]



You can spend at lot of time talking to lawyers about how social media is changing the communication world and not just in marketing.



As lawyers, we are by nature and training, circumspect. Sceptics remain.



Most law firms would rather follow what other solicitors and law firms are doing than try something radical themselves.



Social Media has its doubters, but what cannot be argued is that social media is having an effect on how companies and firms (and we must include law firms) are interacting or beginning to interact in new ways with clients and potential clients.



I even spotted Sainsbury's in an ad on TV last night with a link inviting their customers to visit a specific Facebook page.



A Video to Change Your Outlook:



When a picture (although in this instance a video) can say a million words, better to just get on with it and stand back.



I first saw this video a few years ago at a Law Firm conference and it was truly stimulating and memorable.



The video has been updated, as you would expect, as social media is incapable of standing still.



I would urge you to spare a few minutes and watch it in the company of Fatboy Slim's soundtrack.



It may change your mind on Social Media forever!



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

Law Firm Strategy: The Incredible Power of FREE.

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 @ 03:00 AM



Should lawyers give free advice to attract clients?
Should lawyers give free advice to attract clients?
Shireen Smith poses an interesting question in the latest edition of Internet Newsletter for Lawyers ; "Should lawyers give free advice to attract clients?"





Shireen an intellectual property lawyer( and a fellow Tweeter whom I have also had the privilege of meeting in person),cogently  argues that solicitors and law firms have become too keen to give away valuable knowledge.



The Power of Reciprocity



Both Shireen and Ed Rivis have read Robert Cialdini's book "Influence -the psychology of Persuasion" where the author argues that free advice can be a great sales technique.



The theory being that people are much more disposed to instruct you as a way of reciprocating the favour of the initial free gift or advice



Kissing Frogs



Amongst the many who contact you there may well a prince waiting in the wings who could become a very valued client of the law firm.



But, in Shireen's opinion the balance is shifting and lawyers are being taken advantage of in the hope and sometimes a forlorn hope that their law firm may be instructed at some later date.



Shireen uses her widely read blogs and articles in her content rich websites to attract potential clients.  But, there is a danger that as Shireen admits "when you are prominent in the search engines you get all sorts of people approaching you. There will be some excellent potential clients and there will also be a few people who have no intention of buying a legal  service. They are just looking for free advice"



Law Firm Websites: Invisible Visitors



For most law firms, not as savvy as Shireen, the challenge will be to draw potential clients to your law firm website in the first place. It is also important to discover who were those people visiting your law firm website.



But, do small law firms in particular know what percentage of people, who visit their law firm website,  actually buy, subscribe or enquire? Or to ask the reverse... how many potential clients visit your law firm website and leave in total anonymity?



 If your law firm website is like most, then probably a high percentage. Statistics vary, but a commonly quoted average is that most sites 'leak' more than 97% of their visitors - people who leave without taking any action whatsoever.



Web Marketing Basics for Law Firms



What if there was a way of getting more than 20%, or 30% or even 60% or more of your website visitors to at least tell you who they are, and actually give you permission to sell to them in future... even if they never visit your website again!



Now that may sound impossible, but it's actually easy, and quite simple and it involves giving away something for free



All you need to do is add a form to your website that offers something for free, in return for the visitor giving you their name and email address or maybe even their postal address and fax and telephone numbers too, if the delivery of the free product or legal service requires it.



Then you can use those details to phone, post or email over time further details of your law firm services and offers.



It's powerful, and it all revolves around the power of FREE... giving away something free in order to build a relationship with a potential client first, and sell legal services to them later.



Free Examples



In Ed Rivis's opinion, using the power of FREE is an incredibly effective way to build a business, and he uses it in all his online businesses.



I also use the power of free on my Clutton Cox law firm website from a free eBook "Everything you need to Know about buying and selling a house in 28 bite-sized chunks" to downloading our free Conveyancing Calculator. We win business by using these free tools



In addition to giving away a free eBook or free access to an online Conveyancing Calculator, law firms could try:



A short report, whitepaper or book? (Either real, or electronic)



An audio recording such as a private interview or consultation or a podcast of an important legal case in the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court? (offer could be as a download or on CD.)



A video introduction to an area of law or a simple "How To" guide ? (Either online video or a physical DVD.)



Why don't you take a few minutes to sit down and brainstorm different things you can offer your potential clients.



You will need to heed Shireen's advice and discipline yourself not to give away the equivalent of the crown jewels of legal advice for nothing.



But heed too, Ed's and my advice that by using the incredible power of the free you can attract  potential clients to your law firm: and convert them into clients.



Solicitors Marketing Success provides advice to sole practitioners and small law firms on how to use the internet to market their law firms effectively from consultancy, creation of websites, web products, email marketing, blogging and social media.



If you have not done so already sign up on the right hand side of this page to receive our regular free blogs on how you law firm can get found online and convert potential clients into actual clients.



 

Topics: high street law firms, internet marketing for law firms, law firm marketing, solicitors marketing, law firm websites, blog

Law Firm Internet Marketing and the Ultra Trail

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 @ 03:14 AM
[caption id="attachment_312" align="alignright" width="231" caption="Ultra Trail Competitiors"][/caption]



Strange analogies can hit you at any time; even whilst on holiday.The 9th Ultra Trail was held in Chamonix last week.



The Ultra Trail, for the uninitiated including myself, is a multi terrain race.



It’s not a marathon: it’s actually four marathons back to back; 166 kms running up and down in and around Europe’s biggest mountain Mont Blanc starting and finishing in Chamonix but taking in Courmayeur in Italy and Champex-Lac in Switzerland.



I know you are already well ahead of me, but how one would prepare for such an endurance test has obvious parallels with how a law firm should approach their on-line marketing strategy.



Any of the following mixed metaphors are entirely deliberate and no excuse is proffered



Turning up with a website is not enough:



There is no cliché more over used to describe internet marketing than it is not a sprint but a marathon.

Preparing prior to launching your law firm website will be infinitely better if you stick to a training regime and with the help of an experienced coach.

Just turning up with a website for your law firm will get you over the line, but won’t get you very far.



The Right Kit and Knowledge:



Proper Kit: What you run in will determine whether you overheat or get cold.

Fresh content which is relevant to your existing clients and potential new clients will ensure your law firm website runs at the right temperature and will ensure you do not run out of steam



Running Shoes: Without comfortable, reliable and well designed running shoes you will make life difficult. I recall painfully running the first Bath half marathon 30 years ago which I ran in five-a-side football shoes; the other contestants seemed to be wearing Dunlop Green Flash tennis shoes.

In terms of a law firm’s website you will need an easy to use content management system or CMS as it is more commonly known. It is essential that you have the capacity to add content and alter content, rather than rely on your website developers.



Night Lights: Your law firm website is a 24/7 opportunity. Most of my Clutton Cox clients access our Conveyancing Calculator in the evening when it is more convenient. We have often received Conveyancing instructions well after midnight.



Ed and I would certainly have done things differently with our original websites.

We would have prepared ourselves in a more structured way and we would have sought out the best coaches we could afford.



At Solicitors Marketing System, we aim to be both coach and supplier of essential knowledge to equip you in the endurance test that is internet marketing.

No go faster stripes, just straight forward help with your internet marketing.

Please contact us with any of your internet marketing questions or requirements ranging from creating a law firm website; blogging to win clients; email marketing to grow your law firm through to bespoke landing pages and much more.



The views on your Ultra Trail will not be as spectacular as the Alps, but the results could well be!

Topics: internet marketing for law firms, law firm marketing, blog