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 (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

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 


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

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

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

inbound marketing for law firms

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

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

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

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

Inbound Marketing for Law Firms and Chinese Fishing Nets

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

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

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

Content, Content, Content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blogging and Content Objectives for Law Firms

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

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

The Chinese Net Challenge for Law Firms

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

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

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

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

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

Or alternatively

Take Up the Chinese Net Challenge

Help Me Build My Law Firm Content

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

Are You Content With Your Law Firm Content?

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

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

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

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

Are you content with your content?

Content Paralysis of Law Firm Websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 5 Point Content Stress Test for Law Firm Websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Inbound Marketing for Law Firms and the Jigsaw Puzzle

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

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

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

  • A fully functioning law firm website

  • A blog or blogs

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • Analytics

  • Email marketing

  • Calls to Action

  • Landing Pages

  • Lead Nurturing

  • Social Media

  • Continually testing of what works and doesn’t work

  • Mobile capability for smart phones and tablets

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

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

Law Firm Inbound Marketing Myopia

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

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

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

But, enough, what’s in it for me?

What Could Your Law Firm Achieve an Effective Content Strategy?

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

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

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

Now you have to be content with that!

Itching To Find Out More? 

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

Match Point: What Could Your Law Firm Achieve?

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

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

I’m not ashamed I shed a tear or two.

The Influence of the Coach

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

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

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

Tour de France and Open Championship 

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

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

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

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

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl

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

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

So What Could Your Law Firm Achieve with Coaching Excellence ?

The question for me is a rhetorical one.

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

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

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

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

Be My Blogging Coach

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

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

If TescoLaw wins will the last lawyer to leave Britain please turn out the lights

Posted by Paul Hajek on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 08:50 AM

TescoLawIf Tesco Law wins will the last lawyer to leave Britain please turn out the lights"

So ran the  sandwich man advert in the Gazette by Quality Solicitors (other legal brands are available)

The sandwich man on the reverse read “The end of the world is nigh: Legal Services Act 2007”The issue is disturbing and ABSs will be a matter of fact by the end of the year.

I, like you, am a solicitor. I have run a High Street practice, Clutton Cox, in Chipping Sodbury for over 26 years. I employ 1 full time and have 2 part time consultant Solicitors.

At Clutton Cox we undertake Conveyancing Wills and Probate.

In the past marketing, such as it was, was traditional; local advertising; networking and sponsorship, so called outbound marketing

Recession and the Threat of ABSs

2008 was truly an Annus Horibilis.

We, Solicitors, looked down the barrel of an uncertain future. A perfect storm of recession and the threat of Alternative Business Structures were looming.

As Al Pacino would say “Whad Ya Gotta Do?”   

The Solution: The Internet

Well, I had to do something!

I noticed things were happening on the Internet.

I found I was researching the internet before I made a purchase or decided to go somewhere new on holiday.

I was using the internet for educational purposes and was able to compare like with like.

I was being empowered by the Internet in all sorts of ways

I was receiving emails which I had actually requested (there will always be junk as well)

This is where legal services were surely heading as well, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Next, I dived headlong into the wonderful and hitherto unknown world of the internet and in particular Internet Marketing.

I read, listened, watched everything I could about how to market a successful practice on the Internet. I gorged content and knowledge

I enlisted on websites, took consultancy from Internet Marketing Gurus and Marketing Experts.

The recession gave me the time to work on my practice rather than just in it.

What evolved, has taken me and my personal and law firm to the cutting edge of internet marketing.

The Clutton Cox website:

Before Google (or the other internet search engines) can refer potential clients to you, you need a website.

Clutton Cox had a website since 2000.

I knew I needed one back then, (other firms were boasting about their senior partners’ equestrian pursuits) but I really didn’t know what to do with it.

It was a classic, static, brochure site.

I needed to renew my website and begin afresh.

I commissioned a local Website design company to revamp the Clutton Cox website. The new site went live on 1st March 2009.

My rank in the world (yes, you can find out such information) was about 30 millionth-room for improvement.

No doubt that may have improved slightly over time, but what I discovered very quickly was that a website is merely the start and there is no end.

What I Needed to Do to Improve the Clutton Cox Website

My website would form the HUB of all my marketing efforts, both on and offline.

My website would become a dynamic tool to attract existing and potentially new clients.

My mission was to get found by Google, by creating quality content

Google loves content new and refreshed. The new world is now governed by the maxim “CONTENT IS KING”

The internet has subtly changed the rules of marketing so that it is not now so much- who you know, but more, what people know about you.

3 Steps

My goals were to;

Remarkable Content

content for search engines (SEO) and other audiences

remarkable content in social media, e-mail marketing and other channels

SEO-Search Engine Optimisation

You will not get far into internet Marketing without encountering the term SEO or SEM- Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing.

Google (and other search engines such as BING and YAHOO) looks for relevance when it trawls websites for answers to questions that people type in to its search engine.

If your content is optimised for keywords and locality e.g. “Conveyancing   solicitor in Chipping Sodbury” you will have a much better chance of being referred by Google and should achieve a high ranking on the first page.

It is not a complicated process but one that does take time and effort.

Google is particularly keen to get local relevance. You can put your site forward for free to Google Places (formerly Google Local).

Organic or Paid Links

The so called organic links are the ones you find on the left hand side of the page, normally underneath a couple of paid links. Other paid links are shown on the right hand side.

If you want to know how Google makes its money it is though these paid links. There are no set fees, but each keyword or phrase is paid for by in effect on online auction. This can vary from say £4 for “Conveyancing” to £35-45 for a term such MESOTHELMIA, which PI lawyers pay hugely for because of the likely fees earned in any settlement of a claim.

I have not gone down the paid link or Adwords route as it is called until fairly recently.

I produced enough remarkable content to vie for high spots on the organic left hand side of the page.

Adwords can be very expensive, if you do not know what you are doing, as you will pay for any click through to your website. It is possible to limit your expenditure by putting a cap on your monthly expenditure.

Google Analytics

I ensured that my new site had the codes included from Google Analytics. This is another powerful and free tool from Google.

It allowed me to check how many people had visited my site, which were the most popular pages and which page they exited on.

Blogging:  Why you need to start straight away

I have mentioned before that moving up the rankings on Google takes time.

The quickest route to success is by way of a blog, or web log for its longer name.

By creating blogs on your areas of specialisms, using keywords and phrases you will be found a lot sooner by Google.

There will be little activity when you first start. If Google finds you within one or two months you will be doing well. Once found Google will revisit your website more regularly. Google now visits the Clutton Cox site every 2-3 days.

The more content I add the more frequently Google’s robots crawl my site.

I started blogging in October 2008.

I try to blog every 3-4 days or 8 times a month, sometimes more sometimes fewer.

I have now over 250 blogs posted on the internet

I blogged on everything that interested me:

• Conveyancing

• Wills and Probate

• Estate Agency

• The Housing Market

• The Mortgage Market

• HIPs (as they were)

• Landlord and Tenant

You will also demonstrate to your existing and potential clients your area of expertise.

Every blog post you make is another page added to your website, so your basic site can grow very quickly.

I also sent internal links to other parts of my website for other keywords or phrases

Every link to my website by other websites is a vote for your website in Google’s eyes.

Clutton Cox Website Success

These links plus size of your site comprise your Google PageRanking score on a scale of 1-10 . The BBC is a 9.

Clutton Cox soared to a Page Rank 4 for its home page within 7 months-higher than most city firms

Getting links from high ranking sites gives you more kudos in Google’s eyes. It is better to have 1 link from a high ranking site than many links from low ranking sites.

Currently, I have about 650 pages indexed by Google with about 2440 across the whole site.

Clutton Cox is currently in the top 6% of websites in the world

Traffic to my website increased from just over 5,000 visitors in 2009 to almost 11500 in 2010, with an incredible 28,000 pages read.

My property blogs were runner up in the prestigious PrimeLocation blog awards for 2009.

I was the Conveyancing Expert Blogger for

I won the 360 Legal Group Most Effective Social Networker Award for 2010

I have been interviewed on local radio, and interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

My published articles on the state of the Housing Market have been picked up by Reuters

I have over 1050 followers on Twitter.

Bringing It All Together

If you are ever asked to show a return on your investment (ROI) I thought I would conclude with an example of how it is working for me and should be working for you.

I posted a Conveyancing blog on a Friday evening at 5pm entitled “Conveyancing in Yate” 10 Things You Need to Know if You Are Moving Home”

Yate is a town a mile away from me in Chipping Sodbury and dominated by corporate Estate Agents from whom we get no business.

I checked on Monday morning first thing, and typed into Google “Conveyancing in Yate”. My blog had been indexed by Google over the weekend and sat proudly at No. 5 in the organic left hand side list.

Later that morning, I had an email from my website from a new client who had instructed me to do his Conveyancing online.

I telephoned the client and asked what had led him to choose us.

He lived about 10 miles away but had found our website through Google. He had read my blog on Conveyancing in Yate and was taken by my local knowledge.

I only had to thank him for his instruction. He had all the information he needed to make his choice. We had been preselected.

Google had referred him to us.

As we Lawyers are prone to write QED or say “Quod erat Demonstrandum”

The Advent of Alternative Business Structures

ABSs will be upon us in October 2011. There is no going back.

In my humble opinion (IMHO in Twitter speak), any small firm with up to 10 partners, without an internet marketing strategy will be vulnerable to the encircling ABS vultures.

But, if law firms grasp the opportunity, their practices can survive and continue to thrive.

Success with Internet Marketing is purely optional.

I know as Solicitors we face demands on our time which in bigger firms can be more easily delegated.

Every solicitor is guilty of spending too much time in their business rather than on their business.

You will need to spend time (an hour or two) during the evening or at a weekend in mastering the techniques and opportunities afforded by Internet Marketing.

But, as I have proved with my own practice the Internet can restore your ability to compete on a level playing field.

What you do best as solicitors is to advise and educate your clients.

Why not bundle what you do into products that can be available 24/7 via your website.

Create a website which is rich in content:

• Blogs

• Legal News

• Recent case law

• Videos

• Photos

• Webinars

• Presentations

• In person events

• Podcasts

• Press releases

• Whitepapers and e-books on your specialities

• Kits

• Links to social media

The time is now.

You can no longer bury your head in the sand nor say “I don’t need a website” or “I just don’t have the time”;

If you feel you do not have time, try a distance learning course in your own time (but don’t hang about!), or buy off the shelf solutions to some of your internet marketing problems

If you do not have time within your working day, then read and work at home in the evening, listen to CDs or MP3 recordings in your car or on the train on the way home

I put together a company called Solicitors Marketing Success, with Ed Rivis, one of the UK’s best known Internet Marketers, which is now run just by me and known as Paul Hajek’s Solicitors’ Online Success.

It was the only website run by a practicing solicitor and an internet marketing guru which is dedicated to providing you with all your needs and wants in the new digital marketing age.

We can provide you with scalable solutions to all your internet marketing needs and requirements. What we don’t know or can do ourselves we will engage other experts to provide you with what you need

Your practice needs revolution not evolution.

In Darwin’s Origin of the Species, he concludes that “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”

Are you up for the challenge of change?

Topics: internet marketing for solicitors, solicitors online success, small law firm survival, ABS, Alternative Business structures, high street solicitors