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

Solicitors: Step in to the Internet Spotlight and Illuminate Your Expertise

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 @ 03:30 AM
[caption id="attachment_383" align="alignright" width="290" caption="The Spotlight awaits"]Solicitors step into the internet spotlight[/caption]



If you have a shop window but your window is poorly lit and your shop located down a dark ally – few will get to find out what you have to offer.



This metaphor was used by a Pollster at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool this week to describe the difficulties the Labour Party has in getting it message over to voters and potential voters: it could equally apply to some Solicitors and Law Firms.



Tell us what you do!



My earliest exaltation in marketing my law firm was to ensure that all my clients knew which areas of legal practice I was good at,such as Conveyancing. And then to inform my clients of other areas of law which we also specialised in such as Wills and Probate.



And then ram home that message again and again. Except that we rarely did.



I have been as guilty of as most sole practitioners and small law firms spending too much time “in” my law practice than actually spending time “on” my law firm.



The odd newsletter may have winged its way, but consistency was non existent; advertising was haphazard and expensive as law firms tried to outgrow each other in Yellow Pages; some solicitors were expert at networking and maintained a steady stream of new work.



The best solicitors and law firms had the ability to wow their clients with exceptional service and personal attention and attracted more clients to them by word of mouth.



That is I suspect the main reason why solicitors reading this blog achieved their success as a law firm.



Enter the Age of Internet and the ABS:



Yet there is no time for complacency.



Although it has never been easier for a solicitor and his or her law practice to get their expertise across to a wider audience, other non lawyers will be doing exactly that and very soon.



You as solicitors should be shouting about your expertise from the roof tops and reaching out to your existing clients and attracting the attention of new clients as never before.



Showcase your Legal Expertise through Social Media



Potential clients can now judge for themselves the expertise of a law firm by the quality of the content available on a law firm’s website.



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”



“…But Other Law Firms Aren’t Doing Social Media”



There is an obvious counter argument, but it is nevertheless a flawed one.



Richard Susskind the author of “The End of Lawyers” said in an interview recently 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”



Susskind observed that “most senior lawyers are waiting for Twitter to take off. With over 200 million users, maybe it’s time to start paying attention”



Catapult your Law Firm with Blogging:



Blogging is the best route to network your talents and expertise far beyond what may have been possible when you first qualified as a solicitor.



You can distribute your blogs through other social media outlets such as Twitter or LinkedIn.



You can follow discussions online with Google Alerts and demonstrate your expertise by guiding people to your website. This is what I did by posting a comment on Chancel Repair Liability in the Guardian with a link to my blogs on Chancel Repair Liability.



My passion for blogging is I hope crystal clear form my Clutton Cox blogs and I have written elsewhere on this site about why solicitors should blog



Frequency and Consistency the Key to Successful Blogging:



Ed started writing his blogs back in 2006, a couple of years before I started blogging on my Clutton Cox website and then for Yell



Ed argues and I agree 100% that the first critical factor is frequency—or how often you blog. Because regularly posting high quality, interesting and informative content is a sure-fire way of growing your blog.



The second critical factor that directly affects blog success in terms of the results you get is consistency—in other words the quality of your blog postings and your ability to stick to a central theme (having a strategy).



The main challenge then is to frequently post fresh compelling and interesting articles on your blog, which consistently share a central theme and serve one or more end goals.



Commitment to Blogging



Even before you can plan your blog posts and start writing, you should as a first step decide specifically why you're blogging and what type of clients you want to attract.



Your starting point will then be to create interest and promote your blog.



In the early months you should blog once or twice a week, so always write in advance and create a 'repository' of blog posts you can choose from when you have no time due to your workload to write on the day.



My tip would be to have at least 5 basic blogs "oven-ready". You can schedule publication of your blogs with the right content management system on your website. Simples!



This is what I do before I go on holiday so as to maintain consistency.



After 6 months or so you can always cut down on the frequency, but still retain consistency – I now tend to write one blog post  a week at Clutton Cox and spend more time in publicising and promoting the blog.



Step into the Spotlight:



Time is of the essence, as we say: the ABS juggernauts are just round the corner.



Now is the time to come out of the shadows and spotlight your expertise to illuminate your law firm at its coruscating best.



And seek help, if you feel you cannot do it on your own.



If you haven’t already done so sign up on the right hand side of this page for our free blogs on how Solicitors can get found online and convert leads into clients.

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Topics: blogging for solicitors, social media for law firms, blog, Law firm, twitter for law firms