Finding Legal Marketing Opportunities in Your Community

Noble McIntyre, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingFollowing is a guest post by Noble McIntyre, the senior partner and owner of McIntyre Law, an Oklahoma personal injury law firm.

Whether you’re just getting started in your legal career or are looking for new business opportunities within your specialty, taking a closer look at your local community can reveal big clues about its legal needs. By learning what is important to, needed by, and possibly lacking in your community, you can tailor your services to meet residents’ needs, and open up new opportunities for your firm.

Potentially rich sources of information are the various government, nonprofit, and business organizations that collect data about the people in your community. For example, you can look to the U.S. Census Bureau for data about household characteristics such as income, languages spoken, education levels, and age distribution. Because my firm focuses on personal injury law, it is helpful to understand what percentage of the population is elderly and might experience problems in nursing homes. Conversely, if the birth rate is high, there may be a higher number of birth injuries, or auto accidents involving children.

In some cases, official data won’t be necessary if you’re familiar with your community. For instance, we know that Oklahoma City has a large Spanish-speaking population. Using this knowledge, we translated portions of our website into Spanish, and also emphasize our staff’s bilingual capabilities. It has opened up a whole new market to us.

Accident, injury, and crime data can also reveal much about your community’s legal needs. In the personal injury field, many of our clients are victims of motor vehicle accidents, so we monitor drunk driving accident statistics, as well as crash reports in the local news media. Our firm also handles dog bite cases, so we look to organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to understand the prevalence and nature of those injuries. Crime statistics, like homicide rates, are important to criminal attorneys, but are also of interest to personal injury specialists who handle wrongful death suits.

Another way to look at your community is the through the lens of its large employers and industry sectors. In the field of personal injury, we monitor the local hospitals, medical, and health care facilities that might be involved in medical malpractice, failure to diagnose, or any type of wrongful death suit. The presence of large medical or mental health facilities might also signal a higher number of clients in need of legal services related to pharmaceutical use, like babies who were harmed when their mothers took the antidepressant Paxil during pregnancy. A firm that specializes in on-the-job injuries would want to be aware of which local industries produce the most worker compensation claims. You can get a “bird’s eye” view of your community’s industrial sectors by looking at its industry classification codes, while the Chamber of Commerce or local business directories allow a closer look at individual businesses.

Local government and social services organizations can provide information about your community’s legal needs as well. As first responders, police and fire personnel may uncover dangerous conditions that require the attention of social services or local code enforcement. It is helpful to know, for example, whether a landlord’s negligence was responsible for an apartment fire, or if there are signs of abuse in a nursing home. Likewise, child and family protective services may provide information about the numbers and types of cases they address locally.

Volunteering is another great way to gather information about your community while also giving back. My firm is committed to addressing hunger among our community members. Last Thanksgiving, we worked with a local hunger agency and several other law firms to provide boxes of food that fed nearly 3,000 people. The community response was overwhelming, and it gave us a chance to talk to people and hear their concerns. Our staff was thrilled to be of assistance, and the firm received positive media attention as a result.

The important point to take away is that there are many ways of viewing your local community and assessing its legal needs. Once you have that information, you can decide how to best tailor your legal services, and focus your marketing efforts.


Check out the video: "It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!"

Watch the video I recorded today with renowned personal injury attorney Mitch Jackson on the topic:

“It's time to Ban Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts!”

Suppressing legitimate claims


Consumers can sign the petition to stop forced arbitration of consumer disputes at:

These sneaky arbitration clauses are the secret weapon of big banks and corporations to sidestep the American court system, to suppress legitimate claims from being filed and to make sure that the consumer loses.

What I’ve described is not the paranoid raving of a fringe group. It’s the studied conclusion of the U.S. Government. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reviewed hundreds of cases over a two-year period and concluded that arbitration clauses are a raw deal for consumers.

“Forced arbitration is among the most serious threats to Americans’ financial security and has denied justice to countless victims of Wall Street’s unscrupulous behavior,” said Lisa Blue, president of the American Association for Justice.

“Revoke Wall Street’s license to steal,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform. “Just by opening  bank account or accepting a credit or debit card, you should not have to give up your basic legal rights if you are ever ripped off. This practice has been gone on too long. It needs to stop.”

Comparing litigation to arbitration

  • Corporations win 93% of consumer disputes in arbitration. In 1,060 arbitration cases filed with the American Arbitration Association in 2010 and 2011, consumers won their claims in 32 cases or obtained debt forbearances in 46 cases -- a win rate of 7%.

  • In those 1,060 cases, consumers recovered only $400,000, while corporations got decisions requiring consumers to pay $2.8 million.

  • In comparison, consumers win billions in court. Over a five year period, on average, 32 million consumers in class action lawsuits were eligible for $2.7 billion in cash, in-kind relief, expenses and fees in cases brought against corporations.

  • An average of $200 million per year was paid out to consumers from these class action settlements.

5 Practical Tips to Make a Speech Go Viral

5 Tips to Make a Speech Go Viral Comments TrackbacksLindsay Kolowich has written an excellent article on the Hubspot Blogs "The Science of a Great TED Talk" and five steps to make the speech go viral.

To uncover why certain TED talks are more popular than others, the folks at Science of People, a human behavior research lab, recently conducted an intensive experiment on nonverbal communication. For the experiment, they had 760 volunteers watch hundreds of hours of TED talks and answer questions about charisma, intelligence, credibility and more.

They found that five specific, nonverbal patterns differentiate the most popular TED talks from the least popular ones. And they believe these five patterns show us how to be influential and charismatic.

1) Nonverbal communication matters. A lot. practice standing up straight, purposefully using the space on the stage to move around, and using natural and appropriate hand gestures to improve your delivery.

2) The more hand gestures, the better. Use your hands to help illustrate and reinforce your ideas. When you do, you will seem more relaxed, confident, and authoritative.

3) Scripted speeches "kill charisma." Speakers who told stories, ad-libbed, and even yelled at the audience captivated the audience's imagination and attention.

4) Smiling makes you look smarter. No matter how serious your topic, find something to smile about.

5) You have seven seconds to make an impression.Think about how you present yourself, how you walk onto the stage, and how you address your audience. Be sure to deliver an intriguing opening line -- perhaps with a thought-provoking question, a short story, or a joke. For the full article visit The Science of a Great TED Talk: What Makes a Speech Go Viral.


Get Ready for Google Mobilegeddon Coming April 21

Google Mobilegeddon Coming April 21Since the advent of smart phones, having a mobile-friendly website was a “nice to have.” This changes on April 21, 2015, when Google expands its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. According to a recent Google blog post:

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

In other words, if your website is not mobile-friendly, expect to lose a significant amount of traffic that comes from your mobile users, because your site will be punished in mobile search rankings. On the other hand, if you have a responsive website that resizes itself to fit cell phone, tablet and desktop devices, expect a nice boost in searches that are made on smart phones. This is extremely important because:

Get ready for the change

Google is already labeling law firm websites as being “mobile friendly,” and it rewards them with a ranking boost. To get help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you’re a webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages:

  • If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

Unfriendly and friendly

Needless to say, now is the time to check if your website is mobile-friendly, and if it is not, to make it so.

Highlights of a mobile Friendly site:

  • Entire website shrunk onto a 3-inch screen
  • No images
  • Can’t read the text
  • Can’t make out the logo
  • Links are too small to click with a fingertip
  • Long paragraphs of text
  • No clear way to connect with anyone

Highlights of a mobile friendly site:

  • Big buttons
  • Click to call
  • Click to email or text
  • Single column layout
  • Large links that are easy to click with a finger
  • Interactive map button
  • Easy drop-down navigation
  • A “mobile moment” or branding experience.

For more information:

Read Why Your Law Firm Website Needs Responsive Web Design


LSSO Announces First-ever Legal Industry Sales & Service Awards

 - Winners to be awarded at the Legal Sales and  Service Organization’s 12th Annual RainDance Conference on June 10th in Chicago –


The Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO), an organization for law firm leaders responsible for developing the sales and service strategies that will shape their firms’ futures, announces its first Sales and Service Awards for the legal industry.


The awards – Sales & Service Team of the Year and Sales & Service Executive of the Year – will recognize both the individual and team efforts that played a significant role in helping retain and grow its firm’s revenue through a specific sales achievement during 2014. The awards sponsor, Berbay Marketing & Public Relations, will present the awards at LSSO’s 12th Annual RainDance Conference, the senior-level conference for today’s law firm business development and service leaders, to be held June 10-11 in Chicago, Illinois.


“The sales and service roles continue to expand and play an ever-increasing role in driving law firm success,” says Silvia Coulter, LSSO Co-founder and Principal ofLawVision Group. “The awards underscore the importance of these fields and acknowledge innovative and effective efforts in client sales, service and retention initiatives.”

Submission Process

All full-time, in-house law firm professionals may apply for the awards.


The Sales & Service Team of the Year Award will be presented in up to three categories:

·         Small firms – up to 100 lawyers

·         Mid-size firms – 101-500 lawyers

·         Large firms – more than 500 layers


The Sales & Service Executive of the Year Award will be presented in up to two categories:

·         Sales or client service team firm leader.

·         Sales or client service team manager supporting the firm’s leader, and possibly responsible for a client team program, office or practice.


Applicants must describe a specific sales achievement where the sales team or executive played a key role in retaining or growing the firm’s revenue.  Entries will be reviewed by a panel of experienced legal sales and service professionals and be judged on creativity, resourcefulness and degree of impact.


Applications are due on or before April 17, 2015. Applications can be accessed here. Contact if you have questions on the submission process.


Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) provides law firm business development and service professionals with effective sales and service strategies, focused on helping them to bring in new business and to develop and retain clients through outstanding and competitive service delivery strategies.


LSSO's annual RainDance Conference is the central focus of the organization and is for firm leaders who have ever-greater responsibilities for business development and client service strategies to shape the future of their firms. 


Legal Sales and Service Organization


Law Practice Management Blueprint for Hiring and Training Employees

Register now for the A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint, March 6, 2015, The Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.

By Ken Hardison

Are you tired of unproductive employees who lack motivation and constantly cause drama in your office? Do they have too much time on their hands or are they just simply not a good fit?

Truth be told, it’s not always the employee. The majority of lawyers don’t have a clue about how to hire superstar staff. Better yet, they don’t effectively train the staff they do hire. There is rarely any real in depth training for new hires in law firms. What I see more often than not, is a new employee being told to shadow another employee for several days and then being thrown out in the waters and made to sink or swim.

Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Like I said, in depth training and superstar hires are not the norm for law firms.

What’s worse is that even if new employees manage to half way learn their jobs, getting maximum or even above par productivity out of them is next to impossible. It goes without saying that managing employees and lawyers is by far THE biggest headache when it comes to running a law firm!

Solve your Employee Problems

What if I told you I have found a lawyer who has cracked the code and is willing to share the secrets to solving all of your employee management problems? Sounds too good to be true, I know, but listen…this lawyer took his law firm from 0 to 27,000 cases in a little over 10 years. He presently manages over 200 employees and only handles disability cases. Now, as some of you may already know, disability cases are low margin and staff intensive. To be profitable, keeping employee productivity high and costs low is imperative.

This lawyer, Ken LaVan, has made the impossible possible! I have been asking Ken for years to share his secrets for hiring, motivating and keeping highly productive employees. He has finally agreed to unlock his vault and reveal the secrets that have catapulted and transformed his firm into one of the largest Disability Law Firms in the nation. Ken agreed to do this with only one condition: Only the real deal…No theory. Well, you know me – I am a practical, nuts and bolts type of guy – give me meat – save all the fluff for someone else! So, needless to say, I was overjoyed when he made this request.

A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint

As a result, we are going to do a one day interactive workshop. This one day event will cover not just hiring, but training and motivating new employees along with how to hold them accountable. Below are a few of the practical nuts and bolts topics to be covered:

  • Step-by-Step Checklist for New Hires
  • Creating Job Descriptions
  • Creating an Employee Handbook
  • Establishing Benchmarks
  • How to Create and Utilize an Onboarding Training Manual
  • Productivity Tracking
  • Motivation Techniques
  • Keeping Employee Morale High
  • Creating an Organizational Chart
  • How to Create a Mission Statement
  • How to Interview Applicants Without Getting Fooled
  • How to Deal with Toxic and Problem Employees
  • How to Create a Salary Structure for Staff that Motivates Them to Excel
  • How to Properly Fire an Employee
  • And Much Much More!

Any of the above look like something you could benefit from?

Register now for the A-Z Law Practice Management Blueprint, March 6, 2015, The Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Every attendee will leave with forms, manuals and templates Ken LaVan and myself use every day in our practices. These forms alone are worth the price of admission! Most mid-level corporations would charge $10,000-$20,000 for an event like this. $5,000 would not be a bad deal. But what if I told you your price is only $597? That’s right. Only $597. But there is one caveat…we only have 50 seats. Once they’re sold, we will close registration. The event is on March 6th 2015, so act fast!  

John Fisher: How to Build the Law Practice of Your Dreams

build the law practice of your dreamsBy John Fisher on Law Practice Manager:

This was not your usual workday lunch.

One of the most successful personal injury lawyers in New York agreed to have lunch with me. We were complete strangers and I was totally up-front with him from the get-go: I told him that I was there to find out what has made him a success. I was going to pick his mind and hopefully leave with a couple of gold nuggets that I could use for my practice. I call this “Modeling the Masters”—and it’s surprising to some that top-caliber lawyers are willing to share their best tips and advice.

As we got to know each other over lunch, I asked very bluntly for the two or three things that made him successful. Rather than worn-out clichés of “work hard” or “never give up”, the lawyer gave it to me straight. The lawyer held nothing back by telling me that he had tried just about every marketing tactic and for the most part, they didn’t work.

An Epiphany

Where can you find an investment where you can invest $1 and get $10 in return?

When the lawyer was struggling to launch his practice, he settled a big case and used the funds to focus on one marketing tactic: radio ads. The lawyer didn’t just dabble with radio ads, he went all in by spending $100,000 (even when money was tight).

The radio ads weren’t loud or obnoxious, but conveyed a clear message: “We care about you.” Each radio ad had a different story and one ad was more successful than the next. New personal injury leads came in and the lawyer began experimenting with new ads and investing more money in radio.

Over a two hour lunch, the lawyer confided in me: for every dollar he spent on radio ads, he made $10 in return. Wow! Where else can you find an investment where you can invest $1 and get $10 in return? Nowhere! But this never would have happened if the lawyer hadn’t experimented with different types of marketing and eventually find one tactic that worked in spades.

The Real Key to Success...

Read on at Building the Law Practice of Your Dreams


A Plan for Do-it-yourself Content Marketing

A Plan for Do-it-yourself Content MarketingAs more and more people search for lawyers online, having no content marketing strategy will eventually put you at a disadvantage. Creating a website is a beginning, but unless you maintain it and add new content, it’s no more effective than hanging a shingle and hoping clients will wander in off the street.

A steady stream of content opens the door to social media marketing, builds inbound links to your website, and creates materials that provide value to prospective clients. Here’s a three-year plan for better content marketing that even a busy attorney in a small office can use.

Year One: Assemble What You Already Have

The first step to effective content marketing is to understand your prospective clients.

  • Who are they demographically?
  • Why do they come to your firm?
  • Who makes the final decision to retain you?

As you answer these questions, create three character descriptions or “persona” of the types of people who might hire you. You’ll update your character personas periodically, but these initial personas will provide a good starting point.

Map out the process that prospective clients go through when choosing an attorney like you. The search probably begins with a need: The client is being sued, charged with a crime, getting divorced or having another legal problem. How do prospective clients use the Web to search for attorneys like you? Do they call you or set up an in-person consultation? How do they make the decision to hire you?

Gather up articles that you’ve written, old blog posts, brochures, newsletters, recorded interviews, videos, and any other existing content. Ask a paralegal, assistant or intern to help you. Then, create a spreadsheet that tracks:

  • Who wrote it and where the article is. Have a column for the title, where to find it (the URL, publication information, CD-ROM or file name) and its author.
  • Who it’s for. On your spreadsheet, label each piece according to which client persona would benefit from the material and on what part of the hiring journey the client would need the material.
  • How ready it is. Assign a freshness rating from one to 10, with 10 being “ready to share today” and one being “hopelessly out of date.” Make notes on what you’d need to do — update the legal information, reshoot the video without your 1970s hairstyle, rewrite the article in everyday language — to bring the freshness rating up to a 10.

Click to read on about:

Year Two: Create, Repurpose, and Share


Check out Webinar Slides: Mobile Marketing Tactics

Every consumer you would like as a client has a mobile phone.


Here are the slides from a brand new webinar that describes what lawyers must to do reach this super-connected audience and to convert them into clients. If you don’t have a mobile presence for your law firm, these consumers will not find you or your law firm.  I narrated these slides in a webinar on February 12 in a practical and info-packed program. You will learn learn:

  • 5 new ways consumers are using cell phones
  • Creating “mobile moments” and “brand experiences” that generate files
  • 5 essential elements of a mobile website
  • The web technology that is driving traffic to mobile sites
  • Getting positive online reviews with a mobile phone
  • How personal injury and criminal defense firms especially benefit from the mobile web
  • 2 trillion text messages are sent every year. Did your firm send one?
  • A new warning from Google about mobile unfriendly sites.



How to Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets

Jump ahead to see: Engaging with helpful resources
Creating a click-worthy system
Composing Infographics

Success in getting more clicks, conversions and clients on a law firm website turns on website usability -- which today means engaging visitors and prompting them to stay longer and dig deeper into your site, according to SEO expert Paul Julius.

Speaking on a webinar sponsored by PILMMA, Julius is the PPC Focus Specialist for Consultwebs, a law firm web marketing and SEO company. He identified several elements of usability on the SevenishLaw website: 

  • An immediate call to action.
  • A contact form "above the fold," meaning within the first viewable screen.
  • A simple contact form that collects only basic information about a visitor. "Keep it short, don't ask for the address or phone number," he said.
  • Resources for visitors to download, such as a special report, accident videos and FAQs.
  • Ample use of visual elements and graphics throughout a site.

Continue reading Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets.

Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets