Top 8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid in Law Firm Marketing

seo, search engine optimization, lawmarketing blogSEO (search engine optimization) is an important part of the work that goes into building a website. Just a single mistake could be detrimental to your traffic and rankings; so it’s important to know the do's and don'ts of the basic SEO rules. Success doesn’t come easy in the SEO world; you have to work for it. So here are 8 mistakes you should try to avoid at all costs, to get going in the right direction.

Leaving Title Tags Empty

One of the most important parts of a website is the title tag, which appears in the header of your website. A title should be short, yet informative; It lets people know what your site is about. Leaving this empty will do vital harm to your website. The title shows up in search engine results and also in the browser tab when people visit. It also comes in handy for when people bookmark your site. Since many people don’t edit before saving bookmarks, not having a title will probably cause them to never return since they will not even remember what your site was about. Would you click on a website that appears as “no title” in search results? 

Lack of Keywords in Content

How are people supposed to find your content if you aren’t including the right keywords? A lack of targeted keywords within your content of course leads to a lack of traffic. While you don’t want your keyword density to be too high, you don’t want it too low either. A rule of thumb is to stick to a density of 4% - 5% or 1 keyword mention for every 100 words of your content. Also be sure to spread the keyword throughout your content. A quick search for “keyword density checker” can get you a tool that will do the calculations for you. Also make sure that the keywords you’re using are relevant.

Keyword Spamming and Stuffing

While this is a huge unethical SEO no-no, you still find many people doing it. Keyword stuffing is achieved by overloading your meta tags or content with repetitive or irrelevant keywords. Many try to cheat the system by adding high traffic keywords to their website or content, but if they’re irrelevant to you then they’re doing more harm than good. Using repetitive keywords is even worse. While you may not reap the repercussions at first, all search engines do frown on this and you will eventually be seriously penalized. It’s not good to try and trick the search engines or your visitors.

Not Using Internal Linking

Links to your website from your website are just as important as links from other relevant websites. It’s also a good method for keeping people on your website a little longer. Doing some deep linking, also known as internal linking, can really give you a SEO boost by building the relevancy of your pages. You do this by picking a few keywords within your content and then linking them to other pages on your website. Even WordPress now has a feature that lets you link to existing content on your site when adding hyperlinks. It’s also a good idea to check for broken links every once in awhile so that you’re not linking dead ends (another no-no). There are many tools available to check for broken links for you.

No Use of Headers

Headers another important part of your website, especially your content. Search engines give precedence to headers over your regular text; they should be able to know what your website is all about just from looking at your headers. These are great for giving structure to your content and should be informative so that readers can quickly jump to different sections. It’s also a good idea to use targeted keywords within your H2 and H3 headers since they are important in increasing your sites rankings. Remember, the bigger the header, the more important it is.

Missing Alt Tags in Images

If for some reason your images do not load on your website, whatever text is in the alt tag will be displayed instead. So it’s always important to include these on your images so that people will have a general idea of what the image was about (if it fails to load). Alt tags are also important for visually impaired users who use reader programs to speak website pages out loud to them.  Readers cannot read images, but they can read alt tags.

Using Flash For Your Website

This is one that you probably see all the time, but it cannot be stressed enough. Using flash to build an entire website is bad. Sure they’re nice to look at and impressive, but because of their structure they cannot be optimized. With a flash website, a search engine cannot crawl your site to find out anything about it because it is all in a single .swf file. There are also many mobile devices that cannot load flash websites. With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, you want to be sure that people will be able to view your website no matter what device they’re using.

Improper Use of Internal Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible text of a hyperlink. You’ll see that many sites will use “click here” or “this link” as anchors, but vague text like this is bad for your website health. When a search engine finds a link on your website, it needs to understand what the hyperlink is about in order to rank its importance. The only way to know what the hyperlink is about is by the anchor text that it’s attached to.

Now that you have these basic rules to keep in mind, you’re one step closer to SEO success and favor with search engines. Just don’t expect to see instant results overnight; it will take time, hard work and dedication.

This post was kindly sent to us by Lior Levin who works as a marketing consultant for an E2 Visa lawyer that specializes in visa applications.

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Best Times of Day for Your Online Law Firm Marketing - Part 2

Adrian Lurssen, JD Supra, Lawmarketing BlogThanks to our friends at JD Supra, we now know the best time of day to upload legal content to the online clearinghouse for attorney content. According to Adrian Lurssen, Communications Director in San Francisco:

  • Legal content prime time is from 1-5 PM Eastern time. (Adrian posted the times using the Pacific time zone, but I believe it's better to target updates for the Eastern zone, where most of the people in the US live.)
  • Readership of JD Supra's Legal Updates on LinkedIn is 1-2 PM Eastern. This is two hours earlier than Facebook and Twitter.  JD Supra syndicates its content on a variety of social media.
  • Most visitors read uploaded legal content on JD Supra from 1-2 PM Eastern.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday are the most active days on JD Supra.

"This tells us that our readers are most active during the professional workday.  Given the nature of the content (legal updates, commentary, analysis, articles, etc.), that makes perfect sense," Adrian writes.

JD Supra lets you create an online portfolio of your articles, newsletters, alerts, court filings, and presentations in minutes. Then, it helps you get noticed by prospective clients, colleagues and the media.

When do you find is the best time to tweet, update your blog or announce a status update on LinkedIn? Please comment.

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Best Times of Day for Your Online Marketing

Dan Zarrella, Hubspot, LawMarketing BlogI just attended a useful Hubspot webinar on "The Science of Timing."  Yes, the time of day and the day of the week when you send your tweets, emails, Facebook updates and blog posts make a difference. According to social media scientist Dan Zarrella:

1. Very early in the morning -- 5 AM to 7 AM is a great time to catch people's attention with Twitter, Facebook, email and blogs.

2. The more active you are, the better your traffic and response rates.  Frequency is good for all four media.

3. Surprisingly, weekends are a good time to reach people.

4. Time your activities to be seen in the Eastern time zone, where most people in the country live and work.

Of course, there are corollaries.  Going into more detail, Zarrella said:

  • If you want to be re-tweeted, send your own tweets from 2-5 PM (all times are Eastern) and late in the week.
  • The more you tweet, the more followers you'll get.  But put some space between your tweets -- don't send 6 tweets in one minute. Spread them out.
  • On Facebook, most people "share" on weekends, because Facebook is blocked at most people's workplaces. 
  • Articles published on Facebook at 10-11 AM get the most "shares." The second-best time is 7 PM.
  • The best time of day to send an email is 5-7 AM.  95% of people check their email early in the morning on workdays, and you'll get the most opens and clickthroughs then.
  • Experiment with sending emails on weekends, when open rates and clickthroughs are at their highest. The business world is offline then, and your message will get more attention.
  • Send special offers and messages to your newest email subscribers. Your newest subscribers are your best, because they remember your company and brand.
  • Regarding blogs, most people read them in the morning, and readership gradually tapers off toward the night time.
  • The best time to get the most views of your blog posts is 10-11 AM.
  • Most blog comments are made from 7-10 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Bloggers will get the most linkbacks from other bloggers if you update your blog from 6-7 AM. That is when other bloggers are up early, looking for source material.
  • If you can update your blog more than once a day, "you are way beyond anyone else in your industry," Zarrella said.  This is why news media blogs get the most traffic.
  • To get more readers, update your blog more frequently, regardless of how often you post new items.

 

 

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Law Firms Now Offering Discount Coupons via Email

I thought I'd never see the day, but lawyers are offering discount coupons with MerchantCircle, a Los Altos, California, start-up company which helps small businesses reach local customers through referrals based on on-line advertising.

Many of us are familiar with Groupon, the company that emails subscribers discounts. Their deals are pretty crummy, because you have to pay money first to get a discounted price on a service.  MerchantCircle is better, offering consumers discounts or free services.

It's designed to help local businesses get more customers, and so far small law firms have been offering the MerchantCircle discounts.  Don't expect to see Skadden offering coupons for discount M&A transactions, but you can get your taxes done with a coupon.

image for the product advertisedFree Case Evaluation up to One Hour Consultation Where you injured? Contact us for a free consult and case evaluation. One coupon per person

Expiration: 06-09-2011

Taradji Law Offices
30 North Lasalle, Suite 2630 Suite 2630 Chicago, IL 60602
www.MerchantCircle.com

FREE CONSULTATION! Mention this ad and get a free in-office consultation to discuss your case! Limit 1 per potential client.

Expiration: 07-30-2011

Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A.
121 S Orange Avenue, Suite 1500 Orlando, FL 32801
www.MerchantCircle.com

image for the product advertised$10 Off Your Next Visit call us for a tax consultation 646-407-6656 WE OFFER: BOOKKEEPING, PAYROLL, WE AMEND TAXES, FILE BACK LATE TAXES, W-2, 1099 We are licensed and certified Accountants

Expiration: 04-15-2012

Angelina Tax and Bookkeeping service
354 Senator Street Brooklyn, NY 11220
www.MerchantCircle.com

image for the product advertisedFree E-Filing For Client's Tax Returns!

Expiration: 06-08-2011

Stuart J. Goldberg, CPA, LLC
1 BONNYBROOK RD Norwalk, CT 6850
www.MerchantCircle.com

 

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I Just Got Business Cards with my QR Code

qr code, business card, larry bodine, lawmarketing blogHere's a nifty law firm marketing technique: I just got 100 business cards with my custom QR code on the back from Office Max for $30. If you're going to the LMA conference, you can give the cards to your colleagues, who can read the code with their smart phones.

Where do I get my free QR code? Go to www.vizibility.com and fill in the blanks. You will get a graphic of your QR code. It's a .JPG file you can download onto a flash drive. Take this to your printer and have them put it on the back of your cards.

How do I read the QR code? Get a free app for your smart phone. Get NeoReader, Optiscan or QR App for an iPhone, or Google Goggles for a Droid, or BeeTagg and UpCode for a Blackberry. Using the app, take a picture of the QR code. It will reveal the data contained in the QR code.

What the heck is a QR code? QR is short for Quick Response code, which can store web links, text or all the information on your business card. They were invented by Toyota in 1994.  Below is what my QR code contains:

vizibility searchme, larry bodine, lawmarketing blog

Want to see how it works? Check out the demonstration in this video.

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Get a QR Code for Your Business Card and a Custom Google "SearchMe" with Vizibility.com

  • Would you like to be on the first page of Google for $3 a month?
  • Would you like to impress people instantly with how tech-savvy you are?
  • Would you like a web link that gives potential clients exactly the Google results you want them to see?

Search Larry Bodine You can do all of this by creating a free Vizibility account. It creates a unique SearchMe button that you can put on your LinkedIn profile, blog and email signature, which will create a custom Google search to the best links about you. It also creates a cool QR (quick response) code that you can put on your business card, resume, proposal and any other printed or online materials.

Larry Bodine QR Code
Hold up your smart phone to the computer screen, use Google Goggles or other QR code reader to scan it, and see what my personal QR code displays for you.

When scanned with a smart phone, the QR code displays a user's top five verified Google search results. “If you are a lawyer working with technology clients, it is critical to communicate familiarity with the latest technologies,” said Jeffery M. Stoler, a partner at 400-lawyer McCarter & English. “What better way to make a lasting impression than to put a QR code on a business card or in a presentation to send that message for you.”

“It creates a killer first impression,” said James Alexander, founder and CEO of Vizibility, based in New York City.

Vizibility is the cure for lawyers who wish they could be found by potential clients searching with Google. “We’re a Google society, we’ll search about anything before we buy it – and this applies to any professional. Anyone’s going to be Googled as part of vetting process. Lawyers need to know what comes up when people Google them and try to control it,” he said.

“A QR code creates a one-click to a profile," Alexander said.

Vizibility is a member benefit of MyLegal, a website where lawyers can find the best vendors. You can also go to Vizibility.com, fill in the blanks in the online wizard, and it will create your QR code and SearchMe link. I did it myself and it’s very easy.

If you want alerts on when you’re searched or reports on a change in your Google results, it costs only $3 per month.

“When you put out a news release, you can put your SearchMe link into it. It also creates link backs which improves your search results. If you’re not on the first page, you’re not in Google,” Alexander said.

The IP firm Novak Druce has 100 Vizibility accounts, as do many solos and lawyers at 700-lawyer Duane Morris. “For IP attorneys, just having a QR code on their business card says ‘I’m tech savvy.’ It’s a great branding statement,” Alexander said.

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Law Firm Marketing and the UK Legal Services Act

Amanda Butters, LawMarketing ChannelThe Legal Services Act (LSA) came into force in 2007 and has been dubbed as the 'Big Bang' for the legal profession. Previously a profession known for being resistant to change, the legal profession is now one in transition, according to Amanda Butters, an account manager at Byfield Consultancy in the UK.

Last year non-lawyers were allowed to work in partnership with solicitors for the first time through legal disciplinary practices. By October this year alternative business structures (ABSs) are to be introduced that will 'blow apart the established conventions of the law' (The Times, 2009). The implementation of ABSs will permit the external ownership of law firms and allow firms to potentially seek investment through private equity and floating on the stock exchange. The LSA also provides the opportunity for non-lawyers, such as marketing professionals and accountants, to enter the upper echelons of law firms. These changes will completely alter the traditional structure and hierarchy of the legal market, she writes.

The threat of so called 'Tesco Law' in particular has got the legal profession up in arms, she says. For many lawyers the prospect of the commoditization of volume legal services, such as will writing, and the entry into the industry of retailers such as Tesco and the Co-Op as well as high street banks such as Halifax, threatens to undermine the profession and what it means to be a lawyer. However, for consumers the prospect of being able to purchase legal services from high-street brands that they know and trust promises to remove some of the mystery around lawyers and associated suspicion about ethics and fees.

The creation of the LSA was prompted by a review of the regulation of legal services in England and Wales by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The purpose of the review was 'To consider what regulatory framework would best promote competition, innovation and the public and consumer interest in an efficient, effective and independent legal sector' (Legal Services Review, 2004).

Competition in the market is about to increase dramatically making now, more than ever, according to Butters.  It is a crucial time for law firms to be able to differentiate themselves not only from fellow firms, but high street retailers, banks, and consumer organizations, many of which will have significant marketing budgets at their disposal. Whether the LSA will bring about positive change for law firms has already been the subject of much debate and only time will tell. However, a strong reputation is an asset all firms will need if they wish to thrive in a rapidly changing market.

For more, please see the LawMarketing Channel.

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Get BD Under the Law Firm Marketing Umbrella and Let it Rain

Thalia Zetlin, Berdon LLP, LawMarketing BlogThis is a guest post by Thalia Zetlin, Principal/CMO of Berdon LLP in New York, a CPA firm that advises law firms of all types - ranging from specialized boutiques to global practices. She can be reached at (212) 699-6708 and TZetlin@berdonllp.com.

Consider a law firm where…

  • Its website touts the firm’s "responsiveness" while a number of attorneys are not getting back to clients within a 24-hour window.
  • One-on-one interactions between attorneys and potential clients are never captured in the database and remain hidden in the individual attorney’s Outlook contacts.
  • Client experiences vary from partner to partner with some demonstrating commitment while others are detached.

If any of these scenarios have a familiar ring, they’re signs of a firm that’s letting revenue opportunities slip by, sending mixed messages, wasting resources, and encouraging internal conflict. These debilitating symptoms rear up when all components of the firm’s marketing are not fully integrated into a unified marketing strategy. Specifically, this occurs when business development is viewed as apart from the marketing umbrella — inherently making it subject to its own agenda.   

To get a clearer picture of how to cure these symptoms, it’s important to first establish what we mean by marketing and business development (BD).  At its core, marketing has been, is, and continues to be the connecting of a need or want with a provider who can fulfill it. To accomplish this, professional services marketing uses an array of components that work together and BD — the one-on-one contact with clients, prospects, and referral sources — is just one of those components, albeit a very significant one, nevertheless only one… of, in fact, five.

Second, to see how BD naturally evolved to become an integral part of marketing, let’s look at a little history. Back in the late 1980s, the only kind of marketing that was done was "country club marketing" referred to as practice development (that one-on-one contact mentioned in the previous paragraph). This was understandable considering all the marketing restrictions at the time. To develop the practice and generate new business, it was necessary to get everyone involved and engaged, and to move the mindset and culture away from the confines of country club marketing. A change in terminology seemed a good start and to begin that process practice development (PD) became BD, a change that initially met with a lot of resistance.

For the rest of her article visit the LawMarketing Channel.

 

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A Great Law Firm Marketing Tip from My Dentist

client appreciation dinner, Dr. Thomas Gibbs, Glen EllynI don't know about you, but I love my dentist. My wife and I have been seeing Dr. Thomas Gibbs of Glen Ellyn, IL, (I get to call him "Tom") for years. He's done all sorts of root canals, crowns, implants, cleanings and more -- and despite all that we love the guy.

The reason is his personal touch. He asks me about my business and I ask him about his high-tech computerized equipment. We trade marketing tips. He calls my wife to remind her of her appointments and calls afterwards to make sure she's feeling OK -- and leaves his cell phone number. He tells us what his family is up to and about his summer place on Lake Geneva. We have a personal, not just a medical, relationship.

I always think, "Wouldn't it be smart if lawyers treated their clients the same way?"

Today I got a beautiful invitation from him to come to a patient appreciation dinner at country club. The invitation was so nice I thought at first it was a wedding invitation.  He wanted to take us out for dinner and meet all his other patients. I thought, "Wow! Wouldn't it be smart if lawyers treated their clients the same way?"

Dr. Tom is our dentist for life. We pay his bills promptly because we know we can trust him. We appreciate how he squeezes us into his schedule even when he's booked up.  We love how he does little touch-ups for free. He's our dentist, and it's not just because he constantly goes to continuing education to keep his knowledge up-to-date, or his state-of-the-art equipment or his years of experience. It's because we know he cares. 

Wouldn't it be smart if you treated your clients the same way?

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Three Things Business Clients Look for on Law Firm Websites

Three Things Clients want to see on a law firm websiteSee the new video, 4 minutes on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GsfOeGrvvE

If your website displays the three things that business clients look for, you'll get a lot more calls from clients that you want. I've heard general counsel speak on panel discussions where they spelled out what they expect to find on law firm websites, and I've summarized them in this video.

The website of Jones Day is a good example, because it is built around what clients and potential clients want to see. Here's a clue: no one is interested in your law school, articles you wrote 10 years ago, the history of your firm, or what jurisdictions you're admitted in. Clients don't want to see all of your legal activity, they want to see how your services solved their problem.

If you like this video, subscribe to my video channel and get a notice every time a new video is put online.

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Zombie Marketing - How Dead Law Firm Marketing Ideas Still Walk Among Us

Linda Julian, law firm marketing, Lawmarketing blog, zombie marketingThey are dead yet they walk among us. Among the undead are ideas and mindless marketing rituals including rebranding, advertising, sponsorships, golf days and brochures, according to marketer Linda Julian. There are lots of better ways to spend your marketing and promotional dollars.

The dead ideas are suggested frequently when firms cast around for the next thing to do, even though they don't produce marketing or financial results.  Like elderly relatives we knew when we were children but who have gone to the great beyond, the undead marketing ideas seem familiar.

Here is just a small selection.

“We really need a rebrand.” If your firm identity and branding is presentable, professional and doesn’t make you look like Luddites, what do you expect a rebrand to achieve? Lots of cost, more hidden cost, bundles of effort… and chances are your clients and external market will pay it scant attention. 

“We really need to get our name in lights as sponsor of the opera/theatre/symphony/local football team.” Supporting worthy causes is laudable. Long-term association with a carefully selected not-for-profit venture may produce many benefits. Simply buying a sponsorship, making a grand announcement, and handing out a few free tickets to events does little to develop business. 
 
“We really need to take [that client or prospective client] to lunch.” Lunch and other informal, semi-social settings can be great opportunities to build relationships and chew the business fat. Many qualify as zombie marketing because they’re “random acts of lunch” which amount to time squandered by the ill-prepared with the wrong people.
 
To see her article identifying even more examples of Zombie Marketing, please visit the LawMarketing Channel at http://bit.ly/fLate2
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Top 100 Socially Networked Cities in the U.S.

Sweet home Chicago is #39. Men's Health figured this out based on usage of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friendster, Reddit and Digg. How networked is it where you live?

Most socially networked
1 Washington, DC A+
2 Atlanta, GA A+
3 Denver, CO A+
4 Minneapolis, MN A+
5 Seattle, WA A+
6 San Francisco, CA A
7 Orlando, FL A
8 Austin, TX A
9 Boston, MA A
10 Salt Lake City, UT A-

11 Cincinnati, OH A-
12 Raleigh, NC A-
13 Burlington, VT A-
14 Portland, OR B+
15 Madison, WI B+
16 Dallas, TX B+
17 Portland, ME B
18 Sacramento, CA B
19 Aurora, CO B
20 Boise, ID B
21 Charlotte, NC B
22 Wilmington, DE B
23 Oakland, CA B
24 St. Louis, MO B
25 Las Vegas, NV B
26 Columbus, OH B
27 San Diego, CA B
28 San Jose, CA B
29 St. Paul, MN B-
30 Plano, TX B-
31 Tampa, FL B-
32 Nashville, TN B-
33 Los Angeles, CA B-
34 Phoenix, AZ B-
35 Newark, NJ B-
36 Miami, FL B-
37 Norfolk, VA C+
38 Richmond, VA C+
39 Chicago, IL C+
40 Durham, NC C+
41 Colorado Springs, CO C+
42 Des Moines, IA C+
43 Jersey City, NJ C+
44 Indianapolis, IN C+
45 Milwaukee, WI C+
46 Fargo, ND C+
47 Columbia, SC C+
48 Houston, TX C+
49 Philadelphia, PA C+
50 Birmingham, AL C+
51 Cleveland, OH C+
52 Kansas City, MO C
53 New York, NY C
54 Greensboro, NC C
55 Reno, NV C
56 Manchester, NH C
57 Providence, RI C
58 Baltimore, MD C
59 Little Rock, AR C
60 Louisville, KY C
61 Sioux Falls, SD C-
62 Omaha, NE C-
63 Pittsburgh, PA C-
64 Baton Rouge, LA C-
65 Lexington, KY C
66 Wichita, KS C-
67 Anchorage, AK C-
68 Lincoln, NE C-
69 Cheyenne, WY D+
70 New Orleans, LA D+
71 Tucson, AZ D+
72 Buffalo, NY D+
73 Honolulu, HI D+
74 Santa Ana, CA D+
75 Charleston, WV D+
76 Oklahoma City, OK D+
77 Virginia Beach, VA D+
78 Winston-Salem, NC D+
79 Tulsa, OK D+
80 Albuquerque, NM D
81 Fort Worth, TX D
82 San Antonio, TX D
83 Jackson, MS D
84 Chesapeake, VA D
85 Jacksonville, FL D
86 Riverside, CA D
87 Memphis, TN D-
88 St. Petersburg, FL D-
89 Toledo, OH D-
90 Corpus Christi, TX D-

Least socially networked
91 Billings, MT D-
92 Fort Wayne, IN D-
93 Bridgeport, CT D-
94 Detroit, MI D-
95 Fresno, CA F
96 Bakersfield, CA F
97 Lubbock, TX F
98 Stockton, CA F
99 Laredo, TX F
100 El Paso, TX F

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25 Local Law Firm Web Marketing To-Do's

Gyi Tsakalakis, LawMarketing BlogA tip of the hat to The Lawyerist blog by Gyi Tsakalakis for this excellent checklist:

There are several inexpensive techniques that lawyers can use to increase their online visibility with local legal services consumers. Here are 25:

  1. Law Firm Marketing on Localeze.
  2. Listing Your Law Firm With Universal Business Listing.
  3. Claim Your Law Firm Listing on Yelp.
  4. Update Your Law Firm’s Information at InfoUSA.
  5. Get A Free Law Firm Listing at SuperPages.
  6. Register Your Law Firm at CityGrid.
  7. Claim Your Law Firm Listing at InsiderPages.
  8. Add Your Law Firm to Brown Book.
  9. Get A Free Listing from YellowPages.
  10. Purchase a basic listing from LawFirms.com / ExperHub.
  11. Register Your Law Firm at TargetLaw.
  12. Purchase a listing at Judy’s Book.
  13. Purchase a premium listing at Local BOTW.
  14. Purchase a listing at Elocallawyers.
  15. Purchase a listing at Lawyer-Directory.Net.
  16. Purchase a premium listing at HG.org.
  17. Claim & Update Your listing at HotFrog.
  18. Claim & Update Your Bing Local Profile (requires IE, boo).
  19. Claim & Update Your Yahoo Local Listing.
  20. Claim & Update Your Google Places Profile.
  21. Register Your Law Firm with Facebook Places.
  22. Claim & Update Your Avvo Profile (that is as long as you don’t have grievances against you).
  23. Register With JD Supra.
  24. Get Listed in the Justia Lawyer Directory.
  25. Register in the WashLaw legal directory.

Gyi Tsakalakis is a law firm web design consultant. He also writes for Law Marketing Monitor and Law Firm Internet Strategy.

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What to Do When the Media Calls

news reporter, LawMarketing BlogI found this great post on the Attorney at Work blog:

Reporters will call you—whether you’re working on a case with public interest or they simply want some expert commentary. While you can’t control what the reporter writes, you can use some techniques to increase your chances of a good outcome.

Don’t just start talking. If you are surprised by a reporter’s call for an interview, try to delay giving answers immediately. Ask what the reporter needs, the deadline and what other kinds of experts the reporter may need to interview. Find out the bottom-line question. Keep a friendly tone and commit to call back—and call back exactly when you say you will.

Sum it up. The headline is the summary of the story, so think: If you could write the headline for this article, what would it be? Build all your comments with that headline in mind.

Write down your key points. Once you start an interview, you have a better chance of sticking to your topic and getting the ultimate quote you want if you write down your key points in advance—no more than three or four—and repeat and reinforce them in a variety of ways. If you overload the reporter with too many details, your published quote might not resemble what you said.

What are the facts? Once you know your key points, have facts and figures in hand to back them up. You’ll increase your chance of being quoted if you provide facts key to the story.

“Frame” your most important point. To get quoted, make comments short, clear and framed with key phrases like “what’s really important to remember is …” or “the bottom line is …” or “I hope you understand that ….” If you flag it, more than likely the reporter will write it down.

For the rest of the post by marketing and public relations consultant Leigh Ann Nicas please see here.

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How Law Firms can use QR (quick response) Codes Effectively

QR code, lawmarketing blogDonna Erickson has a great article on how QR codes are another way to use technology to reach clients and potential clients. This is a great topic I blogged about a month ago.

Quick Response Codes, also known as QR codes, are starting to appear on the Web sites of law firms, as well as business cards of lawyers. QR codes are two dimensional bar codes that can be read by cameras on a smartphone. The codes contain information in electronic format that the firm wants to convey to a target audience. The effectiveness of the QR codes can also be tracked at any level of a marketing campaign.<

"We expect to see the number of law firms using QR codes expand dramatically during 2011 as the technology continues to evolve and savvy law firms recognize the benefits," she says.

QR codes are read by a Smartphone equipped with a compatible code reader. A few examples of how law firms may want to use QR codes today include:

  • Open a URL to:
    • Web site
    • Video
    • Article
    • Alert or newsletter
    • Promote an event
    • New service area (e.g. practice areas or class action law suit) for target markets
  • Open a Vcard or otherwise provide contact information (saving the user time and eliminating possible errors in rekeying)
  • A message
  • Dial a number

Law firms may want to print QR codes on:

  • Business cards to electronically transfer the attorney's contact information and the firm's Web site URL
  • Event invitations / materials / lanyards to direct the user to an electronic version of the material, or additional information
  • Web sites, micro sites, blogs to open a browser directly to that page
  • Printed materials, opening a browser to an online version of <
    • Attorney profile
    • Practice area description
    • Directories
    • Articles, alerts, newsletters
  • Advertisements opening a browser to additional related information

For the rest of her post, please see here.

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Lawyers Will Use Social Media to Build Their Practices

Ari Kaplan, social media, Generating New Business With Social Media"Lawyers will leverage the power of technology to create and foster relationships that will enhance their practices," said Ari Kaplan in the Sacramento Business Journal.I predict a broader use of social media as the ethical rules over the use of social media become more defined,” added Kaplan, a lawyer turned writer, commentator and trainer on topics such as using social networking within the legal profession.

Ari will be describing how lawyers can use social media better by dropping a "push" approach and changing to a "pull" approach on social media. The webinar "Generating New Business With Social Media" will take place this Thursday, March 17, at 1 PM EST.

Lawyers using social media tend to blog and/or use LinkedIn, with few using Facebook and Twitter professionally, according to lawyers interviewed by the newspaper.

This echoes what Kaplan hears nationally. More than half the legal professionals he polls at his lectures are using LinkedIn. If the question is “are they using it as effectively as they could, I’m guessing that answer is ‘probably not,’” he said.

Kristin Crone, who launched her Hennessy & Crone Law practice in September with Brooke Hennessy, thinks it’s important to give social media a try. Crone created a Facebook page and a Twitter account several weeks ago and has just started a blog and LinkedIn account for the firm.

“Social media in general is a great option for small, startup firms because it is essentially free advertising,” Crone said. “You only have to find the time to use them.”

At Downey Brand, about half the firm’s attorneys use Facebook for a blend of professional and personal uses — but mostly personal, said Joy Baltaxe, marketing director. Facebook is a powerful tool for attorneys to build, maintain and renew relationships, which can lead to referrals.

Few of Downey Brand’s lawyers use Twitter, and Baltaxe estimates that half the firm’s attorneys use LinkedIn to post their bios and find information about others.

As a professional service, the firm wants to connect with the right people instead of tens of thousands of unqualified leads.

About 70 percent of the attorneys at Weintraub Genshlea Chediak use LinkedIn, and slowly more are using it, said Leslie DuFresne, the firm’s director of business development. Weintraub hasn’t “gotten much traction on Facebook,” and the firm doesn’t use Twitter, she said.

DuFresne said she hasn’t seen any benefit from the firm’s social media efforts, and doesn’t expect to until she learns a more effective way to use it.

Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, meanwhile, uses blogs for its education and real estate groups to get out news about cases affecting its clients, said Melissa Strand, marketing director.

The firm is looking into using other social media platforms but first wants to approve a policy governing its use, said Kronick attorneys Meredith Packer and Ron Scholar.

While the legal profession's use is in its infancy, the future of social media for legal professionals is huge.

 

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HubSpot Research Shows That Blogs are Great Marketing Investments

I just sat in on a HubSpot webinar, “2011 Report - The State of Inbound Marketing.” They surveyed 644 respondents in a wide range of industries and company sizes, and compared 2011 responses to 2009 and 2010 surveys.

blogs rated critical to business, LawMarketing blogHubSpot found that Blogs are still great marketing investments. Every post you publish is a long-term asset and is helping build brand and awareness. Blogs and social media really do generate clients.  The more often you blog, the more likely you are to acquire clients. There is a big drop-off in client acquisition if blog monthly or less often.

Social media are also important in client acquisition.  For professional services firms – LinkedIn was the most effective channel, followed by blogging, then Facebook and Twitter rounding out the bottom.  Law firms seeking consumer clients had success with Facebook and their firm blog.

Marketing money-wasters included trade shows, pay per click, direct mail and telemarketing, which had the highest cost per lead.  Large firms are spending the most money in these areas, mainly because “it’s always been done this way.” And as we all know, yellow page advertising is a waste of money. Many businesses have discontinued their YP ad and seen zero decrease in leads.

blogs generate real customers, lawmarketing blogIf you’re not blogging, you’re in the minority: 65% of businesses have a blog. 27% of respondents said the company blog was “critical” to business – the highest percentage ever. To a lesser degree, Linkedin, YouTube and Facebook and twitter were found “critical.” Flickr, Digg, StumbleUpon and MySpace were considered “not useful.”

HubSpot has 4,000 customers that use their software to execute on their inbound marketing. A copy of the slides is online.

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Online Directories Are Top Choice for Small Law Firm Marketing

Online directories are the most popular marketing initiative for small law firms, with about 52% employing them and more than 17% deeming them most effective, according to the new 2011 Small Law Firm Report, a survey by Total Attorneys of Chicago.

The move toward online advertising reached beyond online directories: more than 28% of respondents reported using Google AdWords or other pay-per-click campaigns, and 15% employed online display ads, according to the survey.

Most Effective Marketing Efforts for Small Law FirmsMany attorneys also reported taking advantage of free or low-cost opportunities to promote their law firms. Some of the most popular efforts included local networking (50%), online networking (34.7%), social media (36.9%), speaking engagements (34.7%), asking departing clients for referrals (45.6%), blogging (32.6%), publications relevant to client base (21.7%) and free events (21.7%), according to the report.

Only 37% of the solo and small firm attorneys responding to our survey are currently advertising in the Yellow Pages, and only 8.7% listed Yellow Page advertising as the most effective among their current marketing efforts, the report found.

32.6% of attorneys indicated that they expected to increase their marketing investment in 2011. 58.7% expected their marketing budgets to remain about the same, while fewer than 7% expected to cut back on marketing expenditures this year.

Survey results revealed many untapped opportunities for attorneys looking to grow their law practices in the coming year, both paid and unpaid. For example, a small percentage of attorneys reported using group advertising ventures as part of their current marketing plan, but of those who did approximately 2/3 listed those ventures as their most effective marketing efforts. And although more than 15% of attorneys reported that word of mouth was their most effective means of bringing in new clients, more than half of attorneys responding to the survey do not currently ask departing clients to refer friends or relatives as legal needs arise in the future.

Among the respondents of the Total Attorney's survey, 64% were solos and 36% "small" law firms.

Total Attorneys delivers marketing, software-as-a-service and industry-focused call center services to small law firms and solo attorneys through its technology services platform. The platform allows the company to accomplish its mission of improving lives through innovation in access and delivery of legal services. Total Attorneys was ranked in the top five on the Crain's Chicago Fast Fifty lists for 2008 and 2009.

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A Sales Trainer's Guide to LMA 2011 in Orlando

LMA 2011, LawMarketing BlogBased on the calls I get from law firm marketing professionals, the ability to train lawyers in business development is a important skill. The partners are demanding it. With this in mind I'm sharing my own plans for attending the greatest educational conference coming soon - LMA 2011 in Orlando.

Disclaimer: your interests may not match mine, and I mean no disrespect to any presenter whose topic doesn't focus on sales.  That said, here's a sales trainer's view of the LMA conference:

Friday April 1: Download conference materials.

Monday, April 4:

  • Land at 3:50 PM.
  • Head to the Welcome Reception at 5:30 PM
  • Look for longtime friends at Mark Beese's Tweetup at 6:45 in the Crew's Compass Lounge at the the conference hotel.I must remember to bring my light saber and communicator pin.
  • Later, get some sleep and adjust to the 3-hour time zone change.

Tuesday, April 5:

  •  Catch the general sessions at 8:30 AM.
  • 10:30 AM networking and refreshment break.  Get to the EM Online Media booth on the exhibit floor. I use their excellent email system and refer law firms to their web, blog and SE0 services.
  • 11 AM: Effectively Leveraging Social Media as Business Development and Marketing Tool, moderated by Joshua Fruchter, Esq.
  • 12:30 PM lunch. Your Honor Award recipients will be recognized.
  • 1:30 PM: Dessert in the exhibit hall and display of Your Honor Award winners.
  • 2:15 PM: Creating Successful Pitching Strategies to Improve Win Rates and Demonstrate your Value to the Firm.
  • 3:30: Back to the exhibit floor for the networking and refreshment break.
  • 4:15: The Path to World Class -- Exploring the Attributes that Distinguish Top-tier Legal Marketing and Business Development Teams.
  • 6:30 PM: Partay! Networking reception at Shipwreck Beach.
  • Out till who knows when.

Wednesday, April 6

  • 9 AM: Plenary session
  • 10:45 AM: the managing partner panel - Elevating the Marketing and Business Development Function: Law Firm Leadership Panel.
  • Noon: lunch.
  • 1:45 PM: Establishing Professional Development Programs for Your Attorneys.
  • 3 PM: Networking for prizes in the exhibit hall. The prizes include a $200 AMEX Gift Card, a Wii Game System, a Flip Camera Phone, an Amazon Kindle and a $200 Best Buy Gift card
  • 3:45 PM. Awwww, do we have to go home?

 

A Look Inside the 65-Person Marketing Staff of a $1 Billion Law Firm

Jeff Berardi, the Chief Marketing Officer of K&L GatesI had no doubt something special was going on at K&L Gates when Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Berardi was named Marketing Professional of the Year by Hubbard One in their “Excellence in Legal Marketing” Awards.
 
Few law firms have had the rapid global expansion that K&L Gates has over the past five years. The firm has undertaken four major combinations and opened 14 international offices since 2005, expanding the firm’s global footprint to three continents.  

2010 alone included the additions of three new international offices – in Moscow, Tokyo, and Warsaw – and more than 60 lateral partners and of counsel around the world. Today, with nearly 2,000 lawyers in 37 offices located across the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the firm is positioned at strategic intersections of the global economy. (In 2007, the firm had 1,400 lawyers in 22 offices.)

As the firm has grown, the 65-person K&L Gates marketing department has been centrally involved in ensuring that proper integration occurs within offices, practices, and administrative function areas.

Marketing uses advertising, media relations, and new media tools to establish and reinforce the firm’s brand on a global basis. High impact, client-focused campaigns run throughout the website, advertising, client pitches, collateral materials, and webinars.

From 2009 to 2010, K&L Gates saw:

  • A 10% increase in media activity
  • A nearly 70% increase in the number of web page views
  • A 35% increase in the number of web visitors.

With recent independent research studies indicating a 50% jump in name awareness, K&L Gates now places in the top 10 most favored law firm brands.  The brand also received a boost when K&L Gates earned more first-tier rankings than any other law firm in the inaugural 2010 edition of the U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers rankings of “Best Law Firms.”

For an inside look at the marketing function at the US law firm with the 12th largest gross revenue, please visit the LawMarketing Channel at http://bit.ly/ga481x.

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How To Create a Professional Video Studio for Under $1,500

video, youtube, law firm marketing, legal marketing, larry bodineBy following these simple directions, you can create your own studio for less than $1,500. It helps if you have a do-it-yourself attitude and a thrifty for approach to life. Here's how I did it.

Start with an empty office in your firm. Then sit down in it and read the following book: YouTube for Business - Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller - used for $10.  It will teach you about the equipment you'll need, lighting and camera techniques like shooting angles and the "rule of thirds." The book will show you how to edit your video and upload it to YouTube.

Then get an HD camcorder. Do not cheap out on the camera. Get yourself a Sony HDR-PJ10 Camcorder at Best Buy for $700. It sells online for $595. The key features are an input jack for a microphone, a high-speed USB port to transfer the video to your computer and a wireless remote. It also has neat swing-out viewer to see yourself while you're recording. Check Cnet for reviews of other camcorders. Do not get a Flip camera because it has no mike jack and they're not making these cameras anymore.

Also pick up a 72" tripod (tall enough for stand-up videos) - $40 - and a wireless lavaliere mike - get an Audio-Technica PRO88W-R35 on Amazon  for $140. Do not rely on the camera's mike which will pick up background noise. For lights, get a pair of Flashpoint SoftBox, 70 watt fluorescent lights units with a nine-foot light stand. Cost: $60 online per kit. Finally, visit a good camera store and get a muslin backdrop with a stand - $200.

There are two choices for video editing software. I recommend Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 for $99 with "show me how" videos. The software lets you add titles, captions, transitions, trim the video and tweak it. Mac users should get Final Cut Pro.

You don't need to be George Lucas to shoot video.  I use a straightforward, non-glitzy style. Check out my initial work on YouTube. So far I have 77 subscribers without really trying. I think that videos that are overly busy with editing razzmatazz distract from the content -- which is you.

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LexisNexis Announces Lexis Advance for Associates

Lexis Advance for Associates is specifically designed for the hundreds of thousands of newer lawyers whose research needs are different from partners, according to Bob Romeo, chief executive officer of Research and Litigation Solutions at LexisNexis. “We know those who routinely conduct legal research want new innovations to help them build their expertise to become even more valuable to their organizations, so they are more efficient and better organized.”

Lexis Advance for Associates is aimed at serving primary users of online legal research - regardless of age -- such as associates at law firms and staff attorneys at corporations and in government. Cleverly, the search features resemble Google and Amazon search methods, which newer lawyers have grown up with.

Click on the image to see it full-size.

Lexis for Associates, LawMarketing Blog

An intuitive single search interface eliminates the need to select sources before searching and cuts out multiple steps in the search process. It also offers users the control to find relevant search results faster and more confidently with pre- and post- search filters. Furthermore, work folders allow for easy storage and access to previous work.  

There is no extra charge for the new research system.  Any firm with an existing LexisNexis account can use it if they wish to.

The innovations include:

  • Integrated results from LexisNexis® and the open Web: Allows users to search the open Web via Lexis® Web along with premium LexisNexis content simultaneously in a single step, efficiently delivering a single set of search results organized by content type. 
  • Legal Issue Trail: Uses LexisNexis intelligence to find and cite connections between cases that may not be obvious - ensuring that research is complete.
  • Transactional Notices: To help ensure transparency, users are notified on screen if they are about to access content that is outside of their subscription.

Lexis Advance for Associates also includes valued content used most by associates, including:

  • Comprehensive and fully enhanced primary law from all states – all available LexisNexis case law (Federal and State), including all LexisNexis headnotes and case summaries. All available statutes and constitutions (Federal and State) from all 50 states and US territories – including administrative codes, and agency materials.
  • News – top titles from the most comprehensive collection of news sources in the industry.
  • Shepard’s® Citations Service – the LexisNexis exclusive citator allows associates to quickly check if a case is good law.
  • Matthew Bender® – a wide range of industry-leading treatises and expert legal analysis.
  • LexisNexis jury verdicts, briefs, pleadings and motions.
  • LexisNexis® CourtLink® content: Includes the full collection of dockets.
  • Expert witness transcripts, depositions, and curricula vitae.

Scheduled for release later this year, Lexis Advance for Associates is the latest in a series of innovative solutions for legal professionals from LexisNexis. Other recently launched solutions include Lexis for Microsoft Office and LexisNexis® Verdict & Settlement Analyzer in summer 2010, Lexis Advance for Solos and its application for iPhone® in fall 2010, and LexisNexis® Profile Suite and LexisNexis® Firm Manager™ in February 2011.

More information about Lexis Advance for Associates is available at: www.lexisnexis.com/advance

 

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Law Firm Marketing Tip: 3 Radically New Ideas for 2011

Radically new ideas for 2011This excerpt is from The Vault blog: As you begin 2011, consider making three simple changes to the way you do business. The recommendations may seem a little crazy at first…even scary. But as you change your perspective, you might just find a way to create more time for yourself and a better bottom line for your law firm.

Radical Change #1:  Stop Branding Your Firm
McDonald’s, Disney and Microsoft are immensely successful brands, and many law firms try to achieve a similar status - but this is a mistake. Why? Because unless you have a warehouse full of cash, you won’t be able to brand your firm as effectively.

There is something you can do to build a great reputation in the profession without breaking your budget—brand your people! People buy from people, and buyers want to know who you are before they hand over the money. Your lawyers are a walking billboard for the firm and it’s their values, personality, and dedication that will help you sell your services.

There are many ways you can successfully brand yourself. You can use blogs, social media outlets, community involvement, industry forums, events, and more to share your message. Most of these methods are completely free.

Radical Change #2:  Give Away Your Trade Secrets
Behind closed doors, you have “secret” ways of running your firm. You are an expert in your field and have likely developed the easiest and most effective way to do what you do. Most business owners hoard these trade secrets but doing the opposite can have an incredible impact on your bottom line.

It’s time to share your secrets with the world. If you’re a lawyer, offer a free report about how to limit your liability in employment law. Most people would be provide their email address for that information, giving you an appreciative prospect who now respects you, trusts you, and will come to you when their employees start filing claims. When you give away your trade secrets, you become the trusted expert. And you’re the one they’ll find when it’s time to make a purchase.

Radical Change #3:  Forget the Big Picture
Every motivational speech you’ve ever heard has probably emphasized the importance of having a vision of where you are headed. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s important to think big. But if you don’t start thinking smaller, you’ll never live large.

Let’s put it in terms of a vacation (which is arguably the second most stressful thing next to running your law firm). If you’re driving to Disneyland, you can’t simply focus on boarding the Teacups or giving Mickey Mouse a hug. You have to make that right turn to get out of your neighborhood, stop at a rest area so your kids can take care of business, etc. You have to focus on one thing at a time, all of which will eventually lead you to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

The same holds true for your firm. While you shouldn’t lose sight of your ultimate goals, you should focus on what is directly in front of you. What do you need to do today to accomplish your goals? Maybe it means that you have to make three calls to potential clients before lunch, write five emails before the end of the day, and complete a blog post by Friday. Whatever the case, you need to give yourself manageable goals. Break it down so you know what you have to do in the next 10 minutes to be successful.

So forget the big picture during your work day and start checking off those little goals on your way to the top.

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Work Proceeds Behind the Scenes in $50,000 Marketing Makeover

Case, Rajnoha & BoudreauYou'll recall that a three-lawyer St. Louis firm won the $50,000 LexisNexis Ultimate Law Firm Marketing Makeover Contest one month ago. I phoned up lawyers Sally Rajnoha and Meg Boudreau to check on their progress. There's no change on their website yet, but they've been quite busy.

"They were quick about getting on it, and LexisNexis contacted us on Tuesday after the Sunday night contest award dinner. I held up production because I went out to a ski vacation," Meg said. She writes the firm blog.

LexisNexis sent a video crew to Case, Rajnoha & Boudreau, and they spent two hours with Sally, recording material for a combined PI and criminal law website, and a separate, more casual family law site. "I said things about how our law firm stands out, like we’re compassionate, we respond quickly, we give personal attention. I could have gone on for a while," Sally said. One crew member wrote her a 30-second commercial, which she said she'll memorize. (Good marketing!)

Meg introduced herself and the firm for the camera. "My bit was easy, I just did three videos. They were in Sally’s office for a couple of hours!" Meg said.

They've got a draft of all the content for the new site, a new logo, and new website colors (several shades of blue and lighter green) - so there's plenty to review. Meanwhile, Sally and senior partner Joel W. Case are circulating review documents so they can get their AV ratings. "Joel and I love law practice. I’ve been practicing 18 years, and Joel for 36 years," she said.

"I’m having a really good feeling about this. LexisNexis is very attentive to us. They want it to get it right. They’re in constant contact with us, running things by use and make sure we approve," Sally said.

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Faegre Uses Project Management Techniques to Win RFP

The lawyers a Faegre & Benson knew they had won a big RFP competition when Roger Ledin from their IT department laid out a huge work process flow map across a table. Ledin, the firm's Business Process Architect, had charted out every step of how the firm would handle the client's plan to transfer 600 parcels of property by the end of the year. Workflow process map

The firm was competing in an RFP process against a low-cost law firm from a smaller market.  Faegre & Benson LLP is one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States with 475 attorneys with six offices serving clients in 22 industries in the U.S. nearly other 100 countries.

Steven Petrie, Faegre Benson, Project management, LawMarketing blog"We took a lean approach, to extract waste from any point of the process," said Steven Petrie, Director of Practice Operations and Strategy for Faegre. "This gave us a solid foundation in efficient execution and was an important differentiator. We went through the process map which spread across an entire table and the client was impressed."

Petrie spoke recently at the Marketing Partner Forum in Phoenix in a program, "Profitability, Analysis & Pricing." The client had a strong desire for fee predictability. Accordingly, Faegre concentrated on the elimination of waste, overproduction, over-processing, defects, inventory, waiting, motion and transportation.

Each task was identified and delegated to lower-cost attorneys with project-management responsibility. Forms and documents were standardized and lawyers on the project were each issued a “Project Reference Notebook.” The firm used historic representative matters to arrive at a value-based fixed fee.  Not being fools, they also did an in-depth profitability analysis.

The client was blown away by the firm's effort and hired them for the legal work. The lesson for law firms? If you can demonstrate that you are efficient, you can succeed in charging a higher fee.

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Today's Four Hot Areas of Litigation that Clients are Buying

Brand new research finds that lawyers can earn top dollar from corporate clients with litigation in four areas:

  • Commercial litigation, a market with $6.8 billion in legal fees. This high-growth, high-fee litigation involves supplier agreements, strategic relationship and outsourcing agreements that went bad.  Industries seeing this litigation include energy, high tech and manufacturing.
  • Employment litigation, a $4 billion market. These cases are driven by wage and hour cases, trade secrets and federal reclassification of employees.
  • IP litigation, a $2.6 billion market. Companies were hoping to spend less on this area in 2011, but activity is increasing instead.
  • Securities litigation, a $2 billion market. This practice has the highest premium rates because of increasing shareholder activism. The cases involve companies in banking, financial services, chemicals and refineries.

The data was released in BTI's Annual Study of Corporate Counsel. BTI interviewed 240 in-house counsel in one-on-one telephone interviews. Respondents included 18% of the Fortune 100 at companies with a median revenue of $3 billion, and also litigation leaders at large and mid-size law firms.

BTI estimated the US market for litigation at $21.1 billion.$21 billion market for litigiation, LawMarketing Blog

 

Other key takeaways for litigators are that:

  • 35% to 40% more clients want to settle cases compared with three years ago. Law firms that can "speak fluent settlement" will get a client's checks faster.
  • 36% of litigators are earning higher profits through alternative fees.  These litigators are earning more than they would with hourly rates.
  • 14% of corporations control 80% of the dollars spent on litigation. These companies -- 150 clients on the Fortune 1000 list -- spend 30 times more than the amount an average company will spend. However, they are also the most demanding clients.

Product liability litigation is an area with heavy pressure on rates because so many law firms practice in the area, making it very competitive. Further, corporations assert that the litigation is formula driven, they dictate what the legal fees should be and know what the settlement value of a case is.

Litigation overall is expected to grow only 1%, but law firms say they want their practices to grow by 5% to 6%. The only way this will happen is by taking clients away from competitors.

 

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How a Law Firm Administrator Attracted 50,000 Twitter Followers

Christopher Levinson, LawMarketing BlogActually, Christopher Levinson has 52,477 followers on Twitter, and the number grows every day. He's the administrator of Masry Vititoe, a personal injury law firm in Westlake Village, CA, near Los Angeles. 

He also has 1,100 contacts on LinkedIn, which is where I met him in the New World Lawyer group.

How did he get so many followers? "I just like to do good and Tweet about things that will help people."  He also automatically follows back every person who follows him.

He started his Twitter account about two years ago and modestly professes, "I still haven't gotten my arms around social media." He tweets when he has time, which means early in the morning before work and late at night before he goes to sleep. He's sent more than 1,300 tweets.

Interestingly, the account is his personally, not the law firm's, even though his tweets focus on legal issues involving potential clients of the firm.  Masry Vititoe, by the way, is the law firm portrayed in the Academy Award winning film Erin Brockovich. He says he doesn't tweet as a business development tactic for the firm, but the partners certainly don't object.

Chris is a guy who loves giving back. He's the Past President and a current board member at Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff's Foundation, which helps people in the jurisdiction.

He gets the content for his tweets from several litigation and product recall listservs he belongs to. His recent tweets include:

  • Ford recalls 144,000 F-150 trucks due to airbag problems - http://lnkd.in/m7hUKx
  • Toyota's new round of recalls underlines difficulty automaker faces trying to put sudden-acceleration problems behind- http://lat.ms/eB8bC2
  • B.O.B. Trailers Inc recalls about 337,000 single and double strollers in the United States and about 20,000 in Canada -http://bo.st/eMmkyX
  • Hexavalent Chromium / Chromium VI Update: Bill seeks limited carcinogens in Calif. tap water - http://lnkd.in/xPDPWy
  • Supreme Court shields vaccine makers from lawsuits -http://lat.ms/dZVbmz  -6-2 ruling upholds a federal law that offers compensation to victims
  • New York: City in a Deal for Removing School PCBs -aging light fixtures public schools health concerns about leaks -http://on.wsj.com/g0iFmj  

Check out his Twitter growth chart:Christopher Levinson, Twitter, LawMarketing Blog

 

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