Five Tips for a Successful Trade Show Booth

Here are some great tips from my friend Steve Boutwell, Director of Client Services at Kean Miller in Baton Rouge, LA:

My firm exhibited at a large conference of in-house attorneys this week. The experience reinforced the notion that if you put a lot of thought and effort into trade show marketing, it can pay big dividends. If you don't, well, it won't. A few thoughts:

1) Engage passersby: If you engage them, they will come. If you simply nod, or read internal email from your firm about someone finding a set of keys in bathroom on your Blackberry/iPhone/Android, or eat, or stare into space, you’ve lost them. However, if you engage attendees with a “good morning”, or a “how are you” or some other acknowledgement, you’ll have more success.

2) Shiny Objects: Like bees to flowers, have shiny, colorful, unusual trinkets. Pen? Multicolor highlighter? Candy? Why bother! We are a Louisiana firm, so we had our own hot sauce, Mardi Gras beads, cookbooks, and Gumbo mix.

3) Elevator Speech: Be prepared to tell a compelling story about your firm in 15 seconds or less. Rehearse it well and be prepared to make it interesting. Follow your story by asking about theirs.

4) Information Capture: Ask for a business card, send a follow up communication (we are sending New Orleans pralines), and add contacts to your CRM.

5) Never Leave: Man your booth as if your life depended on it. Some of the best conversations we had were during times the in-house counsel were coming from, running to, or avoiding the CLE sessions altogether.

I love the tip about giving Mardi Gras beads. Giving something that's uniquely New Orleans is a great idea. Now if Steve asked attendees to pull up their shirts and show show off to get the beads -- that would be priceless.


10 Types of Effective Follow-up

training, followup, law firm marketing, legal marketingRainmakers know better than to make empty follow-up calls saying, “Anything new?” or “Is there something we can do for you?” or “How would you like meet one of my partners?” These calls will fail because they offer nothing of value. It is essential for each follow-up message to offer the recipient a reason to continue the relationship with the caller. Following are 10 ideas to choose from.

  1. Offer free training or CLE at the client’s premises. If they liked the general conference, they’ll love the intimate tailored workshop.
  2. Invite prospects to attend your Web seminars, speaking engagements and public seminars. Not only will they learn something, they’ll more likely perceive you as an expert.
  3. Send congratulations — personal and business. This is why it’s useful to learn another person’s birthday and to notice their career promotions.
  4. Invite potential clients to social events, mixers and firm outings. If you plan to have a good time, you can win new business by sharing the fun with clients.
  5. Send a link to a relevant blog or online news story. The other person may already know the news, but will appreciate that you thought of them.
  6. Distribute a case study that analyzes an actual situation that the person you are pursuing can relate to.
  7. Send a checklist that the other person can keep on hand, such as “10 things to do after a traffic accident” or “Estate planning steps to take when an elderly parent goes into assisted living.
  8. Publish a “Biggest Mistakes” newsletter recounting cases and transactions where a legal disaster happened to someone like your target. Good topics might include “How a local construction company went bankrupt” or “Lessons learned after a costly divorce.”
  9. Ask people to “Rate Yourself” against best practices. People love quizzes. Any prospective client will appreciate a one-page list of policies and procedures that your must successful current clients are using.
  10. Give a GOT. I credit this idea to David Ackert, a business development consultant in Los Angeles. A “GOT” is a Gesture Of Thoughtfulness. An example is a Chicago lawyer I knew who would personally deliver finished documents to a bank client, and bring along several coffee cakes that he had baked for all the staff and clerical personnel.

Remember, before you undertake any marketing initiative, Step #1 is to plan what the follow-up steps are and who will take them. What a lawyer does after the first meeting is more important than the initial meeting. Be sure to follow up in a meaningful way that makes the other party want to have more contact. The new clients, files and revenue will all arrive after the initial meeting.


Creating fresh content and SEO best practices for Bloggers

best practices in legal blogs, law firm marketing, legal marketingThe latest issue of the Best Practices in Lawyer Blogs newsletter is out. Be sure to get your own free subscription and send a copy to your colleagues.



Blog Topics: Keeping Content Fresh

Finding new and interesting content for your blog can be tough—particularly if you practice in a narrow niche. LexisNexis® eMarketing Specialist Hildy Silverman offers three tips for creating fresh blog content. Learn more ...

5 Ways to Get Your Entire Company On Board with Social Media

Tired of being the only blogger in your law firm? It’s time to get other lawyers involved. Marcus Sheridan offers five tips for getting your colleagues interested and excited about social media marketing. Learn more ...

12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time

Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. That’s particularly true when it comes to search engine optimization. Why isn’t your blog getting any traffic? Maybe it’s because you’re ignoring the basic tenets of SEO. Learn more ...

Blog Marketing with LexisNexis®

LexisNexis Blog Marketing provides a comprehensive Blog & Social Media presence, designed to drive leads to your firm. You can get a custom blog on a separate domain, syndication of your blog to Facebook®, JD Supra™ and Twitter®, and even get two custom blog posts written for you to edit. Learn more ...


Roger Sterling of Mad Men Advises How to Close a Customer

roger sterling, mad men, sales, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Roger Sterling

There's a priceless moment in AMC-TV’s Mad Men when ad agency partner Roger Sterling advises Lane Pryce about how to close the deal with a customer. It's a teriffic lesson for lawyers about selling by asking questions and listening. 

Lane is a finance guy and he has no sales experience (like most lawyers). Just before Lane takes the customer out to dinner, he asks Roger’s advice as they review an RFP from Jaguar motors and an advertising order form.

“The beauty of this dinner if that if you do it right, you can actually have him tell you all the answers. In fact I once got a guy from Dr. Scholl’s to fill it out for me,” Roger says.

“There’ll be plenty of drinks,” Lane worries.

“Not for you. You order a scotch rocks and water. You drink half of it until it turns see-through. You get another,” Roger says.

“Very good,” Lane says.

“And then, well, then it’s kind of like being on a date,” Roger says.

“Flattery, I suppose,” Lane says.

lane pryce, mad men, sales, legal marketing, law firm marketing
Lane Pryce

“Within reason. But I find it’s best to smile and sit there like you’ve got no place to go, and just let them talk. Somewhere in the middle of the entrée, they’ll throw out something revealing. And you want to wait until dessert to pounce on it. You know, let him know you’ve got the same problem he has, whatever it is. And then you’re in a conspiracy. The basis of a ‘friendship.” Then you whip out the form,” Roger says. 

“What if I don’t have the same problem?” Lane asks.

“It’ll probably just be something like he drinks too much, he gambles.   I once went on a five-minute tear about how my mother loved my father more than me. And I can assure you that is impossible,” Roger says.

“Very good then. And if for some reason he’s more reserved?” Lane asks.

“Just reverse it. Feed him your own personal morsel,” Roger says.

“Oh I see,” Lane says.

“That’s it. Get your answers. Be nice to the waiter and don’t let him near the check. Oh, and find out everything you can before you get there,” Roger says.

“That I’ve done,” Lane says.

“And you still like him?” Roger asks.

“I do.”

“Let it show,” Roger says.


Business Development for Litigators

Business Development for Litigators

Join us for a Webinar tomorrow - April 19



Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Program description:


Join us in our most popular program about how to capture more litigation files. David Ackert, and guest speaker Larry Bodine, Esq. will show you how to grow your litigation client base by continuing the relationship after the case is over, focusing on dispute-rich industries, picking the "hot" practice areas for trials, and prioritizing your business development efforts.

To register for this seminar, just Click Here. Registration fee: $300

Business development is especially difficult for litigators, who will labor for months on a case, bring it to a successful conclusion, and then have a gaping hole of billable time to fill.

  • Are you or your litigators building the referral network you need to bring in litigation business?
  • Do you know which industries or types of litigation to pursue?
  • How much work do you continue to bring in from former clients?
  • How well are you bringing in new work for your firm and taking control of your career?
  • What business development techniques must you apply to make it happen?

Business development experts David Ackert and Larry Bodine have helped litigators at dozens of firms keep their caseload steady and growing. In one case, they helped a litigator at a trial boutique increase her revenue to the firm from $200,000 per year to $2.5 million in one year! She simply followed their advice, which includes the following.

Registration fee: $300

business development meeting, law firm marketing



  • Pursue groups of businesses where you have clients already.
  • Get referrals from megafirms—we'll show you how.
  • Identify small-firm lawyers who can send you referrals.
  • Focus on the "hot" areas of practice, as identified by market research.
  • Use methods to create a good reputation that will attract files and cases.
  • Employ the four priorities of business development.
  • Build long-lasting relationships with clients.
  • Use our #1 most effective marketing technique.
  • Penetrate organizations of potential clients.
  • Become the industry expert that every business client wants.
  • Experienced litigators who want to smooth out the peaks and valleys of their practice.
  • Young litigators eager to build a career in litigation.
  • Marketing partners who plan to build up their firm's litigation practice.
  • Managing partners seeking to maintain and grow revenue from a solid litigation practice.

Click here to register instantly with a credit card. You can display the program in a conference room, put the telephone on speaker mode, and invite as many attendees at your firm as you wish. One connection per registration. Registration fee: $300


Best Writing Techniques for Online Readers

Laura Johnson, law firm marketing, legal marketingLaura Johnson has a terrific article in the latest issue of Professional Marketing magazine about writing content for online readers. She is a freelance writer specializing in SEO and online communications. See and follow @laurajanewrites on Twitter. Here's an excerpt:

Writing for online media is different to writing a brochure, a sales proposal or a press release. In these more traditional professional services marketing channels, we refer to the words on the page as copy. When you structure words to work specifically in an online context (taking into account how people read, behave and consume information online) it becomes content.

Digital marketing content has four common qualities that make it stand out from conventional marketing copy, regardless of whether it’s an email, a social media update or a web page. Without these characteristics your online marketing efforts are destined for the gloomy depths of the virtual dustbin.

1. A strong call to action. A clear and focused purpose. This tells the reader what you want them to do, e.g.‘download a report’.

2. Succinct. Jakob Nielson, a web usability guru, estimates that good content is usually at least fifty per cent shorter in length than print copy. We read slower online and take in less; content needs to reflect this reader behavior.

3. Scannability. The use of bullets, bolding and sub-headings make it easier for readers to pick up key messages at speed without having to read every word.

4. Links. They boost search engine optimization (SEO) and simplify navigation to relevant supporting material.

When it comes to online content, get your SEO and technical structure right first and then add your brand tone of voice to inject personality and interest.

Create word hooks. Get into the mindset of your target audience. What words will they type into Google when they are looking for the information, products or services you are offering? What words are they looking for when they are scanning the web to solve a particular problem? These are your keywords and phrases.

Put keywords in powerful positions. Through his research Jakob Nielson, found we read web pages in an F-shaped pattern, focusing on two horizontal stripes at the top of the page and a vertical strip down the left hand side. Based on this, he suggests the optimum positions for your keywords are the first two paragraphs of a page (where the bars of the ‘F’ fall). Starting subsequent subheadings, paragraphs, and bullet points with keywords increases the likelihood that readers will notice them as they scan down the left hand side of the page (the stem of the F).

Contextual links. To boost your SEO, make the words you use for links relevant to the destination (eg. ‘agenda for the day’) rather than the action (eg. never link ‘click here’).

Keep it short. When it comes to writing online, the art of brevity is a virtue. Do you read web pages carefully from top to bottom? Honestly. Probably not, most of us scan. Bolding, writing in small blocks of text (about two sentences long) split with subheadings, bullet points and having a clear call to action in the first paragraph all aid scannability. This approach reduces the yawn factor that will quickly cause your reader to desert your site in search of juicier content.


Non-Lawyers Cannot Invest in Law Firms, Says Federal Court

shopping for legal services, legal services act, tesco lawIn England and Wales, banks and supermarkets are selling consumer legal services, but don't expect to see anything similar in the US anytime soon. The ethical ban on non-lawyers investing in US law firms is firmly in place.

The influential Southern District of New York recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by law firm Jacoby & Meyers in which the firm challenged New York Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4.  2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30971. That rule prohibits non-lawyers from investing in law firms. The law firm has similar claims pending in Connecticut and New Jersey against state judges who authorize attorney rules.

The law firm said it needed investments so it could serve the poor, but the bellwether Southern District didn't buy it. The court shot down the law firm's argument that Rule 5.4 was unconstitutional. It added that it might be "a deal with the devil" to allow law firms to sell shares and take outside investments.

There has been widespread hand-wringing in the US ever since the so-called "Tesco Laws" were enacted in the UK in 2007. Alarms went out that big UK law firms and major corporations would start buying up US law firms and change the way law is practiced in the US.  So far, nothing like it has happened.

Lawyers in the United States are still not permitted to obtain equity investments in their practices from non-lawyers, which precludes them from selling stock in their practices to the public. Bar associations have reacted ferociously to any change in the ethics rules, filing amicus briefs against lawsuits that seek to enable non-lawyer ownership of law firms.

For the time being, general practitioners have nothing to fear about Wal-Mart offering legal services. And hostile takeovers of US megafirms are also unlikely. Instead, mergers are the favored approach, as exemplified by Hogan Lovells, from Hogan & Hartson and Lovells, and SNR Denton, from Sonnenschein and Denton Wilde.




RainDance Legal Sales Conference in Chicago on June 5-6

raindance, lsso, legal sales, business development, law firm marketingBook a flight now to come to the RainDance business development conference on June 5-6 at the Mid-America Club in Chicago. Jeffrey Day, the Director of Strategy for Cisco, will give the opening keynote address about collaborating down and across floors, across offices and countries.

Day will open the 9th annual conference sponsored by the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO). RainDance is the nation's only peer-to-peer forum for senior professionals in legal marketing and business development. I like the conference because I can meet sophisticated professionals and legal industry thought leaders and talk about the bottom line: business development in law firms.

Other unmissable presenters will be:

  • Catherine Zinn Sr., Client Development Executive at DLA Piper, who will discuss building
    a sales team for success.
  • Michael Chu, a partner with Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, who will talk about being The Rainmaker.
  • Jill Weber, Chief Business Development Officer of Leonard, Street and Deinard; Lisa Simon, Chief Marketing Officer of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shreck and Mike Krenn, Founder Venture Pipeline Group will discuss Driving Revenue at Your Firm.

You'll want to be in the room when Jan Anne Dubin grills GCs and other in-house lawyers from Allstate Insurance Company, First American Bank, Nalco, Kaplan Inc. and Abbott in her role as Provocateur.

Find out more and register now while there is space available. I'll see you there.



39% of Sole Practitioners Don't Have a Website

law firm marketing, legal marketing, solos not onlineNearly four out of 10 sole practitioners are marketing in the dark -- they don't have a website, according to the 2011 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.

This fact came up at the recent ABA Techshow conference in Chicago when Richard Granat spoke. Granat is author of the eLawyering Blog and founder of DirectLaw, which he describes as "a virtual law firm in a box."

“In the last 18 months, I’ve seen dozens of [document automation startups] coming out of the woodwork, and the technology is getting better,” Granat said to the ABA Journal, adding that many solo lawyers don’t have a website. “Lawyers have to lead, be distinct, be competitive and incorporate all strategies to define what is unique to their credibility and trustworthiness,” Granat said. “Our profession is endangered in terms of solos and small firms. LegalZoom is going to eat their market share for lunch.”

Solos are missing a lot of business by not having a website. In fact, 97 percent of consumers expect companies to have a robust Web presence, and many look to videos posted on YouTube and Vimeo as ways to get to know lawyers and make hiring decisions, according to Roe Frazer, managing director of Digomé, a company that designs Internet marketing campaigns.

If you're a lawyer in a small firm without a website, you can get a website, SEO and social media services through my employer, LexisNexis Web Visibility Solutions Three out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process, according to new research by The Research Intelligence Group.

"Those lawyers that fear or fail to embrace social networks and blogs will see their business leave them for Web-based legal services companies or their practicing peers that do embrace the Net," Frazer said.


More People Search for "Attorney" than "Lawyer"

online search, law firm marketing, legal marketing"Hands down, consumers favor the term attorney over lawyer when they are searching," says Mark Sprague, a Boston-based information and software product entrepreneur who writes for the Search Engine Lane blog.

This is a very handy bit of marketing information for lawyers to use when they are writing blogs, online articles, web bios, LinkedIn updates, tweets, Facebook pages and any kind of Internet content. Use the keyword attorney so that you'll turn up in more online searches.

In his analysis, attorney has nearly twice the search traffic of lawyer:

  • There are 20 keyword phrases with the term attorney – 33.8M searches
  • There are 22 keyword phrases with the term lawyer – 24.4M searches

Interesting human behavior is shown when people search for an attorney or lawyer. They begin by researching their legal issue. "They are doing information searches using a lot of vague terms, but you do see specific request for advice, reviews and rankings," Sprague says. This makes sense, because people will search to solve their problem first before deciding to contact a lawyer.

The marketing tip is to fill your blog and website with FAQs which describe a potential client's situation, explore the damages and adverse effects the problem causes, explain how much the solution will cost and spells out how the lawyer will solve the problem. For example, a personal injury lawyer should describe paraplegia, explain how much it costs to live in a wheelchair, and spell out how the attorney will recover those costs.

After people search about their issue, they:

  • Look for a type of attorney, specifying it by practice.
  • Look for a source to help with the selection process. They are using terms such as directory and list. My employer,, is the top cited online legal resource mentioned by consumers who sought an attorney in the past year, following Google.
  • Seek value, looking for lawyers using terms such as top, new and best.
  • Inquire about a particular law firm by name.
  • Look for a law firm by location.

The most sought-after practice are, in order, personal injury, criminal attorney, family law, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, immigration, DUI, accident and divorce.

Knowing this, you can exploit how people search in your website copy and pay-per-click campaigns, Sprague says. "Consumers favor the term attorney over lawyer. You should use both, but attorney should be the dominant term in your web page copy."


Five Tips for Getting a Client Meeting

David Ackert, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Join us for our next webinar on April 19, 2012, "Business Development for Litigators." This is our most popular program about how to capture more litigation files. David Ackert, and guest speaker Larry Bodine, Esq. will show you how to grow your litigation client base, by continuing the relationship after the case is over, focusing on dispute-rich industries, picking the "hot" practice areas for trials, and prioritizing your business development efforts.

Click here to sign up for this event.

Thanks to Tony Ogden of Lawyers USA for writing this article.

Struggling to get meetings with prospective clients?
Larry Bodine, a legal marketing expert and editor in chief of, and David Ackert, a business development specialist at The Ackert Advisory, recently explained the key steps at a webinar entitled "Follow-Up Strategies that Turn Meetings into Matters."

Bodine first rejected several common methods lawyers use to try to get a client meeting, including cold calling.  “It’s uncomfortable for you and for the person receiving the call,” he said.
Discounted introductory rates are also a bad idea, he said.  “What happens is that when the discount disappears, the client disappears, too,” Bodine argued.
Instead, here are five tips that will help you get that first meeting:


  • Identify your targets.

Take the time to sit down and work up a list of prospective clients, advised Bodine. Begin with some soul-searching about what types of businesses are enjoyable to work with and what kind of work is gratifying. Then triangulate your list into three groups: companies and industries; familiar legal issues and problems; and relationships.
The overlap between the three is the best place to start.

  • Move into research mode.

True research involves more than just looking up a company’s litigation history or finding out what other firms work for them, said Bodine.  Instead, find out “how the business makes its money, what its business model looks like and who the management team is.”
Ackert suggested setting up a Google alert or using a social media news aggregator to keep an eye on the company’s latest happenings.

  • Leverage your connections.

Take a close look at all possible connections, said Ackert. “You never know who the unexpected gatekeeper will be that will be your ticket in,” he said.
For example, an associate at your firm might be friends with a paralegal at the target company. While lawyers may be inclined to dismiss that relationship, the associate can talk to the paralegal and learn potentially valuable insider information about what is going on at the company.

“It’s like having a mole on the inside,” said Bodine. “Even if it is just intelligence, it puts you one step closer to a meeting.”

  • Make contact.

Social media can play a valuable part at this stage, Ackert said. He suggested checking LinkedIn to see if you have first connections who are linked to someone at the target company, and then asking them to make a personal introduction.

  • Build the relationship.

The best way to nurture the relationship is to proceed in an environment that won’t come across as just a sales pitch. Ackert suggested a golf game or a wine tasting can work well.

Bodine recommended attending a speech the prospect gives and then following up afterwards, or offering to moderate a panel for a trade association and contacting the prospect as a speaker.  The goal is to make a request for a subsequent meeting develop naturally, Ackert said.


A Short Story About Persistence

feathers on the groundI knew something was wrong when I saw the feathers on the ground. For the last several years, a mourning dove has occupied a nest under an eave by our front window. My wife and I enjoyed watching the cute mama bird produce two to three broods every spring. Something must have gotten her.

My wife picked up the feathers, which were strewn everywhere like leaves. We felt the pang of sadness in our hearts for the little bird we called Dovie. We loved checking in on her and watching her sit higher and higher in the nest as her hatchlings grew bigger underneath her. Dovie regularly produced two chicks who would appear on the ground and huddle as they got their bearings.

The nest was too high up for snakes or coyotes to reach her. I got up on a stepstool to look into Dovie's nest, and to my heartbreak there were two eggs in there. I left them alone. We speculated that the Cooper's hawk who lived in the neighborhood had found her. When we weren't looking the hawk must have snatched Dovie and taken her away.

We took little comfort that she was killed according to the laws of nature. Predators must eat too and a flock of doves is a good hunting ground. As a prey animal, poor little Dovie had no talons to fight back with. She had to keep out of sight while she looked for food, and then sat vulnerably on the nest.

After two days I decided to look into the nest again. To my surprise, a dove was sitting on the nest with the bird's pop-eyed motionless expression. She looked like Dovie but mourning doves all look alike. Was it one of Dovie's daughters? Will the circle be unbroken? I checked again a few days later and to my delight found two fuzzy, sleeping chicks in the nest (see below).

I marveled at the persistence of the species. The slender, hooting birds have no defenses but their species endures. Not only that, a flock of doves is thriving abundantly around us. If one of their number fell, another immediately stepped in to fill the void.

The meek shall indeed inherit the earth. 

powerp of persistence, law firm marketing, legal marketing


Four Best Practices for Lawyer Blogging

best practices in legal blogs, law firm marketing, legal marketingThe latest issue of Best Practices in Lawyer Blogs newsletter is out. Be sure to get your own free subscription and send a copy to your colleagues.



5 Reasons Your Business Should Be Blogging

Maybe you’re already blogging, but having trouble persuading your partners to blog, too. Or perhaps you’re thinking about starting a blog, but don’t think you can justify the time it will take. Marcus Sheridan offers 5 reasons why you—and others at your firm—should start blogging today. Learn more ...

Why Content Matters for Search Engine Optimization

Want to know the secrets to landing atop the search engine rankings? Here’s one clue: Content is king. Sure, you’ll need to employ some other techniques, but they all revolve around the content you’re creating. Learn more ...

7 Tips to Help Make Your Content Go Viral

If you obsessively check your blog’s readership stats, you might have noticed the numbers are flat, with little-to-no growth in the size of your audience. How do you grow? Try to create content your readers will want to share with other people. Learn more ...

5 Ways to Draw Readers Into Your Articles

Few readers will spend the time slogging through a dull blog post. So how do you catch a reader’s attention? Linda Formichelli offers five ways to grab your readers—and keep them. Learn more ...


58% of Marketers Say Using Social Media Improves Sales

It takes time to develop relationships that lead to sales. A large percentage of marketers who take the time find great results. For example, 58% of marketers who have been using social media for more than 3 years report it has helped them improve sales, according to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report just published by the Social Media Examiner.

Among marketers overall, including those with less experience, 40% saw improved sales in 2012 (see chart below).

But the survey of 3,800 marketers found that the chief benefits of social media marketing are soft metrics: generating more business exposure (reported 85% of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69%) and  providing marketplace insight (65%). These provide weak reasons for a skeptical managing partner considering social media marketing.

Marketers do appear to be getting more leads. The report says that that the proportion of marketers citing lead generation as a social media marketing benefit has risen 7% year-over-year to 58% of respondents.

benefits of social media, law firm marketing, online marketing

Other findings:

  • Roughly 3 in 5 marketers are spending at least 6 hours or more on social media marketing per week, with one-third spending more than 10 hours weekly.
  • Large brands were 10% more likely than small businesses to say that they benefited from increased traffic as a result of their social media marketing efforts (75% vs. 68%).
  • Business-to-business companies were 15% more likely than business-to-consumer companies to report marketplace intelligence insights from social media (68% vs. 59%).

As for me, because Twitter comes up as my #5 most important source of traffic to this blog, you'll see me tweeting and retweeting.


More Business Development Tips from Law Firm Partners

networking, law firm marketing, business development, legal marketingYesterday I wrote about Business Development Advice from Law Firm Partners. The advice came from a survey of practicing lawyers who belong to the ABA, conducted for the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s recent New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference.

It is such a gold mine of great business development tips that I've excerpted even more for you:


  • “Reputation and your word is everything in business development.”
  •  “Don’t depend on others to give you all your work.  Whatever they may say, eventually you will need to have your own clients or be expendable.”
  • Develop a niche or a particular area of expertise and market that.”
  • Send “thank you notes.”
  • “Figure out what kind of people you want to spend your time with and market where they hang out.”
  • “Start developing clients as soon as you can. Ask for business. Close the deal with a written fee agreement so you get solid commitment – and comply with the law. Do not give free advice for too long.”
  • Give extra time to clients, even if unbillable. Word will spread!” 
  • “Business development is a function of relationships.  The more relationships you have the more work you will get.  Don't focus on ‘pitching work.’  Focus on relationship building; the work will follow.”
  • A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world pass by.” – John le Carre “Do not assume that because you sit behind your desk, with your head down billing monster hours, you will make partner. You must get out early and often and network internally and externally.” “Keep in touch with your school colleagues, your fellow firm attorneys who move along, as well as client contacts who may move companies.” “Develop and maintain all contacts, at a personal level whenever possible, and be sure to follow up with those contacts on a regular basis.” “It’s not enough to just keep doing good work for your current clients.  You have to continue to make new contacts and keep in touch with clients you’ve worked for in the past.” “Approach networking in the vein of giving rather than getting.  It’s a long game.”
  • “Focus more effort on expanding existing client relationships as opposed to entirely new clients.  More time and effort is expended on new clients with less payoff.” “Be sure to concentrate on serving your existing clients well – that needs to be the starting place for new business development.” “Keep a good rapport with your existing clients.  They are the best source of future work.” “Even though you might think clients aren’t paying attention, keep them abreast of relevant decisions and cases ongoing in their field of interest. They’ll remember you when a similar matter comes along.”
  •  “Have someone explain the finances and how/whether business development is rewarded.”
  • “Lawyer marketing is much, much simpler than most lawyers think.  People refer business to those they know, like and trust.”
  • “Become at least somewhat knowledgeable of the non-legal ‘technicalities’ of each major client’s business.” “Do not try to ‘sell yourself.’ Find out what the client needs (whether they know it or not) and then find the best way to fulfill their need, whether it is work your firm does or another source.” “Maintain contact with clients even when they are inactive.  They are the best source of referrals and future work when they have additional legal needs.” “Get on the phone more with your clients on a one-on-one basis, if you can’t have a meal with them because of geography.” “Clients and potential clients want to know you care about them, in addition to their legal needs.”
  • “Be the lawyer who responds to requests faster than your competitors.”“Create a system and/or habit for developing business.  Re-evaluate it every six months.  Ask people who are good at business development how they do it.” “Find someone that you are comfortable discussing ideas/concepts with so that you can ask questions that you may consider ‘dumb.’”
  • “Engage in business development even when you are swamped with work.”
  • “Learn to hunt, fish and play golf and do so on a regular basis.”



Business Development Advice from Law Firm Partners

sales, marketing, speaking, business development, law firm marketing"To be successful, you need to develop your own client base," advises a savvy law partner. "The marketing skills you need are generally not taught in law school. Find the marketing techniques that fit your personality.”

This was one of more than 200 verbatim comments in a survey of practicing lawyers who belong to the ABA, conducted for the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s recent New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference.

I've condensed their business development tips below into a dozen points of advice.

These partners are successful because they put time into building their practices. When asked how much time each month they spent on marketing or developing business, 60% of respondents said they spend at least the entirety of one day each week on business development.  An impressive 15% said they spend more than two days of any given week completely invested to marketing and business development.

The partners placed critical importance on developing your own client base without delay, and to undertake some task of marketing every day.

1. “Active networking and long term affiliation with  bar associations, as well as charitable board work.”

2. “Person-to-person  lunch meetings with referral sources, for example doctors, CPAs, CFPs, brokers, bankers and other business persons.”

3. “ Business-focused events where service providers (including lawyers) are a clear minority of the participants.”

4. “Working with  trade associations to draft legislation.” “Attending  industry conferences. The key is to check out the attendee list in advance, make a target list of the people you want to talk to and not hanging out with attorneys from your own firm.”

5. “Get involved in  charitable organizations you are passionate about.  Your commitment there is the best advertising you can do.” “Being active in not for profit organizations  has led to many relationships that have supported my practice.” “Social, community and charitable events, far more than bar or legal ones.”

6. “Being willing to  answer ‘free,’ ‘quick’ questions on potential matters for referral and potential new clients.”

7. “Being  available to consultants and other professionals who want to ‘run something by you’ that isn't billable.”

8. “Finding a  professional organization relevant to my practice and being consistently active in that particular organization (i.e. not hopping from one organization to another).”

9. “Learning to  listen....”

10. “Networking  with foreign law firms through several international organizations.”

11. “Providing  education to clients to make them less dependent upon lawyers.”

12. “Reading non-law,  business management books and understanding the business side of law.”


For the first time in history, smart phone sales exceeded PCs

Samantha Miller, Senior Director of Product, Web Visibility Solutions at LexisNexis It's time for online law firm marketing to go mobile. Vendors shipped 488 million smart phones in 2011, compared to 415 million PCs according to market research company Canalys.

"The numbers are staggering," wrote my colleague Samantha Miller on the Law Firm Marketing Solutions blog. "The mobile market is exploding. And for law firms, especially solos and small firms with two to five lawyers, a mobile-compliant website is now an absolute must."

"Think about it. If consumers are happily searching for deals, coupons and/or restaurants on their Smartphone while standing in the middle of a crowded shopping mall, how do you think they'll search for a local attorney or law firm if they're involved in an accident on the way home?" writes Miller, a Senior Director of Product, Web Visibility Solutions at LexisNexis.

Large law firms are moving tentatively into the mobile app space, more tentatively than small and medium sized firms, according to the Law Firm Mobile blog. Of the megafirms on the 2011 AmLaw 200 list, only 37 firms have with mobile compatible web sites -- a huge marketing shortcoming. The mobile-friendly sites have been generally mini-versions of the firm website.

smart phone sales, pc sales, law firm marketing

More than a quarter of Internet-connected Americans now follow news on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers, according to the Pew Research Center's annual State of the News Media report.

Those users track the news on a much more frequent and consistent basis than any other news consumers, including those surfing on PCs.
Smartphone and tablet users visit more pages in a given sitting and return to news sites more often than those using computers, according to Pew Research's analysis.

"We're nearing a tipping point in the way consumers gather information - and that includes the way they research legal topics and look for lawyers. With Smartphone and tablet sales surging, mobile browsing will continue to surge as well. Solo or small law firms had better have a website that's easy to navigate, regardless of the mobile device, or they'll be left behind," writes Miller.


Attorney Association Declares Love of Law Firm Marketing

law firm marketing, legal marketing, business developmentA virtual association of law firm managing partners announced today that they would now market their practices and sell new business without complaining.

"I'm tired of so-called 'real work,'" said one partner attending a CRM workshop. "I want to put in some non-billable time updating my contact list." Several other prominent law partners couldn't comment because they had to rush out to meet potential clients face-to-face.

"I don't know what we were thinking all these years," said Ahmjust Kidinya, the president of the Lawyers who Love Marketing (LLM). "We could have been having wine and steaks while deepening personal relationships, instead of writing motions to compel." His firm just sent 15 partners to a website design class at Art Institute of Chicago.

After touching up his firm bio and LinkedIn profile, Society founder Howya Doone was busy writing a handwritten note to a client. "Maybe I should call him to ask him how he feels about his matter," Doone pondered. "I need empathize with his sense of urgency."

Attorney Glaad DeMietcha had just returned from personality rehab was examining his new business cards with QR codes. "I added my Twitter handle and Facebook page too," he said, "because there's nothing I like better than networking at a trade association meeting." An associate law professor, he teaches a class on commenting on blogs.

Celebrating the first day of April, the Society issued a proclamation saying, "We love marketing so much, we wish we could marry it." At the headquarters in Atlantis, the Society bestowed its scholarship for Details in Event Invitations. Ironically, the winner could not be present because she was conducting a listening campaign at a client's premises. "I love marketing," she said, "because it involves giving my time away for free."