Finding Legal Marketing Opportunities in Your Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5 Practical Tips to Make a Speech Go Viral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Plan for Do-it-yourself Content Marketing

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

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

Year One: Assemble What You Already Have

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to read on about:

Year Two: Create, Repurpose, and Share


Check out Webinar Slides: Mobile Marketing Tactics

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


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

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



How to Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets

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

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

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

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

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

Get New Business With Click-Worthy Web Assets



Try These 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers

12 Inbound Link Strategies for LawyersLaw Practice Advisor has a great article by Chris Dreyer on 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers. Here's the list:

  1. Guest posting
  2. Scholarship programs (a novel idea!)
  3. Social media link building
  4. Infographics
  5. Accident maps
  6. Blogging (yes!)
  7. High page-rank directories
  8. Collaboration
  9. Citations
  10. Interviews
  11. Forums and groups
  12. Sponsorships

To get the details, read 12 Inbound Link Strategies for Lawyers.


6 Forecasts for 2015 for Law Firm Marketing

LexisNexis recently asked a several dozen experts for legal industry predictions for 2015, which we will publish here later this week.  Larry Bodine, the editor Law Practice Advisor, provided six for law firm marketing  and we’ve  decided to run his viewpoints as a standalone post.

Here are the first three of Mr. Bodine’s six predictions for legal marketing next year:

1.The firm website becomes the sine qua non of legal marketing. A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70 percent of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters, according to Alyn-Weiss research.

2. The rise of the review sites.  Because so many consumers habitually look to review sites before buying anything, lawyers will have to pay close attention to reviews about them on Avvo,, Yelp, Google and Facebook.

3. Content marketing takes hold. Google has moved away from keyword searches and so have clients. 62% of searches are non-branded keyword searches (e.g., “Miami personal injury attorney”) and they produce an excess of junk results. 32% of non-branded searches are “long-tail searches” like “Chicago divorce lawyer for family with special needs.” These searches find on-point results from websites with content that goes into detail.


For the remaining three predictions, please visit 6 Predictions for Law Firm Marketing in 2015.


Marketing Mass Tort Cases to Hispanics

Marketing Mass Tort Cases to HispanicsHere's a practical article from Law Practice Advisor:

One of the reasons that it’s so hard to interest Hispanics in joining a class action lawsuit is their cultural sense of destiny — that suffering is a natural parts of life. If a person was harmed by a drug side effect or dangerous equipment, it was their fate.

This point was one of many Hispanic marketing insights offered by Leslie Inzunza, a bilingual and bicultural expert in New York.

“Culture is a shared system of beliefs and behaviors passed from one generation to the next,” she says. “Latinos don’t respond the same way as other consumers, because their culture adds another layer of complexity. What makes ethnic marketing so tough is they swim in different waters.”

For example, Latinos in general are risk-averse, and shy away from being the first to try something they view as uncertain. There is a perception that any lawsuit involves risk and this keeps them from filing a claim or joining a class action.

Best ways to get through to Hispanics

To overcome this culture bias, Inzunza, speaking on an HB Litigation webinar, said the solution is to demonstrate that there are people in their group who have gone before them. For example, a website or ad can feature quotes from Latinos who have filed a claim.

The Hispanic market with 54 million people in the US is too big to ignore. Only half of them are foreign-born and many are citizens — but they view the world from three cultural vantage points:

  • Learners are recent arrivals, and includes elderly people who don’t care to learn English, and remain learners for years. Only ⅕ of Hispanics are new immigrants.
  • Straddlers are bilingual and bicultural, and are often referred to as “New Latinos.” Learners and straddlers have little or no experience with the US legal system.
  • Navigators are more sophisticated, speak English, and are further away from their roots but still have a Hispanic cultural practice. “By appealing to their Hispanicism, you get their attention,” she said. Latinos have a pejorative word for them: Americanizar, or Americanized.

For the rest of this article please visit Law Practice Advisor.


Death of the Web Conference - New Research from

wasting time web meetingsAs virtual meetings become more commonplace, legacy web conferencing software is wasting an unacceptable amount of time, according to a new study from Ovum and

It is based on a survey of more than 3,900 full-time professionals worldwide, regarding their collaborative behaviors and activities. The key findings from this report:

  • Late start times are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity.
  • Technical difficulties with web conferencing software is the number one cause of delayed meetings.
    • More than 50 percent of employees report that the number of meetings they have is increasing.
    • 32% of all meetings are virtual, a trend that skews higher for younger workers. 

Frustration with traditional web conferencing tools has led 66% of corporate buyers to look for new collaboration solutions to accommodate an increasingly collaborative and connected workforce

You can download Death of the Web Conference (as we know it) for free.


The Best Subject Line to Get Your Email Opened

Believe it or not, the best subject lines start with "Re:" "RE: Follow Up" "Re: update" "Re: Introduction" and "Re: Checking in"Best email subject line