Enjoy the Benefits of Your AV Rating

Today's post is part of an article written by Philip Livingston, CEO of Marketing and Business Solutions at LexisNexis.  He explains the importance of achieving an AV Preeminent® rating.  

Each year thousands of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent® rating. If you too are among the elite, you should showcase your rating to the fullest and enjoy all the benefits of this honor.

  • Martindale-Hubbell actively promotes your rating so others readily understand your accomplishment. An exclusive agreement with ALM Media Properties, LLC will put AV Preeminent rated lawyers in front of more than 500,000 legal professionals across 30 different publications in 2013. An agreement with Fortune magazine and ALM highlights U.S. law firms with the highest percentages of AV Preeminent rated lawyers in its December "Investor's Guide."
  • We also display your ratings on martindale.com® and Lawyers.comSM . Lawyers.com alone makes your rating available to 34 million unique visitors annually. To locate the best of the best, visitors can fine-tune their search by rated lawyers only.
  • I strongly encourage you to proactively promote your AV Preeminent rating too. Display your rating in locations where clients, prospective clients and referring lawyers can find you: your website, your social media profiles (LinkedIn®, Facebook®, etc.), your business cards, at your office and elsewhere. Our associates at American Registry create elegant plaques, lapel pins, acknowledgements, ratings video and other recognition products, all designed to showcase your rating. You can find more information at http://www.mhur.com/.
  • Take the time to draw attention to your two favorite ratings' verbatim feedback by promoting it to the top of your ratings display on Lawyers.com and martindale.com. You also should take advantage of the one-time opportunity to comment on each peer feedback to give clients and prospects a better understanding of you and your practice. All of this can be easily accomplished in the Martindale-Hubbell Client Service Center.

For more than 140 years, Martindale-Hubbell has proudly facilitated the ratings process to highlight lawyers who are at the pinnacle of the legal profession. If you have questions about Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings or Martindale-Hubbell Client Review Ratings, visit www.martindale.com/ratings, email ratings@martindale.com or call 800-526-4902, option 4. 

What Do Online Consumers Do After Searching for an Attorney?

The recent Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), taught us all sorts of things about where consumers go to search for attorneys online, how they obtain legal information from the Internet and even the specific types of devices they use to do this online searching.  Last week, we concluded our look at the substantive findings by sharing results regarding which areas of legal practice are the most popular when consumers search for an attorney.

Armed with this data, it would be fair to ask: So what? Does it really matter if we know about the online searching habits of consumers with legal needs, if we don't know what happens AFTER they complete their online research?

Follow the link to read the remainder of Amy Kovar's post.

Marketing Tips that Generate New Business

The No. 1 mistake I see lawyers make when marketing themselves is failing to be active online. LexisNexis® just announced new research by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG) that reveals that 3 out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process.* This means that attorneys must have a Web page or blog as the cornerstone of their online marketing. Further, every time a new article or blog post is published, a lawyer should share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

To build a following, a blog should be updated at least once a week, if not more often. A blog allows attorneys to demonstrate their expertise and discuss legal issues that consumers face. The more content that is created, the more there is for Google to index.

This can be a lot of work, so I recommend that attorneys enlist help from LexisNexis, which can set up your blog and Web page and actually write a first draft of all the material you put online.

Marketing Musts

  • It's important for lawyers to publish FAQs ("frequently asked questions") online that discuss a potential client's problem — not just practice area descriptions — because people often start by researching their legal issue, not by searching for a particular lawyer. Smart lawyers put content online that gets them found early in a person's search.
  • An attorney must be facile and comfortable with the Web, blogging and social media. With the huge growth in social media, a potential client's friends, co-workers and colleagues are online — and so the attorney must be online too.
  • Along with online sources, referrals are a significant source of new business for lawyers. Accordingly, attorneys should find their counterparts and set up express referral arrangements. For example, a litigator should seek out transactional lawyers. Social media is a great way to meet referral sources.
  • Smart lawyers join and become active in trade associations and organizations that their clients belong to. Many associations have online groups and networks, and they make it easy for an attorney to meet a potential client online — and then pursue the relationship in person.
  • The new TRiG research shows that Lawyers.comSM is the top-cited online legal resource mentioned by consumers who sought an attorney in the past year, following Google.* Consumers are accustomed to reading reviews online, on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. When a consumer cannot find any information about a lawyer online, this is a major turnoff. Furthermore, consumers don't like it when they cannot find a rating of a lawyer online. The place to turn is Lawyers.com, which carries profiles of hundreds of thousands of lawyers, who can invite their clients or fellow attorneys to rate them. Consumers want to know a lawyer's clients rate them highly, and whether fellow lawyers respect them.

The "old-fashioned" methods for finding lawyers are still in use — people will always check with friends, family and co-workers to find a lawyer. But there is one thing you can be sure about — people will double-check that recommendation online.

56% of Law Firm Website Visits Go to Attorney Bios

lawyer bios, law firm marketing, legal marketingAccording to Great Jakes web marketing, most traffic on a law firm website goes right to lawyer bios (see the chart). This is exactly where marketing-savvy lawyers want it to go. So, why are they neglected?

The reason is deep in the attorney psyche, according to marketing consultant Amy Knapp. "Attorneys are slow to accept the real way that clients make hiring decisions. The person whom the client (1) Knows, (2) Likes and (3) Trusts, in that order, gets the job. So why wouldn’t the purpose of a bio be to make one known, likable and trustworthy?" she says.

Before I tell what works, here's what does not get new clients:

  • Old articles (over 3 years) and anything you wrote in law school.
  • Neglect: a bio that is out of date.
  • Text that goes on and on (and the opposite: one content-free paragraph).
  • No picture.
  • Bios that start out with where you were born or went to school.
  • No links to your speeches and articles.

Elements of a bio that do generate new business are:

  • Peer reviews and recommendations from other lawyers.
  • Client reviews and testimonials.
  • Case histories of results obtained for clients.
  • Text describing how you work with clients.
  • A recent color picture. See How to Pick a Good Picture of Yourself.

Here's a great example:lawyers.com online bio, law firm marketing, legal marketing

Read "Turning Your Bio into a Magnet for Business," a short article I wrote about how you can create your own personal brand.

Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies

Silvia Hodges, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingDid you know that advertising, unsolicited newsletters and the legal press are irrelevant in getting legal work from a medium sized business? 

However, there are several sure-fire ways to reach decision-makers at these companies, and we'll discuss them during our Webinar next Thursday June 9, "Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies."


Our featured guest is Silvia Hodges, Ph.D. Professor of Marketing and Management at Fordham Law School. She spent 4 years studying how mid-sized companies find and select law firms and just published a book on the topic: Winning legal Business from Medium-Sized Companies.

In the webinar, I will interview her on how to communicate, market and sell to these excellent, paying clients. 

But medium-sized companies are different -- they don't have an internal legal department and typically lack legal expertise. They don't issue RFPs and will consider one or two law firms before making a choice. Often the CEO or the HR director will search for and choose the company law firm - not the purchasing or procurement department.

Among the topics Dr. Hodges will cover are:

  • The unique two-stage process that mid-size companies use to find a law firm and then select a lawyer.
  • Why many standard types of marketing - like branding and advertising - are a waste of money to reach mid-size companies.
  • The communications, marketing and selling techniques that are proven to work to reach the CEO or company executive who makes the hiring decision. A tip: they don't have to justify their decision so being a brand-name firm doesn't matter.
  • How to position yourself as a lawyer so that mid-cap companies will find you.
  • How modern Internet applications like blogs, Facebook and Twitter have become important. 85% of executives consider law firm websites important sources of information in their search for lawyers.

winning new business, law firm marketing, webinar, legal marketing, Register Now

Please see the description of Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies to find out more.
MORE INFO: Program Director Laura Kresich; (Tel) (773) 966-9273 or Lkresich@LawMarketing.com
WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/ilfrRh

Hilariously Awful Law Firm Marketing Video: Get Out of the "Hellhole you call a marriage"

A lot of regular folks are in dire need of competent legal representation because they have suffered a personal injury, been accused of drunk driving or need to get a divorce and fast. "Unfortunately, after watching some lawyers' local television ads, we're afraid those seeking competence might be out of luck," says the Asylum blog.  This video made their top 10 "worst" list for law firm marketing.

Worst Lawyer Website Bio Photo EVER

When a client or prospective client visits a lawyer's bio, the reader expects to see a smiling color photo, description of the lawyer's services and perhaps some case histories. I was astonished to find the bio of David Spencer, a real estate lawyer at the British firm of Bower & Bailey:

worst laweyr bio picture

That's right: an empty chair. Nobody home. Talk to the chair.

The "chair as photo" is so hilarious that Above The Law is running a competition on how to make this bio better.  "We’d like to use this photo as the basis for a possible contest. Take the bio above, including the photo of the empty chair, but strip out the biographical paragraph for David Spencer. Now compose an alternate bio. Place it in the comments to this post." 

So far they have 56 comments including: "Herman Miller is the chair of the Associate Morale Department at Biglaw Firm."

Law Firm Marketing for Rainmakers

Law firm marketing, marketing for rainmakers, business developmentFrom the LawMarketing Portal:

Rainmaker Marketing -- 52 Rules of Engagement to Attract and Retain Customers for Life by Phil Fragasso is a must-read for professional service marketers, rainmakers and rainmaker wannabes -- according to book reviewer Cecelia Alerts.

By organizing his points into 52 Rules of Engagement (ROE), Fragasso provides a road map of principles for becoming a better rainmaker.  Alers recommends that you read this book from front to back and then keep it for reference.  Each month, you should take the book from your reference shelf, close your eyes and open it to a random page.  Try incorporating whichever ROE you land on into your professional journey.  If you do this, you will become a better service provider as well as better rainmaker. 

Big picture invisible dot connectors

The author reminds us what many before him have said:  Today’s clients are looking for more than technical expertise.  They are looking for collaborators.  The best rainmakers, Fragasso says, focus on proving how valuable they are instead of how smart.  On the other hand, the author talks about the important role knowledge plays in keeping your business from becoming a commodity.  Whether it is through technical expertise or strategic knowledge, the author believes that rainmakers are “big picture invisible dot connectors.” The ability to find and connect invisible dots is a truly unique ability.  However, unlike the author, Alers is not sure learning how to connect invisible dots can be learned.  She believes some traits of rainmaking are either inherent or learned so early in life that they appear to be inherent.  Being driven is one example.  By the time you are in your 20s, you are either driven to success or not.  If you are, you will make good use of this book.  If you are not, you will wonder with detached emotion why some of your colleagues and friends stress so much.   

Throughout the book, the author talks about the important role of passion in rainmaking.  He tells us passionate enthusiasm is the most engaging and persuasive force to making rain.  Choosing a career that you believe contributes to “the greater good” moves you from a worker to an evangelist.  When you are evangelical about your work, making money becomes the byproduct of your core mission.  The author tells us to learn to describe what we do in simple, heartfelt terms. 

He offers this description of what attorneys do as an example.  “I protect clients from the enemies they don’t even see.”  "I love that!" Alers writes.

For the rest of the review by Cecelia Alers, visit Marketing for Rainmakers at http://www.lawmarketing.com/pages/articles.asp?Action=Article&ArticleCategoryID=58&ArticleID=866