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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.
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+.
According 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- Neglect: a bio that is out of date.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:
Read "Turning Your Bio into a Magnet for Business," a short article I wrote about how you can create your own personal brand.
Did 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.
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
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.
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:
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."
From 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