~ Archive for Law Firm Marketing ~

Legal Services Predictions and Trends for 2014

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Here is a collection of informative trend pieces and prognostications on where legal services is headed. If you have other resources you would like to add to this list, please use the comment feature to add them.

Legal Industry Predictions for 2014 and Beyond from Lexis Nexis Matters of Practice Blog

21 Expert Predictions for the Legal Industry in 2014 from Lexis Nexis Make More Rain Blog

Bob Denny’s 25th Annual Trends Report: What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession

Legal Trends in 2014 from Lumen Legal

BTI Consulting Research (brief summary of research reports for purchase) – Litigation to Surge and Litigation Outlook 2014

Mass. Lawyers Weekly 2013 “Real Rate Report”  Who’s Charging What in the Legal Community

More Salary Data from Robert Half

Report on the State of the Legal Market: Highlights and link to the 2014 report from The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor in the Hildebrandt Institute Blog

Who’s Eating Law Firms’ Lunch? ABA Journal

 

Technology Disruption Takes Hold on Big Law

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I don’t pretend to be any type of analyst on the legal industry, but I do recognize an important article when I see one. Anyone working in legal services should find reading Who’s eating law firms’ lunch? by Rachel Zahorsky and William D. Henderson for the ABA Journal of great interest. It’s the bits-to-bytes paradigm shifting story of how technology is reshaping complex litigation and transaction practices.

In the article Kevin Colangelo, a former NYC attorney now with a legal process outsourcer called Pengea3, offers a quote that sums up what’s up…

“All of the lawyers in my area of practice [outsourcing and technology transactions] observed the same relentless pattern of businesses gaining enormous efficiencies through technology and globalization; albeit the collateral effects were often massive employment dislocation. Once you thought about it, there was no principled reason why this pattern was going to exempt BigLaw.”

Go read it here: Lunch

Why Attorneys Hate Marketing

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John O. Cunningham has worked as an attorney, a legal reporter and a marketing and communications consultant and is especially well suited to write an article on why lawyers seem so resistant to the business of promoting their business. John was inspired to write the article from a Linkedin group discussion, but writes about his top 10 reasons why attorneys hate marketing along with some tips on how legal marketers can overcome each objection.

The article appears on Legal Marketing Reader. Thanks John for writing another popular law marketing article.

Click to read: Why Attorneys Hate Marketing and What You Can Do About It

 

Hallelujah! Tweets No Longer Autopost to Linkedin. This Will Improve Linkedin Experience.

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I’ve been ranting for months about how Linkedin is not Twitter. And just because I’m connected to you on Linkedin doesn’t mean I want to read your copious, not-my-main industry tweets! If I did, I would follow you on Twitter. (Please don’t take it personally.) I like both services, but each has its own purpose. The Linkedin experience was getting overrun by frequent tweeters and ruining the experience. Anyhow, that argument is now moot. Linkedin announced today that “Twitter recently evolved its strategy,” and Twitter feeds will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn. Hurray!

The two platforms can still work together, but only if you login to Linkedin to post the information, where you can choose to also share it with your Twitter audience. This is how it should have always worked.

This is also a good opportunity to remind you to SHARE MORE on Linkedin. Here are two videos that do that. One is 70′s nostalgia. The other is hot off the press from Linkedin!

Important Basics for Your Content Marketing Strategy

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I just read a great blog post by Hinge Marketing’s Professional Marketing Blog, Rethinking Thought Leadership: 7 Tips for Gaining New Clients. It nicely describes how professionals should approach writing for their website, blog, etc. I’ve been telling my clients the same basic things for years, and thought this post might help reinforce the points — so, I shared the link with them. And now, I am sharing it here. I especially like tip #3, because this is where you can really add value and differentiate yourself by speaking the client’s language instead of the esoteric language of your profession.

The first 3 tips are below. Click here to read the rest.

1. Thought leadership should not be aimed at impressing your peers. While it may feel good to be the most clever tax attorney or the sharpest programmer, it will likely do little to generate new business for your firm.

2. It’s much more productive to impress potential clients. Potential clients are just that, potential clients. They are the appropriate targets for a thought leadership strategy.

3. Potential clients are impressed by the ability to explain a complicated topic simply. Making an already complicated topic more complicated doesn’t help. Even though you are impressed by your understanding of a topic’s subtleties and nuances, many readers will get that glassy-eyed look and stop reading.

Thank you to Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D. for writing this.

Three Steps to More Fame and Fortune in 2012

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Whether you are a sole professional, marketing director or managing partner, find a way to require yourself or your law firm to meet these three basic requirements to get more from your professional network in 2012.

1. Create More Content

Write more articles that address your clients’ and potential clients’ most relevant concerns. Having excellent content on your website is the first step in a successful informational marketing strategy. Once you have excellent content (“information of value“), THEN you can worry about things like SEO, social sharing tools, e-newsletters and the like. In fact, content is so important that you should consider mandating your firm’s attorneys and professionals to meet a minimum requirement in 2012 to create content related to their specific business development goals and area(s) of expertise. New content does not always have to be an article — think also about creating video, audio, presentations, lists and more.

2. Share More Socially

Once you’ve written great content, don’t be shy about sharing your content via social media such as your Linkedin profile, your Facebook page, and any other sharing platforms you may use. (Yes, even if you use Facebook just for friends and family, letting your Facebook friends know what you’re working on professionally can also be a great way to tap in to the power of your personal network.) And don’t be afraid to share good resources created by others in your firm or referral network. Set a goal this year to try and share one item of interest to your network once a week — whether it is sharing a link to an article you wrote, or a comment and link to an article written by someone else. The key is to be an active participant in sharing information, and better yet, conversations around the topics that matter most to your clients and industry niches. Stay active. Keep listening. Engage. Be visible.

3. Connect More in Person

In your busy life, it is easy for relationships to shift from real to electronic as we use e-mail and social networking to substitute for phone calls and in-person meetings. In 2012, commit to meet face-to-face with your most important clients and referral sources in order to keep in touch with their needs and interests and to demonstrate how much you value the relationship. Use the phone more. And extend a personal contact to include a lunch or dinner, coffee or cocktail. Having completed steps 1 and 2 above can help provide “an excuse” to reach out to your contact — not that you needed one, of course! Not only is the in-person meeting good for the relationship… it makes work more fun!

Wishing you a great 2012!

What If Paul Revere Was on Twitter?

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If you’ve read the popular book The Tipping Point, you know that the key to the success of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride was not so much the speed or distance that he rode, or the volume of his cries, but his unique trait as a “connector” which gave him the social capital to spread the warning of the arrival of the British Army.

When alerting the patriots, he didn’t just ride down the road willy-nilly shouting, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Rather he knew exactly which doors to knock on to alert just the right people (who were also very well connected) in order to get the word out in the fastest, most efficient manner. You could say that Paul Revere was America’s first social networker!

As we approach the end of 2011, we may be reaching a tipping point of our own regarding the use of social media. Professional services marketers and business developers are taking these new technologies more and more seriously.

The topic was very much alive and well among attendees at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual regional conference in Boston this month (see previous post), where firm attorneys and marketers learned and shared techniques and success stories of integrating social media into their marketing and business development plans.

Since social media are not going away, I am presenting some of my previous writing on the subject. I hope you’ll find some of it helpful as you consider your business plans for 2012.

Worth repeating…

Social Media — A Definition

Still Afraid of Social Media in 2011?

The Benefits of Blogging, Explained

Twitter 101: Twitter Is for Listening

Making the Case for a Firm-Branded Twitter Presence

Boston-area Law Firm Interest in Twitter Growing

9 Things To Do AFTER You Write that Press Release

Get more from your Linkedin account…

Linkedin for Lawyers: Basics, Power Tips and Caveats
This whitepaper details my top ten tips for setting up an optimized Linkedin profile with step-by-step instructions.

Click here to download the tips.


7 Tips and Take-aways from LMANE2011

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Perhaps the overwhelming message coming out of the LMA New England Regional Conference, Lawyers v. Technology, which took place this week in Boston, is that social media are not going away despite many a lawyer’s reluctance to embrace them. Luckily, legal marketers seem to be willing to continue to push the adoption of social media as part of an integrated marketing strategy and as a way to create and sustain personal branding and “thought leaders.”


(Cartoon commentary by Michael Cucurullo)

The cultural shift has begun in a few firms and in select pockets within firms. Over lunch with Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog, and between sessions with other legal marketers, I heard and shared success stories of individual attorneys and firms alike using social media (including blogs, videos, Twitter, Linkedin and the like) and attributing them to creating and strengthening relationships and winning new business. Certainly, legal marketers’ interest in social media and their technological literacy has increased dramatically in the past few years.

Below, I share the scribbles on my conference notepad (that still made sense the day after). In no particular order, these are “my” take-aways.

1. Google Analytics is not necessarily the best analytics program. Sure it’s free, but Google does not let you have as much control and access to server data as other paid programs, including PDF downloads. Some other analytics programs to check out include GetClicky.com and OpenTracker.net.

2. Web traffic rule of thumb. For the first time I heard the answer to a question I am often asked by law firm clients. The question: How much traffic should we be getting? The closest thing to an answer I’ve heard yet: 3 visits per attorney per day. Further explanation: The number was given by Igor Ilyinsky, of FirmWise, which conducted a study of 1,000 law firm websites, sizes ranging from between 5 and 250 attorneys. While the number should not be interpreted as the amount of traffic a site “should” get, it is the outcome of this specific study and does give us a benchmark to consider. (Using this benchmark, I am happy to report that law firm sites I manage for clients are getting 2 to 6 times this amount of traffic when looking at absolute unique visitors per month.)

3. Use Linkedin’s Advanced Search feature to automate keyword searches that get e-mailed to you weekly. What an easy and great way to “listen” to your industry segments.

4. Remember the basics. Technology aside, Deborah McMurray of Content Pilot reminded us of this important starting point for your web site strategy.

People are coming to your website looking for three things:

  • What have you done?
  • Who have you done it for?
  • What can you do for me?

5. Attorney bio pages are still #1 — are yours up to snuff?

6. Video can be powerful.

7. The future is mobile.

What are your take-aways? Since I only attended one day of the conference and 3 sessions, I’d love to get other attendees to add their favorite conference take-aways by adding comments to this post! Thank you!

9 Things To Do AFTER You Write that Law Firm Press Release

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As a follow up to my previous post, Putting the ‘Power of the Press’ To Work for Your Law Firm or Business, here are 9 things you can do to leverage your website news item.

1. Optimize it. Make sure it takes strategic advantage of the page title and description meta tags and uses good SEO techniques.

2. Tweet it on your firm-branded Twitter page, or via individual attorney Twitter accounts.

3. Share it on firm’s Facebook page.

4. Share some more. Ask attorneys and firm professionals to share it via their Facebook and/or Linkedin accounts as appropriate. (Sometimes you need to gently remind them to do this.)

5. Send traditional press release to local, targeted media when appropriate.

6. Consider e-distribution. Is there value in sending out via a web PR outlet such as PRweb or another similar site?

7. Post it. Add to local business newspaper websites or events pages as allowed.

8. Push it. Consider adding a link to the news item from your next e-newsletter if appropriate.

9. Blog it. Consider making mention of, and link to news item from your blog, if it adds value in any way.

Putting the Power of the Press To Work for Your Law Firm or Business

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“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
A. J. Liebling

The web turns everyone and every business into a publisher. And your website is your press. Now, you have the freedom and the power to decide what is “news” for your business, organization or firm, and you have the power to publish it on your own website. Writing press releases for the traditional mass media requires you to meet their standards for what is newsworthy based on their editorial requirements and readership, their audience. But now, because you own a website, you too are a media outlet and you can decide what is newsworthy (read relevant) to your audience (read customers). You decide what is news. So, while you may still write press releases for the local or trade press, don’t forget to be writing them for your own corporate press — your website.

Things that can qualify for web news items for law firms and other professional services firms can include the following:

  • New hires
  • Awards and achievements of individuals
  • Awards and achievements of the firm
  • Done deals
  • Significant court decisions
  • An attorney speaking at an upcoming event on a specific topic
  • An attorney quoted in the mainstream press, or industry-specific trade press
  • New services offered by your firm
  • A seminar or workshop offered by your firm
  • Special appointments of attorneys to boards or panels
  • Attorney receives new credential, office
  • Firm opens new office, branch
  • Launch of new white paper
  • Launch of new blog
  • Launch of any other new customer-focused information product or tool
  • and more!

I am often surprised when I visit a client and in conversation will find out that, let’s say, Attorney Smith was interviewed on local television about the changes to the tax law. I’ll then say, “Well that should be on the website! Let’s see if we can get the video and we’ll do a brief news item for the website.” Sometimes you are so close to the news that you forget to think of it as news. Remember that often the things that create a bit of buzz around the office, are the things that you want to include in your site’s News section.

Keep this rule of thumb in mind when deciding what is news. Ask yourself, will putting something about this on our website help to better demonstrate to clients and prospective clients who we are, what we do, and position us in our areas of expertise? If the answer is yes, then go for it.

Law Firms, Are You Taking Advantage of Linkedin Company Pages?

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Social media platforms are constantly evolving, and just when you think you’ve figured it all out, a new feature or new layout comes along, that makes you feel like a beginner all over again. For example, did you know that Linkedin now has Company Pages (more than just Company Profiles) that give law firm marketers a little bit more control over their firm brand on their social networking platform? A Company pages provides your firm with an additional resource for promoting your strategic content.

Constance Semler has an excellent article describing the new Company Pages and how to get the most from them for your firm: New LinkedIn Company Pages: A Step-by-Step Guide for Content Marketers. She provides a great tutorial on the topic. Go there. Now.

Boston-area Law Firm Interest in Twitter Growing

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About a year ago I conducted a review of the Largest 100 law firms in Massachusetts (as compiled by the Boston Business Journal) to see how many firms had created (or at least claimed) a firm-branded Twitter account. One year ago, a scant 15% of firms had claimed or were actively tweeting under the firm brand. (See previous review here: Making the Case for a Firm-branded Twitter Presence.)

One year later the numbers have risen, yet nearly three-quarters of all law firms are not using Twitter in any way. My most recent review shows 26 percent of law firms are actively using or trying to use Twitter to help reach and engage audiences, help promote and distribute firm content as well as relevant content and opinions from others on the platform. The good news is that more firms have at least “claimed their brand” on Twitter. In addition to the 26 percent of firms that are actively tweeting, another 20 percent have seen it worthwhile to at least create and hold an account using their firm identity. But more than half (54%) seem to have no foothold in the Twittersphere, having not claimed a firm-branded account.

A few firms are doing a great job of using Twitter under firm brands. These include:

  • Goodwin Procter, which in addition to a firm-branded Twitter account also has sub-branded Twitter accounts on specific niches — such as @FoundersToolbox and @GreenBuildLaw
  • Rackeman Sawyer does a nice job of working to lead and own the topic of land use using both a blog and Twitter account @landusemonitor
  • Pepper Hamilton has also created separate Twitter identities for specific sectors such as @PepperTax, @PepperIP.

If you work with one of the 26 actively tweeting firms, please share with readers of this blog your experiences with Twitter or what leads you to believe that it is worth your time. If you’re still on the fence, see my previous post on this topic, which includes 5 top reasons why your law firm should tweet.

Your comments welcome!

Still Afraid of Social Media in 2011?

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This startling and educational video, Social Media Revolution, from Socialnomics has been around a while, but I didn’t realize the data had been updated (as of May 2010) again in 2011. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out. It might be helpful in adding some urgency to your pleas and pitches for integrating social media efforts. View the video, then read Erik Qualman’s 21 Social Media Predictions for 2011. Erik is the author of the book Socialnomics, How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.

Want to compare it to the older version? Click here for original video, for the record.

Did You Get an E-mail from China Regarding Your Domain Name?

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As webmaster for several law firm web sites, I have received this e-mail several times stating that a version of [my client's] domain name is being registered in China and that if the firm wants to protect its domain and trademarka, they should purchase this domain before it is sold. HOLD THE PHONE! This is a scam. And it just dawned on me that I should write a post about it to help raise awareness.

But let me defer to someone who can better explain it. Here’s a great post dissecting this e-mail scam by Stuart Hiserodt, who authors Austin Technology Law Blog: Trademark and Domain Name Scams from China

In the blog post Stuart writes,

So what if this email was real? What options would you have to protect your name? If you have a United States Trademark, the protection afforded to you applies to within the jurisdiction of the United States. So if a company advertises and provides goods or services in connection with your trademark, but only in China, you won’t have much recourse. The company would have to advertise and put their mark into the stream of commerce in the United States. If the foreign company does establish a presence in the United States, in order show infringement you would need to show you had a prior use of the trademark, there was a commercial use of your mark, and likelihood of confusion of the foreign use (similar goods or services, etc). If infringement is difficult to prove, cybersquating claims exist one could raise depending on the use of the foreign entity. However, the success of the cybersquating claim would depend on the foreign entity’s use of the mark.

The letter is from YNGNetworks and it is copied here below…

Dear Manager,

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Shanghai, China. On October,20th,2010, We received HUAXIA Company’s application that they are registering the name “gcglaw” as their Internet Trademark and “gcglaw.cn”,”gcglaw.com.cn” ,”gcglaw.asia”domain names etc.,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!

Kind regards

Angela Zhang

Shanghai Office (Head Office)
Registration Department Manager
3002, Nanhai Building 854.Nandan Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
Email: info @ yg – networks . com

Anhui Office
Office:  +86 0553 4994789
Fax:     +86 0553 4994789
web:  yg – networks . com

Linkedin for Lawyers: 10 Ways to Optimize Your Profile

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I have taken the most practical points from my Intro to Social Media presentation that I have given at several law firms and turned them into a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your Linkedin profile. While written specifically with lawyers in mind, any professional will find the guide helpful for improving your online networking persona.

You can download a free copy of Linkedin for Lawyers: Basics, Power Tips and Caveats, from my Infoworks! web site.

I hope you find it helpful!

My Moving Experience – Or, What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

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I’ve been quiet on the blogging and social media front recently as I have been busy with purchasing a condo, getting financing in the post-financial crisis world, and then packing, moving, settling in — all during a killer rash of hot weather. This was my first home purchase, and my most significant experience dealing with professional service professionals — the real estate lawyer, the mortgage professional and the real estate agent — and, it wasn’t good. All shall remain nameless. And in the interest of saving you from a long, dull tail of woe, let me just summarize it briefly.

The whole experience was a real-life reminder of how real-world professionals seem to lose sight of the fact that this is my biggest transaction in life so far. This is very important to me. I’ve never done it before, and your job is to get it done seamlessly, with my comfort level intact, and with the impression that this is important to you as well.

In the modern world of the mortgage approval process, I dealt with people by e-mail, fax and telephone — never a real person in real life. Processes were cumbersome, repetitive, and misinterpreted. Documents had errors were incomplete, and deadlines were missed, more than once. Even my lawyer didn’t want to see me until the closing. And everyone talked in industry jargon and legalese. No relationships were made (with the exception of the real estate agent, who was a real person who responded when called upon). It was merely a transaction in which I was the grist for the mill.

No one ever offered the: “here’s what’s going to happen, this is what you can expect, here’s a document to help you understand the process.” Not even a “check this page on our web site for more information.”  The tagline on the bank’s emails was a clever play on words about how important the customer is. Ha!

Professionals beware. It’s old hat to you… but it’s often the most important thing in your customer’s life. Treat it that way and you will be remembered. I realize that a personal meeting at the start of the process (with both the mortgage broker and the real estate lawyer) to describe what will happen is likely time consuming, but it would have changed the experience from a faceless gauntlet of hoops to jump through and mysteries to unravel, into a personal/professional relationship with a much greater chance for satisfaction and referral.

Living and working in the realm of professional services marketing, there is much lip service to all the proper behaviors. But how do we make sure that we don’t just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk? A good reminder for me. How about you?

Communication Tip: Fight Capitalization Creep

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Do your firm’s communications suffer from capitalization creep? It’s an insidious virus that infects the writing of many a professional — lawyers chief among them — resulting in an over abundance of capitalized words on a page. Legal contract writing encourages this behavior of capitalizing words as a way to personify or make them formal subjects of a document. Writers will often capitalize a word to give it extra importance. But don’t allow that logic to creep into your marketing writing.

A handy weapon in the fight against capitalization creep in your firm’s public facing communications is a style guide. You can develop your own in-house style guide as a way to define a preferred usage for firm-authored articles, web bios and marketing materials. If you don’t have a style guide, the AP Stylebook is a great place to start. You can either use it verbatim, or you can use it as your base guide and make exceptions or additions to it over time. (The AP Stylebook is one of my favorite reference books of all time.)

A Style Guide To the Rescue

A style guide is helpful not only to keep everyone on the same page using consistent style, but it is also great support when you need to tell a specific attorney why you keep lower-casing his or her capitalized terms.

It can sometimes be difficult especially for a younger professional to tell a senior attorney that his “Fellow” should be a “fellow” or that her “Chair” should be a “chair.” However, a nicely worded e-mail stating that you’ve made the following edits to the article “to maintain consistency with the rest of the web site and to adhere to AP style” almost always gets your point across and accepted.

Another good reason to limit capitalization: It’s much easier to read a sentence or paragraph that isn’t fraught with capitalized words. Lots of capitalized words make a paragraph clunky and slow down reading.

One big trouble area especially when preparing attorney bios is titles. Formal titles are capitalized when used immediately before a name, not when they are used alone or separated from the name by commas.

Common Capitalization Creep Culprits

Here are a few examples of the most common types of phrases I find myself editing (de-capitating)…

  • He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brown Company.
    He is chairman of the board of directors of Brown Company.
  • Mary is Editor in Chief of the Technology News Quarterly, and a Contributing Writer to several IP Newsletters.
    Mary is editor in chief of the Technology News Quarterly, and a contributing writer to several IP newsletters.
  • He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ceramics and a Master of Science degree in Chemistry.
    He has a B.A. in ceramics and an M.S. in chemistry.

Capitalization is just one battle you will win armed with the AP Stylebook. It’s a great reference for any communicator and solves any moments of indecision you may encounter on the job. The Associated Press also has an online version of the guide that you can use with a site license and customize to define your firm’s or organization’s specific style preferences.

Making the Case for a Firm-Branded Twitter Presence

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A recent analysis (by me) of the largest 100 law firms in the Boston area (as compiled by the Boston Business Journal) revealed that merely 15% of law firms have taken steps to set up a firm-branded Twitter account, and fewer than 15% are actively tweeting. Why would a law firm have a Twitter account? Why not? You are already spending lots of time creating and approving content for public consumption. Twitter is just another (quick and easy and highly effective) way to disseminate that information.

While Twitter is designed for use by individuals (it really does work best when people use these tools to engage in real and meaningful markets of conversation) don’t overlook the value Twitter can bring to your overall marketing effort in the form of a firm-branded account.

Here are 5 quick, off-the-top-of-my-head reasons why your organization (law firm or not) should tweet.

1. Protect your brand. The most important reason to start a Twitter account is to claim your name — so that you own it, not someone else. Remember the domain name gold rush of the 1990s? Twitter name prospecting hasn’t taken off to the same extent as domain name squatting, but wouldn’t it be a drag if someone else had your preferred Twitter handle? If for no other reason than protecting your brand or domain name, it’s a good idea to sign up now. Your Twitter user name can be 15 characters long. For many corporate or law firm names it’s not long enough, so claim a street version of your name. One version of your name might work better than another in the Twittersphere, so consider carefully before you commit. (See what others are doing by clicking on this Twitter list I created: Law Firms That Tweet.)

2. People are listening. At the beginning, Twitter feels like the sound of one hand clapping. It takes a while to build followers and to flock with your “friends of a feather.” And while it often seems that no one is listening to what you have to say, know that they are. Sure, many of your followers will never see or read your tweets. But know that some are paying attention. They don’t always answer back, but your messages are being received. And, among the Twitterati are journalists scouring Twitter for trends and story ideas for their next pitch meeting.

3. Search engines eat it up. Even if you doubt that people are listening to your Tweets, know that search engines are. Starting and using a Twitter account properly can be an effective distribution channel and a great way to get content quickly indexed by search engines and in front of relevant audiences. Google rapidly absorbs tweets into its index, so, what you tweet can quickly show up in searches. When set up properly, your firm’s Twitter account can be an important step in an “Own your name on Google campaign” — working to own all the page-one results on a Google search of your firm’s name. (But that’s a topic for another time.)

4. The best way to learn it is to do it. Starting a firm-branded Twitter presence is a safe and easy way to start. It is an excellent way for you and your marketing staff to lead by example and to become better able to help your professionals embark on their own Twitter branding parade. Once you and your firm understand Twitter a little better, you’ll begin to see how you might use it to reach and track moods and happenings in a specific industry niche or for a specific practice group. Share what your doing with others in the firm — individuals will learn by watching what you are doing.

5. Build your Twitter infrastructure and network now, for when you need it later. Twitter has some interesting widgets (and developer tools) that allow you to easily embed Twitter feeds or selected tweets into any web site or blog you publish. So, you can easily create a tweet-on-demand content management system to report by cellphone direct to your web site on a specific breaking news event with up-to-the-minute reporting. It could be a great tool to use in a crisis. Your firm-branded Twitter page can be a valuable extension of your web site, and a key component of your overall PR and web visibility effort. As you build your Twitter following, you build a valuable and relevant network you can listen to and count on to keep you in the know or to help get your message out.

Want to know more?
I’m happy to discuss your Twitter and social media presence over lunch to help you better understand how your firm can best take advantage of these new networking and web publishing tools. Contact me here, and follow me on Twitter.

Want help or training?
Let me know if you would like help getting set up and started right on Twitter. I can help you select a user name, and set up a robust password (important!), discuss the types of things your firm can and should be tweeting, show you how to do it, including how to use hash marks, when to direct message people, how to re-tweet, and other do’s, dont’s and best practices. And, I can show you some examples of the real benefits that can result from an active Twitter presence.

Related previous post: Twitter 101: Twitter Is for Listening

Also, just found this related post from Lawyer KM discussing the AmLaw 100 on Twitter trend (which isn’t much of a trend) from about a year ago…

Following the LMA National Conference via Attendee Twitter Posts

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The Legal Marketing Association National Conference in Denver is all a-buzz with attendees “tweeting” tips, comments, reactions and shout-outs. (I wonder if anyone is paying full attention). The phenomenon has produced, I believe from one Twitter user’s report, over 10,000 tweets and counting. Beyond the mere spectacle of it all, there is plenty of useful information piling up for anyone who wants to sift and scroll through the tweets.

By using the Twitter “hash code” of #LMA10, you can use the Twitter search tool to search for all posts using this identifying marker (users add this hash code to their Tweets to help others find information about the conference).

Or you can just click on this shortcut link: #LMA10 Tweets.

For some tips on breaking down the pile with specific searches, see this Legal Water Cooler post.

The Best Advice That Law Firms Rarely Follow

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Jeffrey Miller and Jill Kohn‘s article, The Top Five Reasons Why Clients Leave and How You Can Prevent It over on the LawMarketing Portal is a worthwhile read for anyone providing professional services. It’s a stark reminder of the mantra, “It’s all about the client.” Can you honestly know if your clients are happy with your service if you never ask them?

According to the authors, the top five reasons clients leave are:

  1. Cost and Billing
  2. Lack of Response
  3. Incompetence
  4. Not Understanding Client’s Needs
  5. Personality Conflict.

The article also offers tips for handling each situation and prevention strategies such as client check-ins and client satisfaction surveys. Promoting good communication between client and service provider and working to understanding the “value” that they’re looking for from you — and delivering it — is key to a long, happy relationship.

The Best Advice… The article reinforced one of the good take-aways from the LMA New England Chapter’s in-house counsel panel in November. When asked during question-and-answer time if they ever had a law firm ask for a client feedback interview, the four in-house counsel on the panel all said no, but that they would welcome it and thought it would be a very good thing. So, in other words, if you are looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the pack, taking the time and effort to do client satisfaction interviews can go a long way in improving your relationship, demonstrating your willingness to better understanding your client, and ultimately providing better service.

I’m certainly not an expert on this topic, but since the time I first entered the legal marketing space and started attending legal marketing seminars, the importance of client feedback interviews/surveys has been repeated and repeated as the single most effective thing you can do to get closer to your clients. And yet many firms are still not doing it. Those who have implemented client satisfaction programs have told me that it is generally very well received by the client, and it often leads to additional work.

Learn more here about: client satisfaction.

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