Archive for the ‘Online Advertising’ Category

Guaranteed Success in Legal Marketing Using Your Law Firm’s Website

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

According to American Lawyer Media statistics, the largest 100 legal firms spend an estimated $9-10 million dollar annually on business development and marketing for their business. The second 100 largest companies spend nearly $3 million per year. It is not unusual to see some of our nation’s smaller law firms with six-figure investments into the development and marketing for their legal business. These days a substantial amount of that budget is allocated to your legal firm’s website—and for good reason.

Your Budget/Your Team

Some in the business will tell you that you need one full-time marketer for every thirty or so attorneys in your firm, or that you should allocate from 2-6% of your gross revenues to business development and marketing, and, in general, these can be good guidelines. The reality, however, is tied less to the size of your firm or your budget, and more to where your firm sits when it comes to market share. Keep in mind that “lawyer marketing” is really just marketing—for lawyers. You must learn how to read your market and establish an effective marketing plan, most especially when dealing with the Internet and your firm’s lawyer website.

Market Factors

If you are wondering just which market factors you should consider when building the business development and marketing plan for your firm, the following are good, basic, guidelines to consider—both for internet websites and non-internet marketing as well:

  • How long has your firm been in business? While most of us expect we will spend more on marketing in the first few years in order to get the law firm up and going, the reality is that it takes money to make money, and where law firms are concerned your marketing budget will likely go up proportionately each and every year.
  • Who is your market? Personal injury, family and criminal laws spend considerably more money on development and marketing costs. This rule translates into website planning as well.
  • Is there something new in your firm that you’d like to announce to the world? How about a new partner, a new practice group, a firm merger, or a decision to target a particular industry? A website blog, or a Facebook or Twitter page is the ideal way to spread the good news.
  • Where do you envision your firm being in five years? Your firm needs to have a goal, a path, and a plan.
  • And perhaps the trickiest of all—look around—what is everybody else doing? If whatever you are doing is working fabulously—keep it to yourself! And unless you see another business that is wildly successful—ignore everyone else. It can be counterproductive to religiously peruse other law firm’s websites looking for that elusive, magical formula that makes instant success. Study your own business and hire great people. Spend the necessary amount of money, but make sure you get the right amount of bang for your buck.

Thank goodness the stigma associated with attorneys actively generating media coverage has all but disappeared. Legal publications abound, and legal reporters at newspapers and business magazines are practically stalked by law firms of all sizes seeking media attention. There are plenty of internet attorney directories online; do your research and make sure you are spending your online dollars productively.

Your Law Firm’s Website

In order to achieve a dominating presence across the internet, you need to become recognized, through your website, as an authority within your particular area of the law. The internet has changed everything about marketing attorney services, and as such has become incredibly competitive. In order to rise above your competition, you will need to create not only a dynamic website, but one that is chock-full of unique content. Lawyer website marketing is a completely different animal than it was even five years ago. Changes come quickly, and you must stay on your toes to be competitive.

Website Design

The ultimate website design will be geared toward increasing the chances that your firm’s ideal client will contact your law firm first. Your attorney website should be presented in a professional way that conveys experience and reliability. The bottom line on your website is whether or not your potential client takes action after surfing your site. You only have one chance to make a lasting impression on your law firm’s website, and most people will make a decision regarding whether or not they want to continue on your website in the first few seconds—never forget that presentation is everything.

Free lawyer website coaching calls available by calling (769) 218-6099 hassle free assistance.

What Lawyers Need to Know about Marketing on the Internet

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Marketing has gotten to be a complicated beast. Just the idea of marketing sets non-marketing professionals running in terror.

Does this sound like you? How much time have you spent finding new clients and advertising your services in the last 6 months? Do you have a measurable way to evaluate the return on your marketing? Do you know exactly how much your advertising dollars and efforts have returned in investments?

It does not have to be like this.

In its simplest form, marketing is letting the right potential clients know that you are there in a way that they can hear and see you.

It is being at the right place (where your customer is) at the right time with right message.

However, there is so much marketing noise nowadays that the “hearing” part can be difficult.

Consider the myriad of marketing possibilities in front of you: blogs, articles, SEO, PPC, lead generation, pay per click, Google ad sense, pay per lead, attorney directories, driving traffic, advertising on legal websites, content writing. It goes on and on.

All of these marketing tools are covered under a big umbrella called internet marketing.

While traditional methods of marketing- advertising in newspapers, ads, phonebooks and billboards- still exists, most of today’s marketing goes online.

Why?

Because the internet is the place where people go to find information to solve their problems.

How easy are you to find on the Web?

If your law practice specializes in equipping start up businesses, do entrepreneurs and small business owners find you when they do a search on Bing or Google?

Why not?

Fortunately, there are ways to measure and evaluate what marketing tools work and what do not. Unfortunately, you can spend an awful lot of your valuable time and money into marketing methods that don’t provide you with the results that you want.

With the right tools, you can position yourself on the web to be seen by the right potential clientele. Resist the spam in your inbox promising the number one spot on Google. For a small fortune, many online marketers boast a magical system that boosts your ratings. At best you will feel good about the amount of money you spent on a marketing campaign that doesn’t have a methodical or logical approach. At worst, you could be kicked out of the search engine system for life if the marketer illegally attempts to boost your rating through bogus scams and “blasts” in an attempt to raise your rating.

To avoid that, it is best to consult with a marketing firm that specializes in your business. For lawyers, working with a lawyer driven marketing business will add extensive value to your company. You will be able to see their history and track record with other clients. You can look at their portfolio and see how they have helped other lawyers increase their online presence and business.

Marketers who specialize in specific fields are familiar with the specific needs you have:

· the laws and regulations that lawyers need to abide by

· legitimate and measurable ways to drive traffic and collect leads that can be followed up on

· lawyer “jargon” that needs to be broken down in a way the client can understand

In a highly competitive market, you have the ability to stand out through an effective marketing campaign. Remember, you don’t want to throw yourself at potential clients. Instead, you want to show what sets you apart and gather clients in.

How can you stand out in the crowd of other lawyers and attorney’s vying for your prospective client’s attention?

Make sure you use the right tools! Getting the help of a marketing consultant who is trained to market attorney’s services may be what you need to get the right clients and start the climb to the top of your niche.

Collaborating with the right people can be the difference maker in your business. It will also save you stress, anxiety and hours of valuable time that could be devoted to your business.

After all, when it comes down to the rubber hitting the road, marketing is about building relationships with your customers.

For a free consultation concerning the most effective marketing tools for your practice, call us today at (769) 218-6099.

At Lawyer Success, “Your Success is Our Business.” Each new client is treated as if they were our only client and we understand that your success with our services is our responsibility and is critical to a long term client for our company. Lawyer Success, Inc. was founded by law firm marketing expert James Greenier. Over the past 11 years, Mr. Greenier has personally worked on, developed or consulted with 7 of the top 10 most trafficked legal websites on the Internet. He also served as the primary web marketing advisor for over 3,500 law firms. He will be your primary contact at all times and will develop the strategy for for your project. He will also personally supervise and participate in your project to ensure that you receive the highest level of service, support and performance. For a free consultation concerning marketing for lawyers call us today at (769) 218-6099.

Free Lawyer Advertising | Free Advertising for Attorneys

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

LawFirmArticles.com is a free service that meets the needs of both legal consumers and practicing attorneys. In today’s Internet Age, people first turn to the Internet to find answers to legal problems and questions that they have. 1 out of 3 people this year will face some type of legal issue.

LawFirmArticles.com helps those people find accurate and dependable legal information by providing licensed attorneys a place to provide this free legal information.

Why should I write articles?
Article marketing is one of the hottest Internet marketing solutions available today. The reason is simple; the demand for legal content online is enormous and growing daily. By submitting your law firm articles you earn credibility, you generate traffic to your law firm website, you generate leads, you increase your search engine presence and you are educating the online community while cultivating a more educated and more prequalified leads for your law firm.  But most importantly, the articles will be working for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and for many years to come and of course it’s FREE to join.

For other free marketing ideas, call (769) 218-6099 and talk to law firm marketing consultant James Greenier or post a question on our ask the law firm marketing consultant page.

LinkedIn: Lawyers and law firms use social networks to develop clients

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Janet Ellen Raasch

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of optimized content for Web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.


LinkedIn is a professional online social networking site with more than 48 million members in 200 countries around the world. As of today, nearly one million of these members are lawyers. The rest are your clients and potential clients, referral sources and influencers.

Social networks like LinkedIn are the Internet extension of the traditional networking events where lawyers circulated and introduced themselves to generate new business.

Participation in traditional networking events was limited by physical reality. A lawyer could only interact with a limited number of people at one place at one time. It took many years of networking outside the office to make a strong impression.

By comparison, participation in online social networks is unlimited by physical constraints. A lawyer can network with countless people, around the world, 24/7 – without ever leaving his or her office.

“Although the number of lawyers on LinkedIn is steadily increasing,” said John Reed, “very few of them are taking full advantage of LinkedIn’s potential as an inexpensive thought-leadership and business development tool. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members of LinkedIn. Shouldn’t you be where your clients are?”

Together with Laura Hazen, Reed discussed the business development uses of LinkedIn at the monthly educational program of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (www.legalmarketing.org/rockymountain) , which took place Oct. 13 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Denver.

Reed is a senior vice president with public relations firm Jaffe Associates (www.jaffeassociates.com). Hazen is a director with the law firm Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pasco (www.irelandstapleton.com). She is a practicing lawyer who has received work as a result of her LinkedIn profile and network.


Profiles and networks

LinkedIn is a social medium, which means that it hosts the online platform but users provide all of the content and connections. To begin, each member opens a free account, posts a profile, builds a network and uses that network to interact with other members.

“When creating your profile, you can use your Web site bio as a start — but consider enhancing it for social networking purposes,” said Reed.

“Your profile should accurately and specifically describe who you are and what you do,” said Reed. “It should include lots of details – like your schools, employers and niche practice areas. Think of the keywords a potential client might be using to search for a lawyer, and make sure these appear in your profile.

“Upload a photo to your profile – perhaps one that is less formal than the one on your Web site,” said Reed. “Also, LinkedIn will assign your profile page a URL that is quite generic. Follow the directions that show you how to change that generic URL into a ‘vanity’ URL that includes your name and looks better in print and electronic communications. Include this link in your vCard, email signature and elsewhere.”

Once you have created your profile, you can create your network by connecting with others. LinkedIn builds networks by connecting individuals within “three degrees of separation.” In other words, when you connect with someone, you gain access to all of their public connections – and vice versa.

LinkedIn will sift through your Outlook contacts to let you know which of your current contacts are already in the LinkedIn database – and let you send them an invitation. This is an easy way to get started. You can also search the network to find potential connections and send them an invitation, which they can accept or decline. Once you have posted a profile, others can find you and invite you to join their networks.

Networks are searchable by personal names, company names and other keywords. If you need a introduction to someone at XYZ Corp, or information about XYZ Corp prior to a meeting, you can search your network for someone with a helpful connection there.

LinkedIn search is also a valuable networking resource when you are traveling. If you are going to be in Chicago, for example, you can search your network for Chicago-based members and make plans to meet them in person while you are in town.

Power tools

Once you have a profile and a network, you are ready to move on to more proactive use of LinkedIn. You can make and ask for recommendations. “These recommendations, however, must meet the ethics requirements of your state bar,” said Hazen. “They cannot misrepresent or create expectations. There can be no quid pro quo. In employment matters, recommendations are discoverable and can come back to bite you.”

LinkedIn can be used to join groups that have been organized around a common interest – including professional, industry and trade groups; alumni groups; issue groups; practice groups and others. Most members start by searching the Groups Directory by keyword.

You can also proactively create and manage a group around a particular project or an idea – like IP law in China or family law in Colorado. “The simple act of creating a group positions you as a thought leader in a niche area,” said Hazen. “Groups can be public or private. You can invite clients, potential clients, referral sources, reporters, trade groups and conference planners to join your group.”

You can also use LinkedIn to ask questions of those in your network – and provide answers. “Starting discussions and offering comments is a great way to position yourself as an expert,” said Reed. “Of course, you must be careful to stay within the realm of general information and not give specific legal advice.”

LinkedIn offers a number of free add-on applications that add richness to your profile and networking efforts. You can use these “apps” to poll your network or group; to pull posts from your blog to your profile; to post documents, presentations, photos, videos and PowerPoint presentations; to create workspaces so network members can collaborate on projects; to add a Twitter feed; to share your travel plans with those in your network; and even to write book reviews using information from Amazon.

“If you are going to write and post a book review, it should probably be on a subject of interest to your target network – like a new book on a legal subject,” said Reed. “Book reviews are as searchable by keyword as anything else on your LinkedIn profile.”

To help you monitor your network, LinkedIn offers a daily update that lets you know about any new activities in the lives of your connections. (It also lets others know about activities taking place on your profile.) These include new connections, status, groups, photos, questions and answers, recommendations, events and application activity. You can also choose to have updates sent to you via email.

“This is data mining at its purest,” said Reed. “Each of these changes is an opportunity for you to contact the connection and strengthen your relationship.”

Finally, member profiles on LinkedIn (and other social networks) are well-optimized for the search engines. “If someone searches for you by name, chances are excellent that your well-crafted LinkedIn profile will show up near the top,” said Hazen. “A searcher who is also on LinkedIn can go right to your profile to invite you to connect.”

Ethical concerns

Even though social networks are ‘personal’ sites, lawyers and law firms should use them with the same professional and ethical constraints they would use with any other tool – be it print, email, telephone or personal contact. The same rules apply.

“Smart firms and smart businesses will adopt a social media policy that is neither too restrictive (so as to discourage business development) nor too lenient (so as to raise ethics concerns or create HR issues),” said Hazen. Jaffe Associates offers a sample Social Media and Social Networking Policies and Procedures at no charge at www.jaffeassociates.com.

“Online, lawyers should never give legal advice, discuss client matters, sell their services, post anything that would embarrass them in front of clients or employers, or make job recommendations for associates or staff,” said Hazen. “In other words, do not post anything you wouldn’t put on your firm’s Web site or want to see on the front page of the newspaper.”

Many of the concepts included in this discussion of LinkedIn also apply to other social networks. By posting your profile on multiple social networks, you improve your position among search engine results and more actively manage your online public reputation.

“Consider where you want to be and how you want to be perceived,” said Hazen. “Do not spread yourselves too thin. Busy attorneys need to have manageable expectations and create a plan for where they want to be online. Should the people who are your ‘connections’ on LinkedIn also be your ‘friends’ on Facebook? Are you sharing information in one forum that is inappropriate for another?”

Martindale Hubbell Connected, Legal OnRamp and JDSupra are social networks designed specifically for lawyer-to-lawyer networking. More general social networks like Facebook and MySpace have millions of members, which may or may not be consistent with your online marketing plan.

Twitter is a microblog platform that allows users to send out 140-character posts that lawyers can use to position themselves as experts in a particular area of the law. Twitter also allows you to search the “Twitterverse” for any comments pertaining to you, your firm, your practice area, your clients and your competitors.

Because of its business focus and broad base of business users, LinkedIn should be a part of any marketing strategy – especially for lawyers. By helping you grow your network and your online footprint, LinkedIn helps you establish thought-leadership, build your business, get advice and information, and advance your career.

Google Local For Lawyers – SEO Tips – Advice

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

One of the top ways we market law firms is through Google Local. Google Local is basically an online yellow pages directory but much, much better. Google Local offers additional information such as website links, directions, printable maps and directions, additional web page references, review and even statistical information.

Here is a screen shot of Google Local within the search results page.

The Google Local map is presented in the Google search results page when certain keywords are used. The algorithm seems to change from time to time as this is still in BETA.

Sometimes the actual key phrase along with a geographical keyword target brings up the map. An example might be “Memphis Injury Attorney.”Google Local for Lawyers, attorneys, law firm, seo, tips, advice, help Sometimes the algorithm checks your computer’s IP Address and the Google Local map will appear based on that IP Address. The problem with that is that some Internet providers provide IP Addresses from other cities therefore making the Google Local less effective when displaying attorney listings.

What is interesting as far as recent developments for lawyers who wish to advertise for free in Google Local is that there are now new statistics reports that can be downloaded and reviewed. Also, you can select up to 5 key phrases to optimize for. This enables you to target the exact types of clients you want to reach with your listing.

So how effective is Google Local for lawyers?  Actually, it is very effective and low cost. You can actually set it up yourself for free. However, since there really is no extra cost for the exposure and traffic provided by Google Local, we recommend hiring a firm that can optimize your placement for a flat or monthly fee.

The reason is that placement is critical for results and developing a winning profile is critical for generating conversion and new client intakes.

LawyerSuccess.com offers Google Local SEO services for lawyers. This service includes setting up your profile, optimizing for keywords and rankings within the Google Local search results. For a free demonstration call James Greenier at (769) 218-6099.

Google Profile – New Attorney Profile and Marketing Solution

Friday, May 8th, 2009

You ever wonder what people read about you when they search your name online? Is that important to you and your law practice? What will they find? 

Well, now you can somewhat control what people find about you when you create a personal profile on Google’s Profile. Google has recently released it’s answer to the Social Networking platform with it’s Google Profile program. This is especially good for those attorneys who which to control some of the information that is out there about them on the Google search results page.

Here are some of the benefits for starting your own Google Profile:

  1. It is free.
  2. Helps people find the correct information about you when people Google your name.
  3. Google Profiles enables your to create a personal page that that links to your blog and other profiles.
  4. Google Profiles allows you to keep family and friends up to date with your contact info and photos.
  5. Your Google Profile will been seen within the results page when they do web searches for your name.
  6. You can link to your blog, online photos, and other profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more

Here is a link to start your free lawyer profile on Google Profile.

Here is a sample Google Profile:

Google Profile - Free marketing for lawyers and getting the right information about them in Google's search engine results page.

Law Firm Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Tapping the Social Media Market on the Web

 

Often people will ask how law firm marketing works.  Well, the answer may not be as hard as some think it is.  So what are some ways to create marketing for law firms?  First one has to explore the infinite resources on the web.  For the web conscious, consider the likes of social media marketing like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and more.  These are just a few of the avenues that you can take to get to set yourself above the competition. 

As fast as the web and web programmers are progressing in this technological world, there is no telling what other programs and media sites will be available in the future. 

 

Once it catches on it’s hard to stop the momentum.  Social media outlets allow a vast network of people to see your site and become fans.  Some will also allow you to leave comments and questions on their website.  Social marketing is almost like having a website on top of your other website.  You can leave blogs, comments or talk about any kind of promotional deal you may be offering.

 

If you’re so inclined, you can also create videos or podcasts and post them up on YouTube or your social media site.  You probably won’t be a viral video sensation, but you don’t need to be.  Besides that, it’s not a goal for your website.  The key is to get your website and your information to the people who need it the most.  The sky’s the limit. 

There’s no stopping the momentum of the World Wide Web so you might as well take advantage of the opportunities they give and ride the train.  The train isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

 

If you need help in any of the preceding strategies call us for a rate quote and a free consultation so that you too can have the best lawyer website in your market. Call (769) 218-6099 today.

How Effectively Are Law Firms Using the Internet?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

How effectively are law firms using the Internet?
LawyerSucccess.com

This question is one of the most common questions we encounter on a daily basis. Right now with the uncertainty in the economy this has become an even more important question for lawyers to have a legitimate answer for.


The short answer is this. Not very. 

The long answer is this…

The Internet generates millions of legal information searches every single month. However, most of this traffic is swallowed up by large legal portals and massive lawyer directories. The reason is because law firms have been mislead by a majority of the law Internet marketing companies out there. 

Law firms have invested over $350 million dollars in Internet marketing services last year alone. However there is a significant divide between firms that are effectively generating new clients and those attorneys that are losing money with Internet advertising.

The single biggest mistake is in the area of knowledge. Attorneys are being mislead in to spending advertising dollars on programs that are inefficient, expensive and they do not fully understand. It is always good advice to have a full understanding of the services being provided and the reasonable expectation of outcome.

This simple idea can save you thousands of dollars each year in lost revenues and prevent your firm from wasting valuable time.

Internet marketing solutions we recommend that work very well if they are managed correctly:

  • Natural search engine optimization 
  • Specialized law blog development
  • Pay Per Lead
  • Pay Per Click
  • Article marketing
  • Link marketing
  • Affiliate partner programs
  • Pay Per Call
  • Social networking
With over 3,200 law firm consultations, we have the marketing best practices of law firms from all over the country. Call us today at (769) 218-6099 for a review of you strategic marketing. We can help! A Lawyer Website Design company

 

MSN to Reinvest Over $1.2 Billion to Compete With Google?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

According to Microsoft Chief Executive Office Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp intends to spend a minimum of $1.2 billion dollars a year to compete with Google Inc. in the online advertising space.


Well, I have an idea for you MSN and this one is “on the house.” Improve your search results!

It burns me when I type in “Lawyer” and 48 out of the 50 1st search results are all subdomains of the same website. People want choice, selection and credible websites.  Just ask Google.

James

This is How Yahoo's Directory Really Ranks its Directory Listings

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

This is How Yahoo’s Directory Really Ranks its Directory Listings

In this article about submitting your web site to the Yahoo! Directory, you will learn a trick or two to improve your listing so that you may boost your rankings at the same time. Understand that the Yahoo! Directory is a web site directory and not a search engine.

The Yahoo! Directory will ONLY use the information submitted via its How to Suggest Your Site submission form to create the directory listing title and description. Did you catch that?

The 4 directory ranking factors are:

  1. Site title
  2. Domain name / URL
  3. Directory category
  4. Site description

Your submission will then reviewed by a human editor to ensure the information submitted is appropriate and correct. It is typical that a listing editor will edit the submitted information to fit its own editorial guidelines.

Remember Yahoo! will not send spiders to gather information from your web site. The amount of search engine optimization on your web pages will have any effect on your Yahoo! Directory listing’s rankings.

This means that the fate of your site’s ranking in the Yahoo! Directory will be dependent on the information that you submit to its site submission form. Also, once your site has been accepted into the Yahoo! Directory, you are stuck with the listing title, description and ranking. Unless there is an error in the listing title or description, or your site has changed completely, Yahoo! will not allow you to make any changes to your listing.

With the Yahoo! Directory being the most popular directory on the Web, the results could play a major part on the success of your web site.