Law Firm Marketing for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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Truth be told, if someone asked me whether their law firm should have a Facebook page, my gut reaction would be "no." Why? Practically speaking, it's a lot of work for little payout, more so now that Facebook has entered the "Pay to Play" era. A Facebook page that pays dividends is going to require constant fresh content, moderation of user comments and questions, and likely an advertising budget.

But if your firm already has a Facebook page, or if you really want one, here are three simple tips to make it worth your time:

What's the quickest way to get yourself sued, for the most amount of money, advertising-wise? It's as simple as picking up the phone (or fax).

Unsolicited calls, texts, and faxes, which are often made in bulk, can lead to statutory damages of between $500 and $1,500 per violation. We've seen plenty of appellate cases dealing with the nuances of the law and regulations. And as you might expect, appellate courts have little sympathy for telemarketers and junk faxers.

We're not even going to talk about ethics rules here, not just because they vary so much by state, but because it's hard to imagine an unsolicited text/call/fax campaign that wouldn't violate solicitation rules. (If you're looking for the next big thing in law firm marketing, either put the phone and fax down, or talk to someone who really knows what they're doing.)

How many times have you stumbled upon a blog that was once active, but hasn't been updated since 2009? Or you go to someone's website and see the infamous WordPress placeholder: "Hello world! Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!" Gross.

It's easy to start a blog. It's far more difficult to keep one alive. If your firm's blog has stagnated, and you're in desperate need of a little motivation, here are five reasons to resurrect your blog, including SEO benefits, two easy types of posts for when you're stuck, marketing benefits, and of course, the creative outlet:

We've talked a lot about the importance of local-mobile searches, but here's the two-sentence recap: Searches from mobile phones is rising exponentially, and Google prioritizes local business listings on its search results page. Plus, adding a local listing simply makes it easier for people who are looking for you to actually find you, especially since everybody uses their smartphone for navigation.

That latter point is why you may want to sign up for Apple Maps Connect as soon as possible. While adding yourself to Apple's database may be of no use whatsoever in search engine queries, it will help the legions of iPhone users locate your office.

Penguin? What's that? Don't worry if those are the first three words out of your mouth. Unless you -- like those of us at FindLaw -- spend all of your day worrying about search engine optimization and other online marketing buzzwords, don't feel bad that you don't know about Penguin.

In the wacky world of online marketing, it's important to know not only how to market, but how the marketing system itself works. Penguin is, for better or worse, a part of this ecosystem, and Google updated it earlier this week.

Here's why this matters for lawyers:

In case you weren't aware, today is National Dictionary Day. We've been talking a lot about legal marketing and how solos and small practices can do it more effectively. But sometimes, there's a tendency to get loaded down in jargon, which can put people off.

You've undoubtedly heard of things like a "click-thru" and "SEO," but you may not have known what the heck is going on. So what do all of these marketing words mean?

Here are seven that every lawyer should probably know:

Amal Alamuddin. Amal Clooney. Amal Alamuddin Clooney. This whole marriage thing can get a bit confusing, right?

It's even more confusing for clients and the court, which is why the decision about whether to practice law under your maiden or married name is pretty darn important. There's the marketing and name recognition aspect. There are ethics considerations too. And, of course, the convenience factor: changing firm names, business cards, websites, and letting clients and the court know.

Maybe hyphenation is in order?

Part of the reason you're doing all the networking we keep harping about is so that you can get referrals from other lawyers. Like your friend the tax attorney who knows a guy who knows a guy who needs a personal injury attorney -- like you.

New lawyers especially might not know how to navigate referrals, so we've provided this handy guide so that you know how to take advantage of referrals -- and do it without violating any laws.

Web design: Many have tried, and nearly as many have failed miserably. And while a do-it-yourself site, with a barely recognizable color scheme and misspelled words might be OK for your local hobby group, a lawyer's professional site demands quite a bit more. It needs to be clean, modern, and as mistake-free as possible.

And it really, really can't have any of these things:

What is LinkedIn for? Is it for recruiters? Job seekers? Is it a social network? Yes, it's all of those.

One way that LinkedIn adds value is through its "groups," which are bulletin board-style groups that occasionally post messages. If you're a legal professional who wants to use LinkedIn to its fullest, then you've got to be a member of groups. And if you're going to be a member of groups, then you've at least got to be a member of these 10 groups: