Law Firm Marketing for Small Law Firms - Strategist
Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Law Firm Marketing Category

Business people know that one of the best ways to figure out what you're doing right or wrong is to spy on what the competition is doing. Back in Ye Olde Times, that might have involved sending a "secret shopper" in to report back what happened at another law firm's intake interview.

Today, though, it's as easy as visiting another firm's website -- and it can be other firms anywhere in your state, or even elsewhere in the country. It pays to take some time to see what the competition, or even your non-competition peers, are doing.

What can you learn from visiting other attorneys' websites?

We talk all the time on FindLaw's Strategist blog about branding and how it's important to you as a lawyer. Truthfully it is -- and you can, and should, use branding to differentiate yourself from other law firms.

Tossing around the word "brand" can be a little bit inside baseball, though. You all out there reading this in Internet Land are lawyers, not advertising executives. So just what is a brand, anyway?

Well, this one hits close to home. At the end of last year, the State Bar of California proposed a formal ethics opinion on attorney blogging. We here at FindLaw's Strategist are all in favor of attorney blogs (well, when they're good, anyway), but the California opinion raises a few issues that blogging lawyers will want to consider.

Public comment on the proposed opinion is being solicited until March 23, 2015. So why does the State Bar want to harsh our mellow, man?

Is Your Marketing Plan Working? 3 Ways to Tell

Every lawyer knows that marketing is important. But few spend the time to evaluate the success of their marketing campaigns. Most will try a few things and if they fit in the budget, and there are enough clients coming in the door, they will look no further.

Your integrated marketing strategy most likely contains multiple avenues of attack: billboards, newspaper ads, phone book ads, a website, TV and radio ads, in-person networking, sponsorship of community activities, and more. Some of those are likely working for you (online), while others likely aren't (the Yellow Pages).

How can you tell which marketing efforts are working and which are worth cutting?

We conducted an informal survey here at FindLaw's Secret Volcano Headquarters, and for the life of us, we can't figure out what LinkedIn is supposed to be. Ten years after it launched, we know we're members of LinkedIn, but why are we there?

All of us get requests to add co-workers and friends of co-workers, and to even endorse people for skills that we may or may not know they have (you know you've done it). So what are lawyers supposed to be doing with LinkedIn, anyway? After puzzling over it for a bit, we came up with some ideas.

Lawyer's 'Admit to a DUI' Scholarship: Deterrent or Marketing Ploy?

Is this a noble attempt at deterring teens from driving drunk or a marketing ploy? We'll let you decide.

Christian Schwaner, a DUI defense attorney in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is offering a $1,000 scholarship to the winner of a contest for teens who admit to driving drunk. Applicants must also research the dangers of doing so and come up with a plan for avoiding such missteps in the future, reports The Denver Post.

Critics, however, are already lining up, with some saying that it might implicitly encourage drunk driving and others worrying about the ethics implications of the contest.

That time between Christmas and New Year's can be pretty dead in the legal world. Some law firms are open, others aren't. Clients are busy worrying about their own holiday problems. Business is slow.

But you're coming into the office every day, right? For some reason? You could sit there and throw pencils at the ceiling, or you could take care of those marketing tasks that you've been afraid to do all year. Well, guess what: There's no excuse not to do them anymore.

Here are five marketing chores you can work on during this slow time of year:

Should Your Law Blog Have Comments?

Should your law blog allow for comments? Here are two better questions: Do you want engagement, and do you have time to moderate?

You've started a law blog. Good. You write regularly on topics of interest to your target audience. Even better. You write response pieces to other blogs' posts to further the conversation. Well done.

But do you have comments? Here are two considerations when questioning whether to open or close your comments section:

DIY Law Firm Website? Here's Your Shopping List

It you build it, they will come. Maybe. If you build it right. And there's a lot that goes into building a law firm website "right": SEO, graphics, mobile-friendly layout, content, conversion optimization, and a whole lot more.

But don't jump off that building yet. Just like those with DIY motivation can learn to tile a bathroom floor, those who want to create their own websites can do so, and you don't even need to know code. But you will need some tools. And a whole lot of time and motivation.

Let's start with those tools:

New From FindLaw: A Free eBook on Law Firm Marketing

For many lawyers, marketing means handing out a few business cards, maybe setting up a website, and that's it -- if you build the firm, they will come. And once you've established a practice and a reputation, this might be enough to keep you afloat.

But it's rare to find a lawyer who doesn't want (or need) more clients. And with a smarter, better-informed marketing plan -- one that accounts for online and offline trends, and one that is customer service-focused -- you will get more clients. The key, though, is to work smarter -- to know marketing and to do it well.

For a great introduction to all of this, look no further than FindLaw's newest free eBook: Legal Marketing 101: A Guide for Small Law Firms.