Law Firm Marketing for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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People are cheap, they like free things, and paradoxically, this can be a great way to get into their pocketbooks. How can you turn a giveaway into a payday? For many lawyers, it's via the free consult, where attorneys meet with potential clients, answering basic questions and providing simple advice.

But, when your product is your legal expertise, does it make sense to give it away? Like so many things, the answer is "it depends."

Can you name the movie associated with the phrase "In space, no one can hear you scream"? How about "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water"? What product comes to mind when you hear "Don't leave home without it"?

The answers, of course, are "Alien," "Jaws 2," and American Express. A good tagline piques an audience's interest, gives them some information about the product, and sticks with them. All of these elements come together in a good law firm tagline, too. After people see your billboards, websites, and TV commercials, how do you ensure they'll be interested and remember who you were?

Here are three things that go into a good tag line.

Client satisfaction should be central to any firm. After all, it takes much less energy to retain a client than to develop a new one. Utilizing client surveys can be a great method to gather invaluable data about your firm's performance, identify strengths and shortcomings and find new ways to improve your marketing.

Whether it's a simple online questionnaire, a lost client survey, or a formal focus group, client surveys can help you understand clients' feelings and concerns and make sure you are excelling in the areas that matter most to clients.

Internet advertising is great because, unlike traditional methods of advertising, you know exactly how many people are coming to your website. Not only that, but you can know hundreds of other things, like which website they came from, where they live, and even what Web browser they're using.

These metrics aren't the bread and butter of legal marketing; they're more like the restaurant critics. They let you know what you're doing right and wrong. Unless they don't. According to a new FindLaw white paper, your traffic report might be lying to you.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up! Men in funny green suits and plenty of green beer could have many DUI lawyers seeing plenty of green money in the days following this party-hard holiday.

According to NHTSA, DUIs rise dramatically during holidays. As people gather for holiday parties, many people inevitably drink too much alcohol. State highway patrols are now able to provide very accurate DUI fatality and arrest statistics whenever a holiday comes up.

So should lawyers take advantage of people's love of holiday drinking to market their legal services?

Apple (again) heralded the release of the Apple Watch on Monday, promising more than a prototype this time. The smart watch will go on sale starting April 10 and be available in three different models, ranging in price from $349 to a staggering $10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition, which comes in an 18-karat-gold alloy.

With the arrival of a new "smart" device comes the arrival of new methods for letting potential clients know you exist -- and potential ethical issues. Here's what you need to know about notifications, geo-fences, and professional responsibility:

If you're a lawyer, hopefully you're having a professional design your law firm website and not a friend of a friend who "knows computers" or something like that.

A professional-looking website can be the difference between a call from someone looking for representation and someone who skips you altogether because a shoddy website indicates you're not that professional.

Once the website is designed, though, your job isn't over. Here are a few things you'll want to double-check to make sure people get the right impression from your website:

Lawyers can always count on divorce as a steady business, along with wills and taxes. That means divorce, with all its attendant family law implications, could be a place where you direct your marketing focus.

It's hard to market divorce, though. No one wants to come out and say, "Gee, maybe it's time for a divorce," as though you're buying a new car. What you can do is emphasize results, and appeal to people who are already thinking about it.

The point of most marketing is to solve a problem. Most of the time, the problem is pretty easy. When your product is dog food, the problem you're solving is that dogs need food. Then the strategy comes in: Why do they need your food, and not your competitor's?

Legal marketing is a little different. People contact attorneys for lots of different reasons, so in order to effectively determine your strategy, first you have to know what problem you're solving. Deep within FindLaw's 2014 Consumer Legal Needs Survey lies part of the answer.

Between Facebook, Twitter, and a website (and, if you've been reading here, podcasts!), maintaining your Internet presence can seem like a full-time job, or at least a half-time job. And, wait, don't you have a law firm to run? All that marketing won't matter if you don't have to do any actual lawyering.

That's why you might want to consider hiring a social media manager -- a full- or part-time employee who not only manages your Twitter feed, but functions partly as a marketing manager who knows how to leverage social media.