Law Firm Marketing for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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Yesterday, we looked at five things that you might want to buy on a cheap microjob website, like Fiverr. Examples included a logo, business cards, voiceover talent for your website content, and maybe, just maybe, an animated video that explains basic legal concepts, such as the consequences of a first DUI.

The reason why we recommended those is simple: The investment cost is so small, that even if you don't like what is produced, and if the seller can't or won't fix it, you can always drop another $5 and get a second take from someone else. Worst case scenario: You lose a latte.

But there are some services on these sites that you really should not purchase. These include:

You're just starting out, and there's so much to do: logo design, business cards, a website, website content, social media ... and clients. You'll of course need clients. But to get the clients, you have to do a bit of preparation, a bit of marketing, and a bit of branding. And for those of you who are cash-strapped, there is a solution: microjob websites.

Now, you're not going to get a Monet for $5 to $10, but sites like Fiverr, and its less popular competitors Gigbucks and Fourerr, are all sites where you can get "microjobs" done for a nominal fee.

What are some things you could have handled for $5? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Here's a fun statistic: 31 percent of traffic to law firm websites comes from mobile search. That's nearly one-third of all of your Web traffic coming from smartphone and tablet users. And make no mistake about it, mobile Google results are very different from desktop Google results, which means you're playing a whole different game when marketing your practice online to that 31 percent.

Plus, that 31 percent is likely to grow. In December 2012, just 23 percent of legal consumers used mobile search. In 2011, it was 14 percent; four years ago, it stood at a measly 6 percent.

Bottom line: There's a clear trend towards users looking for legal help on their smartphones and tablets, and you need to plan accordingly for these "local-mobile" searches.

Judge Judy -- yes, that Judge Judy -- has reached a settlement with a Connecticut lawyer accused of using images from her TV show in his own commercial, TMZ reports.

The fact that this case exists at all seems silly, because as Judge Judy so astutely noted, "Mr. Haymond is a lawyer and should know better."

Here are three takeaways from Judge Judy's real-life legal predicament that, hopefully, you knew already:

It's baaaack! Yes, it's that time of year again -- Discovery's "Shark Week" (already? We've barely had time to recover from "Sharkando 2: The Second One") -- which of course means it's time for FindLaw's "Legal Shark Week" series of blog posts.

Because as lawyers, we are as misunderstood as the sea creatures we are often analogized to, we thought we'd flip the switch and co-opt the term.

So let's dive in by taking a look at four ways you can be a social media shark:

What's trending right now when it comes to marketing your law firm? A new infographic from FindLaw and Google offers some insight that every lawyer should know.

There are plenty of reasons potential clients don't become actual clients, and your marketing strategy shouldn't be one of them. At any point in the process of looking for an attorney, a little difficulty with an attorney's website or phone system can become a major impediment and a reason not to select that attorney.

To keep that from happening, here are seven trends you should know about legal marketing:

If you're a small or midsize firm, how do you get national attention for a case you're handling?

We were inspired to ask that question after a lawyer from a small Texas town garnered national attention last week with his suit against General Motors on behalf of 658 clients. The suit, spearheaded by Super Lawyer Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi, Texas, is related to the faulty ignition switch problem that surfaced earlier this year.

Hilliard's firm isn't small -- but it isn't big, either. So how can a small or medium-sized firm get nationwide media attention for their cases? Here are a few strategies that may work for you:

When consumers need an attorney, what do they do? How do they find you? What do they want to know?

The FindLaw 2014 U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey asked legal consumers how they went about hiring an attorney and why. As it turns out, most people are looking for transactional help (with things like wills and estates or real estate documents), not litigation. And most began their search simply by contacting a legal professional. Overwhelmingly, these people chose to hire an attorney, and in fact, the vast majority hired the first attorney they contacted.

Naturally, you want to be that first attorney. You can make that happen by knowing what qualities potential clients are looking for in an attorney. As luck would have it, the survey has information about that, too.

Want to spend more time practicing, and less time advertising? Leave the marketing to the experts.

One of the more creative ideas I've had for advertising a law firm was to put a DUI law firm's phone number on bottle openers and either leave them on the counter at a liquor store or toss 'em into cases of beer at nearby stores. I never tried this -- it probably violates some ethical rule that I was too lazy to look up, but it seemed like a good idea in theory.

It's also a good idea, in theory for a law firm to mock a brewery's logo for advertising purposes: in this case, Sessions Law imitating Session Brewery. The best part is, the logo was not only used online, but it was also used on brown paper bag covers for beer cans, reports the ABA Journal. The brewery, unsurprisingly, is suing for trademark infringement.

Providing free and helpful information is kind of our thing -- blogs, cases, codes, and practice guides for lawyers, Learn About the Law and blogs for consumers, etc. But you don't always want to read online articles, or print out blog posts. And sometimes, you want a more comprehensive approach to a topic than 400 words of snark-filled brilliance. (Dusts off shoulders.)

That's why we have Mini Guides. Each of these free little e-books contains an in-depth discussion on a single topic. For lawyers, we talk about social media use, malpractice insurance, negotiating liens, etc. We also cover consumer topics for your clients, the list of which would fill my word count, and might lull you in to a deep sleep.

Here's the rundown: