Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creativity In Law Firm Marketing

Jay Fleischman runs a nice little blog entitled Legal Practice Pro. Take a visit as there is a lot of great stuff regarding law firm management and marketing (particularly for bankruptcy lawyers, solos and small firms).

He recently posted an article on the need for creativity in law firm marketing. According to Fleischman:

Online legal marketing involves the creation of content that attracts potential clients and moves them from stranger to paying client. In order to accomplish this goal, your content needs to evoke the same reaction as a piece of art. Your message needs to make the visitor stand up and take notice, to cause the casual onlooker to stop and think twice.

How do we, as lawyers, accomplish that? By tapping our creativity and developing it. We tell stories to our readers to make a point, share tales of people who were in the same situation but have now come out the other side. In the office we build rapport by engaging in what the uninformed would call “idle chatter” but you already know is carefully constructed conversation designed to find that common bond we all seek in business and in our personal lives.

It is a good read with a valid point. Please click here to read the entire article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Friday, March 25, 2011

Skype For Client Meetings

At the Nolo's Legal Marketing Blawg Carolyn Elefant posts a great article about using Skype to meet with clients.

Meeting with clients online through Skype is a great way to give your firm a competitive advantage. For starters, it's a neat use of technology that is bound to stand out. Second - and somewhat surprisingly, Skype is a less-intimidating way to use technology than, for example, requiring a client to log-in to a site and fill out a form. Many otherwise tech-challenged folks (my parents, for example, come to mind) are being introduced to Skype as a way to keep in touch with family members who may be stationed overseas or who've moved to other parts of the country. As a result, they're more comfortable with Skype than they might be with a conventional online portal. Third, Skype adds credibility to the attorney- client relationship and builds trust. Through Skype, clients can see that they are meeting with an actual lawyer. Though of course it's conceivable that a charlatan could hire an actor to pose as a lawyer and collect payments and run, it's far more difficult to set up this type of ruse than, for example, to create an anonymous website. Finally, since most computers have video recording built in, you could (with a client's consent of course) record Skype calls to avoid any future misunderstanding about what's been said.

Carolyn continues:

In addition to holding client meetings on line, lawyers can also use Skype to set up a proverbial "walk-in shingle" on the main street that is the world wide web. As with any walk in arrangement, a client could just come in and wait, first-come, first-served for a turn. Or a lawyer could use some of the online scheduling tools that I discussed here and ask clients to make an appointment. Moreover, Skype can facilitate the kind of after-hours availability that is convenient to clients who work 9-5. Though many lawyers may not want to cut into their weekend to trek to the office to meet clients, through Skype, they can meet at a home office.

This is a really good article. Click here to read the whole thing.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

One Lawyer Extols the Virtues of Google Calendar

At his The Greatest American Lawyer blog attorney Enrico Schaefer gives heart praise to Google Calendar. According to Schaefer Google Calendar:
  1. Performs all of the calendaring items that lawyers need each and every day.
  2. Group calendaring which allows me to see the schedules of other people on our team, both inside and outside the office network.
  3. Universal access to the calendar from whatever computer or device I am working on with real-time updates including all of the various computers that I work from as well as my iPhone.
  4. Reminders by pop-up, email and text message on intervals that I choose.
  5. No requirements for synchronization which requires my main computer to be networked, by various calendaring software to be running or any other limitations on real-time data.
Please click here for the original post.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Effective Use of Paralegals

University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law professor Barbara Glesner Fines has published her article "Effectively Using Paralegals in Family Law Practice" in the American Journal of Family Law. Here is the abstract:
Non-lawyer assistants are critical to a family law practice: whether secretaries, document managers, investigators, or bookkeepers, attorneys who structure their practice to include extensive use of these non-lawyer assistants must remember three basic rules: keep control; set clear policies; and educate both your assistants and your clients about limits. Finally, train the assistant and revisit that training regularly. Having these policies and asking assistants to read them is not adequate training. Regular training is necessary to maintain competence. This training should be grounded in the discrete problems that arise in your office. A medical model of “grand rounds” would be an effective training mechanism for insuring that policies are understood and kept current. With the demands of efficiency required of today’s attorney, proper use of non-lawyer assistants is, for most attorneys, a necessity of practice. With proper attention to supervision, clear policies, and regular training, these assistants can make an attorney’s practice more efficient and of a higher quality overall.
Please click here to read the entire article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Law Firms Utilizing QR Codes For Marketing

QR codes. I am sure you have seen them. Bar code like graphics that you scan with your smartphone to open up more information (such as ads, pricing, web sites, etc.).

QR codes are another way you can use technology to reach your clients and potential clients according to Donna Erickson, who posts a good article about this technology on the website for her firm, Erickson Marketing.

According to Erickson:

QR codes are read by a Smartphone equipped with a compatible code reader. A few examples of how law firms may want to use QR codes today include:

  • Open a URL to:
    • Web site
    • Video
    • Article
    • Alert or newsletter
    • Promote an event
    • New service area (e.g. practice areas or class action law suit) for target markets
  • Open a Vcard or otherwise provide contact information (saving the user time and eliminating possible errors in rekeying)
  • A message
  • Dial a number
She also suggests:

Law firms may want to print QR codes on:

  • Business cards to electronically transfer the attorney's contact information and the firm's Web site URL
  • Event invitations / materials / lanyards to direct the user to an electronic version of the material, or additional information
  • Web sites, micro sites, blogs to open a browser directly to that page
  • Printed materials, opening a browser to an online version of
    • Attorney profile
    • Practice area description
    • Directories
    • Articles, alerts, newsletters
  • Advertisements opening a browser to additional related information
Erickson also explains the process for creating QR codes. Please click here to read the entire article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blogs and Other Marketing Statistics

At his LawMarketing Blog Larry Bodine posts a great article on the effectiveness of blogs and other marketing strategies. In his article Larry relies on research from HubSpot to show that blogs in particular are a legitimate source of new clients. Also proving its worth according to Bodine are social networking sites, with LinkedIn leading the way.

Marketing money wasters according to Bodine: pay per click, direct mail, and telemarketing.

Please click here for the original article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

Tech Is Gonna Help You to Know Your Judge

To this day -- 30 years later -- I remember a story my law school civil procedure professor told us about his first attorney job. 20 years...