Avoiding Snake Oil in Legal Marketing - Off Script Interview #21

Posted by Larry Bodine | Sep 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Excerpted from

Larry Bodine Interview


There's so much noise in marketing, how can I tell what is real and what is snake oil?

In my travels around the web in those days, one of the legal marketers I'd consistently run into was Larry Bodine.  He had a strong point of view on this question, in part derived from his experience in the field.

He started his web and marketing consulting business in 2000 after working 9 years as the marketing director at Sidley Austin, LLP in Chicago. More recently, he's served as the senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics.

Larry is my guest in this latest interview in the Off Script series.

4) There so much conflicting information on marketing – SEO, content, social, PR – how can lawyers distinguish between what's real and what's snake oil?

SEO is snake oil. Social media is a complete waste of time. Public relations is a great way to get quoted in the news. Online content is king (referring to a blog).

5) What's one aspect of marketing you find lawyers under appreciate?

Lawyers went to law school so they wouldn't have to sell. But surprise! To get new business, a lawyer has to sell. The Dale Carnegie techniques of meeting new people, going to meetings and speaking in public will always work. Lawyers don't appreciate that this in-person marketing must have an equivalent online presence. (See More Clients Find Attorneys Online than From Referrals).

7) If a law firm decided to cut its marketing budget by 10% in 2018, where would you recommend they trim the spend?

I would cut:

– Social media
– paying for leads
– print advertising
– ads in charity programs
– pay per click advertising
– directory listings.

The rule is: if you can't measure the results, eliminate it.

8) If a law firm decided to increase its marketing budget by 10% in 2018, how would you recommend they invest it?

The best way to spend an additional 10% is identifying the practice area that generates the most revenue, and hiring a content writing company to compose 10,000 to 15,000 words of online content about it.

For example, many plaintiff lawyers are investing in mass tort cases (product liability lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies). We worked with an East Coast law firm to write thousands of words of content about a particular mass tort. The site answers every possible question a client would ask about the issue. As a result, the law firm consistently appears on page 1 of a Google search for that tort and gets good leads every day.

For more great ideas see The 10 Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Techniques

To see the answers to ALL of the questions, visit

About the Author

Larry Bodine

Larry Bodine is a marketer, journalist and attorney who knows how to turn website visitors into clients for trial law firms.


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