More than 150 lawyers attended the PILMMA legal marketing conference in Ft. Worth last week and came back with pages of money-making ideas. It was a fabulous event to network with the sharpest minds in law firm marketing. Here is my personal list of cutting edge, must-implement and tried-and-true ideas.
Cutting-Edge Marketing Tactics
- Broadcast a Live Web TV show -- Lawyers can use YouTube Live to broadcast interviews with referral sources and presentations of interest to clients. Webcasting is the fastest way to create content and engage potential clients. Plug an HD camcorder into an Intensity Shuttle which then connects to your computer via a USB 3.0 or thunderbolt connection. You are then ready to shoot a live Web TV show using Wirecast live streaming production software. -- Cindy Speaker, West Chester, PA, SM2 Media and Marketing.
- Send Photos to Instagram -- Share photos on the online mobile photo-sharing service, and its 90 million active US users, of promotions, sponsorship of charity events and public relations announcements. Show your brand as more of a caring part of your community than a corporate entity. Justin Holderness, The Studio Firm, Centennial, CO.
Techniques You Must Implement Now
- Write a list of the top 20 referring partners you'd like to have: Meet them in person, stay in touch by sending cards and print newsletters, and invite them to your speaking engagements. You get your best cases from other lawyers, because they are screening the cases for merit and they're telling the client that you're the right lawyer for the case. -- John Fisher, Esq., author of The Power of a System, Kingston, NY.
- Newsjacking: The moment a legal news story breaks, immediately comment on the story in a blog, podcast or video -- and notify news reporters found in Twitter. This will prompt reporters, who are still gathering the facts, to call you for comment. For example, when Bill Cosby was caught lying about drugging and molesting women, Mitch Jackson posted a blog about the libel ramifications of Cosby's wife calling the victims liars. -- Mitch Jackson, Streaminglawyer.com, Laguna Hills, CA, 2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year.
- Start a Mass Torts Practice: Find a mass torts case from FDA recalls, news releases and conferences like The American Association For Justice or Mass Torts Made Perfect. Use the form complaint and plaintiff fact sheet from one of 300 multi-district litigation dockets. Co-counsel with an established mass tort firm to prosecute the case. -- Edward Lake, Esq., Gacovino Lake, Sayville, NY.
- Get clients with a TV infomercial: Hire a video studio to record a 30-minute talk show, like “Disability Secrets Revealed,” and offer a free book or white paper. Viewers can order at a displayed 800 number, where pressing “0” will connect them to a lawyer. Callers give their email address, and the law firm can follow up with calls and emails over the next 30 days, each time offering something new for free. Ken Hardison paid $1,350 to broadcast his infomercial, and got 279 leads that turned into 28 cases. PILMMA, Myrtle Beach, SC.
- Self-publish a book and position yourself as an expert: Give hard copies to potential and current clients -- it's a business card that is never thrown away. No one will ask how many copies you sold, they will simply be impressed. Let people “order” the ebook version online with a webform on your site that requests their phone number and email address. Hire a book-writing service that interviews you and turns the transcript into written English. Michael DeLon, Paperback Expert, Little Rock, AR. Download "10 Ways to Grow Your Business With Your Own Book"
- Delete the chat from mobile: If you have a chat feature on your website, take it off of the mobile version of your site. Mobile viewers are already holding a phone to call you with and are not interested in text chats.
Tried and true tactics
- Win new business by being involved in your community. Pajcic & Pajcic of Jacksonville, FL, sponsored a nine-hole wiffle golf tournament and happy hour benefiting Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. The firm promoted it on social media, generated publicity and collected nine backlinks to their website. This is enormously successful for engaging potential clients and the public.
- Send a print newsletter designed to convert: Mail out a printed newsletter, because people like to hold something tangible, and you may not have the email addresses of potential clients. Key: spend 90% of your time designing a great headline. It should emphasize the reader's pain, aggravate the pain and offer your solution. Paul Hogan, Law Center for Car Accident Injuries, Wichita, KS.
Whether you use cutting-edge or tried-and-true tactics, the idea is to market interactively and to engage other people. Rather than blast out promotions, lawyers should give potential clients something to respond to. The more back-and-forth contact you have with others, the more new business you will gain.