Positioning your firm through emerging issues by Robert Algieri

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  • Today I’m going to speak with you about positioning… And how good positioning can maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts. So, what is positioning? Positioning, in a nut-shell is about focusing Focusing on a niche as a means of distinguishing yourself in the marketplace. Nailing your positioning should be the first step in marketing anything… Now imagine this… <pause> Imagine that the niche you’ve selected is so unique , and your expertise in that area is so deep , that you’ve radically reduced the number of viable competitors.
  • We call this Remarkable Positioning . And if you can do this… You’ve achieved marketing nirvana .
  • One of my favorite stories of remarkable positioning is that of the early days of Domino’s pizza. Back then, every other pizza place in world was promoting how good their pizza tasted – which makes sense, right? However, Domino’s sought out a different marketing position. They decided to focus on speed. They advertised “Delivery in 30 minutes or less or your pizza is free!” And, as a result, their business exploded. It’s important to know that Domino’s positioning wasn’t just a slogan. They heavily invested in equipment and processes -- like high-speed pizza ovens and computerized order taking systems – that supported this positioning. And their competitors were caught terribly off guard. It was years before they were able to compete. That’s an example of great positioning… But as you probably know, most law firms have awful market positioning. Even smaller firms have traditionally done a bad job with this. However, not all.
  • We’ve been fortunate to work with some law firms like Nelson Levine that have clear positioning; “ Focused on the Business of Insurance.”
  • And Gilbert LLP, Which clearly positions itself as being “ the Global Leaders in insurance recovery” But most full-service firms are saddled with broad, blurry positioning. And, I think one of the things we’re all discovering is that broad messages do not resonate on social networks. In the social media world, trying to appeal to everyone results in appealing to no one.
  • If you’re a sizable law firm with 60+ different practice groups – and that means having 60 different messages to 60 different audiences, it’s nearly impossible to communicate anything but the broadest of messages. Some would say, “ that makes sense… crafting a defining position for a firm is incredibly difficult. That’s why we should focus on positioning our practice areas!” I think that that is a great idea, and one that is definitely an option that should be considered. Ideally, every practice area and sub-practice area would have a crisp, clear position – and they would each be constantly writing blog posts and sending tweets to support that positioning.
  • I had my team imagine the “ideal” practice area section for a website. Here’s the mockup they created. It’s got: A very clear position Text that clearly describe its value to clients Magazine-style layout with engaging visuals Social media integration. It’s a multi-page section with case studies, news, publications and related events… It’s essentially a dossier of cutting-edge thought leadership and resources. Isn’t this great? In an ideal world, every practice area would be treated like a separate business unit – and receive this type of marketing treatment. However, even though the technology to do this is available… Even though we could do this today. It’s not what we see. Ever.
  • Most practice areas look like this. Long passages dense text with a message that basically says “ we offer a wide range of services to a wide variety of clients.” Claiming to be everything to everybody is the opposite of positioning .  
  • Okay, logically, the next obvious candidate for remarkable positioning are the firm’s attorneys. Each attorney could select A clearly defined market niche Declare themselves to be the leader in that area Develop thought leadership to support their position. And then use social media – among other tactics – to get the word out. Anyone who knows my company, Great Jakes, and has read any of our blog posts or articles knows that we are huge supporters of this approach. Positioning and promoting your individual attorneys is a fantastic strategy, and one that has been proven to be successful. But I’m going to throw-out what I believe might be a better solution… One that is More inclusive of the firm Less dependent on the abilities or schedules of individual attorneys And has the potential to result in remarkable positioning .
  • Emerging Issues. Focus your online marketing efforts around a small handful Emerging Issues. What’s an emerging issue? These are issues that contain 3 key characteristics: are just coming onto the radar of your clients Are disruptive, and have the potential to reshape an entire industry and – most importantly – they deal with matters which your firm could sell profitable services around. Emerging issues are often centered around Big new laws, like Obamacare, or New disruptive technologies like nano tech Or, a disaster the BP oil spill. I had my team imagine what an emerging issue section could look like on a website. And here’s what they came up with.
  • Why emerging issues? Because they’re exciting. Big change that has the potential to alter entire industries, is exciting. Turmoil is exciting. And if there is something new, exciting and poorly understood , people will be seeking out information on that topic. Such a topic is ready-made for social media success. And isn’t that what we all want? Social media success. That’s what brought us here today. And it’s important… But what about business success? Social media will always be considered a side-show by firm management until it can meaningfully move the needle…
  • The big promise of Emerging Issues – of investing in the development and communication of deep expertise around industry changing issues is that, if done right, you could radically reduce the number of viable competitors. Do that, and you’ve paved your firm a path to business success.  
  • Positioning your firm through emerging issues by Robert Algieri

    1. 1. Advanced websites for law firms #Positioning. Market positioning = a key to social media success.
    2. 2. Remarkable Positioning. Advanced websites for law firms Radically reduces the number of viable competitors
    3. 3. Air Quality Alternative Energy Antitrust and Competition Law Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Asset Management Transactions Banking and Finance Bankruptcy and Workouts Capital Markets and Securities Committee Representation Complex Business Litigation Compliance and Enforcement Construction Litigation Corporate Investigations Corporate Practice Corporate Tax Crisis Management Cross-Border Transactions Downstream Energy Litigation Energy Regulatory Environmental Coalitions Environmental Practice Estate Tax Financial Instruments Franchise and Distribution Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Gift Tax Global Projects Practice Government Relations Hedge Funds Income Tax Infrastructure Institutional Investor Representation Intellectual Property Litigation Intellectual Property Management Intellectual Property Practice International Environmental Law International Tax International Trade International Trade Commission Practice (ITC) Joint Ventures Labor and Employment Leasing Licensing and IP Transactions Life Sciences Litigation Life Sciences Practice Litigation Practice LNG Projects Marital Property Issues Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) Mergers and Acquisitions Oil and Gas Partnership Tax Patents Pipeline Projects Privacy and Data Security Private Clients Private Equity Funds Project Finance Real Estate Securities Law Enforcement and Regulation Securities Litigation Sourcing State and Local Tax Strategic Permitting Tax Practice Tax-Exempt Organizations Telecommunications and Media Litigation Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation Trademarks and Copyrights Transportation Trust and Estate Administration Venture Capital and Emerging Companies Waste and Remediation Water Quality
    4. 4. Emerging Issues •New •Disruptive •Profitable for you Advanced websites for law firms
    5. 5. Advanced websites for law firms Radically reduce the number of viable competitors. Pave a path to business success.

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