Marketing Your Law Practice

Stacey Burke
Stacey BurkeOwner at Stacey E. Burke, P.C.
Effective Online
Marketing
and how to make it work for YOU
in 2016
Presented by: Stacey Burke and Megan Hargroder
Stacey
BurkeLicensed Texas lawyer since 2001
Select Speaking Engagements and Publications:
Legal Technology
Needles Case Management Software
MyCase Case Management Software
Legal Industry Professional Associations:
American Association for Justice
Asian American Bar Association
Houston Bar Association
Houston Trial Lawyers Association
Kentucky Justice Association
Law Firm Marketing Mastery
State Bar of Texas (multiple sections)
Texas Bar Today
Texas Women Rainmakers CLE
Trial Magazine
University of Texas Law School CLE
Public Relations and Marketing Professional Associations:
American Marketing Association
Houston Social Media Breakfast
Public Relations Society of America
Megan Hargroder
Helping lawyers attract clients online since 2011
Founder and CEO of Conversations, LLC.
Works exclusively with lawyers in solo or small firms
boosting their business through social media,
SEO and specialized web development for the
legal industry.
Host live and online workshops on using social
media to improve your SEO rankings, drive traffic
to your website, and acquire new client leads
Speaking Engagements:
CLE Seminars hosted by the Louisiana Bar
Association
Small Firm Bootcamp hosted by Paperless Chase.
@heyitsmegan
conversations.be
Leadership: Inward-Facing and
Outward-Facing1. Inward-Facing: Adding marketing skills to your repertoire makes you an
indispensable and invaluable part of any law firm. Your increased value will
help you get in front of the firm’s leadership more regularly and allow you to
move up in the ranks often quicker than litigation prowess.
2. Outward-Facing: Personal branding is yours, so build your personal brand
up while you are with a firm and then have valuable digital assets to take with
you should you need to leave.
Online Marketing Goals for 2016:
Control your online reputation
Engage with, and create new customers
Increase your reach/impact
Encourage word-of-mouth advertising
Controlling your online reputation:
Bad news: you can’t avoid having
your firm appear on review sites like
Yelp and Google+
Good news: you CAN take control
of your firm’s online reputation by
claiming and monitoring these types of
profiles.
The best kept secret
of online marketing:
Listing optimization
(i.e. claiming and optimizing your online listing profiles)
= the quickest, easiest, most impactful way to take control
of your online reputation, boost website traffic, and generate
new leads.
Key Benefits of Claiming Your Online
Listings:
Reputation monitoring, management and control
Accuracy assurance & compliance
Increases SEO (ability to be found online by your target audience)
Brings in new leads!
Text WEBTIPS to 33444 for Megan’s free step by step guide
Social Media & Your Firm
Creating a Strategy & Protocol
Management Tools
Effective Use & Best Practices
Tracking Your Results
Social Media Strategy & Protocol
MANAGEMENT OPTIONS:
Internal
Outsourcing
A mix of both
* Regardless of the path you choose, you must create a social media policy in
accordance with ethics standards (and go over it with ALL managers, internal or
otherwise)
Management Tips and Tools:
● Stay Consistent
● Plan first, write/create second, post/schedule third
● Use a management “hub” like Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Rignite
● Pay attention to your analytics (like best post times, most engaging
content, etc)
● Adjust strategy according to data
The Golden Rule of Social Media
Content:
Post content that is clear, compelling, useful and in
accordance with your state bar’s ethics rules and advertising
guidelines.
OR DON’T POST ANYTHING AT ALL.
Clear, compelling messaging
Is it relevant?
Is it interesting?
Does it encourage engagement?
Is it relevant?
GOOD:
BAD: “You hear what Kanye said about Taylor in Famous!?
#taytay #lifeofpablo #immaletyoufinish”
.
Is it interesting?
Don’t be this guy.
If you don’t find your content
compelling, chances are, no
one else will either.
Does it encourage engagement?
BAD LEAD IN: “Here is an article on..”
BETTER LEAD IN: “Not sure where to find authoritative
information about divorce laws in your state? Click here:”
Pay Attention to those who are
already
getting it right:
GOOD: @TheMommaEsq
GOOD: @LegallyRenee
GOOD: @StaceyEBurke
RISKY: @Verskette
Social Media Advertising:
Ethical Considerations and Best
Practices:
Upholding state attorney
advertising guidelines is
critical in online marketing:What you post potentially constitutes lawyer advertising (so to be safe, assume it always does).
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct regarding information about legal services (lawyer
advertising) Rule 7.02 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services [also ABA Model Rule 7.1]:
(a) A lawyer shall not make or sponsor a false or misleading communication
about the qualifications or the services of any lawyer or firm.
A communication is false or misleading if it: (1) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a
fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.
If you can’t do it in real life - you can’t do it online either. A lawyer must also avoid communications that (1)
solicit or even appear to, (2) disclose confidential or privileged information, and (3) engage with parties
already represented by counsel.
Ethics: critical to maintain for online
lawyersYou can inadvertently create an attorney-client relationship, and not just in the
state where YOU practice - also where the recipient receives your message.
Fiduciary Relationship: A legal or ethical service relationship of trust where
one party (the fiduciary) is in a superior position of power, and that party has a
duty of care and/or a duty of loyalty to the other (non-fiduciary).
What that means for your social media marketing: Your digital presence
is still you, so whoever manages it and/or speaks on your behalf needs to be
aware of not only your state’s attorney advertising and ethics rules, but also
be careful not to create a fiduciary relationship.
Beware of providing legal advice online that may form an attorney-client
relationship.
The good news
Social media, email marketing, CRM software, and other technology and
digital marketing use can help your firm maintain real-time compliance with
ABA Model Rule 1.4 regarding Communications (a) a lawyer shall (1)
promptly inform the client … (2) reasonably consult with the client … (3) keep
the client reasonably informed…
According to the most recent ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 85% of
law firms have a website and 76% of law firms now maintain an online
presence compared to only 55% in 2012. 24% of lawyers report that they’ve
been retained by a client because of their efforts. Social media and digital
marketing allow your former clients and referral sources to send you new
business
Building organic SEO is vital to
successful search marketing
SEO DEFINED: SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website
or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as
"natural," "organic," or "earned" results.
ON-SITE SEO: Have good content that is linkable, use title tags, have a
healthy URL structure, use image alt tags, give good metadata, use H1
and h2, maintain good keyword density (above 3%), and more.
OFF-SITE SEO: Use social networking and bookmarking, share your blog
posts, submit your sites to search engines, link-building, claim and build
out directory listings, publish digital press releases, and more.
Analytics and Monitoring Impact
For site visits, your best friend should be Google Analytics:
Here you can track metrics including, but not limited to:
Time spent on site, pages visited, where traffic came from, where it
went, site visits, etc.
This data can give you some very valuable insight:
Example - if people are hitting your home page and bouncing off
immediately, the page may be taking too long to load, or it’s not
grabbing their attention.
Or - if you don’t have any traffic coming from
Facebook/Twitter/Google+, you may need to bolster your self-
promotion efforts on your social channels.
Social Media Analytics
Meanwhile social analytics, offered directly from Facebook/Twitter/Google+, allow
you to see:
What posts were viewed most, which ones were shared/clicked on, etc.
You have to watch for these things. If your content isn’t performing, you need to
change your strategy! You can try
Changing post times, narrowing or broadening your focus on your niche, changing the way
you write link posts, adding memes that relate to your niche, posting less (or more)
about your brand
Some email marketing stats:
50 million people will check email at least 5 times today
Email reaches 93% of internet users
Response rates to email are 10x greater than direct mail
Adults account for at least 87% of all U.S. email users
There are at least 216.6 million U.S. email users
Two out of three people in the U.S. use email
Use an ESP for its greater deliverability and “white list” status.
Sending mass emails from a personal account is a no-no,
you’ll most likely go right into someone’s spam folder
and they’ll never see it. Also…
As you can see, emails are an INCREDIBLY effective method of
reaching your followers, so make sure you use it!
Facebook.com/MarketingLawyers
@StaceyEBurke
www.SlideShare.net/StaceyBurke
http://bit.ly/SEBPCnews
www.Conversations.Be
@HeyConversation
@HeyItsMegan
ConversationsSocialMedia
● Text WEBTIPS to 33444 for all presentation materials & guides!
question
s?
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Marketing Your Law Practice

  • 1. Effective Online Marketing and how to make it work for YOU in 2016 Presented by: Stacey Burke and Megan Hargroder
  • 2. Stacey BurkeLicensed Texas lawyer since 2001 Select Speaking Engagements and Publications: Legal Technology Needles Case Management Software MyCase Case Management Software Legal Industry Professional Associations: American Association for Justice Asian American Bar Association Houston Bar Association Houston Trial Lawyers Association Kentucky Justice Association Law Firm Marketing Mastery State Bar of Texas (multiple sections) Texas Bar Today Texas Women Rainmakers CLE Trial Magazine University of Texas Law School CLE Public Relations and Marketing Professional Associations: American Marketing Association Houston Social Media Breakfast Public Relations Society of America
  • 3. Megan Hargroder Helping lawyers attract clients online since 2011 Founder and CEO of Conversations, LLC. Works exclusively with lawyers in solo or small firms boosting their business through social media, SEO and specialized web development for the legal industry. Host live and online workshops on using social media to improve your SEO rankings, drive traffic to your website, and acquire new client leads Speaking Engagements: CLE Seminars hosted by the Louisiana Bar Association Small Firm Bootcamp hosted by Paperless Chase. @heyitsmegan conversations.be
  • 4. Leadership: Inward-Facing and Outward-Facing1. Inward-Facing: Adding marketing skills to your repertoire makes you an indispensable and invaluable part of any law firm. Your increased value will help you get in front of the firm’s leadership more regularly and allow you to move up in the ranks often quicker than litigation prowess. 2. Outward-Facing: Personal branding is yours, so build your personal brand up while you are with a firm and then have valuable digital assets to take with you should you need to leave.
  • 5. Online Marketing Goals for 2016: Control your online reputation Engage with, and create new customers Increase your reach/impact Encourage word-of-mouth advertising
  • 6. Controlling your online reputation: Bad news: you can’t avoid having your firm appear on review sites like Yelp and Google+ Good news: you CAN take control of your firm’s online reputation by claiming and monitoring these types of profiles.
  • 7. The best kept secret of online marketing: Listing optimization (i.e. claiming and optimizing your online listing profiles) = the quickest, easiest, most impactful way to take control of your online reputation, boost website traffic, and generate new leads.
  • 8. Key Benefits of Claiming Your Online Listings: Reputation monitoring, management and control Accuracy assurance & compliance Increases SEO (ability to be found online by your target audience) Brings in new leads! Text WEBTIPS to 33444 for Megan’s free step by step guide
  • 9. Social Media & Your Firm Creating a Strategy & Protocol Management Tools Effective Use & Best Practices Tracking Your Results
  • 10. Social Media Strategy & Protocol MANAGEMENT OPTIONS: Internal Outsourcing A mix of both * Regardless of the path you choose, you must create a social media policy in accordance with ethics standards (and go over it with ALL managers, internal or otherwise)
  • 11. Management Tips and Tools: ● Stay Consistent ● Plan first, write/create second, post/schedule third ● Use a management “hub” like Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Rignite ● Pay attention to your analytics (like best post times, most engaging content, etc) ● Adjust strategy according to data
  • 12. The Golden Rule of Social Media Content: Post content that is clear, compelling, useful and in accordance with your state bar’s ethics rules and advertising guidelines. OR DON’T POST ANYTHING AT ALL.
  • 13. Clear, compelling messaging Is it relevant? Is it interesting? Does it encourage engagement?
  • 14. Is it relevant? GOOD: BAD: “You hear what Kanye said about Taylor in Famous!? #taytay #lifeofpablo #immaletyoufinish” .
  • 15. Is it interesting? Don’t be this guy. If you don’t find your content compelling, chances are, no one else will either.
  • 16. Does it encourage engagement? BAD LEAD IN: “Here is an article on..” BETTER LEAD IN: “Not sure where to find authoritative information about divorce laws in your state? Click here:”
  • 17. Pay Attention to those who are already getting it right:
  • 23. Ethical Considerations and Best Practices:
  • 24. Upholding state attorney advertising guidelines is critical in online marketing:What you post potentially constitutes lawyer advertising (so to be safe, assume it always does). Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct regarding information about legal services (lawyer advertising) Rule 7.02 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services [also ABA Model Rule 7.1]: (a) A lawyer shall not make or sponsor a false or misleading communication about the qualifications or the services of any lawyer or firm. A communication is false or misleading if it: (1) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading. If you can’t do it in real life - you can’t do it online either. A lawyer must also avoid communications that (1) solicit or even appear to, (2) disclose confidential or privileged information, and (3) engage with parties already represented by counsel.
  • 25. Ethics: critical to maintain for online lawyersYou can inadvertently create an attorney-client relationship, and not just in the state where YOU practice - also where the recipient receives your message. Fiduciary Relationship: A legal or ethical service relationship of trust where one party (the fiduciary) is in a superior position of power, and that party has a duty of care and/or a duty of loyalty to the other (non-fiduciary). What that means for your social media marketing: Your digital presence is still you, so whoever manages it and/or speaks on your behalf needs to be aware of not only your state’s attorney advertising and ethics rules, but also be careful not to create a fiduciary relationship. Beware of providing legal advice online that may form an attorney-client relationship.
  • 26. The good news Social media, email marketing, CRM software, and other technology and digital marketing use can help your firm maintain real-time compliance with ABA Model Rule 1.4 regarding Communications (a) a lawyer shall (1) promptly inform the client … (2) reasonably consult with the client … (3) keep the client reasonably informed… According to the most recent ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 85% of law firms have a website and 76% of law firms now maintain an online presence compared to only 55% in 2012. 24% of lawyers report that they’ve been retained by a client because of their efforts. Social media and digital marketing allow your former clients and referral sources to send you new business
  • 27. Building organic SEO is vital to successful search marketing SEO DEFINED: SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results. ON-SITE SEO: Have good content that is linkable, use title tags, have a healthy URL structure, use image alt tags, give good metadata, use H1 and h2, maintain good keyword density (above 3%), and more. OFF-SITE SEO: Use social networking and bookmarking, share your blog posts, submit your sites to search engines, link-building, claim and build out directory listings, publish digital press releases, and more.
  • 28. Analytics and Monitoring Impact For site visits, your best friend should be Google Analytics: Here you can track metrics including, but not limited to: Time spent on site, pages visited, where traffic came from, where it went, site visits, etc. This data can give you some very valuable insight: Example - if people are hitting your home page and bouncing off immediately, the page may be taking too long to load, or it’s not grabbing their attention. Or - if you don’t have any traffic coming from Facebook/Twitter/Google+, you may need to bolster your self- promotion efforts on your social channels.
  • 29. Social Media Analytics Meanwhile social analytics, offered directly from Facebook/Twitter/Google+, allow you to see: What posts were viewed most, which ones were shared/clicked on, etc. You have to watch for these things. If your content isn’t performing, you need to change your strategy! You can try Changing post times, narrowing or broadening your focus on your niche, changing the way you write link posts, adding memes that relate to your niche, posting less (or more) about your brand
  • 30. Some email marketing stats: 50 million people will check email at least 5 times today Email reaches 93% of internet users Response rates to email are 10x greater than direct mail Adults account for at least 87% of all U.S. email users There are at least 216.6 million U.S. email users Two out of three people in the U.S. use email Use an ESP for its greater deliverability and “white list” status. Sending mass emails from a personal account is a no-no, you’ll most likely go right into someone’s spam folder and they’ll never see it. Also… As you can see, emails are an INCREDIBLY effective method of reaching your followers, so make sure you use it!

Editor's Notes

  1. Your online presence is the public face of your brand. By leveraging this correctly, you can:
  2. Assign a primary manager of your social channels that can learn and grow with your brand An outsourced manager can study trends and devote more time to your strategy
  3. Before you post anything you need to ask yourself the following questions:
  4. You’re a lawyer. Posting content related to your core practice, related news and recent rulings, etc. make sense. Posts about celebs, gossip, random personal interests, etc. are not; unless, for example, you focus on estate planning cases and decide to talk about a celebrity estate issue.
  5. Look at your post. Is it something that YOU would be interested in? If it’s not, go back to the drawing board. If YOU wouldn’t read the stuff you’re writing, what makes you think your fans will? You do not want your brand to sound like Ben Stein… Bueller….
  6. You want your fans to engage with your posts. Either by sharing them, liking them, or commenting on them. So make sure your posts inspire that type of behavior!
  7. An attorney-client relationship may be formed through electronic communications, including social media communications. ABA Formal Opinion 10-457 recognized that by enabling communications between prospective clients and lawyers, websites may give rise to inadvertent lawyer-client relationships and trigger ethical obligations to prospective clients under RPC 1.18. The interactive nature of social media (e.g., inviting and responding to comments to a blog post, engaging in Twitter conversations, or responding to legal questions posted by users on a message board or a law firm’s Facebook page) creates a real risk of inadvertently forming attorney-client relationships with non-lawyers, especially when the objective purpose of the communication from the consumer’s perspective is to consult with the lawyer about the possibility of forming a lawyer-client relationship regarding a specific matter or legal need. Of course, if an attorney-client relationship attaches, so, too, do the attendant obligations to maintain the confidentiality of client information and to avoid conflicts of interest. Depending upon the ethics rules in the jurisdiction(s) where the communication takes place, use of appropriate disclaimers in a lawyer’s or a law firm’s social media profile or in connection with specific posts may help avoid inadvertently creating attorney-client relationships, so long as the lawyer’s or law firm’s online conduct is consistent with the disclaimer. A public social media post (like a public Tweet) knows no geographic boundaries. Public social media content is accessible to everyone on the planet who has an Internet connection. If legal professionals elect to interact with non-lawyer social media users, then they must be mindful that their activities may be subject not only to the ethics rules of the jurisdictions in which they are licensed, but also potentially the ethics rules in any jurisdiction where the recipient(s) of any communication is(are) located.
  8. The most important thing you have to do in regards to any online marketing efforts is to measure your impact. Tracking your impact allows you to see what works, what doesn’t, and gives you the knowhow you need to adjust accordingly.
  9. The CAN-SPAM Act maintains that if you reach a certain level of spam sends, you’ll be blocked from sending further communications - we can’t have that!