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Marketing Your Law Practice


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Stacey Burke and Megan Hargroder speak to the American Association of Justice Women Trial Lawyers Caucus about digital marketing for lawyers and law firms.

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Marketing Your Law Practice

  1. 1. Effective Online Marketing and how to make it work for YOU in 2016 Presented by: Stacey Burke and Megan Hargroder
  2. 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. 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
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 9. Social Media & Your Firm Creating a Strategy & Protocol Management Tools Effective Use & Best Practices Tracking Your Results
  10. 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. 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. 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. 13. Clear, compelling messaging Is it relevant? Is it interesting? Does it encourage engagement?
  14. 14. Is it relevant? GOOD: BAD: “You hear what Kanye said about Taylor in Famous!? #taytay #lifeofpablo #immaletyoufinish” .
  15. 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. 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. 17. Pay Attention to those who are already getting it right:
  18. 18. GOOD: @TheMommaEsq
  19. 19. GOOD: @LegallyRenee
  20. 20. GOOD: @StaceyEBurke
  21. 21. RISKY: @Verskette
  22. 22. Social Media Advertising:
  23. 23. Ethical Considerations and Best Practices:
  24. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!
  31. 31. @StaceyEBurke
  32. 32. www.Conversations.Be @HeyConversation @HeyItsMegan ConversationsSocialMedia ● Text WEBTIPS to 33444 for all presentation materials & guides!
  33. 33. question s?