June 2010 Archives

June 16, 2010

Digital Marketing Boom for Law Firms

Just imagine the back room operations of a major law firm. You know the place where only the few and the brave venture? The place where paper once reigned and the Iron Mountain truck pulled up regularly? That place?

Things are changing, even for our profession. Even for us, the late adopters. The ones who come last to the tech table -- especially in Gen Law Boomer.

Well, welcome to the digital conference room.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on the significant investment many law firms are making in digital marketing. Law firms and lawyers are catching on to the use of digital marketing for everything from making it easier for clients to find them and create communities of interest.

The WSJ reports that social media has been used effectively to bring in clients needing representation in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. It is also being used to reach potential clients who may have been harmed by allegedly defective pharmaceuticals.

Inventing on line communities will likely become more important to law firm marketing efforts. But the good news is, even small and solo firms can play in the somewhat level playing field, aka the web.

June 2, 2010

Button Up Your Messaging

As a communications professional, every day I get broadcast emails from around the country that promote use of the web in professional services marketing. So many offers to sit in on webinars, podcasts and other on-line teach-ins, my head spins. Many of the entities sending these invites add the word "university" to lend some lofty credibility to their content.

All this noise raises a question in my mind. Is it wise to jump into the social media pool without auditing your firm's current communications status? I believe the answer is no.

Although there is value in understanding how to use social media and other tactics in professional services marketing, I am certain that this is not the place to start.

Frame Before Building Your Social Media Presence

If someone handed you a box of nails and asked you to start framing a house, you would not dream of starting without having the blueprints.

Before you or your firm begins a social media push, whether it be blogging or twittering, please consider buttoning up your firm's messaging. Better yet, take a step back and consider the identity of your firm or organization and the ways you are communicating your identity.

If you have a great web presence and a clear identity, jump in with solid, informative content. If you have not taken an inventory of your communications and how your publics are receiving your message, get this done first.

Does your firm have a clear, well-stated identity?
Do you have integrated communications or is your identity flailing and unclear?
Who are your audiences?
What are your long terms goals and practice area strengths?
Where are the points of expansion?

These are just some of the questions to ask before jumping into the social media mix. Taking the time to go through some preliminaries will make your social media effort more effective and purposeful.