By Mark Homer
Your online presence truly matters to every aspect of your marketing – even protecting your referrals. Finding the answers to what you should or should not be doing can be complicated.
With that in mind, we wrote a book concerning this topic over six years ago. Basically, we were providing online marketing services for law firms and were wondering what the “experts” said about this topic. We searched for a book on Amazon and the American Bar Association (ABA) website, and at that time the most recent book was over five years old. The internet ages like dog years, so as you can imagine, a five-year-old book was recommending things that didn’t even exist any longer. When we couldn’t find suitable guidebooks, we decided to do the proper research and create our own. What we initially created was, essentially, publishing the process we created internally at our agency to assist our law firm clients.
Six years later, our book has been consistently a best-seller in the Law Practice category on Amazon and has led to invitations to speak all over the country as experts on Law Firm Marketing Online. In fact, many lawyers first come into contact with us because they read our bestselling book Online Law Practice Strategies (link to Amazon), maybe you are one of those.
Because the internet and online marketing strategies change rapidly, we have had to consistently update our book on about an 18 month cycle. For the most part, we updated processes that changed, removed sections that no were no longer applicable, and added new online strategies as we were able to prove that they provided value. Often, there was just too much information to put into a book without it reaching War and Peace length.
However for this new edition, our 5th, we overhauled the entire book.
A Book for Two Types of Law Firm Marketing Strategy
The reason for the significant restructuring is summarized by our goal of “putting the law firm back in law firm marketing”. Through our phone and email correspondence with lawyers across the country—whether they found us through our book, a speaking engagement, or took advantage of one of our “Where Do I Start?” consultation calls— we realized we never prescribe a one-size-fits-all strategy. But previous editions of our book did not make that distinction.
With that in mind, we assembled our team of marketing consultants and strategic account managers and reviewed every chapter. We spent a substantial amount of time determining a way to discuss the different variables we see when talking to law firms on the phone and how those variables affect the strategy we recommend. Furthermore, we strive to maintain our previous editions’ goal of providing a simple-to-understand strategy for law firms to use to guide their online marketing efforts.
After much discussion, we realized most law firms categorize themselves into one of two areas. There are those who are comfortable with a strong referral business but need a consistent online presence so prospective clients can find information about their firm online to continue those referrals.
Then there are law firms who want to actually gain new business from the internet. By using online paid search advertising, search engine optimization, content strategies, social media, and more, they want to see new business generated from their online strategies.
Because of these diverse needs, we created different sections of the book for both of these unique situations. To put a label on this, we now refer to this as attorneys looking to “Protect Your Referrals” or “Grow Your Leads”.
The Biggest Addition To The 5th Edition
In response to questions we got from lawyers who read our previous editions and our work as a Google-certified partner, we realized previous versions of the book left out a big player in the world of online marketing: paid search ads.
After taking over many law firms’ pay-per-click campaigns, we noticed too many firms had no idea how to measure the success of their campaigns, leading to thousands or even tens of thousands of wasted dollars each month. Law firms need to understand how to utilize and measure online paid advertising to drive new prospects to their law firm website in order to make it a worthy investment. Recommendations based on our hands-on experience working with Google AdWords, paid social media ads, re-marketing ads and investing in ads on lawyer directory sites like Avvo and Lawyers.com are all covered are all included in this latest update.
Over the two years, we’ve spoken to many lawyers who have said that since following the steps in our book, they are seeing more new business. We talked to others who say it allowed them to be more aware when working with their marketing agency, and we even discovered one group of small and solo law firms that self-organized into a mastermind group and used this book’s chapters as an outline to start a discussion and help each other out.
We would like to say thank you to those who have purchased and read our book in the past for helping us to achieve our agency’s core focus of educating and empowering law firms to grow their businesses. With your help, we will continue to work to put the law firm back into law firm marketing.