Marketing Law Firms – With and Without Twitter and Smartphones

In this day and age of marketing gurus for every conceivable service under the sun, there are bound to be one or two…or, more likely, thousands…of folks who make it their business to help lawyers build their online brand. Larry Bodine has a service just like that, and he’s got stories galore about how firms  went from a blip on the screen of new client revenue to a force to be reckoned with. 

  • Here’s one:  Christopher Levinson, a law firm administrator with the same firm for over 25 years, has 52,477 followers on Twitter.  This is not quite the same as having that many clients, no…but it’s a beginning.  In the realm of social media, the more you’re known online, the higher your visibility in general. Levinson, with all his Tweets, has inadvertently (or perhaps not always so inadvertently) helped spread the word about his place of employment: Masry Vititoe, a personal injury law firm in Westlake Village, CA, near Los Angeles. (This was also the firm featured in the Erin Brockovich film.)  He usually Tweets about law-related items, such as those that appear on product and recall service lists which he subscribes to. 
  • For instance, Levinson let his followers know that B.O.B. Trailers Inc. recalled about 337,000 single and double strollers in the United States and about 20,000 in Canada – http://bo.st/eMmky. A reader commented on the fact that, when you look at his stats, which Bodine provided, it’s evident that Levinson has actively mined a lot of this activity by initiating contact, or by “following” people, to use the Twitter parlance. (The reader also acknowledges that there’s nothing wrong with that.) “I just like to do good and Tweet about things that will help people,” Levinson said. According to Bodine, Levinson automatically follows everyone who follows him. We also learn that he’s a guy “who loves giving back” and is past president and a current member of a local sheriff’s foundation.
  • Here’s another case of marketing saviness, this one with less of a coincidental factor: Goulston & Storrs in Boston has placed a high-tech QR code–a quick response code–into a print ad. When scanned with a smartphone (that’s any phone–usually less than a couple of years old—with advanced capabilities), it’ll direct you to Google’s top-five search results on your firm. Or, alternately, it’ll take you  to your firm’s “What’s News” web page…as it does for G&S.  So the ad, which congratulates a client on the several-million dollar sale of its “trophy asset”, has a little box on the lower right hand side which takes would-be clients just where they need to go to learn more.

  • And from Lawyer’s e-Journal, we learn that “being present in your community” makes all the difference in the world when it comes to letting people know who you are.  Doing good is its own reward, of course, but “in-person networking remains a vital component of legal marketing”…one that Twitter can’t touch. “Organize an instructive course in one of your practice area topics.” If you are a churchgoer, you might invite those you worship with as, there, you’ve already established the foundation of a relationship.
  • When your firm conducts outreach…joins organizations, formulates presentations, etc., it almost makes you the go-to guy or gal.  (Folks still want to buy local—and this includes lawyers’ services.)  Try advertising in a little-league publication; the parents of the young pitchers and batters will love you forever.  Of course, you can always Tweet your online friends about the upcoming events, too.  Remember: you’ve got to be in these endeavors for the long-haul.  It’s about building trust, which takes time. Don’t abandon the effort.

To read more, go to:  http://blog.larrybodine.com/ and to: http://www.massbar.org/publications/e-journal/2011/april/04-21/law-practice-management-tip    Photo courtesy of popsci.com.

-EM

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