|Approximately 20 attendees participated in a very active and productive discussion during the Marketing and Business Development Specialty Group's Third Quarter Conference Call.
Paula Black of Paula Black Legal Marketing and Graphic Design led the Group in a legal marketing "roundtable" discussion on topics submitted by members prior to the call. Topics included Lawyer/Law Firm Rankings, Martindale-Hubbell, Search Engine Rankings, Social Media Usage and Policies, New Business Referral Sources, Succession Planning and CRM Implementation. You can access the call by clicking here.
The next quarterly call will take place on Thursday, October 14th at 12 p.m. ET. Please mark your calendar!
Below you will find thoughts and advice based on a combination of today's discussion, some online research and personal experience. Thank you to Chris Cervellera, TAGLaw's new Marketing Coordinator, for contributing and compiling.
Lists and Directories
Lists and directories, like Martindale-Hubbell, are slowly becoming less relevant with the evolution of new media. Consider evaluating your relationship with these providers and determining whether or not they are generating business and justifying their cost. If not, reallocate those funds to more relevant forms of marketing such as, search engine optimization, Google Adwords, and business development initiatives targeted at current clients (low-hanging fruit) and desirable prospective clients.
Search Engine Optimization
Make sure your website(s) are developed in a way that is search engine friendly. Some things to investigate/consider:
- .xml sitemap submission to Google. Create a sitemap here, http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and then submit it to Google using their Site Master tools, www.google.com/webmasters.
- Blogs and news pages are indexed more frequently by search engines like Google and Bing.
- When using hyperlinks on your site, always use a "title" tag to help search engines index and rate.
CRM solutions are difficult to implement because of the amount of investment from a cost and training perspective. Choosing a solution that integrates with Outlook or other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is ideal.
APEX was the name of the CRM solution that was given by a participant. http://www.apexit.com/psftcrmportal/index.html
Other CRM Solutions
- http://www.interaction.com/ (LexisNexis Solution)
5 Ss of Social Media
Is social media right for you? Like any initiative, you must determine your objectives and create a strategy that will prove a valuable use of your time.
1. Strategize: Planning out a social media calendar or blog topics, tweets, and other content is the first step to creating a successful social media program. Once you have trained yourself to follow this strategy, you will be amazed at how quickly you become a social media pro. Also, to be successful at social media it is important to TRACK, TRACK, TRACK your results. Gauge this by the amount of followers/friends, "click backs" from your social media accounts, and whether or not people are aggregating your content (Google Alerts). This way you can gauge what channels and topics are working and what areas might need improvement or reevaluation to maximize ROI.
2. Short but sweet: Do not be longwinded. Keep what you have to say to a minimum and say it in a meaningful way that people will remember.
3. Share: Content with other outlets and organizations. It's a two way street, recirculate their content and you will be amazed at how many people will find you.
4. Stalk and follow influential people (social media evangelists): Find someone in your area of expertise that has accumulated a mass following and follow them. Build a relationship with them, even if they do not notice you, others might notice.
5. Serve: Use social media as a customer service tool to continue to grow existing relationships.
Survey by Martindale-Hubbell Survey on the Tracking of Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals
734 legal professionals from mid- and large-size law firms in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States participated in the survey.
More than a quarter (26 percent) of those surveyed claim more than 20 percent of their annual revenue is derived from referrals. However, 27 percent of respondents claim their firm doesn't track referrals.
Of all non-U.S. based firms, 15 percent don’t track referrals at all. More significantly, U.S. firms have the highest proportion of not tracking referrals, which directly contrasts to the earlier claim from 94 percent of U.S. respondents that heavily rely on referral work from other U.S. firms.
Compared to all regions, practices based in Western Europe have the highest expectation of a reciprocal referral - 36 percent expect something back from a referral partner. However, less emphasis was placed on the nature and importance of reciprocal relationships overall, with just under 40 percent of all firms placing “some” importance on this factor.
Read the entire article here.