As we ramp up to our October 2 day advanced legal marketing seminar here we've recently received several versions of the following question:
I've read your book on marketing the law firm and I've looked at your materials for your upcoming 2 day advanced conference on attorney marketing. I'd love to come and I hear that the conference is great, but I have a Findlaw or Lawyers.com (or some other web developer) website and I'm locked into a long term contract. I'm not sure I'll be able to implement all that you and Tom Foster teach.
Here's my answer:
I really have no experience with the content management systems of Findlaw or Lawyers.com websites. The folks from Findlaw call me about once a year and I invite them in but for two years running they've simply not shown up for their appointment!
As anyone who has been to one of our conferences before knows, we do teach Internet marketing for lawyers that accomplishes the following:
- Helps get you on page one of Google organically
- Helps you avoid all of the "pay per click" scams
- Keeps people on your site long enough to get interested
- Makes an incredible offer that literally forces them to request information and engage with you
- Starts an autoresponder sequence that includes both on line and offline information that establishes you as wise man at the top of the mountain.
The system that we use and teach is Tom Fosters "DSS" system. You can read more about it and see websites at FosterWebMarketing.com
Even if you are locked into a long time contract with another firm we suggest attendance because you really don't know what you don't know!
You need to be able to communicate with your webmaster about what it is that really drives clients to your firm. Our formula does work but in order for it to work you need an 'engine' that is robust enough to do the following:
- instant creation of new practice areas
- instant creation of new pages
- instant creation of new blog/news articles
- syndication of above to major search engines
- instant creation of video on the pages you create
- integration with Google PLUS
- integration with local search
- instant creation of web form that start autoreponsder sequences
- instant creation of new users so that other members of your firm, or contract writers, can create new content
- instant creation of new downloadable information pieces (books, reports) that can be offered for free to visitors
- extensive analytics so that each week you know which pages are being visited, what search terms are being used to get there, how long they stayed and what you can do to improve both the number of visitors and the length of time they stay on the site
- the ability to get competitive analytics. What is your competition doing and how are they doing it? Without this you are shooting darts in a very dark room.
There's more, but that's a start.
In addition, the search engine rules change all the time, so you need a web company that's doing
- webinars on a least a monthly basis on what's new on the Internet
- "on demand" webinars for when you or one of your writers has a question about a feature
- user groups to discuss current features offered and suggest new ones.
You need a web company that is smart about marketing so that you don't fall into one of these traps:
- front page headline that is your, your firm name or picture of a gavel
- overemphasis on who you are and what your accoplishments are before delivering highly valuable information to the prospect.
- bland, boring copy that is seen on most websites.
- using syndicated, duplicate copy that your web firm has put up at other lawyers sites
- using a "link" building program popular with some firms that resulted in a gigantic "slap" recently by Google
So yes, even if you are under a long term contract with another firm join us at our next conference.