Curious About a Great Legal Marketing Membership? Learn More Below!

Ben Glass and his team at Great Legal Marketing work with an elite mix of attorneys from virtually every practice area from personal injury to bankruptcy and beyond. We are not for everyone, in fact, while we attract many who "want" to get better we know that only about 20% of any population will do the work necessary. The difference in results has nothing to do with where your law practice is located or how much experience you have. This is all about the choices that YOU make.

By joining Great Legal Marketing, attorneys like you discover and implement proven marketing and management strategies that have transformed all kinds of practices. You will discover how to build better referral relationship, improve your internet marketing, expand into new markets, better manage your employees, and so much more – this really is a “club” for success-minded attorneys who want more than just an average practice. We take pride in having members who are ambitious, motivated, and determined attorneys who understand that their law practice is also a business.

We have an exceptional track record of changing the lives of our members. We frequently hear reports of double- and triple-digit growth from our members. And the goal achieved don’t stop there. Our members have told us that being with Great Legal Marketing has given them their lives back so they can do what they really love in life. The power of our programs has also been credited with regular month-long vacations, turning 70-hour work weeks into a highly efficient 40 hours, saving marriages, significant weight loss, countless jobs created and even improved golf scores.

We want to help you create your own success story.

Below you will find answers to our top questions about a Great Legal Marketing membership. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can click the button below to purchase our introductory package.

Become A Gold Member!

How Does Great Legal Marketing Work?

Great Legal Marketing has three membership levels; Gold Marketers, Diamond Practice Builders, and MasterMind. Most attorneys start at the Gold Marketers level where they learn the basics of direct response marketing for attorneys. We provide our new members with templates, guides, and loads of other free materials to help them launch their very first marketing campaigns. After attorneys have achieved their first goal of getting more clients, they typically ascend to the Diamond Practice Builders membership.

Our Gold and Diamond programs are both monthly memberships that give you access to our materials and our marketing team. Gold members have access to our Chief Marketing Officer Charley Mann as well as access to the other Great Legal Marketing team for help with advertisements, marketing strategies, tracking, and other practice growth topics. Diamond members have more access to Ben Glass as well as access to the rest of our team.

Great Legal Marketing is NOT a done-for-you service. We are forever learners, and our members are as well. We help those attorneys who are ready to do the work needed to achieve the success they dream about for their practice.

Who Is Ben Glass?

Most people who meet attorney Ben Glass come to know him as a father of nine children (four of them adopted and five who still get on the school bus every morning), a small business advocate in Northern Virginia, a non-profit and charity supporter, and ex-marathon runner - in addition to being one of the most-reviewed attorneys in the area (see him on Avvo and Google).

Ben has spent his career practicing law in the courtrooms throughout Northern Virginia. He is a nationally recognized board-certified personal injury, medical malpractice, and disability insurance attorney in Fairfax, Virginia. He graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 1983 and has devoted his career to representing individuals against the insurance companies.

Through Ben’s experience in testing various marketing techniques for his own firm, he has discovered what truly works and has implemented his knowledge into the creation of Great Legal Marketing in 2005. Hundreds of lawyers in the United States and Canada have already joined Great Legal Marketing and are watching their practices take off.

How Do I Start A Great Legal Marketing Membership?

Great Legal Marketing's materials are not free. We have two monthly membership levels and one yearly membership level. The first step is to decide which membership level is right for you. Most attorneys start at the Gold Marketers level where they learn Great Legal Marketing's style of marketing. To start a Gold Marketers Membership, you need to purchase Practice Power Tools. Practice Power Tools is our introductory package that will kickstart your marketing journey and guide you through the first steps.

Attorneys who want a higher level of membership can start at our Diamond Practice Builder level. This is a good option if you are currently a gold member and want to enhance your membership, or you already own a successful law firm but need that extra edge. The process to start your Diamond membership is similar to starting our Gold membership. After you purchase our introductory toolkit, your Diamond membership will begin right away.

If you have been a Great Legal Marketing member before and already have our Practice Power Tools or Diamond Blueprint Package, you can reactivate your membership by calling (703)543-9677.

What is Included With a Great Legal Marketing Membership?

You can read the complete list of benefits that come with a Great Legal Marketing membership at Practice Power Tools is our introductory toolkit that kicks off your Gold Marketers membership, and you can receive the benefits listed as soon as you sign up.

A full Gold Marketers membership includes:

  • Monthly delivery of the Great Legal Marketing Journal: The Great Legal Marketing Journal is the monthly publication that all members receive. In the journal, you will find tips, tricks, and insight into new (and old) marketing topics and ideas.
  • Member Toolkits: Every Great Legal Marketing member gets an introductory toolkit to start their marketing journey. The Practice Power Tools kit is designed to help you launch your very first marketing campaign and orient you with our marketing ethics and values.
  • Monthly teleseminars with Charley Mann and Ben Glass: Each month Great Legal Marketing hosts three LIVE calls for members. Gold Members have access to the Gold Call with Charley Mann where you can learn about new, innovative strategies and rediscover old marketing ideas that will bring more leads to your law firm.
  • The Ultimate Referral Letter: Charley Mann created the best, and easiest, way to grow your referral list within a few weeks. The Ultimate Referral Letter package is available to all membership levels, and when used this letter will immediately grow your referral network and start getting you better leads right away.
  • Access to our many templates, guides, and tutorials: The Great Legal Marketing crew is always hard a work bringing you the latest and greatest in practice growth. We publish new guides and videos to help you achieve your goals.
  • The Fast Action Boot Camp: The Fast Action Boot Camp is a members-only event where you get one-on-one access to the whole Great Legal Marketing crew. This event is popular among members, and many members attend more than once! This event is FREE with membership!
  • Discount and Specials: Great Legal Marketing hosts a three-day Summit once a year in Washington D.C. You can learn more about the Great Legal Marketing Summit by visiting Gold and Diamond members receive discounts on tickets and on any products available in our web store.
  • Access to Our Exclusive Membership Website: We created a portal for our members to access all our materials. Everything we send you for membership can be found in digital form on the membership, plus other materials you can find nowhere else.
  • ...Plus Much More!

How Do I Learn More About Great Legal Marketing and Membership?

You can learn all about Great Legal Marketing by browsing this website and by visiting You can also fill out our contact form at the bottom of this page to ask a specific membership question. These messages are sent directly to the Great Legal Marketing team and we respond within 24 hours.

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  • Since I Graduated Law School I Have Worked 80 Hour Weeks. Will This Ever Change?

    Spend less time working and more time making money for your law firm.Far too many attorneys believe that to be good at what you do, you need to be a workaholic. They certainly seem right, because working hard often equates to being successful and respected. Most old-school attorneys believe that if you are not willing to sacrifice your life, family, and friends for the practice of law, you are not a good attorney.

    Of course, that idea is rubbish. There is nothing noble in sacrificing your happiness just to be a lawyer. New Great Legal Marketing members are shocked to hear us say that working 10 hour days (even on weekends) is bad for your law practice. Our message is that working in your law firm less is better for your business than over-working. The health and mental benefits of working less outweigh the benefits of working 20 more hours a week.

    Not convinced? Here are four reasons you should work less.

    1. Focusing Your Time Helps You Make More Money
      You have to trust your office staff to do their jobs. If you can't trust them, get rid of them and hire people you can trust. If they are trustworthy people, but you find it difficult to let go of some tasks, you need to put your practice in perspective. You are the business owner, and you are responsible for making the most money possible. To do this efficiently, you should focus your time and energy on money-making tasks.
    2. Time Away From Your Law Firm is Time Well-Spent
      When was the last time you shut your office door and spent some time thinking about your law firm? For some, this activity can seem like a time waster, but you should be dedicating part of your day or week to meditating on your law firm. Meditating like this will help you clear your thoughts and focus your energy on what matters in your law practice.
    3. Office Systems Should do Most of the Work for You
      The technology to automate many office systems used to be unattainable for small businesses. That is not the case anymore. Many of your office processes can be and should be automated. Even some legal work can be automated our outsourced so you can spend your time on the work that is profitable and enjoyable.
    4. You Are the Only Person Who Will Respect Your Time
      If you want to spend less time working, you are the only person who can make that happen. Clients will still call and demand to speak to you right away. Office staff will walk into your office and interrupt you. Potential clients will schedule appointments and cancel at the last minute. These time wasters will continue unless you put your foot down.

    Any item on that list should be enough for you to think about how you are spending your time. Something as simple as automating your office processes can save you many hours each week. Even if you implement one of these items, you will be in a better position to lead your law firm.

    Won't Working Less Mean I am Less Productive?

    If I were speaking to teenagers, I would probably talk about the value of hard work. However, I am not speaking to teenagers, I am speaking to the most over-worked group of professionals in the world. When I talk to attorneys, I have to remind them, sometimes more than once, that adding stress to your life is not good for your business or your health.

    Still, many attorneys are worried about how they are perceived by their peers. They don't want to be the attorney in the room that works the least. My thought is "who cares!" You may not be the hardest working attorney in the room, but you can still be making the most money. It may seem like a paradox, but it is the truth.

    I don't walk into my office until after 11 am. I rarely stay later than 5 pm, and I never work weekends. There are many who would say "there is no way Ben can be making money living like that," but my practice is more profitable than ever. Plus, I have kept my law firm small. I have limited my crew to one other attorney and four support staff, and we are one of the only law firms handling ERISA disability claims in Virginia. I am also a father of nine, a soccer referee, and I run Great Legal Marketing.

    Most would look at all my responsibilities and assume it is impossible to do what I do, while "working" as little as I do. The secret is that I protect my time. I don't take unscheduled phone calls, I don't keep email on my phone, and I refuse to sacrifice time with my family for work.

    These ideas can work for you also. Implement one, or all, of the ideas I have listed here and you will see your life improve right away. Ignore what your peers may say, attorneys don't need to work 80 hours a week to make money, and they shouldn't work that much if they want to be happy.

  • I received a terrible review on a leading attorney review website. Is my practice ruined? What should I do?

    First on all, you should understand that getting a negative review is not the end of the world: no business has ever had 100 percent positive feedback, there are tons of nuts on the Internet, and most people understand that no attorney they find will be perfect. Still, there are several steps you can take in the wake of a bad online review.

    Before anything else, respond to the negative review if possible. You may have the options to respond both publicly and privately, and you may wish to do both. A thoughtful, earnest, and professional response can ease the worries of anyone who has read the negative review. A private email to the reviewer may end with the reviewer removing or rewriting the post.

    Next, ask your other clients and fans to write a review on the lawyer review website. The more positive reviews you have, the more suspect the negative review becomes. Make it easy for former clients and supporters to review your website by adding a review page onto your website as well as buttons that send users directly to the review page.

    Finally, try not to go overboard or get personally offended. It’s easy to brood over a negative review or to go all out and attempt to threaten or sue. These issues are not worth that much time, effort, and money. Read the review. Process the review for any useful criticism. Respond to the review. Move on with your life.

  • Not All of My Ideal Clients Who Come in End Up Hiring Me. Could My Staff Members Be to Blame?

    Staff problems are only one reason your customers could be walking out the door. Since they were able to find you and connect with you online or by phone before turning away, you may be able to gain some insight into why they did not choose you to represent them.

    The most important element of a personal injury attorney marketing campaign is feedback. If you don’t know if an element of your marketing is working, how will you know it has been worth the investment—and if you should bother spending money on it again in the future?

    It is vital that you involve yourself everywhere in your business, even if you cannot be physically present. You are the head of the business, your name is on the front door, and every person working below you is representing—and selling—you. That means that every time a staff member comes into contact with a customer, he has the ability to bring that client in or turn him away with each action he takes.

    You must communicate to your staff that all forms of communication with your prospects and established clients are “sales moments.” Your employees should be working to improve every customer’s experience and relationship with your firm as if the customer were dealing directly with you. How effective is this communication? It is so important to that every action can either move the relationship forward or stop it completely—even with as little as a glance toward the clock while a customer is speaking.

  • Wait, so you’re saying that how I run my law office could affect my health?

    Yes, the way that you choose to run your law office can harm your health and even significantly shorten your life. And I’m not just saying that. Studies show that work-related stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind, from repetitive stress injuries and high blood pressure to depression and anxiety.

    The solution to your job stress is not to work harder, although that’s what many attorneys think: “If only I can make more money, then I can finally slow down and life will be enjoyable.” The truth is that you need to stop running yourself into the ground and being on call to clients around the clock. Being a great attorney involves taking time for yourself and taking time for your family. It even means leaving the office in time to eat dinner and taking a couple of vacations each year.

    Running yourself ragged to capture some semblance of success or financial security isn’t worth it if you aren’t going to be around to enjoy your retirement. Not to mention: health problems caused by working too much can stop you from working (and supporting your family) altogether.

    At Great Legal Marketing, we have devised a system that balances hard work with family life and relaxation. We have also figured out the secret to finding the cases and clients you want without spending all of your free time on attorney marketing. How do we know that it works? Ben Glass lives what he preaches, and so do many attorneys that have worked with him.

  • I hired a content provider to add pages to my website. When I checked the new pages, they were full of errors and bad links. What should I do?

    When it comes to adding content to your legal website, you get what you pay for. Content is an investment, and a low price will often mean an equally low return. Some providers will even charge clients outrageous sums for “cut and pasted” articles, putting the client at risk of a plagiarism claim. For all these reasons, it pays—literally—to do your homework before hiring a content provider.

    Here are three basic items that every web content company should (but doesn’t necessarily) provide:

    • Originality. You are, first and foremost, paying someone to create a custom product just for you. If your web “copy” is just that, you need to find a different content provider.
    • Spelling. You are in a business where your intellect matters. Spelling errors are the number one reason potential clients will leave your site; if they know more than you do, why should they hire you?
    • Grammar. Poor grammar is not only a turn-off for your readers, it’s an open advertisement for your competition. Visiting attorneys need only to point to a badly written site to shine by comparison (even if their case record is not as good as yours).

    After these criteria have been met, you may have acceptable content for your readers. However, if the content is not properly optimized, those readers are not going to be able to find your site—making the content just as useless as if it had not been written at all.

  • Automated attorney marketing? But aren’t triggered emails impersonal and annoying to receive?

    One of the biggest fears attorneys have about using an automated marketing service is that it will scare away potential clients or that it harasses people after they have requested information. However, this is simply not the case. While some have the misconception that triggered emails annoy, the data are in our favor: automated marketing simply works. Microsoft has used triggered emails to increase click-throughs by 2,100 percent, while Jet Blue’s triggered emails produce 1,640 percent more revenue than promotional emails.

    When thinking about triggered emails and automated marketing, it is important to remember, first and foremost, that your contacts willingly gave you their information! They want to hear from you and they are looking for more information and more answers. Triggered emails are actually “more polite” than promotional emails—they are only sent to people who ask for them.

    Also remember that triggered emails should be filled with things that the reader wants: more free offers, more information, and more encouragement. Who wouldn’t want to receive that? As long as your emails are warm, courteous, and brimming with things that the reader is interested in, you won’t be doing harm.

    And if you are still afraid of using triggered emails, consider this: anyone who is annoyed by your correspondence can either request to be taken off of your list or can put your emails in his spam folder. No harm done.

  • I don’t have time to write a legal guide to offer to my clients. Won’t another marketing tool be just as good, and take less time?

    The problem here is that you’re thinking the wrong way around. To bring in clients, you need to make it easier for your customers to find you, not easier for you to find customers.

    Think about the most common “free” offers most attorneys provide for their clients. Free consultations are so prevalent it’s hard to find an attorney who doesn’t offer one. And yet, a consultation involves a customer—who is already reluctant to make contact—picking up the phone to call a stranger. For most customers, the risk is too high and the return is too unknown to make that leap. Newsletters are easy enough to produce and offer, but usually talk about the goings-on at the firm rather than how the firm can help the customer.

    Now imagine what a scared, tired customer will see when you are offering an entire book full of legal information on their specific case and circumstances. You’re giving them a chance to arm themselves with information, letting their feelings of fear and powerlessness melt away. At the same time, you’re letting them see exactly what you know and how you can help them—and they don’t have to leave their house or even pick up the phone. What other tool gives them exactly what they want with minimal effort on their part?

    Of course, if you don’t want to write the book, there are plenty of alternatives. Many ghostwriters are available to take on the task at minimal cost to you, with the advantage that you can read and edit it to make sure it is worthy of your name.

  • How do I track the results of my law firm’s social media campaign?

    The great thing about most social media platforms is that you can get an instant response to your legal marketing. Within seconds of posting an update, Tweeting, or changing your status, your followers will be able to comment on and share your message, disseminating your firm’s message exponentially.

    If you want to take it a step further, there are ways to get a more concrete information on your social media marketing. Facebook and Twitter have tracking software built right in, making it easy to track your marketing results—and the best thing is, it’s also free.

    Here are a few ways to take advantage of free social media tracking:

    • Twitter. Twitter offers analytics on tweet performance and engagement. They also monitor how many followers you gain or lose within the last 30 days.
    • Facebook. Facebook’s Pages application allows you to create a “page,” or fan site, for your business, allowing you to post as the business entity or under your own name. Facebook automatically tracks the reach and activity of all fan sites, which can be seen on the administrator’s page.
    • Google Analytics. All websites should have Google Analytics no matter what. Analytics offers many tools that you need to discover how social media is driving traffic to your website, and how that social media traffic behaves on your website.

    You can get a lot of info from the free tools that are available to you, but paid platforms like HootSuite can help you automate your social media and allow you to post status updates on all social media platforms from one place.

    Remember: the key to successful marketing for personal injury lawyers is getting a great return on investment. Creating a marketing campaign is only half the job; the other half is tweaking your message and platforms so that your marketing is constantly growing and evolving.

  • Should I automate my marketing follow-up campaigns? Wouldn’t that be less effective than following up personally?

    We admit: there’s nothing better than sending a thoughtful, unique, and personal email to every person who fills out a contact form on your website or requests a free offer. But is it practical? And is it as effective as it first seems?

    We don’t think so.

    When you look at the big picture, sending automated marketing responses trumps trying to follow-up individually every time. Not only does it save you a significant amount of time and money, but it also presents opportunities to sharpen your game.

    First and foremost, automated marketing gets you out of the office and completing more important tasks—whether it’s helping a current client or spending time with your family. While it’s nice to write a personal note, the personal note doesn’t have the huge benefits you may think.

    Next, it is important to understand that automated marketing makes it possible to better track your responses and your marketing campaign effectiveness. If everyone is receiving the same emails and “touches,” you can easily see what is working and what is not working. You can also look at data to determine if you are sending too many communications or too few.

    Finally, you should know that automated marketing helps your potential clients, too. It reminds them of their interest, provides them with helpful information, and makes them feel welcome at your office. If they aren’t interested in your legal services, they can simply opt out of future communications.

  • Should I try to get more followers on social media? How will that help my social media marketing?

    Getting more followers on social media has a few benefits. In a way, having a lot of followers on Facebook is like having a lot of email contacts. They are people you can marketing to with relative ease, plus you know they are somewhat interested in your law firm.

    There is more value in a contact on your email list than in social media. Emails, generally, get more attention than a status update. However, that does not mean your social media followers are worthless to your marketing. You can still reach them regularly by keeping your social media page current and up-to-date.

    More followers may also equal more Facebook reviews. Most people have Facebook now, and Facebook is putting emphasis on it's online reviews. In fact, if you Googled your firm's name, more than likely your Facebook page will rank high on page one.

    In marketing terms, Facebook followers are the equivalent to people who are on your mailing list in some important ways.

    • Permission to market. When users click the “like” button, they are subscribing to your page’s updates the same way they would agree to receive your newsletter, mailed brochures, or email updates.
    • Demographic information. You can easily see a list of those who “like” your page, allowing you to see where your fans are located, what they do for a living, and other valuable information that will help you tailor your marketing efforts in the future.
    • An opportunity to update followers easily. Many people would rather receive your updates through social media than by getting weekly emails cramming their inboxes. Updating your status is not only less time-consuming, it’s less of an imposition on your fans.

    Your “likes” also emphasize the social aspect of social media: the more popular you are, the more new users will trust your credibility. It gives you a palpable measurement of the size of your marketing audience, giving you an estimation of how many people—and friends of those people—you have an immediate opportunity to convert.

  • Aren’t industry norms there for a reason? Why should I approach marketing differently than everyone else?

    We know it feels good to follow industry norms and do what everyone else is doing—just like it’s easy to crumble to peer pressure, buy into the next big trend, or follow the crowd. But just because something is easy and comfortable doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you.

    • If you follow industry norms, you are doing exactly what your competition is doing, and clients are going to have a hard time differentiating you. Not only that, but you will be attracting the same exact clients as your competition. You won’t stand out and you won’t excel.
    • If you follow industry norms, you are assuming that conventional legal marketing is the optimum strategy. What have you done to confirm that the marketing ideas you use and the approach you take to your job are the best? Have you ever tried anything different or thought through what might be best for you?
    • If you follow industry norms, nothing will change. If you are reading this, you probably aren’t totally happy with your life. Your practice may not be as successful as you like. You might be overworked. Your marketing plan may not be working. How are you going to make things different? Probably not by continuing on the same path you are on. If you follow the same path everyone else has already taken, there’s no way you’re going end up the leader.

  • I made sure my site has tons of keyword phrases on every page. Does this mean it has been optimized for search engines?

    Too many attorneys make the mistake of using the same keywords over and over, hoping the phrases will continue to point customers in the right direction—while others rely on over-linking each page, hoping to attract anyone to their pages by any means necessary.

    In order to optimize your website properly, you have to see your content as smaller parts of a comprehensive whole. If done correctly, these pages will work together, rather than just being forced together.

    When deciding on keyword placement for your personal injury attorney marketing, pay careful attention to:

    • Diversification. The search terms your customers use to find you will be as varied as the people themselves, so you’ll have to think carefully about what a prospective client might search for.
    • Grouping. Always keep the bigger picture in mind when writing content. Where would your piece best fit on your site? Which link would best provoke the visitor to continue reading? Always group similar content together and provide easy, one-click routes for customers to keep moving through your site.
    • Flow. You should always reread your copy to make sure it feels natural and that keywords have been well-integrated. Is the most important information given first? Does your linked copy lead to a page that fits the keywords used? If not, rewrite it so that your information builds and reads organically.

  • How can I successfully market my law firm with all of the constraints my state bar association puts on advertising?

    One of the major challenges facing attorneys today is the set of rules and regulations put forth by their state bar associations. These guidelines and regulations are in place to make certain that lawyers advertise in an ethical manner, but some believe that some of the rules are not well thought out or fair. What can you do about these constraints, and how can you still advertise successfully?

    First, know your state’s advertising rules—and follow them! Even if you don’t agree with everything, realize that it’s important to follow the regulations closely. You do not want to find yourself arguing about whether or not you have been professional, and you do not want to have to delete big chunks of your marketing plan.

    Secondly, it is vital to understand that you can still have great attorney marketing campaigns, effective commercials, and killer websites even with the limitations in place. Sure, you might have to put in a bit more effort and think out of the box—but that’s where you find the best ideas and inspirations anyway. Instead of letting the rules stifle you, let them challenge you to find a new way to reach potential clients.

    Finally, know that the Ben Glass style of marketing has been formed with these regulations in mind and is designed to work without attorneys having to worry about crossing any ethical lines or getting negative attention from their bar association. We even give our members regular updates about their state’s newest advertising rules.

  • I don’t get it: what makes attorney marketing so different?

    Why do you need learn about marketing strategies that are specific to attorneys and law firms? Why can’t you just get help from any number of so-called “marketing gurus” on the Internet? Let’s face it: marketing legal services is very different from marketing other goods and services—and you probably already know that from trying to get exposure and better cases for your law office.

    First of all, attorneys must market their law offices under the direction of their state bar associations. They face limitations that other businesses simply don’t have to deal with, such as not being able to claim specializations or not being able to post content without approval. You are literally playing with a different set of rules from those other companies use.

    Secondly, you have a lot of very similar competition. More lawyers are graduating from law school every year, and yet jobs for attorneys are getting harder and harder to come by. You probably have stiff competition in your area even if you’ve chosen a niche—and some of your competitors may be spending a fine dime on marketing efforts.

    Finally, attorneys have the added challenge of marketing to a very specific and very local audience—something that is tough to do online. How do you make sure your online marketing dollars go toward only a small geographic area, and how do you make sure you are targeting your ideal clients?

  • I have been asked to write a chapter for a book. Is it a good use of my time, and how will it benefit my legal marketing?

    Only you can answer whether it is worth it to contribute to a print-only source, because you must decide what that “worth” is. Is it clients coming in the door, the knowledge you will impart to future law students, or the validation that comes from being in print? If you enjoy the task, then by all means, take it on.

    That said, paper media will never give your marketing the boost that online marketing will. Consider the differences when writing content for:

    • Books. Book chapters will take up a great deal of your time, are not available freely to the public, reach only a handful of readers (most of whom will not be clients) and take a very long time from conception to print. Financially, you will earn what little dividends you can from the book’s sales, but not much else. However, your contribution to “old media” may establish some added credibility in your field.
    • Papers and presentations. These fall somewhere between old and new media, and have benefits of both: added professional standing, the respect of your peers, and a searchable and downloadable source of informative content.
    • Online publications. This is the perfect combination of advertising and professional authority. Most publications are trending toward online versions (many are only available online), making them the ideal media for your marketing. With links both to and from your website, your customers have multiple avenues in which to discover your content, improving both your credibility and your search engine rankings.

  • I’m a personal injury attorney, so most of my keywords revolve around “injured in a car accident,” or “injured on someone’s property.” Won’t a lot of other attorneys be using these keywords, too?

    Sure, but that’s not all bad. If there are several popular terms that are being used to find your competitors, you would be wise to let your customers know that your services are available in this area, too.

    Remember: your keywords must be both popular and competitive to draw in your ideal clients. Popularity refers to the number of times your potential clients search for a particular a key phrase during a specific period of time. Competitiveness is a term used to describe the number of webpages that are optimized for that particular key phrase.

    This does not mean you should seek out the top five most popular terms and use them repeatedly throughout your site. If 100,000 people are searching for “personal injury attorney in Atlanta,” you probably aren’t going to be on the first page of search results using that term.

    Whether you just started your online campaign or you’re trying to improve your firm’s personal injury attorney marketing, the best rule of thumb is to strike a balance between popularity and competitiveness. You will have more success finding a less popular keyword phrase that has a lesser amount of competition.

    So how do you find your perfect keyword phrases? There are many different search engine optimization firms that can help you choose and implement keywords effectively. If you want to go it alone, there are a few online programs (such as Google Analytics) that can help you discover which phrases are being used to find your site everyday, helping you hone your marketing campaign.

  • Why Is Education-Based Marketing a Good Idea for Attorneys?

    There are two different parties that benefit from education-based marketing: you and your clients. Let’s take a closer look at how this type of marketing strategy helps everyone involved.

    Why your clients benefit

    When clients are first confronted with a legal issue, they need information even before they need an attorney. Getting the information they need may help them find the best attorney fit for them. The informed client will not waste his time (or your time) speaking to an attorney that could not help them; he will not call up a bankruptcy attorney for help with his misdemeanor charges. He will also be armed with enough information so he can make informed choices about his life and legal issues. Finally, educated clients are more likely to partner with you, work with you, and let you do your job for them.

    Why you benefit

    An educated client is a good client: you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time explaining simple legal concepts to her and you don’t have to worry that she does not understand the process. In addition, education-based marketing is a great way to find ideal clients that you may not otherwise get into contact with; by putting helpful information on your website, anyone searching for information may find your website in her search results.

    Remember: when your clients benefit, you benefit—and when you benefit, your clients benefit.

  • How can I tell if my keywords will give me a high Google ranking AND attract my ideal clients?

    Many attorneys find it difficult to find the “sweet spot” of advertising for humans and search engine robots. If you haven’t had much experience using keywords before, here are a few must-have guidelines to remember:

    • Practice the 5 W’s. Most of the keywords you will use to attract your ideal clients will be local search terms. Think like a reporter: your keywords should cover the who, what, where, when and why of your ideal customer. “Who” is you (attorney, law firm, etc.); “what” is your practice area (divorce, bankruptcy), “where” is your area (to avoid using your home city and state over and over again, pick five or six towns near you where your ideal client is likely to live, work, or shop). “Why” is a mix of long-tail keywords (“died while in surgery in TX”) that produce a set of small, specific results. “When” is always now.
    • Make your content match your keywords. The goal of your marketing should be to provide organic keyword placement so that your content is highly searchable and reads naturally. If your headline contains the term “Texas birth defects,” your supporting content must relate to these keywords in a direct and natural way.
    • Do your research. If you’re really at a loss, you can always visit your competition’s websites to find out which terms are being used for your services in your area. After you have narrowed down which terms you want to use, you can visit your website’s backstage area to discover which phrases your customers used to find you, helping you identify and expand on the most effective key phrases for your website.

  • When it comes to legal practices, why are there riches in niches?

    Too many lawyers and law offices take too many types of cases—and some even take basically any case that walks in the door. The thought behind their action is that the more cases and the more clients, the better. However, this is simply not true. By having a niche practice area, you can get better cases, make more money, and establish yourself as an authority on the topic.

    By picking a niche, you are picking an expertise: you can spend your time and effort learning about a much narrower field of knowledge—and over time your community will recognize your knowledge and experience. When someone need an attorney for the legal issue you specialize in, she will either already know that you can help, or she will quickly find you online.

    By picking a niche, you are also making the decision not to take on cases that don’t optimize your time and your skills. You should pick a niche that you are interested in, that you feel you excel at, and that brings you the type of success you are looking for. Get rid of the cases that don’t showcase your skills and that you don’t enjoy or profit from.

    Ultimately, you will find that your practice thrives with a focus: you can invest more time in your cases rather than in keeping up to date with dozens of practice areas. You can establish yourself as an authority by showcasing your strengths. And you will see that clients come looking for you, not the other way around.

  • After investing tens of thousands of dollars into a complete overhaul of our law firm's website, and implementing SEO best practices, we've rocketed from the 20th to the second page of Google results for our key search term. What can we do to make it onto the first page?

    It's probably not the answer you or your partners want to hear, but your best option is to simply wait and pursue other marketing initiatives in the meantime.

    No doubt, it's a major accomplishment to climb from the 20th page of Google search results to the second page, especially if this happened over the course of a few weeks. The problem is that potential clients who search on your main key phrase (say, “San Diego car accident lawyer”) won't be inclined to click through to the second page of results; they'll either choose a firm on the first page or type in a different search term. Also, it will be extremely hard to dislodge the firms on the first page of results, which have had a significant head start and are probably using equally cutting-edge SEO techniques.

    The good news is that, over the next few months, you may well see your site lifted up to the first page of results. This is a common Google effect; sites that have “staying power” and that have built up a large library of internal links and quality content tend to rise in the rankings over time, though not as quickly as most webmasters would like. This is just more evidence that the best marketing for lawyers is self-reinforcing over time.

    Once you've made it to the #9 slot on the first page, your next target will be to get “above the fold”; believe it or not, many impatient searchers are too lazy even to scroll down to the bottom five results! (It's also possible that you may find your placement improved by a change in Google's search algorithm; these rollouts tend to have unpredictable effects, though, and you may just as well find yourself demoted to the third page as promoted to the first.)

  • Do I really have to throw out all of my old marketing materials? Some of them were expensive!

    If you want to continue using brochures, keychains, or other printed materials that you have boxes and boxes of in your office, you can. Handing them out will give you more exposure than throwing them away, so feel free to use them until they’re gone. But when they’re gone, don’t reprint them—replace them with something better.

    Think of it this way: when you graduated from law school, did you receive a clock, pen, or nameplate with the scales of justice printed on it? You may still get these presents every year from well-meaning family members. The problem is, they’re stereotypical and hackneyed images of the law profession—and if everyone uses them, it means everyone is the same.

    Take a look at your old brochures. Is your name the only thing original about them? Are you talking about your qualifications and case results rather than addressing your customer’s problems? Are the only incentives to call you a phone number and firm email address?

    The key to great marketing for personal injury lawyers is to subvert your customers’ expectations. You don’t want to do what every other lawyer is doing; you want to distinguish yourself in your field. This means providing a lot of information for free, having the patience for a low-pressure sale, and pointing all of your marketing toward getting the customer to contact you rather than hire you.

    The good news is, you already have the information you need to change your marketing. You know what clients tell you when they first walk in your door: their fears, their questions, and their concerns. Imagine you needed help, and someone provided the answers before you even asked your questions. That’s the person you want to be.

  • I bought a trackable 800 number for my law firm, and I included it on my website and marketing materials. Do I need to spend money on other ways to contact us?

    You should definitely give your customers more than one way to initiate contact, but many of these cost nothing for you or the customer—with the added bonus that the customer can get an instantaneous response.

    Here are a few contact options you may wish to consider:

    • Instant email. You should already be using email as a way to communicate with your clients. However, keep in mind that you can create as many email addresses as you want, filling a number of different marketing uses. A specific email address for inquiries can be programmed to send out automatic responses for free.
    • Contact us now! widget. A contact box can be written into the code of your website, making it easy for your customer to get in touch with just a few easily-typed lines.
    • Irresistible offer. Your irresistible offer is not only the most compelling reason to contact your firm, but it is also something that will give you the biggest return on your investment. If you offer it only as an e-book, than your only investment is time.
    • Live Chat. Many customer service sites now offer a Live Chat box that pops up while the customer is visiting the site. You must pay for a live operator to be available day and night, but it may be worth the monthly fees.

  • One of the clients at my law practice is a major source of irritation - phone calls in the middle of the night, unpaid bills, missed appointments, etc. I'd like to fire him, but he also brings in a significant amount of money. What can I do?

    This is an issue virtually every lawyer faces at one time or another. What you're referring to, though you may not be aware of it, is the Pareto Principle—the general rule that 80 percent of a given outcome can be traced to 20 percent of possible causes. In the best case, you can identify the 20 percent of your practice's clients who give you the majority of your aggravation, and fire them—and retain the 20 percent that produce 80 percent of your profits!

    The problem arises when these percentages overlap—that is, when one of your clients is difficult to work with, yet also contributes a fair amount to your bottom line. In this case, you have to sit down and really think about the consequences of cutting this client loose. Sure, you will lose some money in the near term, but if this person has made you so crazy that you can't even think straight, you may find that getting rid of him frees up the mental space you need to find and service new paying clients.

    On the other hand, if firing this client would be an extreme financial hardship, you need to come up with a strategy by which you can retain his business and reduce your angst. A patient intermediary (a paralegal or administrative assistant) might be one solution, or you can come to an agreement with the client that you will only be available via phone or email during specific times, or address the other issues (late payments, missed appointments) that make him difficult to handle.

  • Do I really need to track my advertising campaign? I can tell when business is picking up, and it’s obviously because of my marketing efforts. Why should I spend money on tracking software?

    There may be no greater indicator of where the market is going than tracking your advertising efforts. Think of your marketing campaign as a finely-tuned sports car: tracking is the compass that tells you where the best roads are.

    A few things to keep in mind when it comes to tracking the effects of your marketing for personal injury lawyers:

    • Correlation is not causation. You may have gotten an influx of clients because of your new marketing campaign, but it also could be because a competitor went out of business, or a recent client gave your business cards out at a conference. Knowing why your business is successful is key to keeping it successful for years to come.
    • You may have multiple balls in the air. Effective marketing is a juggling act. You may have several commercials, multiple practice areas, and four or five specific marketing materials out to the public at once. Think of how much money you will save by knowing which one is bringing in all the new business (and which ones you need not pursue in the future).
    • You may not need to spend much. There are some software options that will evaluate your marketing for free. For example, Google Analytics is a free online tool that can tell you basic statistics, such as the search terms people used to find your site, how long they stayed on your pages, and which search terms are the most popular—all invaluable to your marketing campaign.

    Of course, there is more to tracking than just identifying popular keywords. You must also set up individual phone numbers or websites for each piece of your marketing pie, pinpointing exactly where your customers are coming from.

  • I've installed state-of-the-art client management software at our law firm, which is so simple that even an entry-level employee can master it. Doesn't that reduce the pressure on me to hire the “best” administrative assistant I can find?

    You are basing your question on a faulty premise—that even the most advanced client-management software system will somehow make up for the failings of the employee you decided to hire right off the street, with a minimum of screening.

    As anyone at NASA can tell you, a sophisticated computer system is no match for a poorly trained employee, who in the best case will be unable to interpret or manipulate the data that the system spits out, and in the worst case will succeed in pressing the wrong button and erasing all the information you've stored about prospective and existing clients. (One day scientists may develop truly self-aware software that resists the determined efforts of human beings to foul things up, but we're not anywhere near to that ideal yet!)

    The fact is that even the most “user-friendly” software systems require a certain amount of training on the part of the employees that use them—and if you hire just any administrative assistant, especially one who is not familiar with how computers work, you will just be asking for trouble. Look at it this way: as good as your software is at keeping tabs on prospective clients, emailing them regular newsletters, and automatically updating their contact information, somewhere down the line that person will want to hear from a real, live representative of your firm. If you happen to be in court that day, or tied up in other business, you'll have no choice but to delegate that task to your employee—and if she's not properly trained in customer service, you can kiss that prospective client goodbye.

  • I feel like I’m contacting my prospective customers all the time. Aren’t they going to feel pressured or annoyed by all of the mailings and emails I’m sending?

    Probably not. After all, they gave you permission to market to them when they signed up for your newsletter, free book, or other materials in the past. You should never be marketing to anyone who hasn’t given his consent.

    That said, the reason you send these materials out is to keep your name fresh in your contacts’ minds—and if you’re annoying them, that name will be mud. The best law firm marketing ideas depend on consistent and considerate contact with your customers, which often means:

    • Tailor your “opting out” choices. All of your materials should include a line or link with simple instructions for “opting out” of your marketing. In some cases, customers who receive too many emails may not want to unsubscribe completely, just receive one message a month. Better to keep them less often than lose them completely.
    • Switch up your message. People are easily bored if all your contact with them points toward a single message (hire us!). Instead, send a newsletter with the happenings around the office, or changes in local laws that can affect the cases you serve. If you’re appearing on a radio show offering free legal advice, send a postcard inviting them to listen in.
    • Exceed your clients’ expectations. Imagine someone is so annoyed by your constant marketing materials that he calls you up and grills you for legal information. Imagine his surprise when being greeted by courteous staff, being put through to an apologetic and knowledgeable attorney, and getting answers to all of his questions with no pressure to sign a contract. I’ll bet he is glad you sent “too many” newsletters now!

  • After all the effort I've put into my law firm's website, we're still not ranking highly in Google for our targeted search term, “New York personal injury lawyer.” Can't I put together a pay-per-click advertising campaign so we can finally appear on the first page of Google results?

    Yes, you can, but you'd better have deep pockets! First off, it's no surprise that your firm is not ranking highly for the phrase “New York personal injury lawyer,” for the simple fact that this is one of the most competitive search strings in the American legal system—and there are only 10 slots available on the first page of Google results. Even if you do absolutely everything right, it might take years for your law firm's website to claw its way near the top—and even then, you could be taken right down again by the next Google algorithm change.

    Now on to your question about a pay-per-click campaign. The way this kind of advertising works, you will pay more when prospective clients click on more general key phrases—and “New York personal injury lawyer” is about as general as it gets. Don't be surprised if chasing this phrase costs you hundreds of thousands of dollars, which might be better spent on a different kind of web advertising or a redirection of your marketing efforts toward TV, radio or print media.

    However, if you're feeling less ambitious, you can spend a fraction of that amount on more highly targeted phrases with lesser search volume. If “New York personal injury attorney” is out of the question, you might want to consider something like “Brooklyn car accident lawyer”—or even get more specific (“Flatbush fender-bender attorney” probably won't set you back all that much). Better still, you can purchase a wide assortment of less popular key phrases for a fraction of the cost of “New York personal injury lawyer.”

  • I've done everything right with my law firm's website—writing tons of copy, adhering to best SEO practices, using crisp images and compelling headlines—yet I still can't make it onto the first page of Google results for my key search phrases. What do I do next?

    There is nothing more frustrating than “playing by the rules” when building your law firm's website, and not being able to reap the desired results—a spot in the top five search results when a prospective client types in one of your key phrases (such as “Minneapolis car accident lawyer.”) This isn't necessarily your fault; there's a lot of competition out there, and if other law firms in your area have gotten a head start, it may be very hard indeed to claw your way onto the first page of Google results.

    But don't despair—all hope is not lost. As you've surely noticed in your adventures on the web, “traditional” search results in Google are increasingly accompanied by all sorts of paid ads, to the extent that many people in search of a lawyer have a hard time telling these ads from the actual results!

    If you invest in a pay-per-click marketing campaign, you can guarantee that a text ad will pop up somewhere on the first page of Google results when a user types in your desired search term. You may be buried on the fifth page of results for “Minneapolis car accident lawyer,” but your text ad will still be there, waiting to be clicked on. Even better, the way this kind of advertising works, you don't have to pay a dime if that searcher does not click on your ad—and if he does click on your ad, you're already well on your way to signing him on as a client!

  • I don’t see how a “low-pressure” sale is going to work on my customers. If I don’t sign them right away, won’t they go to another attorney?

    It’s pretty unlikely. After all, if you were looking for advice and nobody would talk to you without signing a contract, would you trust any of them? Or would you go home and look elsewhere for someone who was willing to answer your questions for free?

    For example, consider the length of time it takes for someone to hire an attorney after they are in an accident. They may rely on hospital care for several weeks, and when they are released, they are focused on convalescing and returning to work. They may not even begin to consider legal action as a way to cope with their injury costs for months—or years.

    What are you doing all this time?

    • Providing answers. The content of your website is free and specifically tailored for your ideal clients. Since each new blog and article will address a facet of their case, your customers will think of you as an authority (and the ideal lawyer to hire for their case).
    • Building loyalty. By keeping in constant communication with your prospects, you are keeping your name in their heads as a viable option and letting them know you haven’t forgotten them.
    • Spreading your message. All of your customers have the potential to recommend or share your materials with their friends, increasing your reach.

    People often assume that attorneys are only interested in them to make money. Your prospective clients will hold back on hiring you because they are naturally mistrustful of “ambulance chasers” who profit off of others’ misery. If you want to change their minds, you’re going to have to be willing to spend the time earning their trust.

  • I have a free offer for my niche practice area, but one of my competitors is now offering something similar. What can I do to get the advantage back?

    Now that attorneys have started to see the value of a free offer for their customers, it’s becoming a buyer’s market for legal services. And that’s fine; remember, there are plenty of clients to go around. The clients you don’t want may be perfect for your competition, and if they’re not going to be profitable for you, you should let them go.

    However, this can be problematic if your niche practice area overlaps with that of your competition. To avoid fighting for over your ideal clients, you only need to change your tactics slightly. For example, try tweaking your irresistible offer by making:

    • CDs. Listening to your guide is even easier than reading it, and gets the customer familiar with your voice.
    • DVDs. You can easily compile your informational YouTube videos into an informational DVD, allowing your customers to watch you give them all the answers they need.
    • Another guide. If your first free offer deals with the aftermath of a car accident, answer a different question in your next guide. A book on whether or not the customer even needs an attorney (meaning you or your competitor) will turn him back toward you for the answer.

    The ultimate goal your guide should achieve is getting the customer to contact you. Most attorneys wait until the customer is actively seeking an attorney to market to them, and then making a “hard sell” to sign the client. But planting your name in the customer’s mind takes is a much more effective technique, and can take place at any point in the customer’s search—and it begins the moment they enter your site.