Internet marketing

The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet

Tired of Creating Content in a Vacuum? Who Reads it? Where does it Go?

We have selected two of our favorite topics for this post – how to have your content work harder for you (think better leverage and more and more effective distribution channels) and how to design a winning Twitter strategy.

There is a belief among lawyers who write articles and e-blasts, Tweet, post updates on LinkedIn and give speeches that once they have delivered a message, they have communicated.  But, as Liskow & Lewis Chief Marketing Officer Eric Fletcher notes, “They haven’t. Because they aren’t listening – they’re just talking.”

Before you spend one more minute creating and publishing content, listen first:

  1. Read/listen to what others are saying about topics, people, companies and causes that are important to you and your clients. Follow them and “hear” their points of view.
  2. In the social media context, listening is about social media “monitoring,” which is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet.

In today’s world of seemingly countless communication channels, it’s important to determine which ones make the most sense for your firm, its signature practices, its clients and the strengths of your lawyers.

360-Degree Content Strategy

Study this infographic created by co-author Deborah McMurray’s company, Content Pilot. It displays the range of options from and to which you can syndicate and leverage content from various online and offline channels. Think of this range of options as your distribution network. Not every one of your signature practices will utilize every channel you see here – the channels and media you exploit depend on the buyers for those particular services, how they spend their time, how they make decisions and what they read/listen to.

Don’t forget to script and leverage “Word of Mouth” (all lawyers want more qualified referrals from existing clients/friends) and “one-to-one relationships/conversations.” These are all content-disseminating moments that you can repackage and repurpose.


On Twitter, but Not Sure What to Tweet?

Writing has always been a great tool for lawyers to demonstrate their expertise and build their brands. In the past, finding opportunities to get published were not always easy. Then came websites and, later, blogs, and lawyers suddenly had a self-publishing platform. Now social media sites are giving lawyers even more ways to communicate. Twitter is one of the easiest to use and with 319 million users, the site provides entrée to a broad audience.

It’s not that hard to figure out the mechanics of Twitter. But figuring out what to post on Twitter is often the bigger challenge.

One of the easiest ways to generate good Twitter content is to follow leading thinkers and legal and general news sites reporting developments that affect your clients. Then act as a curator and retweet news you think is important to your audience. Add comments to provide background and offer your opinion on why the news is important.

You can also link to cases and new laws and regulations and explain their meaning. For example, when the 9th Circuit recently issued an opinion confirming a lower court TRO against the President’s travel ban, I went on a “tweet storm” and provided a real time summary of the decision on Twitter in a string of connected tweets. Because the case was so newsworthy, it was retweeted extensively.

Lawyers are advocates for their clients, but also are now involved in broader efforts to affect change and promote justice. Candidates take positions on issues that affect your clients and your community. Government agencies put out requests for comments on regulations. Lawyers are often in a good position to explain to people what these mean and to urge people to act. Lawyers with passion are some of Twitter’s most popular users and much of their content is pushing for positive change.

Follow journalists and comment on their stories and Twitter posts. Journalists frequently interact with readers and many will follow you back if you have useful things to say. They’ll also start calling you if you’re a demonstrated expert on a topic they’re covering.

Be sure to post links on Twitter to content that you’re generating elsewhere. Your blog and LinkedIn posts and articles can be promoted via your Twitter feed to reach a different audience.

Finally, show you’re not all business and that you have dimension. Tweet about your personal interests – sports, pop culture, science, music. Let readers know how interesting you are!

The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet

Greg Siskind and Deborah McMurray are co-authors of the recent book, Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet, 4th Edition.”  It is available in the ABA Book Store.

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