You’ve now seen a representative tour of the many types of web tools available to help you market your legal practice online for free. Hopefully you’ve found at least one niche that you’d like to explore further, and now we’re going to explore other resources on the web that offer further guidance on legal marketing. And don’t forget to just keep looking at other law firm web sites to get ideas. If you look at a firm like http://www.800goldlaw.com, you’ll find examples of many of the concepts touched on in this course. This firm even has a dedicated marketing director so you know it can provide lots of inspiration for your own efforts, even if you can’t match the marketing budget that it may have.
So many features on the internet now seem to be composed of lists, so I’ll start this lesson with one at http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/50_simple_ways_you_can_market_your_practice. Note how many of the suggestions focus on interacting with others in person, so remember to make offline marketing a priority. Having gotten an obligatory list out of the way, we’ll turn to blogs. I’m going to return to the concept of aggregators and point out a few that focus on online legal marketing. Check out http://legalmarketingreader.com/ and http://blawgsearch.justia.com/blogs/categories/legal-marketing. These two sites give a constantly updated feed of headlines from many blogs, so you can just keep sampling posts from different blogs until you find a few sites you want to follow regularly.
If you would rather take in some lectures rather than read blog posts, there are many webinars you can load up. At http://amicuscreative.com/corporate/Online_Marketing_Resources_for_Attorneys__Webinars_on_Demand_cp7742.htm you’ll find important topics like converting website visitors into leads and creating effective e-newsletter campaigns. A regular schedule of speakers will keep you tuning in at http://www.lunchhourlegalmarketing.com, where it seems that each month a different webinar is presented, along with an archive on the site. For an even deeper archive of talks, drop by Avvo’s marketing site at http://lawyernomics.avvo.com. All of these sites present audio but not necessarily video of the speaker, so think of these more like podcasts, like you might find on a site like http://solopracticeuniversity.com/category/audio. An interesting twist on this format is http://www.youtube.com/user/LawFirmMarketingMag, which has audio interviews as a kind of news-magazine format that are placed in a video channel.
Having touted the benefits of making e-books in the last lesson, now you can sample some e-books related to legal marketing. These give an in-depth treatment of strategies and often provide step-by-step instruction with screenshots and links. To get these books, you normally have to fill out a form and/or registration on the site or agree to be on a mailing list first, but you already know from reading this course that online marketing just works that way. A couple sites where you can get materials are http://www.legalproductivity.com/e-books/ and http://www.jameseducationcenter.com/marketing-practice/.
You can even can get some print magazines for free, too. E-Content magazine at http://www.econtentmag.com/Subscribe/ lets you know the latest strategies that online media companies are using to present their work. Law Technology News at http://www.lawtechnologynews.com/about-us will keep you up-to-date on what hardware and gadgets lawyers are viewing your marketing efforts on.
Browse some web sites on general start-up marketing. Although your state licensing bar probably has rules limiting the types of advertising you can do as an attorney, there is a whole sub-culture industry devoted to helping online businesses get more users and customers. Check out some of the bigger names in the biz at http://www.squidoo.com/seth and http://blog.kissmetrics.com/ultimate-guide-startup-marketing/, or take a look at some all-in-one resources like http://www.hubspot.com/free-marketing-resources.
While you’re exploring general marketing, don’t forget the traditional courses and resources that the big schools are putting online for free now. Wharton offers classes at http://blog.coursera.org/post/60889088289/the-wharton-foundation-series and Harvard supplies articles on marketing at http://hbswk.hbs.edu/topics/marketing.html. And a lot of other professors and experts contribute to courses on http://www.saylor.org. Just type “marketing” in the search box and pick your class. Naturally there’s a searchable aggregator of online classes too, so try this query for marketing classes at http://oedb.org/open/search-results/?search-term=marketing.
After taking a shot at making your own content and marketing it, you may feel frustrated if your efforts fall short of what the big firms produce with large professional budgets. Keep in mind that the standards of what is acceptable legal marketing are getting more wide open by the day. There are many real lawyers out there making ads that look like Saturday Night Live parodies, but actually seem to be real ads. You probably could guess that the site at http://www.bettercallsaul.com is not about a real lawyer. But what about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxDlrZTafhI&feature=share? Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KfACTAOPa0? Or this ad that ran during the Super Bowl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr2gdPY-88w? Or this over-the-top lawyer ad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBZuS-P69j8 that seems to be parodying the Super Bowl ad?
You may wonder whether those ads work, but consider that, in their own way, those loony ads do answer a lot of the questions about what potential clients want to know about lawyers they’re considering. The diagram at http://kevin.lexblog.com/2013/10/28/what-lawyers-put-in-online-profiles-versus-what-clients-want-in-profiles/ has been republished on the internet a lot, because it shows those crucial questions ever so bluntly. I wish you all the best in answering those questions as you choose to do so with your content, whether it’s with a simple slideshow or a rap video. Thanks for reading my course!