Internet marketing for lawyers: Is your website leaking?

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I just read an article that made my head hurt.

While I agree with some of the author’s “mistakes” in, “7 Lethal Internet Marketing Mistakes Law Firms Make”, I’m wondering where on earth he dug up the others. I’m also chaffing about why he didn’t include some of the truly lethal (and oh-so-common) mistakes.

Here are his “7 mistakes” and my comments.

1. Not having an online presence

Yep.

No question about it, this is a lethal mistake and many lawyers make it. If prospective clients can’t find you online, you’re loosing a boatload of business.

Many more lawyers do have an online presence, but it is ineffective. They have a website, it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. (If you have studied, Make the Phone Ring you know the 9 keys to an effective website.)

2. Advertising your fees on your website

I agree with this, too. It’s a mistake.

You can give people a general idea of what to expect (e.g., minimum fee, range) but make them call before you quote a specific fee.

3. Letting Membership in ABA lapse

Huh?

The author says (a) it’s important to network at ABA functions and (b) your membership looks good on social media.

Networking is good, and ABA functions may be a good place to do it, but there are many other options.

Does ABA membership look good on your website? It doesn’t look bad but most people really don’t care. The ones who know anything about the ABA know that any lawyer can join.

4. Ignoring Pro Bono work

Uhhh. . .

Pro Bono work is certainly a good thing, and mentioning it publicly may make you look good, but not mentioning it (or doing it) is nowhere near lethal.

5. Not understanding keywords and SEO

Yes and no.

You should have a basic understanding of the concepts, but you don’t need more than that. Read a few articles on the subject, and you’ll know what to do.

6. Not dressing professionally in photos

Absolutely.

Clients, referral sources, writers, et. al., expect to you see you looking like a lawyer. You can ALSO include some casual photos, e.g., you at the firm picnic, however.

7. Not having video on your website

Not lethal. Not even a mistake.

Video is nice but hardly necessary. Done wrong, you look cheesy. Done right, I don’t think it makes that much difference. (The author recommends hiring a professional crew to videotape you and make you look good.)

Now, what’s wrong with this picture? What’s missing from this list of mistakes? What’s more important for marketing online than belonging to the ABA?

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, I think you can come up with a few ideas.

Post your answer as a comment to this blog post (or reply to this email) and tell me what you would include.

Yesterday, I was interviewed about marketing professional services. It wasn’t specifically about Internet marketing, but I was asked, “What’s the most important thing lawyers can do with online marketing?”

What do you think I said?

No, it’s not on the list of “7 Mistakes”.

It’s something I talk about a lot. It’s also something most lawyers, even ones with a decent website, don’t do.

More to follow. . .

Internet marketing for lawyers: How to Make the Phone Ring

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Comments

  1. I am going to disagree with you about the usefulness of video. As long as it is done well, I think a video can add a lot. It is one way to distinguish your website, but I think it also is a good way to make a brief 30-60 sec intro about yourself and why someone might want to contact you. You could also cover some things that are frequently asked and I think it can help you appear more as an expert.
    I think you are spot on about everything else.
    PS Love your newsletters. Even though I don’t create any like I should, yours is the only newsletter I will routinely read as they are well thought out and not just the same thing every day.