Friday, January 29, 2010

Legal Marketing Strategies for Toyota Personal Injury or Product Liability Cases

Personal injury and product liability lawyers are expected to be busy for months on cases relating to the recall of Toyota vehicles for unintended acceleration, according to a January 29th Wall Street Journal article titled “Lawyers Set Aim at Toyota.” Claims for lower vehicle values, rather than injuries, are expected to be an area of emphasis.

Here are five legal marketing strategies for personal injury and product liability attorneys that can begin to generate immediate prospects for new cases:

1. A Google AdWords campaign can be launched quickly and effectively. You can manage your budget and measure the results in terms of number of impressions, site visitors, the associated click-through rate, and cost per click.

2. Optimize a landing page on your website to promote your capabilities in regard to Toyota unintended acceleration cases.

3. Use social media like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, to attract visitors to your website.

4. Tap your referral network to let non-competing attorneys, accountants, and other professionals know that you are taking Toyota cases.

5. Notify your current and past clients about your ability to handle Toyota cases.

Other campaigns might include TV, radio, or even billboard advertising. The scope of your campaign will depend on your budget.

Internet marketing is attractive because it can be easily launched, quickly measured, and begin to yield inquiries within a very short period of time.

Of course, all promotions need to comply with your state bar advertising guidelines.

Contact this Rainmaking Lady for more law firm marketing ideas.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Legal Marketing Strategies for Energy & Environmental Law

Energy law represents a definite bright spot in an otherwise uncertain outlook for legal services in 2010 and beyond. The International Energy Agency projects that world energy demand will increase by 40% between 2007 and 2030.

We are pleased to announce the availability of a White Paper on Energy Law Marketing to assist you in your 2010 business development efforts in energy and environmental law.

The dramatic worldwide increase in energy consumption will drive the formation of totally new industry segments, including an emphasis on “clean tech” and renewable energy generated from natural resources (i.e., solar, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat). Progressive law firms that take a strategic approach to business development will gain an early competitive advantage.

The beauty of energy law is that it builds on the practice areas that already exist in many full service law firms, including but not limited to corporate mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, real estate, litigation, employment, land use, zoning, and more.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brunswick, K&L Gates Describe Fixed-Fee Billing

The Chicago Tribune carries an interesting story by Chicago Law columnist Ameet Sachdev titled "Understanding the Flat-Fee Contract for Legal Services."

Brunswick Corp., the maker of boats and other leisure equipment, cut legal costs for outside litigation services by 30% in 2009. The volume of legal work, on the other hand, quadrupled. The partner in charge, David Rammelt, actually moved from Kelley, Drye & Warren to K&L Gates in order to accommodate the client.

Both sides claim success, including better use of technology by the law firm for forced efficiencies.

This Rainmaking Lady observes a win-win here, as well as a peek at the relationship of the future. Expenses drop for the corporate client, while profitability certainly must drop for the law firm. The client's "switching cost," however, increased significantly. Mr. Rammelt has found a way to assure a client for the long term. If this can be viewed as a pilot project, presumably the business model can be easily extended to other firm clients.

It's worth a read.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Law Firm Marketing Plan

Here are a few tips to get you started in writing a productive attorney marketing plan.

How long should an attorney marketing plan be?

Answer: As long as it needs to be. This may sound flip, but it's not. If you can cover all the material needed to fully describe your lawyer marketing plan in 2-3 pages, that's great. If you need more space, that's OK too.

Basically, your marketing plan should be short enough that you want to keep it handy for frequent reference. A long, overly detailed marketing plan that quickly gets buried in a filing cabinet is not beneficial.

Common mistakes to avoid in a law firm marketing plan

1. Failure to specifically identify prospects by name. If you want to establish new accounts in healthcare law, for example, you should have a list of your top 50-100 healthcare prospects located in your geographic territory. This list gets even stronger when you add the name of the GC, CEO, or other hiring executive.

2. Lack of clear revenue goals. Do you want to generate $10,000 or $100,000 per month in new revenue? Clearly state your goal, and how you intend to generate this revenue.

3. Absence of a timeline. Business development always comes with a lead time. Your marketing plan should identify what you need to be doing in January, for example, for new revenue you need to see in the 2nd quarter.

4. Accountability. Most firms have some type of oversight system to monitor performance against business development goals. Whether this is the case for you or not, you may find that a "buddy system" can help you stay focused. This is particularly well suited to solos, who can work with a friendly peer. (Hint: If you don't want to disclose actual dollar figures or account numbers, use percentages to show your performance against goals.)

Once again, here is a free sample of an attorney marketing plan for your reference.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Attorney Marketing Plans Ease Job Switch

Lawyers planning to make a lateral move in 2010 realize that an attorney marketing plan can ease the transition to a new law firm.

Lately, we've worked with several attorneys across the country who are in discussions with their current employer about the job outlook. Many lawyers are being told that they need to pick up the pace on business development in order to protect their position within the firm. They are being asked for a marketing plan that outlines the steps they plan to take (fast!) to close the gap to more billable hours.

Faced with this imperative to bring in new accounts, some of these proactive partners and associates alike are saying to themselves "I'll bring in the business, but it won't be for my current employer."

On the other side of the discussion, law firms that have openings for incoming laterals are asking to see an itemized list of accounts (with billing estimates) that the attorney will bring to the new position. If guaranteed revenue is not available, a detailed marketing plan is a "must have" to show how the attorney will cover their costs.

If you are an attorney who suddenly finds it in your best interest to have a business development plan ready for use, watch for some tips in tomorrow's blog post.

In the meantime, here is a link to a free sample attorney marketing plan.