How do you explain the value of Web marketing to the troglodytes and Luddites in your offices. You know: the lawyers who still use dictation machines, who go to the library to look things up in a book, the antediluvian attorneys who think that the Web is for kids.
Here's the answer: give them a copy of Mark Merenda's colorful 22-page white paper, "Using the Internet to Market Your Law Practice." It's free for the asking by emailing Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This colorful, plain-English booklet explains all the potentially-unfamiliar Internet terms like streaming video, Flash files, blogs and podcasting. And there's even good information for old Web hounds like me on tying pay-per-click destination links to a customized landing page.
"When it comes to looking for a lawyer, more Americans are turning to the search engines than the Yellow Pages," Mark write, quoting the 2005 Harris Interactive study. Lawyers need to know this.
I agree totally with Mark's advice on Web pages: the site must be user friendly, graphically, attractive, full of content and frequently updated. It should offer a call to action, like, "call us and get a free copy of our white paper." It should avoid "search engine 'no-no's" like Flash animation.
I like the client tip he offers, such as the comment from lawyer Diedre Wachbrit of Westlake Village, CA, who says , "Every single referral I have gotten from other attorneys has started with them directing their clients to my website www.wachbrit.com to check out my profile." Or Wayne Walston, an elder law attorney in Warsaw, Indiana, who says, "I don't see how any law firm can get by without an e-newsletter. It has been particularly effective in keeping me in front of nursing home personnel and others in the medical field."
Mark, as I do, emphasizes blogs. "The influence of blogs, and of bloggers, is huge and spreading." There are about 3.5 million active blogs, whose authors post up to 450,000 posts per day, according to Mark. He advocates podcasts too -- "your blog and podcasts are how you personally connect to your clients and referral sources," Mark says.
"Attorneys often give the appearance of believing that they belong to some sort of 19th century guild," Mark writes. "Those who adapt to the 21st century fastest will profit most." I couldn't agree more.
[NB: the title of this blog is a historical reference to the book The Compleat Angler published 350 years ago by Izaak Walton, Charles Cotton, and Howell Raines.]