ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY ALGORITHM.

You’ve likely heard that term a lot, but it usually doesn’t come with much explanation because search engines and social media sites like to keep their unique algorithms more secretive than KFC’s original recipe.

But not everything is a giant mystery. Here’s everything that is known so far:

The Definition

First, algorithms are a collection of rules and data that determine what users see in their feeds.

Algorithms sort posts based on relevancy, not chronology. The idea is that you will more likely see posts that actually interest you instead of sifting through random information until you strike gold. 

For example, posts from the accounts you interact with the most will usually top your Facebook and Twitter feeds. The same thing goes with YouTube—those “recommended” videos presented to you are based on what you watched in the past and what users with similar interests are watching. The purpose is to make it easier to find the content you’re most likely to enjoy.

The Purpose

If you follow hundreds or thousands of accounts on a social network, it would be impossible for you to sort through all of this content without social media algorithms. They do the work of delivering what you want and weeding out content that’s not likely to interest you.

It’s also a way for those platforms to make money. Want to get more exposure? Pay Facebook for the privilege of having your content seen by exponentially more people.

How they Work

While algorithms are designed to provide users with relevant content, they run on data science. How Google, Facebook, or TikTok then use that data is still relatively unknown, mostly because they don’t want users or accounts to purposely manipulate the data to work to their advantage.

This all just seems like another marketing obstacle to overcome; however, take it as a challenge to create the content those platforms favor. Doing that involves striking a balance that gets results. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Tag other accounts in your posts
  2. Encourage audience engagement
  3. Use hashtags
  4. Post consistently
  5. Lean on video content
  6. Track your results

No matter how you feel about algorithms, they are here to stay. Taking the time to learn what algorithms are and how they work is essential to building a long-term social presence. Once you reach that level, staying current as the algorithms evolve can keep you on the road to success.

Don’t roll your eyes. Law firm clients can be loyal. And maybe if you’re a criminal defense or family lawyer, having loyal, returning clients might look weird on paper, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it is.

First, according to Bain & Company and Harvard Business School, increasing customer/client retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Compared to new clients, existing ones are 50% more likely to try new services and products and spend an average of 31% more because they trust your brand. They’re also:

  • Great promoters because they tell everyone they know about the value your services bring
  • Less likely to dispute fees or seek a deal
  • More willing to use higher-value services

On the personal side, they’re easier to work with because you already understand what they need, how they prefer to communicate, and what their expectations are. That makes your life a lot easier.

So how do you turn a happy client into a loyal one? Here are some tips that are easy to implement and can make your relationship with them both profitable and pleasant.

Know Your A-Listers

Every client is important, but they’re not all created equal. Identify the ones who represent a significant portion of the firm’s billings and/or refer the most business to you, and give them the A-lister treatment. This could include: 

  • More personal attention, priority responses, and consistent access to you.
  • Invitations to appreciation events
  • Handwritten thank-you notes
  • Special appreciation gifts like a bottle of wine or Scotch

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially if they’re paying a lot of money for quality legal services, and steps like those above can create serious loyalty.

Make Sure Everyone at the Firm Knows Them Too

For a key client, set up dedicated internal teams and educate them on the client’s needs, preferences, and expectations. For ongoing services like outside general counsel or employment matters, create an annual plan outlining a service delivery plan for the coming year. You should also make sure the client knows who’s on the team and who to go to for certain services.

Solicit Their Opinion

Once you’ve completed a matter for them, arrange for a post-case evaluation, either in person or via Zoom / Skype. Ask them for honest feedback on what they liked and what you can do better. For clients who have retained the firm for long-term legal services, schedule a yearly review and strategy meeting.

Support Their Success

If the client has a charity project, consider making a contribution on behalf of the firm. If you have a single point of contact for a corporate client, send positive feedback to their supervisor. Use their products and services or refer them to others.

Loyalty Matters!

While growth is important, loyal clients deliver even more value because they’re a reliable source of revenue for the firm and they make your marketing a lot easier. They’re also more likely to use your other services and give you the benefit of the doubt when setbacks occur. Turning happy clients into loyal ones is easy to do and extremely profitable in the long one, so making retention a priority this year could skyrocket your bottom line by the next.

AI has taken over. And now that we have those initial apocalyptic fears out of the way, it’s time to start actually using it! Remember— AI isn’t going to replace lawyers; the law firms that use AI will.

By now, AI has been proven to make your life easier, more efficient, and more productive. As more and more legal-specific AI products hit the market, you’ll want to develop a system for integrating them into your firm. Here are a few tips:

Aligning AI with Business Goals

Before implementing AI technologies, it is crucial to align them with your firm’s business goals. Identify specific areas where AI can contribute to achieving these goals, whether it’s streamlining document review processes, improving legal research efficiency, or enhancing client communication. By aligning AI initiatives with your firm’s strategic objectives, you ensure that investments in AI technology directly contribute to business success.

Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions

There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding AI that can hinder its adoption in a law firm. Address these head-on by providing accurate information about AI capabilities and limitations. Emphasize to your team that AI is not a replacement for human expertise but rather a tool to augment and support legal professionals. By dispelling myths, you create a more realistic and informed perspective on how AI can benefit your firm.

Defining AI’s Role

Choose specific tasks and functions that you want AI to perform within your firm. Whether it’s automating repetitive and tedious tasks like contract review or providing data-driven insights to inform decision-making, defining AI’s role clarifies its purpose and ensures targeted implementation. From there, you can begin your research on the specific tools you need to get the job done.

Preparing Your Team for Change

Introducing AI into your law firm requires proactive measures to prepare your team for the change. Initiate discussions about the role of AI in enhancing legal services and address any concerns or apprehensions from staff members. Provide comprehensive training on AI tools and technologies to equip your team with the necessary skills and knowledge to leverage AI effectively. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and adaptation to embrace the opportunities that AI presents.

In conclusion, integrating AI into your law firm involves aligning AI initiatives with business goals, dispelling myths and misconceptions, defining AI’s specific role, and preparing your team for the change through discussions and training. By taking a strategic and proactive approach to AI integration, your firm can unlock new levels of efficiency and innovation in delivering legal services.

New York City Mayor Ed Koch was well-known for asking a single question, whether speaking to audiences at public gatherings or to reporters, “How’m I doin’?”

June is the middle of the year and a good time to review how you are doing with your Marketing activities.

Conduct a quick audit. Consider how much time you, an employee, or a consultant are spending on a given activity. Review the results of your efforts to date and plan for the balance of the year.

  1. Choose. Between media relations, social media, website, newsletter, video, and marketing collateral, it is unlikely your firm can deliver equally well in all these arenas. Select the ones that have delivered the greatest ROI, based on dollars and time. Confirm that you will continue to give each activity sufficient support and resources. 
  2. Schedule. Develop a calendar with deadlines for client alerts, articles, email newsletters, and postal mailings. Prepare social media posts using automated tools, like Buffer or Hootsuite whenever possible. You can also publish posts on LinkedIn for a future time.
  3. Multiply. Increase the opportunities for your content to be seen by distributing it widely. A webinar becomes an article in an industry publication or a legal journal. Sections of the article become social media posts. Create a video on the topic. 
  4. Update your free giveaway material. Your downloadable checklist of best practices or a quiz must be timely and current. Providing useful information, for the price of an email address, will set you apart from your competitors – or help you keep pace with them. Be sure to include your branding and contact details; often the giveaway is passed on to someone else: a family member, employee, or supervisor.
  5. Evaluate your promotional item. How well does it convey your knowledge and experience? Don’t let it be just another pen, like the one you picked up at the bank.
  6. Participate in networking groups and bar associations. Organize a panel discussion, where you will speak or moderate. Write an article for the newsletter. Contribute to the listserv. Comment on the group’s social media posts.
  7. Re-connect with lapsed clients and referral sources by sharing an article you wrote or read. Arrange a networking squared conversation with two contacts whose business or practice aligns; they will become acquainted, and you’ll get an update on what’s new in their arena.

Other possible activities for review include:

  • Contact with reporters at legal, general business, and industry publications
  • Directory listings
  • Elevator pitch for attorneys and for general audiences
  • Email signature
  • Online search for mentions of your name and firm
  • Speaking on podcasts
  • Website update

Consider this checklist and take action to ensure you put your best foot forward throughout the rest of 2024 – and beyond.

Janet Falk is a Public Relations and Marketing Communications professional at Falk Communications and Research who advises attorneys and law firms on best practices to promote themselves. She offers a review of your Public Relations and Marketing activities in a Complimentary 30-minute consultation. She guarantees TWO Ideas. Contact her at 212.677.5770 or email at Janet@JanetLFalk.com.

In recent years, the cloud has emerged as a transformative tool for businesses across various industries, including the legal sector. Law firms are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions to enhance their operations, improve collaboration, and ensure data security. However, with this new technology comes a host of questions and concerns. 

Here are some of the most common questions about cloud adoption for law firms. 

Question #1: What Is Cloud Computing and How Does It Work?

Cloud computing is a technology that allows users to access and store data, applications, and services over the internet instead of relying on local servers. In essence, the “cloud” refers to a network of remote servers that collectively form a vast infrastructure, offering various computing resources. 

Law firms can leverage these resources to host their data, applications, and systems securely on the cloud provider’s servers. This means that lawyers and legal staff can access critical information and work on cases from anywhere with an internet connection, eliminating the constraints of always having to be in the office and promoting seamless collaboration among team members. 

Question #2: How Secure Is Cloud Computing?

Reputable cloud service providers implement advanced encryption techniques to safeguard sensitive legal data and communications, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access the information. Moreover, these providers deploy multiple layers of security, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular data backups, to protect against potential cyber threats and data breaches. This security is often much stronger than what you have employed on any local servers, and also eliminates your liability for data breaches.

By entrusting their data to a reputable cloud provider, law firms can benefit from the highest level of security, freeing them from the burden of managing complex IT infrastructure and allowing them to focus on their legal practice.

Question #3: How Can Cloud Computing Streamline Law Firm Operations?

By moving data and applications to the cloud, lawyers and staff gain the ability to access critical information and work collaboratively from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility allows for increased productivity and responsiveness, as you and your staff can attend to client matters on the go. Cloud-based solutions also eliminate the need for on-premises servers, reducing hardware and maintenance costs, and ensuring data is securely stored and backed up automatically. 

Many cloud platforms come with integrated tools such as document management systems, task tracking, and client communication platforms, facilitating efficient organization and seamless information sharing among team members. 

Question #4: How Does the Cloud Facilitate Data Backup and Disaster Recovery?

With cloud-based solutions, data is automatically and securely backed up in multiple geographically diverse data centers, ensuring redundancy and safeguarding against data loss. These backup copies are kept up-to-date in real time, eliminating the need for manual backups and reducing the risk of data loss. 

In case of a disaster or data breach, law firms can swiftly recover their critical information and applications by restoring from the cloud backups, minimizing downtime, and enabling seamless business continuity. The cloud’s ability to facilitate automated and frequent backups, along with its distributed infrastructure, provides law firms with a reliable and scalable solution for protecting their valuable data and ensuring their operations can quickly recover from any unexpected disruptions.

Got more questions about the cloud? Contact us and we’ll get you answers!

When it comes to determining the ROI of your digital marketing, it can be difficult to truly understand where a lead came from. Even if your website converted that lead, that person had to come from somewhere first.

One tool that has proven invaluable in making this easier is the UTM parameter. This article will explain what they are, why law firms should use them for their websites, and solutions for setting them up.

Understanding UTM Parameters

UTM parameters, AKA Urchin Tracking Modules, are small pieces of text added to the end of a URL. These pieces of text track the performance of marketing campaigns, helping you understand how users arrive at your website and engage with your content. UTM parameters are particularly valuable for law firms looking to analyze the effectiveness of their digital marketing efforts.

UTM parameters consist of several key components:

  • Source: Where the traffic is coming from like a search engine, social media platform, email newsletter, or any other referral source.
  • Medium: The type of channel used for the marketing campaign. For law firms, this could include CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising, organic search, email marketing, or social media.
  • Campaign: Distinguishes between different marketing initiatives or campaigns. For instance, you can use it to differentiate between a Google Ads campaign focused on family law and one focused on personal injury.
  • Term (optional): This is typically used for paid search campaigns, specifying the keywords that trigger the ad.
  • Content (optional): This can be used to differentiate between different ad variations or content types within a campaign.

Why Law Firms Should Use UTM Parameters

Law firm owners can reap several benefits from using UTM parameters to track their digital marketing efforts:

  • Measurable ROI: By tagging each link in your marketing campaigns with UTM parameters, you can precisely measure the ROI for each campaign, source, and medium. This data-driven approach allows you to allocate your marketing budget more effectively.
  • Granular Insights: UTM parameters allow you to identify which specific sources and campaigns generate the most leads or conversions. This information lets you focus your resources on what’s working and refine or eliminate what isn’t.
  • Improved Decision Making: Informed decision-making is a cornerstone of effective marketing. UTM parameters empower law firm owners to make data-driven decisions about their marketing strategies. This means you can allocate resources where they will have the most significant impact.
  • A/B Testing: Law firms can use UTM parameters to conduct A/B testing by tagging different versions of the same content or campaign and comparing their performance. This allows you to refine your messaging and design based on user preferences.

Setting Up UTM Parameters for Your Law Firm

To harness the power of UTM parameters, you need to set them up correctly. Here are some recommended solutions for getting started:

  • Google Analytics: If your law firm’s website uses Google Analytics, setting up UTM parameters is straightforward. Google provides a free campaign URL builder tool that allows you to create tagged URLs. You can then track these parameters in Google Analytics to gain valuable insights.
  • UTM Builders: There are various UTM builder tools available online. These tools simplify the process of creating UTM parameter tags. Popular options include the Google Campaign URL Builder, Terminus, and Attributer. They often provide templates, making filling in the necessary information easy.
  • Marketing Automation Platforms: Many law firms use marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, or Mailchimp. These platforms often include UTM parameter tracking as one of their features. Integrating your campaigns with these platforms allows you to automatically track UTM parameters, making the process seamless.

Best Practices for Law Firms Using UTM Parameters

As you embark on your UTM parameter journey, it’s essential to follow some best practices:

  • Consistency: Maintain a consistent naming convention for your UTM parameters across campaigns. This ensures that your data is organized and easy to analyze.
  • Documentation: Keep a record of your UTM parameters and their meanings. This documentation will be valuable when analyzing campaign performance and sharing insights with your team.
  • Regular Review: Continuously monitor your UTM data and adjust your marketing strategies as needed. Data-driven decision-making is an ongoing process.

In conclusion, UTM parameters are indispensable tools for law firms looking to optimize their digital marketing efforts. By implementing UTM parameters and using recommended solutions, law firm owners can gain precise insights into campaign performance, improve ROI, and make data-driven decisions that lead to a more successful online presence. Start tagging your links today, and watch your law firm’s marketing efforts thrive.

For many influencers, success on social media is determined by how many likes, comments, shares, and follows they receive from their posts. For businesses in the fashion, food, or tech space, engagement and virality are also very important when determining their success. But…

You, as a law firm, should NEVER expect to go viral on social media.

In fact, if the only reason you post content is to try to go viral, you should just stop.

For law firms, going viral isn’t the answer. It isn’t the measure of success. Instead, social media success is a long game. It’s all about consistency and momentum, and there are other ways to gauge your firm’s success.

While some lawyers regularly go viral on social media (@LawByMike or @CEOLawyer on TikTok are two great examples), the odds of you joining them are very small. If it happens, great! But consider it a byproduct of you posting great content rather than the sole reason you post to begin with.

After all, most lawyers deal with very sensitive and heavy topics—topics that many people aren’t going to want to openly engage with. And when you’re in the world of social media where engagement is a key driver of success, what are you supposed to do?

Provide value.

Provide information that answers the common questions your audience has about the things you do and the situations they’re facing. Do this consistently, too! Post every single day. I promise it won’t annoy your audience.

Furthermore, if you’re concerned about being annoying, you should probably stop marketing altogether. Marketing is all about getting in front of your audience, and if you’re timid, you’re not going to get the results you want.

Now, when you focus on consistently posting informative content, your metrics for success no longer become likes, comments, or shares. Instead, it becomes about the following:

  • Reach/Impressions: How many people are you getting in front of with your content? Staying top-of-mind and creating consistent touchpoints is important.
  • Click-through Rate: How many people are clicking on the blogs and videos you share and going to your website to learn more?

If you can build a social media system that accomplishes those two goals, you’ll find success. People will send you referrals and they’ll associate you as the expert in your practice area.

When it comes to an effective social media strategy for small businesses, many marketing gurus will tell you that engagement is the name of the game. The more likes, comments, and shares you get, the more successful your presence will be.

For law firms, that isn’t true. This is the ONLY area where legal marketing is the exception to the rule.

But why? It actually isn’t because your subject matter is dry and boring (even though you may think it is). Rather, it’s because a lot of your subject matter is very sensitive and heavy. People won’t want to engage with that sort of content because they don’t want to air their dirty laundry out in public.

So what are you to do? If no one comments, what’s the point? Should you just abandon social media entirely? NO!

Here are three other metrics you want to focus on instead to gauge your strategy’s effectiveness:

1. Reach

Reach refers to the number of unique views that your post received. When there isn’t much engagement, reach can tell you how well your posts ended up doing. While some platforms (FACEBOOK) limit the organic reach of content, you can boost posts for as little as $1 per day to extend that reach beyond just the people who already follow your page, making it an attractive and cost-effective alternative to past forms of advertising like billboards and Yellow Pages ads.

2. Impressions

Impressions are the TOTAL number of views that your post received. This number will always be larger than reach because it counts multiple views from the same user. The billboard example from the previous point works here, too. Whereas “reach” would only count your vehicle seeing that billboard once, “impressions” count every single time your car passes it each day.

3. Click-Through Rate

If your content is valuable (blogs, videos, lead magnets, etc), then you’ll be encouraging people to click through to your website to consume that content. That’s why your teasers and captions need to be well-written and paired with an eye-catching graphic so as to get peoples’ attention as they scroll down their timeline.

What About Engagement?

If you’re still hoping for a lot of engagement, mix up the kind of content you post. People will engage more with things they find entertaining, so share more behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of life at the office. The more you can humanize yourself and your firm, the more people will be comfortable with engaging.

However, you also get what you give. Don’t just sit back and wait for people to comment. Go out and participate in the social media community as well by leaving comments on others’ posts!

A Final Note About Your Numbers

You’re likely still wondering something like, “What’s a good number of impressions or clicks for my firm?” The answer, as usual, is “it depends.”

After all, a firm in Salina, Kansas, won’t have as large of a market as a firm in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal, at least to start, is to work on building your reach until you notice a plateau. That may be 5,000 people or 500,000 people. Regardless, it will take time to get there, so focus on what you’re posting and how people click through or how many impressions you can get.

If you’re in the marketing world, you should always be testing something. The best marketers are the ones who enjoy split-testing their campaigns over and over again. However, it takes a different mindset from other business activities because marketing revolves around failure.

In most cases, you’d like to avoid failure, right? Too many failures and you go out of business. And while that’s still true for marketing, the runway is a lot longer AND it’s also the name of the game.

The mindset shift here is simple: Instead of thinking about all the things that failed, you’re finding new ways to market your firm that didn’t work. (Thomas Edison has a similar quote about his attempts to create the light bulb.) This is because marketing NEVER has a true end goal. There’s always something that can potentially be improved.

With that in mind, here are 4 easy things you can be testing in order to find the best results in your marketing.

1. Email Subject Lines

If you have an email newslette, try using different subject lines and see what gets a better open rate. Maybe it’s the title of your featured article versus something like “Smith Law May Newsletter.” Maybe it’s something like “September Updates from Smith Law Firm” versus the title of a featured video. There are tons of possibilities.

2. Website Headlines

Certain integrations within your website can allow you to A/B test different headlines on your site’s landing pages. You can try various emotional approaches, font sizes, and phrase lengths to try to grab people’s attention. The goal is to keep people on your page as long as possible, so track your “average session duration” in Google Analytics.

3. Image/Video Placement

Do images or videos work better at the top, bottom, or somewhere in the middle of your pages? You can use heatmapping and session recording tools like Microsoft Clarity to understand where people are focusing their attention while on your website. Again, the goal is to keep people on your site as long as possible so they continue to take further action.

4. Calls to Action/Buttons

Different button colors and call-to-action texts can have a HUGE effect on your conversion. Test different styles and see what works!

NOTE: Do NOT—under any circumstances—test more than one thing at a time. Many inexperienced marketers get too enthusiastic about their split tests and run several different variants at once. The problem results in not knowing exactly why a variant performed the best out of a group or which element contributed most to your success. Just stick to a Champion vs. a Challenger and make quick decisions. Test for a couple of days or even a week at a time before trying a new variant.

Also—your A/B tests don’t have to be an even 50/50 split. If you have a champion variant you like and that works well, you can go 60/40, 70/30, 80/20 or somewhere in between!

You’d think marketing was pretty easy, right? You broadcast your message to the world about how you help, and the ones that need the help start showing up. If only it were that simple.

Truthfully, marketing and law are pretty similar in the sense that you would likely never recommend someone handle their legal issue themselves because they don’t have the specialized knowledge it takes. The same goes for marketing—and because you don’t have the specialized knowledge it takes to market a small business, you open yourself up to some pretty big mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Here are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen firms make:

Mistake #1: Having Unrealistic Goals

This one is usually translated as “moving too fast.” It’s also one of the most common mistakes, especially for new practices. Trying to achieve results too soon can lead to frustration and discouragement. A better strategy is to:

  • Divide a goal into smaller steps with realistic deadlines. For example, if your goal is increasing new client totals by 20% for the third quarter, you can prepare a content strategy and email campaign.
  • Track the changes in Trello, ClickUp, or any other team platform.

As each one is completed, you’ll feel like you’re making progress without the need to speed.

Mistake #2: Not Understanding Your Audience

How much do you really know about your target audience? When you rely on assumptions about your ideal client, you’ll spend a lot of money without seeing results. 

Instead of putting together overly-general marketing campaigns (or speaking to your audience the same way you would to other lawyers), focus on the audience most likely to need your services, whether it’s homeowners, entrepreneurs, or divorcing couples. When you understand their needs, wants, and problems, your marketing will be more targeted and therefore more likely to succeed.

Mistake #3: Lack of Patience

Few marketing campaigns succeed overnight. If you’re in a rush to see results, you might give up when they don’t happen right away and run after the next shiny new thing, which is a mistake.

A successful marketing strategy requires patience. It isn’t always easy, but it can give you a big advantage over your more hurried competitors, so keep track of what has been done and how it has affected your KPIs (key performance indicators). As time goes on, you will see the results. 

Mistake #4: Not Promoting Your Site

A website won’t attract visitors if no one knows it exists. Without targeted traffic, your website will not convert leads or sales, so focus on increasing its visibility.

Create as many touchpoints as you can with email and social media. Focus on driving traffic to your site by sharing your latest blogs, videos, and resources.

Mistake #5: Relying on Paid Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a great way to generate quick sales and traffic, but it’s also expensive. You should therefore invest in other alternatives if you don’t have the budget to get long-term results. These options include email newsletters and diversifying your marketing channels to include options like guest blogging or starting a podcast.

Conclusion

All of these marketing mistakes are easy to make, but fortunately, they’re also easy to avoid with a bit of planning and strategy. When you set realistic marketing goals for your firm, analyze all efforts to see what works, and stick with winning formulas, you’ll soon be on the path to better results.