Attorney at Work is delighted to be a media sponsor of Lawyernomics 2013—a two-day legal marketing conference offering the latest online trends and business development knowledge. Our editors have been speaking with a few Lawyernomics speakers about the topics they’ll be covering. Be sure to read the interviews below—you’ll find some great tips!
- Stephanie Kimbro: The Next Lawyering Frontier
- Sam Glover, Lawyerist.com: Why Your Blog Sucks
- Sachin Bhatia: Mobile-Ready Marketing for Lawyers
April 26–27, 2013
Bellagio Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Brought to you by Avvo
INTERVIEW: PORTER GALE
Smart Marketing for Lawyers
I’m going to be speaking at Avvo, Inc.’s Lawyernomics 2013 conference, and I’m super excited to share what I know about social media marketing with this industrious group of professionals. Lawyers work hard to earn a living and shouldn’t leave any of it on the table because of poor business decisions. Every dollar has to work hard. Smart marketing equates to making effective, measured and inspirational marketing decisions. My goal is to provide busy attorneys with strategies for building their brand online and leveraging the Internet to increase their business and client base.
Recently, I sat down with Avvo’s vice president of marketing, Leigh McMillan, to talk about why I’m so excited to keynote Lawyernomics 2013. I hope you will consider coming to hear my presentation; I’d love to meet you there. In the meantime, you can send me comments or questions via Twitter at @portergale.
Leigh: I think many people reading this might be wondering how your experience is relevant to the audience that will attend the Lawyernomics conference.
Porter: Great, question Leigh. Let me begin by saying that the secret to Virgin America’s early success was that we made deliberate efforts to humanize the brand and the service, something that was foreign to other established airlines. This is the direction the legal industry is headed—putting a more personal and customer service focused lens on the profession. I also think it’s super important for businesses to learn from the best practices from other industries. Look, what I did as the Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America was considered extremely out of the box, at that time. I had a very limited marketing budget and I chose to use it to engage with and listen to potential customers online.
Leigh: Please share with us one of your favorite stories about how you leveraged social media to connect with your customers.
Porter: When I was with Virgin America, one of employees who managed the Twitter feed read a Tweet that said, “I just graduated from medical school. I’m so happy to flying Virgin America.” The employee retweeted it and said, if you’re on this flight, please buy this doctor a drink. Within 10 minutes, a reporter on the same flight named Alexis Tsotsis, bought her champagne. Oddly, I was retelling the story at a tech conference and, unknown to me, Alexis was in the front row and raised her hand and said: “That was me. I was the one that bought the drink.”
Leigh: Can you give us an idea of a strategic marketing principle attorneys can implement in their practice?
Porter: If you want to build a relationship with potential clients, it’s important to not only share content, but also to communicate and connect. Technology has changed the marketing landscape and the way consumers make decisions. More and more, people are influenced by viral messages and the opinions of their peers. To succeed, lawyers must focus on creating authentic, engaged relationships.
Leigh: If you had just one piece of advice to give attorneys just getting started in social media, what would it be?
Porter: Social media is here to stay, so start learning about it. Start by listening (e.g., following people in your industry, reading Tweets) and then engage in the conversation. It’s also very important to have an individual LinkedIn profile and a Facebook page for your firm.
As we all know, the Internet has changed the way consumers not only find an attorney, but, most importantly, choose an attorney—and this is continuing to change. Consumers do extensive research online, even when they hear of an attorney in other sources such as TV ads or recommendations from friends. Because of that, attorneys need to be proactive about their social media presence because there is a cascade effect. What they do in social media impacts their Google search results, for example.
Leigh: Can you give us a specific idea of what lawyers, with limited time and budgets, should do to showcase their expertise online?
Porter: Absolutely. There are three key things I can recommend to attorneys:
- Showcase expertise through relevant content creation.
- Choose the distribution outlet for their content that is right for them—some people like long-form through blogging, others gravitate to the brevity of Twitter.
- Be really, really mindful of what their website looks like—after all, it is the attorney’s front door—and know that searches on mobile are growing massively, so mobile presence matters as well.
Leigh: Is there an example of an attorney who is doing a great job engaging in social media?
Porter: While there are a number of attorneys who are actively participating in social media and doing a good job, one in particular is Kelly Phillips Erb. In addition to her busy tax law practice, Ms. Erb is a frequent participant on Twitter (@taxgirl) and was recently recognized by the ABA Journal as authoring one of the top 100 law blogs, Taxgirl for Forbes.com.
Porter Gale is the author of Your Network is Your Net Worth (2013) and former Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. Send her questions via Twitter at @portergale.
Lawyernomics (formerly Avvocating) is brought to you by Avvo, the leader in online marketing for lawyers.