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Use All Your Online Assets

8 Common Online Marketing and Business Development Mistakes Most Law Firms Make

By Julie Savarino

When bricks-and-mortar law offices fully reopen, all law firms and lawyers still need to be ready, able and (ideally) optimized to operate, service their clients, market and sell 100% online and remotely. Why? Because the reliance on online and remote tools and work from home are not going to dissipate, they will only grow. Firms and lawyers who have not optimized their key, strategic online assets, including their websites, are at a distinct competitive disadvantage — a disadvantage that will only increase with time.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Firm’s Online Assets

Since the pandemic began, and even now, most law firms and professional services firms do not:

  1. Optimize their websites for voice search. Most firms have not optimized for voice search even though there are now billions of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant devices out there, and billions of users asking these devices billions of questions each month. Every law firm should make sure its website and services and products can be found by voice because the questions people ask Alexa/Siri/Google are more structured than those that are typed. Here are some tips.
  2. Claim their Google knowledge panels. If your firm (and each individual lawyer) has not formally claimed its knowledge panels on Google, you are missing out on myriad benefits, including increased search results and search engine optimization opportunities.
  3. Update, communicate or enforce their social media policy (and, once back in the office, their policy on the use of personal mobile devices at work). Most law firms’ social media policies are not up to date. Nor do they include guidelines on the permissible use of personal mobile devices at work, which, pre-pandemic, accounted for approximately five to eight hours of work lost per week for the average employee.
  4. Effectively brand social media posts. A few major firms brand their social media posts very effectively, such as Bain & Co., EY, PwC, and Morrison & Foerster, among others. But most do not. Check out Bain & Co. on LinkedIn to see how every graphic in its posts is customized using the colors of the firm’s brand and how all the posts have a similar look and feel. Bain also inserts branded borders or firm logos within images before posting them. Most firms and professionals do not brand the majority of their social media posts, which can be as simple as applying a common border to all images before posting.
  5. Educate everyone in the firm (especially lawyers) on how to increase the number of followers on key social media platforms — especially LinkedIn. Very few firms and firm leaders ask (or require) all their lawyers and staff to connect to almost everyone else in the firm on LinkedIn, nor do they train them on how to do it. And most firms fail to offer training on how to effectively and ethically increase followers on the firm’s main social media pages. (Here are five tips for getting more from this online asset.)
  6. Educate all lawyers on how to optimize their LinkedIn connections for new client development purposes. Most lawyers have a very limited amount of nonbillable time available to spend on LinkedIn and use LinkedIn sporadically and in a haphazard manner. But, before the pandemic and since, some lawyers have optimized the use of their LinkedIn connections, have benefitted from doing so.
  7. Publish on Amazon. Whether publishing existing firm content or new content, the benefits of publishing on Amazon are tremendous, but few law firms do so.
  8. Participate in or produce podcasts. Staying relevant in a mostly remote world is important for many law firms, but many still perceive law firms as being somewhat old-fashioned and stodgy. Participating or producing podcasts is a tactic many lawyers and firms should consider because the market for podcasts is growing every year. Listener demographics skew affluent, speaking is great training and exposure, and podcasts can be a talent attraction and retention magnet that lawyers value (especially younger lawyers and those with consumer-facing practices). Podcasting is now a billion-dollar business with approximately 100 million people expected to listen to podcasts in the United States in 2021.

Survive & Thrive Post-Pandemic online assetsJulie Savarino’s new book, “Survive & Thrive Post-Pandemic: A Guidebook for Legal & Professional Services Providers,” is available on Amazon. Note: 20% of the net proceeds from this book will be donated to Global Giving, an international charity.

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Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Julie Savarino 2019 Headshot Julie Savarino

Julie Savarino holds an MBA, a JD, and is a licensed attorney. Over her 30-plus year career, she has built a reputation as an award-winning business and client development and service strategist, coach and content producer for lawyers, law firms, and other professional services providers and firms. She has successfully served in-house in client and business development positions for the law firms of Dickinson Wright and Butzel Long and for the accounting firm, Grant Thornton. Connect with Julie on LinkedIn or contact her at Julie@BusDevInc.com. Follow her@JulieSavarino.

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