Friday, September 18, 2009

Overview of Online Marketing for Lawyers

Last weekend, the CA Bar held its annual meeting in San Diego. I was fortunate enough to present an hour long session on online marketing for lawyers. Earlier this year, I attended the solo and small firm summit in Oakland, CA and I was utterly shocked at the misinformation that was being presented to lawyers (by those claiming to be "Internet Marketing Experts") looking to use the Internet to generate new business for their firm.

The one statement that caused me to fall out of my chair was when one "law firm marketing expert" claimed that he could show lawyers to how effectively market online for free. His evidence that his approach worked was that when you searched for his name (which we will not mention to avoid mudslinging), there were over 400,000 webpages that had his name on it. So, if you paid his consulting fees, he would show you how to do this (btw, doesn't that make it not free?).

To illustrate how silly that is, go ahead and search for your name. When I search for mine, Google comes back with 303,000 webpages. It doesn't take long to realize that most of these sites have nothing to do with me. Turns out that there are many people named "Steve Lombardi" including a professional wrestler, a bodybuilder, a lawyer and some web designers. While I would have enjoyed wrestling in the WWF in the 80's, I didn't. If you go deeper into Google's search results, you'll realize that the vast majority of these web pages don't even have my name on it - they might have my first and last name on different parts of the page and so Google brings back the results. Point is, this is not a relevant metric for evaluating the efficacy of your online marketing.

My response to this nonsense was to start this blog so that lawyers would have a resource to turn to for basic information (and sometimes advanced) about online marketing. Back to the presentation . . .

I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout for the session - about 70 attorneys or so. There were non-stop questions throughout the session and about 10 attendees approached me after the session with incredibly positive feedback.

Anyway, here is the presentation. If you are a lawyer and have any questions about online marketing, please don't hesistate to contact me. There are too many short term scam artists out there over-promising and underdelivering and it dampens the potential for the entire industry.

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