Online Law Practice Strategies is a book I have recommended to law firms for many years. It was given to me at a CLE session led by their team during my time at the Chicago Bar Association and is still on a shelf in my library today. Mark Homer and Jabez LeBret wrote the original edition of their book over six years ago. When I last caught up with them in May I heard they were working on a new edition that was a major overhaul to their book so, of course, I asked for an early version.
When they mentioned overhaul, they weren’t kidding. They didn’t just add in the usual changes to the digital marketing landscape, they restructured the entire book. I think it does a much better job of helping law firms understand where they are in the marketing process and where they should be focusing their valuable marketing time and dollars.
According to my chat with Mark Homer, one of the coauthors and CEO of GNGF, he said “The reason for the significant restructuring is summarized by our goal of putting the law firm back in law firm marketing. Through our correspondence with lawyers across the country, we realized we never, ever prescribe a one-size-fits-all strategy, but previous editions of our book did not make that distinction. We wanted to make it clear that every law firm needs to understand and think about their overall marketing strategy and not just follow or trust someone who says do x,y, and z and we promise amazing results”
You may have read my review of GNGF and the discussion I had with Mark, about how law firms jump to advanced marketing tactics without covering the basics. They call it skipping the “protecting your referrals” step. They certainly hit that home, as the whole first section of the book dives into the specific why, what, and how to do this.
I always thought that previous editions of Online Law Practice Strategies did a good job of mixing just enough strategy with tactics in a simple-to-understand and follow approach. While this edition stays true to that, it feels like there is more strategy here, and a lot of the step-by-step tactics are provided as online PDFs available for download. I assume this is because of things, like setting up Google listings or using Facebook, change rapidly and it will be easier for them to keep a downloadable PDF up to date.
Mark, said that while discussing how to take the knowledge from all the consultation and strategy calls their agency performs and boil it down to specific strategies, they realized that most law firms categorize themselves into one of two areas. Those who are comfortable with with a strong referral business, but need a consistent online presence so prospective clients can find information about their firm online to continue those referrals. Or those law firms who want to actually gain new business from the internet.
To put a label on this, the authors refer to this as attorneys looking to “Protect Your Referrals” or “Grow Your Leads”. There is an entire section for each of these.
One area that I have personally mentioned to Mark and Jabez that I felt was missing in their previous edition was the area of paid advertising. Up until now, Online Law Practice Strategies was very focused on strategies for organic growth online and skipped all of the paid advertising. I was always surprised by this because I know that GNGF is a Certified Google Partner and does a lot of paid advertising work for their clients.
Mark’s response was: “You weren’t the only one to mention it, we had many lawyers ask that as well. But, after taking over many law firms’ pay-per-click campaigns, we noticed too many firms had no idea how to measure the success of their campaigns, leading to thousands or even tens of thousands of wasted dollars each month. Law firms are investing in online paid advertising more and more and we wanted to help make these efforts worth the investment.”
I was pleasantly surprised that they cover more than just Google Adwords, but they also discuss, paid social media ads, re-marketing ads and even investing in ads on lawyer directory sites like Avvo and Lawyers.com.
I know lawyers who have used the ideas in Online Law Practice Strategies to help grow their law firm’s business. I expect to hear that even more now with this latest edition. In addition to being able to get the book on Amazon and other online bookstores, GNGF is now selling this edition direct on their website.
Just visit https://gngf.com/book and if you purchase direct from their website you can use the code ‘lextech25’ to get 25% off vs. what you would pay on Amazon!