Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top Ten Law Marketing Resources of 2010

In 2010, I featured more than 100 posts on this blog. Here are my favorites.
  1. Dan Hull's "The 12 Rules of Client Service" from What About Clients? 12 rules. 83 words. There's no fluff here, just practical, to-the-point principles for aligning "the interests of clients/customers and service providers to the fullest extent possible." Read them. Print them out and tape them to the wall above your computer screen. Make them part of your personal mission statement. You, and your clients, will be glad you did. Every so often you come across a blog that feels like home. What About Clients? is that blog.

  2. Adrian Baron’s "Lost in Translation. The Advantages of a Bilingual Law Practice" from his blog The Nutmeg Lawyer. I've spent close to half of my life living or working outside the US, so this post resonates particularly well with me. But that's not why I like it so much. I like it because the underlying message isn't that lawyers should speak another language because it makes them smarter or richer, but because it will allow them to help people who might not be able to get good legal advice because they aren't fluent in English. The bonus? Baron tells a great story. Telling good stories, and if you're lucky great ones, is a powerful marketing technique. This is how one lawyer does it right.

  3. Joe Kelly's "The 53 Runner’s Commandments" on the Pine Belt Racers Club website. Every runner knows that running is a philosophy, not an activity. Like being a lawyer. Today's post hammers that home. Read these 53 commandments, and ask yourself where you might be able to slip in "lawyer" or "client service" or maybe even "value" to make them relevant to you. Yeah, not all of them apply to lawyering, but if you read closely and think about how some of these commandments might help you be a better lawyer, they will.

  4. Jim Hassett’s "Another mistake: Overestimating the value of personal relationships" from his blog Legal Business Development. Think your clients are still your clients, day after day, year after year, because you play golf and tell jokes and have great fun together? Think again. Personal relationships no longer drive business. But don't take my word for it. Read this post, and the multiple examples Hassett cites, and you'll agree that value is the new golf.

  5. Richard Russeth's "If Nordstrom's Was A Law Firm, I'd Give Them All My Business" from his blog, The Last Generalist. Lawyers, here's a new year's resolution that will make you smarter: read this blog. In this post, Russeth shares seven common client service mistakes he's seen as general counsel to an international company. Think they don't apply to you? That you'd never commit them? Forward this post to your clients, and ask THEM to rate YOU. They'll love it, and you'll probably learn something.

  6. Adrian Lurssen's "Social media delivers law firm content to people who want it" from The Scoop. See also "Social media is not about distributing your law firm's content to people", the post from Kevin O'Keefe that inspired Lurssen's post (and another on the same topic that Kevin wrote last year: Distribution of law firm content is not what social media is for).

  7. Bruce MacEwen’s "Report from London" from Adam Smith, Esq. I've recommended MacEwen's posts before. His observations on what firms are doing, delivered in a no-nonsense, "identify-the-problem-and-solve-it" style, provide valuable insight into the economics of the legal profession. This post is no exception. Yes, it's written for the AmLaw 100 crowd, but that doesn't mean that other lawyers won't find it useful. This is what is happening right now. How are you going to respond to it?

  8. Mark Herrmann's “Inside Straight: Business Development” series from Above the Law. I never thought I'd be recommending Above the Law as a law marketing resource, but Herrmann's new "Inside Straight" columns have given it a decidedly more practical focus. "Part 1" draws on Herrmann's experience on both sides of the aisle -- as seller and as buyer -- as he looks for an answer to the question "business development: what works? In "Part 2," the second installment of what we hope will be an ongoing BigLaw-lawyer-gone-in-house biz dev advice series, Herrrmann addresses every lawyer's favorite marketing tool: the brochure. His take? "...I now typically delete them unread." But there's more to this post than poking fun at law firm brochures. Herrmann uses "Part 3" to answer a question he's already answered before (which might even be the wrong question to ask). But hey: as far as we're concerned, he can write about blogging as business development tool as often as he wants, because each time he adds new insight.

  9. Carolyn Elefant’s "Why Law Firms Should Wow Their Current Clients" from Nolo's Legal Marketing Blog. It's easy to focus your marketing dollars and efforts on finding and landing new clients. But it doesn't always make the most sense: studies show that it costs 11 times more to bring in a new client as it does to get additional work from an existing one. This post gives a good, common-sense, look at how you can make your current clients happier, and how it will always help you in the long (and short) run. While you're at it, check out "A Short, Concise Client Development Tip" on Cordell Parvin's Law Consulting Blog for more tips on how you can make clients happy by showing them how much you care about their business.

  10. "12 Leadership Guidelines for Leading through Learning in Turbulent Times" from Michael McKinney on Leading Blog. You probably won't ever need to rebuild a 53,000-employee, embroiled-in-chaos-after-its-founder-and-chair-resigns-amidst-massive-accounting-fraud company. But Priscilla Nelson and Ed Cohen did. This post captures 12 guidelines they followed as they turned Satyam Computer Services around. Powerful advice for any leader. Want more? Check out their book Riding the Tiger: Leading through Learning in Turbulent Times.

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