A Legal Business Development Trend for 2013: Using Technology to Connect

Leading into the new year, I am going to publish a series of posts about business development trends that I see emerging for the professional service industries.  I will try and cover a wide variety of topics and offer insights into how you can adapt these emerging trends to your own practice.  The subject of this post should be something that you are always thinking about in your legal practice – connecting with prospective clients.  The adaptation of technology is an emerging trend that can help facilitate this process on a large, yet intimate scale.

Using Technology to Connect With a Large Audience Effectively and Quickly

While the methodologies are always changing, the growing trend in legal business development truly isn’t a new one at all: finding the best way of establishing a quick connection to as large an audience as possible.  Clients want to feel a human connection to their attorney.  They want to trust their attorney’s expertise, understand how they can help them, and know that they are receiving the maximum value for the fees charged.  Clients want a lawyer who is connected; and the growing trend is using the tools available on the internet as the medium to facilitate this initial feeling of connection. If you start to craft your message by thinking like the client and presenting actionable information they can use to make the proper decision (i.e. that your firm will best represent them) available; your website becomes a tool, not just a touchstone. Obviously, the content of your website should contain personalized information about the lawyers in your firm.  Biographical information, including photos, schools attended and alumni organizations should be mentioned, but not be the main focus. Add to your perceived authority by interlinking bios and practice descriptions to articles and client-focused, issue-based terminology that the prospect can understand or is explained to them can help make a potential client know that it’s not all about you. The potential client will appreciate the use of a professional, but personal tone and a featuring of an attorney’s own opinion.  Offer blog posts on a variety of topics that aren’t always 100% legal in nature.  You can try highlighting the good work a client is doing in the community or a recent success that your firm helped a client achieve.  This will show your clients your firm is well-rounded and can help them identify new legal issues and opportunities that they may not have even been aware of.  You can also tie your online content strategy to the issues your clients are interested in or that your client’s industry is focusing on.  This will create an overall voice for the growing interest in your firm. As far as the delivery vehicle to help get your message in front of the masses – the use of SEO & keyword advertising is continually growing in use by plaintiff firms, putting them on the forefront of media reform within law firms.  These firms are pushing content on high traffic sites, in an effort to have their firm ‘discovered’ by anyone seeking counsel. Your potential client can find anything they need on the internet, including the law firm that will best represent their need.  By creating a human voice based on insightful, client-need-driven content, humanizing credentialing and an SEO strategy that connects the lawyer to the client, your firm will have a stronger chance of standing out from the crowd.

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