The following tips were originally prepared for distribution to attendees at the Legal Marketing Association luncheon in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 11, 2000 entitled:
Law Firm Web Sites: The Future of Online Marketing Strategies
By LaVern A. Pritchard
Pritchard Law Webs
- Develop a strategy. It sounds simple but most law firms do not really have a well-developed web strategy or have one so unambitious that it prevents them from experimenting and evolving in the ways that will be necessary to thrive in the Web Era.
- Don't isolate your web strategy from your overall marketing strategy or your overall law practice strategy and culture. Merge them. They are all part of the same whole.
- Don't let anyone wear a suit or tie when you think about your web strategy. You need to think creatively and you need to be willing to challenge the status quo assumptions about what you do, how you do it, and what it takes to be successful. The rules are changing. Most law firms do not appreciate how much and how quickly they are changing. Part of the challenge is becoming comfortable with change and actively seeking to change, rather than reacting to change.
- Find our what real people think about your web site. (Don't design it for your executive committee or around your organizational structure; design it for those who will use it.)
- Include search engine web spiders as an intended "audience" for your site. You'd be surprised how many firms don't -- and what it's cost them in lost visibility.
- It's embarrassing when your own lawyers don't know what you're doing on the Web. Make sure they know, so when their clients and others outside the firm ask them or engage them in a question based on the web site, they know what's going on. (If you don't integrate your web site into your culture, you won't get much benefit from it.)
- Forget about proclaiming how "prominent" you are or were when your firm was founded 100 years ago. Concentrate on effectively communicating how you practice high-tech, high-touch, highly-responsive, high-value law right now. (And if you don't actually practice high-tech, high-touch, highly-responsive, high-value law, concentrate on doing that first! You can't sell it until you have it.)
- Don't just think about your web site as an information site. Think about your ability to interact through the Web.
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