Managing partner Bob Young and Aaron Smith, Chair of the firm’s Practice Management Committee, recently attended the American Bar Association‘s TECHSHOW in Chicago. TECHSHOW is the premier technology event for those in the legal field, providing opportunities for attorneys to learn about advances in payment systems, software, apps, phones, tablets, computers and the many ways each of these help attorneys do their jobs.
Key takeaways for Bob included the emphasis on how much the firm’s web site matters, and how branding impacts an attorney’s ability to market their skills to clients. “What clients are looking for are credibility, likability and accessibility,” Bob says. “They want to know that you know what you’re doing, that you will be good to work with and that when they need you, you’ll be available to them.”
Potential clients also want to know that you understand the area of law that you are handling in depth. Serving as a generalist, offering all types of law, doesn’t impress clients. “If they’re a business owner struggling with tax issues, it’s not enough to say that you handle business law,” Bob says. “They want to know that you’ve successfully represented business owners who were seeking ways to reduce their tax burden, that you’ve battled with municipalities, state governments or the IRS and won.”
Distinguishing yourself in subject matter is helpful, Aaron says, but it’s also important to highlight the ways your firm is different from your competitors. Whatever your key advantages are, be sure to empahsize those. You can do that through offering quality content that’s useful and relevant to the reader, Aaron says. “Content on your web site drives your business and brings search engines to your web site,” Aaron says. “Keep blogging, posting and sharing in social media, but be sure you’re sharing original content.”
Beyond marketing, attorneys should look to learn new skills as often as possible. Use Lynda.com, an online learning platform, to take courses in topics that will keep your technology skills sharp. Don’t let technology advancements pass you by.
“Knowing the law is, of course, central for attorneys who want to build a practice,” Aaron says. “But if you want to have a successful practice, knowing how to tell the story of what you do and how you do it is really critical, and part of that is keeping up-to-date on your skills. You won’t have a practice without the ability to attract and keep clients.”