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March/April 2021

Editor's Note: Now Is the Time for Effective Digital Marketing

Lance G. Johnson

Roseanna Barr, the comedian, once gave an interview discussing her professional history. Her initial sets of jokes, she said, didn’t work. She tried various ways to adjust but to no avail until she realized that those early collections were hilarious from her viewpoint, but they did not account for the audience perception of her. After some feedback and additional adjustments, her career took off.

Though one might consider the business of comedians and lawyers to be worlds apart, both need to appeal to their respective target audiences. This is what the Marketing Issue is about: information that can help you find your message and cost-effective avenues for disseminating that message.

By now, every practice should have a digital marketing strategy. The internet and computers at work and at home are not going away. A key element of that strategy is branding your practice or firm. Branding also plays a significant role in your videoconference meeting. In our lead feature article, Carol Schiro Greenwald has some important information on branding your firm during videoconferences. Read “Maximize Your Brand: The Psychological and Social Differences When Meeting Online.” 

Based on my own experience, the trick to effective digital marketing is reaching the right target audience in a context where your expertise is demonstrated. I am a big fan of substantive legal articles on the issues pertinent to your practice (I got some of my first clients that way). You need more than one and they should be directed to the needs and interests of your desired client. The trick, however, is how to get those articles published to the prospective clients in the right context and with a style geared for the publisher.

Converting inquiries from online sources into billable business is often numbers driven, i.e., more inquiries equal more billable business at a given average conversion rate. Your online activities are one way to get in front of potential clients and prompt an inquiry. Another way to get inquiries is through a lead generation service. Conrad Saam explores these businesses in his article, “The Impact of Lead Generation.” His insights may help you decide whether buying leads makes sense for your business.

You can also reach clients through any of the many available online venues if you spend a bit of time thinking through the possibilities. For example, let’s say your practice involves immigration law. Your potential clients have a defined need for help with the applicable federal laws and want someone with both a good reputation and a demonstrated grasp of the key legal issues. Nicholas Gaffney’s article, “Practicing With Twitter: An Immigration Lawyer’s Social Media Journey,” looks at how Greg Siskind has used that social media platform to demonstrate his knowledge of the key legal issues and generate business. He was early to recognize that social media forums allow lawyers to demonstrate their grasp of the relevant law and their view of the legal issues involved. This peek at the lawyer’s practice gives the potential client a greater degree of confidence in determining whether this lawyer is the one for them.

The article by Jonathan R. Fitzgarrald and Lana J. Manganiello, “Promoting Your Practice During the Pandemic Is Virtually Easy,” is loaded with information on how you can convert those leads with a virtual meeting.

Because marketing is also directed toward attracting new attorneys who will be the future of the firm, Jill McCall’s article, “First-Year Focus in a Pandemic,” discusses the challenges and opportunities of bringing in new attorneys while the clients and team members are remote. Other types of practice are directed to a social cause or diversity policy for your firm. If either of these apply to your practice, look to Mike Nestor’s article, “Wine to Water: Connecting Your Firm to Your Cause.”

Lance G. Johnson


Lance G. Johnson is the owner of Johnson Legal PLLC in Fairfax, Virginia, and is currently the editor-in-chief of Law Practice magazine. [email protected]

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