WSAJ Reviews Digital Marketing for Law Firms

Reviewed by Kendra Long

Originally published in the September 2021 edition of Trial News, a monthly newspaper from the Washington State Association for Justice.

I started my own practice last year. Thinking back, it might not have been the best time to go solo. COVID-19 restricted my ability to pursue traditional networking avenues, and I had to figure out how to create a thriving new practice during a pandemic. I decided to turn to digital marketing to get my practice off the ground. The problem was that I was ignorant about digital marketing.

Like many people in my position, I Googled the topic. I read the articles that were out there, but none of them were particularly helpful. There was not a lot about legal marketing and what was there was not relevant to the needs of small and solo plaintiffs’ practices. So, I turned to a marketing consultant who claimed to work with personal injury lawyers. I did my due diligence (or so I thought). But, long story short, I spent $18,000 and got almost nothing in return. I was swindled.

Digital Marketing for Law Firms by Chip Lafleur is an absolute must-read. We all know that digital marketing is here and we must adapt. The problem is that very few of us know what to do or how to do it. This book teaches you everything that you need to know about digital marketing. More than that, it tells you how to implement the changes within your firm.

Digital Marketing for Law Firms encompasses these vital subjects: branding, audience, website, social media, video, content creation, newsletters, pay-per-click, analytics, automation, and modern networking. Fear not if these are all new concepts to you and you do not know where to start; Digital Marketing for Law Firms gives you a realistic strategy to establish your law firm’s online presence, generate new leads, and maximize your return on investment. The book clearly lays out a step-by-step approach to tailor your marketing strategy to your budget. It will give you the confidence you need to make marketing changes in your practice to get more clients and better cases.

Prefer not to do this work yourself? That is okay, too. There is an informative chapter on how to hire and work with a marketing agency. The author acknowledges that "[a]gency partnerships are not always made in heaven." He alerts you to common pitfalls such as lack of transparent reporting, confusing billing, trade lingo, and exclusive control of your digital assets. Readers should heed these cautionary messages. I know this from experience.

As lawyers, we are ever mindful of our ethical duties to the public and the profession. This is not overlooked by the author. Our digital presence, such as our website, newsletter, and social media profile, are held to the same standard as our traditional marketing. The author’s advice incorporates our ethical obligations and reminds us that we should always consult the RPC’s whenever we do anything online.

Digital marketing success is a moving target, and the emergence of new technologies will ensure that it stays that way. Let us embrace digital marketing. It is nothing to be afraid of. Digital Marketing for Law Firms pulls back the curtain and enlightens us all. Buy the book. Read the book. Implement the book. Be the book.

Digital Marketing for Law Firms by Chip LaFleur