I look at Cohen and Wolf today because this firm appears in searches for both Family and Estate practice in Connecticut. Having these two practice areas under the same roof provide significant marketing opportunities.
This a full service firm. The number of attorneys that are listed as practicing in these areas suggest some significant attention is given to these segments.
The Web Site
It sucks, but if you knew me, you knew I'd say that. To be fair, most legal websites do. They follow a very safe formula, and put their visitors to sleep. Here's an example:
Cohen and Wolf, P.C.'s Family Law Group represents individuals in all areas of family relations law, including drafting and negotiation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements; litigating actions seeking divorce, legal separation, custody and visitation; handling post-judgment modification and enforcement proceedings; and representing minor children. In addition to these services, the Group has extensive experience mediating family law matters and acting as review counsel to clients involved in mediation.
The Family Law Group is comprised of attorneys who enjoy the benefit of consulting and collaborating with attorneys from the firm's Tax, Trusts & Estates, Real Estate, Securities and Employment & Labor Groups to satisfy the needs of clients.
Practice Areas: Family Practice. And the descriptions of the lawyers are similarly yawn-inspiring. Tell me honestly, did you want to read through that excerpt, except to get to what I have to say about it? Maybe try:
Attorney Phambf* must have saved me three million dollars, and I don't know how much hassle. I hadn't really thought about a prenuptial—I just didn't own that much—but I got really successful before my wife decided she preferred the company of women.
Because of that pre-nup, there just wasn't much left to argue about, and we both were able to get on with our lives.
I thank G-d that Cohen and Wolf had my back on that one.
This is fiction I made up obviously, but every firm has its unique wins to highlight.
Then I'd segue to the synergies of having other expertise in-house, and I'd offer a checklist, maybe Five Essential Documents For Smart Family Planning in exchange for an e-mail. We call these opt-in bribes, and I love them.
And what would I do with that e-mail. I'd put this prospect on a practice area specific e-mail list. This would be set on an autoresponder with the intention being to educate, indoctrinate, and then invite them to consult with us if.
We'll go with the family area. I'd introduce our attorneys, highlight our wins, give tips for the new parent, or the family with an aging parent, or a special needs child. I'd survey along the way to further segment the list. I'd send out a birthday greeting. I'd remind people to review their wills or healthcare documents. I'd give them updates about changes in the law. And from time to time, I'd suggest that a certain time of year or transition in life is a good time to consult with a lawyer. That of course would be near the bottom, right by our signature and telephone number.
Our best prospect is someone who has already paid us money. And most lawyers don't mine the prospects right in front of them. And before you scream ethics, remember I'm a lawyer. I know and have thought about this.
So first consider an Estate Plan. Let's say our estate plan contemplated husband and wife revocable trusts, and perhaps a few changes in policy ownerships or beneficiary designations. When did you last follow up to make sure they happened? When did you last check in with your clients to make sure circumstances hadn't changed? It could be a new year's message reminding people things change when their children reach the age of majority, or that it would be a good time to think of annual gifts.
The point here is, especially with a full service firm, you want your name in front of your prospect on a regular basis, and you want to remind them you are the firm they should think about when other life events happen. I'm thinking here an e-mail showing how you masterfully restructured the affairs of a family after the breadwinner was involved in an accident (for which you obtained for them top compensation).
Now consider this: Wills, health care proxies, guardian and conservator designations, what do they all have in common?
They grant authority to other people. Every client who executes one of these documents, I can ask permission to reach out to the designees. It's in everyone's best interested. I let the designees know what we are counting on them for and what their responsibilities are and when they might be called upon. Who wouldn't want to know that their designees are ready?
These would be strictly informational pieces, obviously letting the designees know that if they have any questions, they should feel free to contact us, or see more information on our website. This would be a courtesy service and I would not bill the original client for these calls.
I particularly like standby guardian designations for this. Who has these? And yet, they don't necessarily contemplate death. They are about taking care of the kids. It's a great way in, and it's a great way out. And they are so simple to execute. I would even design a facebook advertising sequence around something like this.
Without knowing what's already going on behind the scenes, what I'd suggest to Cohen and Wolf is these steps:
- Rewrite the Practice Area Descriptions, starting each with a specific quote from a satisfied customer. This might include surveying past customers about their experiences, which could also be a valuable point of contact.
- Rewrite the Attorney Descriptions along the same lines. I cover this here, but again you want a client centered description not you talking about yourself.
- Do the same for the home page description.
- Generate opt-in bribes, small units of value that a person would trade an e-mail for, make them available, gather e-mails and follow up.
- Identify where it would be appropriate to reach back in to prior clients and set up a process to do this. If you like business jargon, this would be about maximizing Customer Lifetime Value.
- Identify where there are opportunities to reach out to others to demonstrate the value we provide, and establish appropriate means of doing so.
You might notice I appear a bit old school. There are some definite advantages to this approach. Once you have a person's e-mail, you don't have to worry about gatekeepers. The person who could follow you easily on Facebook yesterday is someone you might have to pay to reach tomorrow. With e-mail, you own the contact, and you'll never have to do that.
I like Facebook, and can easily see why you would want to leverage its marketing power. And I'd love to help you do that. But we need to get the back end straight first. You might be able to get a person to your site with good SEO, or Facebook advertising (organic reach is pretty much dead on Facebook), but you need to get him to stay in touch until he's ready for your services. If he doesn't make the call, or engage with your chatbot, both of which are big asks, you've wasted your money. I'm about making sure that when he comes, he engages, and that the money you spent to get him to you results in the maximum number of clients possible.
*I'll rewrite the profile of the first person to figure out this acronym, a $100 value.
David is an attorney admitted in Connecticut, New York, and Israel. Looking to market his own services, he realized he's really jazzed by the marketing side of things, and that's what he does now. If you are interested in him applying his marketing magic to your firm, please reach out, and