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Top 5 things I learned at the ABA’s R3 marketing strategies conference

Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

Top 5 things I learned at the ABA’s R3 marketing strategies conference

The American Bar Association held its marketing strategies conference this week in Philadelphia, PA at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The conference was a great success and I would like to thank the organizers for all their hard work. It was great to see so many old friends and colleagues and make a lot new friends this week.

In keeping with our previous top 5 blog format, here are the top 5 things I learned this at the R3 conference:

1. Law Videos

Legal videos and videos promoting individual lawyers and larger firms are becoming more prevalent and popular.

In 2010 30% of all internet traffic was video. Cisco predicts that by 2013 90% of all Internet traffic will be video.

95% of people who watch a video of a product they are considering are more likely to make a purchase.

So what steps to you need to take to get started making your own videos? First, identify a subject to discuss. Second, consider hiring a professional to film your videos. Third, decide if you are going to use a script or not. Fourth, keep your video engaging. Fifth, optimize your video for search engines; and sixth, consider submitting your videos to various Internet outlets (yahoo, google etc). Good luck.

2. Lawyer ratings

Lawyer ratings and their impact on the profession continue to grow. Some people love them and most lawyers loath negative reviews.  So what is the best way to deal with them?  There is no one simple answer to this question.  One thing seems certain, lawyer reviews and ratings services are a growth industry and will not be fading away anytime soon.

The genesis of the lawyer ratings phenomena seems uniquely American.  But we are now just starting to  see more and more review sites ranking Canadian lawyers.

3. How the Internet is changing everything

Peter Shankman provided a fresh perspective in his informative and entertaining keynote speech.

Peter encouraged his audience to focus on his four rules.

(i) Be transparent 

If you screw up or make a mistake acknowledge the error and be transparent and move on.

(ii) Learn how your clients want to receive their information 

Ask your clients how they prefer to communicate, Facebook, twitter, email,regular mail.  And give your clients what they want. Provide them with customer service.

(iii) Brevity 

Be succinct and remember your audience will have a very short attention span.  Focus your message.

(iv) Be ‘top of mind’

Make calls and engage your clients. Have a conversation with them and be on top of their minds.

Shankman implores lawyers to do customer service better and  to strive to achieve what he refers to as “raving clients”; a message based in part on a book with the same theme, reference Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service


4. Social media

Lawyers should produce their own blogs and web content and then tie them through automatic  feeds to their other social media platforms such as twitter and linkedIn.

Keep your blog current and produce regular and new content. About 500 words per blog is key and try to post something at least twice a week.  Anything shorter may not get indexed or noticed by google.

Lawyers should avoid writing  blogs that are too long, remember people’s attention span is short and they do no want to read long articles on the internet.  However, try to write as long as necessary to make your point but keep it succinct.

With respect to twitter and other media share your information and content with others and try to have a conversation with them. Engage.

5. Emotion management

Dr. Dan Hill also provided an excellent keynote address to the conference on the power and importance of “emotion management”.  He used print ads and lawyer videos to demonstrate the deference between good and bad ads and how to connect with clients.  Dr. Hill has written 2 books on this subject: Emotionomics and About Face.

A more detailed summary of Dr Hill’s message in this blog would not do it justice.  It would be worthwhile to read his book or the ABA ‘s practice management magazine interview of Dr Hill and the Power of Emotion in Marketing


Well that is it. These are just 5 of the many things I learned at this year’s conference.  Any lawyers interested in legal marketing and how the market for legal services continues to change and evolve are strongly encouraged to attend the next conference.  This was my second ABA marketing conference and both of them have been informative and worthwhile.

As a honorary mention to this top 5 list, I should also add the attendees should register early for the next conference, they may be eligible for a prize.  This year’s prize was an iPad 2 and I love it.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.