Law Scribbler

How should you reboot your legal marketing? Lawyernomics speakers will explore

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Victor Li smiling

Photo of Victor Li by Saverio Truglia

It’s only fitting for someone with the nickname “the rock star of digital marketing” to play Las Vegas.

Mitch Joel, president of digital marketing and communications agency Mirum, will do just that when he delivers the keynote address at the Avvo Lawyernomics conference. The conference, which will be held at the Wynn Las Vegas from May 13-15, will bring together lawyers, legal service providers, marketers and technology professionals to learn more about attorney marketing in the digital age. (The ABA Journal is a media co-sponsor of the event and will be holding a legal innovators panel Wednesday, May 13.)

Joel, who is scheduled to speak May 14, says that when it comes to more effective digital marketing, the tools are already there for law firms and lawyers to utilize. They just don’t know how to—or in some cases will not—take advantage.

“The biggest question is how does a business, especially one that provides services, connect in a more powerful and profound way with customers,” Joel says. “I think the most efficient way is to market through digital channels. Law firms can be laggard when it comes to this, but most other businesses aren’t doing that great, either.”

Joel likes to say lawyers and businesses that have not embraced the possibilities of the digital age are stuck in purgatory, and his 2013 book, Ctrl Alt Delete – Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It, provides a road map for them to move forward. Among the things a lawyer should be doing, Joel asserts, is providing content that not only shows off his or her professional expertise, but demonstrates his or her humanity or character.

“There is no silver bullet,” says Joel, who suggests things like YouTube videos, case studies and webinars. “Businesses must ask themselves: ‘Do we have a unique voice to share, do we have a story, and do we have people who can create that type of content?’ The legal business is driven by direct relationships. We trust the lawyers we work with. How to do that in a digital era is very hard.”

The conference will follow a similar format as last year with the entire first day being devoted to Avvo and how lawyers can get more out of it. Avvo founder and CEO Mark Britton says a major theme will be customer service and how to retain clients in a digital world where there are so many choices and options.

“There’s been lots of talk about getting new clients, but there’s also an art in maintaining those customers,” Britton says. “Customers are becoming smarter. They can research you and even know where you are.

“We’ll spend a lot of time talking about how to attract and retain customers in the face of these changing consumer expectations.”

Britton, who says he is expecting at least a 50 percent increase in attendance compared to last year’s event, was surprised at how well-received the Avvo-only day was last year, and he expects a similar reception this year.

“Usually, the lawyers are here to learn about business, technology and the practice of law,” Britton says. “But the drumbeat grew in our exit interviews, and we got lot of positive feedback from people who were happy they were able to learn about Avvo in a way they otherwise could not.”

Britton says this year’s conference will feature, for the first time, breakout sessions. “If you are specifically interested in business opportunities, social media, or the cloud, you will be able to break out in smaller groups,” Britton says. He also pointed to the diverse roster of speakers, including Dave Schappell of Amazon Web Services, Clio president Jack Newton, and Moz CEO Sarah Bird who are expected to take to the stage.

“Many of our speakers are totally outside of the legal realm,” Britton says. “To me, that’s what Lawyernomics is all about. We bring in lawyers who really understand the practical execution and application of the law, as well as the best and most creative business minds.”

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