Category Archives: Mobile Devices

Mobile Mommy Marketing

Even if you don’t serve female clients exclusively, you should be targeting women any time you pitch legal services to a couple or family – because they’re the ones making important decisions. A recent study by Prudential Financial, highlighted at Blogher concluded that 95 percent of women are either making or influencing major financial decisions within the household. These results suggest that women’s influence has grown; a 2008 study showed that for 43 percent of couples, women make more decisions at home, while in 31 percent of couples, decision-making responsibilities are equally divided.

So if women are the audience for legal services, how do you reach them? Perhaps a quarter of a century ago, you’d run an ad campaign on daytime television or talk shows, but no more. Today’s women, and moms in particular, have gone mobile. According to a survey by BabyCenter, (summarized here, smartphone use among moms has risen 64 percent over the past two ears, with 51 percent of moms saying that they are addicted to their smartphones. Top smartphone activities by moms include reading social media newsfeeds, updating social media status and reading answers to posted questions. And moms are also using smartphones to research products and for health and wellness information.

As I’ve posted before, if you’re targeting an audience that makes use of mobile devices, make sure that your message matches the medium.

In practical terms, what does that mean if you’re marketing to moms? First, make sure that your website and blogs are optimized for mobile use. Second, since moms use smartphones to track social media, distribute blog posts or other news items through Twitter or Facebook. Finally, consider creating a useful app (such as a checklist of documents to compile for estate preparation or a list of laws relating to special education) that might interest moms, or assist them with legal issues that they may have.

Create an App in a Snap

Since my previous posts on mobile devices, they’ve continued to gain traction.  Just last week, Forbes Magazine reported that a recent Pew study found that 85 percent of all American adults own a cell phone.  Moreover, consumers are using phones for a variety of new purposes.  A Pew Reportreleased October 19, 2010, found the following:

  • 7% of cell owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 29% of cell owners ages 18-29 have done such searches.
  • 9% of cell owners have software applications or “apps” on their phones that help them track or manage their health. Some 15% of those ages 18-29 have such apps.

Just as consumers are beginning to use phones to organize and locate health or medical information, it is only a matter of time before they eventually turn to their phones for legal information as well.  The question is, will your firm be ready?

I previously posted some tips about how lawyers could prepare themselves for a mobile-era, including optimizing websites for viewing on cell phones, adopting video which can be viewed fairly easily on a phone and even developing law firm apps.  Well now, there are more options than ever to develop an app for your firm, ranging from do-it-yourself to hiring a developer.

These new advancements mean that apps aren’t just for big firms. In fact,Mashable lays out more than a dozen different options for app development targeted specifically at small firms.

On the DIY end, options include Google’s recent App Inventor, which creates apps for Android, or Appbreeder.com, a web-based platform for developing iphone apps.

Read, Write, Web offers thirteen more DIY options, coding skills not required. One app that immediately caught my attention is Ebook app which will convert ebooks into phone apps.

For lawyers who lack the patience, or want to commission a more ambitious app, outsourcing is an option. Mashable recommends Odesk or elance as a source for finding app developers, as well as companies likeTheyMakeApps.com which is a mobile app development agency.

One option that none of these sites have mentioned is for lawyers to collaborate on an basic app which could be adapted to their specific markets and branded with their firm name. For example, five different bankruptcy firms (presumably non-competitors) could pool their resources to develop a bankruptcy “means test” app and then “brand” the app with their respective logos. This approach would enable firms to share the cost of development and save money.

So maybe it’s time to get busy and develop an app for your firm. Even though there isn’t necessarily “an app for that,” there are plenty of other options.

Marketing Round Up Post

It’s been a while since I’ve done a marketing round-up post — either updating older posts or throwing out a couple of links.  So let’s get started, and see what’s new in the world of legal marketing.

Generating Business From Conferences

A while back, I posted about how you can market your practice throughspeaking engagements.  Of course, speaking engagements at a conference can be hard to come by.  If that’s the case, you can also extract value just from attending a conference – particularly if you read this piece, How to Use Conferences to Generate Business Opportunities by Lee Rosen which appears in the May 2010 issue of TechnoLawyer.  Rosen sets out a three-phased approach for conferences which includes: (1) pre-conference reconnaissance where you identify prospects you want to meet, as well as rehearsal on what you’ll say; (2) working the conference, which involves getting around during the conference to meet attendees and (3) post-conference follow up.  (Incidentally, as the video at the end of this post shows, a whopping 80 percent of conference attendees fail to follow up on leads).

The Importance of Being Mobile

Over the past year, I’ve twice posted — here and here about the increased importance of being mobile when it comes to marketing.  Well, mobility still matters more than ever.  As law firm marketing gury Larry Bodine reports at his Law Marketing Blog, smart phone ownership is up 38 percent, and lawyers need to start thinking about ways to deliver marketing and education-based contents through mobile media.  Along these same lines, a recent post at Marketing Profs notes that frequent users of social media (those who use social networking sites several times a day) have more than doubled to 39 million in 2010, up from 18 million a year earlier.  These frequent users are likely to be using mobile technologies, both to engage in social media and for other purposes.  In short, it’s not premature to think about ways to make your web content and other marketing messages accessible for mobile platforms.

Marketing Tips from MyShingle

For those of you who don’t read my blog at MyShingle, I occasionally post marketing ideas over there.  In the past month or so, I’ve posted on ways to market your practice on the government’s dime and also created the short video below on Marketing by the Numbers for lawyers.


Marketing by the Numbers: A Thirteen Minute Why To on Marketing A Law Practice from Carolyn Elefant on Vimeo.