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  • Martindale-Hubbell Holiday Party 2015

    Martindale-Hubbell’s Still Got It


    After 145 years in the business, you’d think Martindale-Hubbell would have forgotten how to party. You might have this perception that we are a bunch of work-focused zombies that come in early and stay late. That we have taken some solemn vow to never work from home. You could have even gone as far as to think we schedule the impossible meeting during lunch because a critical attendee was booked up for the rest of the business day and we couldn’t possibly wait until the following day. Well, even after 145 years on the grind; Martindale-Hubbell’s still got it.

    After work, on December 8th, 2015, Martindale-Hubbell hosted their 2nd annual Holiday Cocktail Party. From 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Martindale-Hubbell spread some holiday cheer and showed appreciation to all of their employees for another successful year.

    Like the risks of throwing any event you may worry:

    • Will people show up?
    • Is there enough food?
    • Are they going to be bored?
    • Is the guest list appropriate?

    When throwing a company holiday party it actually heightens the risk of the last item. When we spend this much time together, does everyone want to see each other after work? Who do you see more than your coworkers? These risks are all viable concerns and appropriate questions to ask if you’re planning a company holiday party. Our answer is simple, do it right and everyone will have a great time.

    What we did to make our holiday party extra special:

    1. Send out invites
    2. Give out door prizes
    3. Have an open bar with beer and wine
    4. Feed our guests
    5. Hire entertainment
    6. Dress in something that makes us feel like we are OUT OF THE OFFICE
    7. Rent a photo booth

    After our holiday party it’s clear that we never get sick of each other. From the photo booth to the raffle, Martindale-Hubbell gave people something to talk about BESIDES work. There wasn’t any rapid fire digs about your boss’s wardrobe or the impossible low budget, unisex gift requirement for a Secret Santa. Our philosophy is simple: focus on the celebration of the season and the hard work all employees put in throughout the year.

    Happy Holidays!!

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  • The A.R.T. of Social Media for Lawyers

    The A.R.T. of Social Media for Lawyers


    When I speak to law firms, many of them do not understand what social media is all about. No, it is not just about posting adorable cat videos, funny memes, the one-way communication of “it’s all about me,” or even about trying to attract clients (even though that is an end goal). Social media for lawyers is first and foremost something that we should all agree on and understand: BRAND MANAGEMENT. Did you ever Google your firm? What are people saying about you, and where are they saying it? Odds are it is on social media. You can see the posts on Facebook and Twitter. So what is the best way to begin to manage and engage with people discussing your brand? Start by claiming your firm’s profiles on social media. Why Should I Claim My Social Media Profiles? With nearly three-quarters of American adults using social media sites either on their desktops or their mobile phones, this is a potential client base that cannot be looked over. By claiming your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn), you allow yourself to create a social presence that supports your firm’s goals. Prospective clients can encounter law firms through social media, and you should have a conscious approach to developing an effective social media presence for your law firm. What Is An Effective Social Media Presence? An effective social media presence is one that ultimately forwards your business goals, which usually means bringing in new clients. As you focus on building your firm’s social media presence, always remember you are looking to build on three core concepts that I like to use the acronym A.R.T. to describe:

    1. you are an Authority on the law
    2. you are Reputable, and
    3. you are Trustworthy
    How Do I Practice The A.R.T. of Social Media? Practicing the A.R.T. of social media is not an exact science or a step-by-step how-to guide, it is a philosophy. The implementation of that philosophy will vary based on your law firm’s goals. Here are our recommendations: First, you become an Authority by commenting on the law, using data and precedents to backup your comments, and sharing valuable content that provides a benefit to your audience. Showcase your knowledge: share and comment on that news article relative to your area of practice and location or write a commentary on a recent change in the law. People look for lawyers because they do not know the law. Show potential clients that you are fluent and up-to-date on the law. Secondly, you become Reputable from your customer reviews, your published works, as well as your good standing with the bar association. How do you expand on your reputation? Two simple ways are: get additional client reviews on your profiles (e.g. Facebook, Google), and get Martindale-Hubbell Peer and Client Review rated. Show potential clients how well people hold you in their regards. For more information on how to get reviews on Google, read David DiGregorio’s post on “Getting Google Reviews for Your Law Firm Just Got Harder.” And finally, you become Trustworthy by adding the human engagement factor to your presence by responding to your clients and by understanding their needs. People hire lawyers that they trust because they feel that the lawyer understands them and can help them after their initial communication. Show your compassion and willingness to help. Will Applying The A.R.T. Get Me More Clients? Much like the traditional word-of-mouth that people use to recommend lawyers that they know, like and trust, building your social media presence by adopting the A.R.T. philosophy can address those needs on the digital level. There is no guarantee that your phone will be ringing off the hook after your first post, or your first response to someone that commented on your post will become a client, but a timely effort will help in the long run in managing what people say and how they feel about your firm. Remember, today’s social media users could become tomorrow’s clients. Learn how to grow your social media presence with our Social Starter product.

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  • How Law Firms can Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads


    Act-On has put together a great resource for businesses titled 10 Things B2B Companies Should Be Doing on LinkedIn. Of the 10 tips they provide, three stand out as being particularly effective and attainable for law firms. Taking just one action from each of these tips could improve your firm’s new business potential. The best part: these are all free ways of attracting leads! #1: Optimize your Company Page for lead generation Your Company Page on LinkedIn is your online business card, storefront and elevator pitch all in one place. When set up optimally, potential clients, business referrers and job seekers can spend a minute on your law firm’s Company Page and get a good idea of what you’re all about. From there they can visit your website, call your business or email you. What a law firm can do: First, you’ll want to have a Company Page. Here’s a handy guide on how to set one up. Second, and of primary importance, is to use the Update feature to highlight recent wins (as your State Bar allows), your firm’s community involvement and your thoughts on recent news stories or events that pertain to your legal practice area. These updates will provide visitors to your Company Page a snapshot of your firm and give them a push toward contacting you directly or visiting your website. A couple more tips: Make sure your location is correct. Use photos liberally on the page (even on your updates), and make sure images are good quality and sized correctly.  People are more responsive and engaged when images are used. #2: Optimize your Company Page for keywords Search engines run on keywords, and because of this, keywords drive a lot of marketing action online. Simply put, keywords are what you type into the search box when you are looking to solve a problem or find some information. Regardless of your level of familiarity with SEO and your ability to identify a “good keyword” for your firm, you can give your Company Page a basic keyword optimization in a couple minutes. What a law firm can do: Write down the type of law you practice and the types of cases you most want. Then ask yourself, “If I were looking for this type of information, what words would I type in the search box?” Include those phrases in with the practice area and cases. This is the start of your keyword list. Now use those phrases on your Company Page in the Specialties section and in your business description. #3: Use LinkedIn Publisher Publisher is LinkedIn’s answer to blogging and content distribution. Why is it important to use it? Because content is what drives leads. People are online searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. This is where you come in: since attorneys are in the business of solving complex problems, you can use Publisher to highlight your knowledge of your area of practice and attract the types of clients that are best for your firm. What a law firm can do: First, figure out what you want to say and what type of client you want to attract. What questions do your clients or referrals ask you most often? Do a search on Google on your practice area and your location (for example, New York car accidents) and see what news stories come up. Address these issues and concerns in the form on posts on Publisher. Your thought leadership can be established or strengthened this way. Potential clients can see that you know what you’re doing, and may choose your firm over one with less visible expertise. By taking actions from each of these three tips, you let LinkedIn do lead generation for you while you work your cases. Take five minutes right now to do just one LinkedIn action. Happy lead generating!

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  • Getting Google Reviews For Your Law Firm Just Got Harder


    Recent Updates To Google+ Affects The Review Process

    Google has changed everything, yet again. It’s like that old saying The only thing constant is change. That seems to be their motto, since they just made a major update a few months ago to their search engine results, and now they’ve rolled out another update, without any warning. That first update dealt with removing all aspects of Google+ from the search results page. Users could no longer find links to Google+ business pages or posts; they had to search directly within the Google+ social network to find this information. In the most recent update, Google has decided to remove reviews from Google+ altogether. Again, without any fair warning.

    How Does This Change Impact Your Firm?

    There are two distinct reasons for wanting someone to come across your Google+ business page: to educate potential clients, and to keep previous clients engaged. The page would allow potential clients to learn about the history of your firm, your practice areas, and the areas you service — all written in a tone that you wanted portrayed. Most importantly, they’d be able to read reviews of your business written by real people. Before even making contact with you, they had a pretty good idea about your reputation and what cases your firm handles. The pages also allowed firms to keep previous clients engaged. Attorneys encouraged clients to leave reviews if they were satisfied, and to “follow” the business for important information. By following the business on Google+, they could keep up to date with firm news and recent blog posts while also being just a click away from contact details. Leaving a review showed that they were satisfied with your service, and they usually went into great detail—a very helpful feature for potential clients who are interested in your services. In the past, getting a client to leave you a review on Google was simple: all they needed was a Google account and a link to your Google+ page.

    How Have Google Reviews Changed?

    Everything about reviews is different now. The link that you used to send to clients is now obsolete, because Google+ doesn’t contain reviews anymore. If you send someone that link, they can’t even find out things like your hours of operation, practice areas, or read about your business, let alone leave you a review. In their latest update, Google has essentially removed most of the original functionality from Google+, as they appear to be sunsetting the defunct social network.

    How Do I Get Google Reviews?

    Don’t panic: reviews are not gone; they have just moved. Google is making a drastic push for Maps and “smart” search results. All of your business information, including reviews, will now be shown in those two places. First, let’s take a look at search results. If you do a branded search (firm name + city) for your business, you’ll see that on the right-hand side, there is a “knowledge panel.” Inside of this knowledge panel, users will be able to find most of your business information, along with your reviews. What’s missing? Your business description, recent posts, and communities, as seen before on Google+. However, potential clients will be able to see your business in a snapshot and read through your reviews. Past clients have the ability to leave your law firm a review right from this panel, by clicking on the “Write a review” button. Google review in search results   As mentioned before, your business information and reviews are also being pushed out to Google Maps, which is where Google wants you to direct clients. From the Maps listing, users will be able to see:
    • -your address
    • -phone number
    • -hours of operation
    • -business photos
    • -reviews
    Clients can also leave you a review from the Google Maps listing too. But again, it’s a little challenging getting someone here because of all the extra steps involved: directing them to Google Maps, having them perform a search, scrolling down to the bottom of your listing, and then clicking “Write A Review”. Because it is now harder for clients to find your listing and leave reviews, they may be less likely to do so. Google Maps review On mobile devices, there are even more steps involved, whether or not someone is using the Google Maps app or a browser. First off, the vast majority of people who own a smartphone have an iPhone. Why is that a problem? Because the default maps application on an iPhone is Apple Maps, not Google Maps. So for this to even work, a user would have to download the correct application, Google Maps. Then they would have to perform all those steps from above to leave you a review. With so many other things happening before you even get to the “rate and review” section of Maps, like Google wanting you to “make edits” and “add photos,” you are sure to lose people in the process. In theory, those other sections are helpful, but are placed in the wrong spots, which is distracting.

    Can’t I Just Send Someone a Direct Link to My Google Maps Listing to Solicit A Review?

    Sure you could, but the link is rather lengthy and has a good chance of being copied or entered incorrectly. You need to remember that not all your clients are computer whizzes, and most of them will actually struggle with this. For example, the Maps link you will need to send them will be similar to this string of 155 characters: https://www.google.com/ maps/place/ Bryan+L+Salamone+ %26+Associates+PC/ @40.791592,-73.419076,17z/ data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1! 1s0x89e82bd55f4e6a 53:0x64e06af1058f82b Before the change, you could simply just send this Google+ link: google.com/+DivorceLawyerLongIsland. This link is even easy enough to tell someone over the phone! But the maps link? No chance. What you’re going to need to do is shorten the Maps link for them. Here’s how:
    • 1. Go to https://goo.gl/
    • 2. Enter your Google Maps URL
    • 3. Click “I’m not a robot”
    • 4. Click “Shorten URL”
    • 5. This is now your new (short) URL that you should be sharing with your clients
    Google URL shortener

    There has to be an easier way

    Of course there is, but it’s probably only temporary. Most of the time when Google rolls out a major update to one of their products, there are ways to revert back to the original product while they are working in beta. With that said, you can still send someone your Google+ link. The user will then be prompted to “Meet the new Google+.” If they select “No Thanks,” everything stays the same. They can leave you a review right away, read your posts, browse through your videos, and learn more about your business — all through Google+. meet the new Google+ If they have already converted over to the new Google+, in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, there is a link to go “Back to classic G+.. A user can click on that and go back to how everything used to be. We don’t envision this option to be available for very long, probably only a few months. When the option to revert back finally disappears, you’ll need to direct clients to Maps or the search results, as explained above. back to classic G+

    Recap

    The main takeaway here is that Google has separated Google+ from your business listing, but Google reviews are still extremely important for your business, and you need to continue to get them. Unfortunately, the process of getting those reviews has changed. That Google+ link on your website, in your email signature, and on your business card will only work if the client is intuitive enough to revert back to the classic Google+. And eventually that functionality will cease to exist. When that happens, you will be stuck sending clients to Google Maps or the search results for reviews.

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  • Martindale-Hubbell & Martindale-Nolo Offer Legal Marketing Solutions Based on 190 Years of Experience


    Online marketing is essential, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Trying to figure it all out on your own can take up valuable time that you could be using to help your clients. Martindale-Hubbell and Martindale-Nolo can take care of everything for you, no matter the size of your firm, your marketing experience, the strength of your brand name or your marketing budget. We help firms develop, manage and expand their online presence, generate leads and convert those leads into clients. Whether you are just starting out or your marketing efforts have grown too large to manage alone, we have the experience and know-how to help.

    How do we know so much about attorney marketing? Together, Martindale-Hubbell® and Martindale-Nolo®, have 190 years of experience in the legal services industry. Martindale began in 1868 as a directory listing attorneys and other professional services. These publications evolved into the legal search engines Lawyers.com and Martindale.com. The company’s goal at inception was to provide businesses and the public with “the address of one reliable law firm, one reliable bank, and one reliable real estate office in every city in the United States." The directory soon grew to include Peer Review Ratings. Martindale has been helping the public find attorneys long before directories even existed, so we are confident in our law firm internet marketing solutions.

    Martindale-Nolo started as Nolo Press in 1971. The company’s goal was to make the law more accessible to the public by publishing a variety of do-it-yourself legal books and forms. Nolo began to create software and eventually started its own attorney directory, Nolo.com. For decades, the public has turned to Nolo.com when it seeks answers to legal questions and we, in turn, referred these seekers to our attorney customers as leads.

    Together, we have built a legal marketing network, including high-ranking websites such as Lawyers.com, Nolo.com and Martindale.com and DisabilitySecrets.com, visited by millions of consumers each month. We continue to provide legal answers to the public, and we use these informational pages as opportunities to generate leads and exposure for our attorney clients. With Martindale’s peer reviews and client reviews, it’s easy to show potential clients that you are established and respected in your field.

    We also create innovative websites for attorneys and law firms and provide a range of SEM services. You don’t need to understand SEO, PPC or social media to be successful because our team takes care of it all for you.

    Today, Martindale-Hubbell and Martindale-Nolo are at the forefront of legal marketing. We offer a full suite of products to help law firms succeed. Most importantly, we make it all easy and faster. You tell us what you want, and we provide the tools you need to help you grow your practice.

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  • Optimizing new client opportunities


    The 4 Rs of Success

    Martindale-Nolo helps thousands of attorneys generate new leads and grow their business. Based on surveys and conversations with those attorneys, we have established best practices that have proven to help clients achieve a higher return-on-investment. We call these best practices our 4 Rs. [button link="//i.lawyers.com/campaigns/myf/assets/pdf/WP_4Rs_Success_11.15_Mech.pdf" title="Download White Paper"]

    1. Response Time

    Make every effort to respond to leads within 15 minutes. On average, 37% of our clients reported this as their #1 success factor. Response times longer than 1 hour are missed opportunities. If you are tied up, there are multiple ways you can contact leads quickly: respond via email or text, or assign a designated employee (assistant) or service to respond on your behalf. Over 50% of our attorneys reported using non-attorneys to follow-up on leads. There are also a number of tools available to assist you, such as ContactUs.com and Acuityscheduling.com. On average, how soon do you follow up on leads from lead generation services like Nolo? Average Lead Response Time

    2. ROI

    Track your performance. Know how many leads you are receiving and how many actually convert to clients. Find out why they went with you, or may be considering your competition - price, expertise, follow-up?

    3. Repeated Attempts

    Persistence is key. Successful firms contact “every” lead at least 2-3 times, and only after weeks of unsuccessful attempts do they consider the lead unreachable. Remember, everyone is busy and they asked to be contacted - people appreciate follow up. Clients tell us that some of their best leads are those that didn’t seem so - information received on submission forms may not tell the full story. On average, how many times must your firm attempt to contact a prospective client before you are able to connect? Multiple attempts

    4. Rapport

    As one of our clients stated so wisely, “people are coming to you at a time of need - you just need to listen.” Get to the essence of your customer’s problem first by understanding their concerns, desires, fears and limits. Then prescribe your solution to win the work.

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