11 September 2005

Education Based Marketing

Yesterday, I went on for quite a long time about the differencve between our chambers website, which has always tried to offer information on the law, and those of many other chambers which are, as often as not, little more than an online version of the chambers brochure. Much of my thinking has been influenced by Trey Ryder who runs a marketing consultancy for lawyers in the USA.

While there are many sites on the internet there are prettier than Mr. Ryder's, there are few that are as useful. His site contains lots of good, short articles in straightforward English. My favourite is "How to Build Your Law Practice With Dignity" in which he introduces his concept of education based marketing. Here is a snippet:

"Educate your audience with written information and advice. Write your message in a form that you can send to anyone who calls your office. Then, by offering to mail copies without charge, you attract calls from genuine prospects. When prospects call, they give you their names and addresses, which you add to your mailing list.

Important: The longer your materials, the better. The longer you keep your prospect's attention -- and the more information you provide -- the more likely he is to hire your services. Not all prospects will read everything you send. But many will, provided your materials are well written and relevant to the person's problem. The current fact kit I offer varies from 40 to 50 pages in length. Many lawyers tell me they read every word."

He amplifies his concept in other articles on his site such as "What is Education-Based Marketing?" and "How to Use Education to Market Legal Services with Dignity".

In addition to his website, Mr Ryder distributes a regular newsletter with a short article with at least one very big tip together with news, comments and suggestions from his readers from around the world. He also holds marketing conferences for lawyers, usually by phone nowadays. Because of time zone differences I have not yet been able to attend any of them, but I hope to do so soon.

Although I think there is something of value on his site even for very large law firms, it is small country and suburban practices to whom the site appears to be directed. Now that we can accept instructions directly from the public, there is a lot to interest members of my branch of the legal profession.

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