Highlights from the (Super) Summit by Larry Bodine | Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association
PILMMA Note: The 2017 PILMMA Super Summit took place over three days in September in Nashville, Tennessee. Attendee Larry Bodine shared his thoughts on the experience.

Speaker after speaker at the 2017 PILMMA Super Summit emphasized the importance of Facebook in attorney marketing, as 175 attendees gathered in Nashville for the largest conference in years. The Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association Summit featured 30 presenters, 26 speakers, and 36 exhibitors.

Emotional engagement

Michael Mogill, the CEO of Crisp Video Group, said attorneys must engage potential clients emotionally. Otherwise, lawyers will be a commodity, as 34,000 new lawyers graduate each year, adding to the total of 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S.

“People make decisions based on emotion and justify them with logic,” Mogill said. “To get people to take action you want to have that emotional connection in there.”

He said Facebook is the place to make that appeal:

  • Facebook has 79 billion monthly active users.
  • 79 percent of all American internet users visit Facebook at least once a month.
  • Facebook takes up more than 25 percent of the internet time Americans spend on mobile devices, more than Google and YouTube combined.

But, lawyers should pay to boost their posts, because otherwise a post will be seen by only two percent of a law firm’s followers (down from 16 percent in 2012). Also, attorneys can upload their list of email addresses, and Facebook will create a “lookalike audience” to market to. He also recommended using Messenger to market, because more than 1 billion people use it, and messages sent over Facebook achieve 80 percent open rates (compared with 20 percent open rates for email).

Mogill said that placing a Facebook pixel (a cookie) on your website allows an attorney to retarget people with Facebook ads specific to their legal issue. “Website visitors who are retargeted are 70 percent more likely to convert,” he sais. “Retargeting ad click-through rates are 10 times higher than regular ads.”

The Holy Grail

Author Mark W. Schaefer said the key to success is getting known, and the essential skill is using social media, particularly Facebook.

Schaefer gave the example of San Diego immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick (@myimmigrationlawyer), who presented a live stream video about the revocation of the DACA program, which is on the minds of immigrants today. A few moments after he created the video, it had 4,345 views and 35 shares. “Social sharing is your most important marketing metric,” Schaefer said. “Other people are sharing your content and saying ‘I believe in this. I learned from this. This inspired me.’ This is better than any ad.”

He said that every time Sapochnick presents a live stream on Facebook, he converts three to five new clients.

Marketing strategist Cindy Speaker agreed, saying, “Facebook shares are the holy grail, if you can get your content shared that’s the best outcome. Facebook Live is the best way to create content quickly, cost effectively and efficiently.”

Using the BlueJeans video meetings app, she creates two-person videos for Facebook, interviewing an attorney on a single topic by asking five questions. “It’s the easiest content creation I’ve ever seen. You just get them on a camera and interview them about what they do. You can do Facebook Live on a $300 budget and start next week,” she said.

She recommended the Logitech C930 1080P HD video webcam (cost: $78) and a Blue Yeti USB Microphone Blackout Edition (cost: $129). She said captions are essential, starting with getting the video transcribed on Rev.com. She always creates a custom thumbnail graphic using Canva.com, favoring the 1280 x 720 pixel size. The video should be uploaded directly to Facebook — not using a YouTube link. She also recommended boosting a post, even if an attorney spends only $5.

Attorneys can place video on their website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, email, Messenger and Many Chat, in a podcast, drip campaign and blog post. The video can even be repurposed into an E-book.

And, as with all marketing, “Content is king, and engagement is queen.”

Larry Bodine is the Senior Legal Marketing Strategist at LawLytics, a marketer, journalist and attorney who knows how to turn website visitors into clients for trial law firms. He has contributed to The National Trial Lawyers, PersonalInjury.com, Martindale-Hubbell, Lawyers.com and LexisNexis. You can connect with Larry at www.larrybodine.com.