LegalZoom and the Future of Law Practice

In April of 2012 there was a very interesting discussion on the Wealthcounsel member listserve about LegalZoom and its impact on the future of law practices.  The discussion was started by Orange County estate planning attorney David Hiersekorn who began a message with:

“I attended a conference this last week and got to hear some pretty smart and influential folks talk about technology. That, and a six-hour drive home, gave me some time to think about our profession and how we are handling technology. Some of you know that I’m obsessed with redefining our industry to better match the way people live and work in the modern era. Well, apropos to nothing, here are some thoughts and observations. I’d love to hear what others have to say.

I’ll start with a couple of examples from history. In the 1870s, Western Union had several opportunities to buy the rights to the telephone. They made a calculated business decision to ignore the telephone, believing that it was only a local communications tool and that people wouldn’t want to communicate over the telephone. We all know how that turned out. More recently, Blockbuster was given an opportunity to buy Neftlix for $50 million. They passed on the deal. Blockbuster is now going out of business.

In both instances, the large, sophisticated companies made phenomenal, existence-threatening mistakes because they lacked the imagination to see what the telephone would become or what online video would become. In both instances, they mistakenly believed that people preferred their method of delivery. The only evidence, by the way, was that people had historically chosen their method of delivery.

Think about that. Blockbuster decided that people would choose the store over the mailbox based solely on the fact that people chose the store when the mailbox WASN’T AN OPTION. It’s stupidity.

Today, our industry is threatened by LegalZoom. I’ve heard people say that ‘my clients wouldn’t go to LegalZoom.’ Really? Are you sure? Because, if you actually believe that, you might be qualified for a spot on the Western Union or Blockbuster Board of Directors.


If you are an attorney whose practice areas includes any of the types of “nonlegal” services offered by LegalZoom then you are competing with LegalZoom whether you want to admit it or not.  One of my areas of practice is the formation of limited liability companies.  I have formed 3,400+ LLCs since I started counting in 2002.  My main competitor is LegalZoom, not other attorneys who charge a lot to form an Arizona LLC and do not give clients much in return.

One of the reasons I form a lot of LLCs is because I only charge $599, a price that includes an $85 filing fee.  Check out what I give my clients for $599.  I also made a video in which the KEYTLaw Girl explains what people get for $599.


My price to form an Arizona LLC competes with LegalZoom’s price.  To help convince people they should hire me to form their Arizona LLC, I wrote an article called “Why You Should Hire Richard Keyt instead of LegalZoom to Form Your Arizona LLC.”

My point is that if you are competing with LegalZoom you need to do the following:

  • Recognize you are competing with document preparers.
  • If you elect to continue to practice in the same area of law as the document preparers then you must take action that will make you competitive, i.e., compete head on with the document preparers.  You must be able to convince prospects why they should hire you.
  • If you are not willing to  compete with the document preparers then find and develop another area of law, but make sure the new area of law is one that cannot be replaced by technology.

I tell my son who is a CPA who just graduated from the Arizona State School of Law that he should go into practice areas that cannot be replaced by technology.  The most obvious area that will never be affected by LegalZoom and the document preparers is any type of litigation.  Until they deregulate the practice of law, a law license will be required to litigate.

The absolute worst areas of law that will be the most adversely affected by the document preparers are any legal services that produce documents such as entity formations and wills and trusts.  A lawyer friend told me recently that a client of his sold a $35 million office building without using an attorney because he used documents he got off the internet.

In the old days lawyers had a monopoly on legal knowledge and they would disclose that knowledge for a big fee.  Now knowledge is readily available at the click of a few key strokes and a Google search.  Legal knowledge is free or it can be obtained relatively inexpensively on the internet.  This new way of obtaining legal information has destroyed the old law firm model.  If you are practicing law the old way you can bury your head in the sand and hope your practice survives or you can adjust with the times and use technology to make you more efficient, productive and more money.

All lawyers should read a related story in Atlantic entitled “Why All Law Firms are Doomed to Fail.”  The article says:

“The legal industry is in crisis. But its archaic partnership models are built for inertia. . . . Most big corporate law firms aren’t built to run like modern businesses. . . . As Indiana University Law Professor William Henderson wrote yesterday for The AmLaw Daily, fundamental aspects of their business models are under attack from entrepreneurs who are finding ways to do tasks cheaper and more efficiently.”

The eLawyering Blog has a couple of interesting posts on LegalZoom and its affect on attorneys and the practice of law.  The first one is called “LegalZoom: The “Good Enough” Legal Solution.”

“LegalZoom, the leading online provider of legal services to consumers and small business, as predicted here previously, finally filed for an IPO last week. The company is seeking to raise $120 million to expand their services both in the US and internationally.  LegalZoom’s data in the S-1 filing is now available for everyone to analyze:

  • In 2011, 490,000 orders were placed through their web site;
  • 20% of all limited liability companies in California were done by LegalZoom;
  • During the past ten years, LegalZoom has served over 2,000,000 customers.
  • Revenue in 2011 was $156 million.”

The second article is “What Lawyers Can Learn From LegalZoom.”

“Unless you’ve been asleep for the last five years, you have probably heard of LegalZoom, the California-based, non-lawyer legal document preparation company that claims it has delivered over 1,000,000 wills to consumers, and that it is the largest incorporation company in the country. . . . Consumers don’t seem to care that they are not dealing with a law firm. As lawyers, we know the service they are selling is risky for consumers, but for consumers it delivers a “good enough” result. LegalZoom would not be growing at this fast a rate if they weren’t offering something that consumers want and value.”

What do you think?  If you are competing with LegalZoom, what have you done to convince prospects to hire you instead of LegalZoom?

By |2019-06-17T07:03:15-07:00May 30th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

Dewey & Leboeuf is Biggest Law Firm Bankruptcy Ever

Reuters:  “The crippled law firm Dewey & Leboeuf LLP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night and will seek approval to liquidate its business after failing to find a merger partner, marking the biggest collapse of a law firm in U.S. history.  Once one of the largest law firms in the U.S., Dewey has been hit by the loss of the vast majority of its roughly 300 partners to other firms amid concerns about compensation and a heavy debt load.”

A related story in the Wall St. Journal called “The Law Firm Business Model Is Dying” starts:

Rules that were adopted to protect the legal profession from outside competition are actually stifling it.  On Monday night the century-old law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy—following in the footsteps of other venerable firms such as Howrey & Simon, Heller Ehrman, Coudert Brothers, and Brobeck, Phelger and Harrison. It is easy to think that greedy lawyers are getting their just deserts. But this should not blind us from seeing that there is a better way for America’s law firms to do business.  The problems these firms face today are twofold: Large clients are increasingly using in-house counsel to reduce costs, and the public is increasingly taking the do-it-yourself route given the growing access.

You have to be a subscriber to access the full Wall St. Journal article.

The point of the article is that technology and the times have changed the way lawyers practice law.  Attorneys and firms who do not adjust to the changes will see their revenue decrease and in some cases vanish.  LegalZoom is here to stay and you can bet it will generate a huge number of competitors.

P.S.  I subscribe to the Wall St. Journal and read it every day on my iPhone and iPad.  Its only $9/month for full access to the paper.

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 29th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

Google’s Webmaster Academy

We all want the content in our websites and blogs to have high Google search engine rankings.  To achieve that goal there is a learning curve that requires an investment of your time.  Do yourself a favor and take the courses Google offers in its free Webmaster Academy.  Google says that the goal of the academy is “to help you create great sites that perform well in Google search results.”   To graduate you must complete 19 tasks.  Here are the major topics:

  1. Learn how Google works
  2. Make sure Google knows about your site
  3. Influence your site’s listing in search
  4. Create great content
  5. Images and video
  6. Connect with Google+
  7. Extra resources

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 25th, 2012|Google, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

A Video Explanation of Google+ Circles

If you have a Google+ profile (you should) this short video explains the concept of the “circle” and how it can organize your Google+ to give you a better Google+ experience.  I do recommend that attorneys who want to create content on their website or blog create a Google profile and configure Google + and create “rich snippets” using Google’s rel=author.  For more on this topic read ” “Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet.”


By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 24th, 2012|Google, Video|0 Comments

The Stupid Things You Do on Facebook & How to Fix Them

Lifehacker has a good post that I recommend all non-expert Facebook users read.  I learned that I was doing some stupid Facebook things and didn’t know it.  Here is the list of stupid Facebook things:

  1. You Don’t Regularly Audit Your Approved Apps
  2. You Don’t Filter Your News Feeds
  3. You Don’t Manage Your Privacy Settings
  4. You Complain About Facebook Features You Hate But Don’t Fix Them
  5. You Friend Everybody
  6. You Let Facebook Spam Your Email Inbox with Notifications
  7. You Spend All of Your Time on Facebook
  8. But Wait, There’s More!

Have you done any dumb Facebook things not listed above?  If so tell us in the comments.

By |2012-07-16T19:12:56-07:00May 23rd, 2012|Facebook|0 Comments

Lawyers Will & Should Use Facebook

Real Lawyers Have Blogs:  “With Facebook’s IPO coming this week you can’t get away from all the news and talk about Facebook.  Is all the hullabaloo warranted? Should you care as a lawyer or law firm?  Yes. . . . You as a lawyer are going to use Facebook to . . . grow your business so you can do the work you love doing.”

I agree.  I see Facebook as a vast potential goldmine for lawyers who want more clients.  The reasons lawyers should learn and use Facebook for marketing are:

  • Facebook has over 900 million users.
  • Facebook is a one to many marketing tool.

This one to many relationship is what gives Facebook huge potential for law firm marketing.  When a visitor comes to your website you have a one to one relationship, i.e., the visitor and your firm.  Facebook has a one to many relationship because if one person creates a Facebook link to your website or blog that link is seen by all of that person’s friends.

Facebook is another marketing tool that has a steep learning curve.  It does require an investment in time.  I think this is wonderful because I know that very few of my competitors will learn how to use Facebook to maximize its marketing potential.

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 23rd, 2012|Facebook, Marketing|0 Comments

Google Guy’s Video Explains How to Get Your Picture Next to Google Search Results that Show Your Content

I figured out how to configure my website/blog content with Google so that when Google displays search results that show a link to any of my pages or posts my picture will appear to the left of the link.  People say that having your picture next to your Google search result will substantially increase the number of clicks the link will receive.  I’m ready to implement this new feature Google calls “rel=author,” but I am going to up date my bio picture first.  Some people also call this feature “rich snippets.”

The process is confusing, but not difficult.  This video is by Google employee and SEO expert Matt Cutts.  He and Othar Hansson discuss how to rel=author works.  I recommend watching this video first so you will have an understanding of the big picture.

For more about this topic read “Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet.”


By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 23rd, 2012|Google, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Video|0 Comments

Anatomy of an Effective Home Page

I believe that I need to redesign my websites.  I have a lot of great information on my sites, but I need to increase my conversion ratio.  I want more visitors to become paying clients.  I think two of my problems are my sites are too busy and they do not have good calls to action.  I am researching what I can do to solve these two problems and came across a good visual summary on effective home page design.  It’s not written specifically for law office web design, but what works for typical  commercial websites should work for the law firm website.

++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
The Anatomy of an Effective Homepage
Source: The Anatomy of an Effective Homepage Infographic

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 19th, 2012|Websites|0 Comments

Tips for Making the Perfect Google Profile Picture

In the process of configuring my Google profile I came across an interesting and useful article that has nine tips for taking a picture to upload to your Google profile.

  1. Happy Profile Picture = Happy Life
  2. The open-mouth glamor shot: body language for your face
  3. Fake IDs: babies, cartoons and pets
  4. No logos, but still a bit of brand
  5. Bright Background
  6. Keep it consistent, across sites and over time
  7. Look at the camera, or look to your left
  8. Worst Profile Pic Ever? The QR Code
  9. Use a Pro Photographer

I’m going to take some advice from the article and create a new picture for my Google profile picture.

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 19th, 2012|Google, Ramblings|0 Comments

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 – A Great Law Office Scanner

Fujitsu S1500 Snapscan ScannerThere a tons of scanners on the market so the choice of a scanner for your law office can be daunting.  You can spend a lot of time researching scanners and then take a chance on one or you can follow my advice and purchase the scanner used in my law office that does a great job for a relatively small amount of $$.  I have been scanning documents since 2001 and have been 100% paperless since March of 2004.  For more on the paperless law office read my article called “A Simple Inexpensive Way to Create a Paperless Law Office.”

I bought the first scanner for my law firm in 2001.  It was a multi-function Hewlett Packard Laserjet 3300 printer/copier/faxer/scanner.  The machine was great at three of its four functions, but as a useful law office scanner the HP 3300 sucked big time.  The problem with the the HP 3300 was it only scanned at two pages a minute.  That may be ok for home use, but it just doesn’t cut it for use in a busy law practice that does a lot of scanning.  Attorneys typically create and receive a lot of paper so they need a fast scanner, i.e., at least 20 pages per minute (ppm).

In 2004 when I went paperless I researched the scanner market and purchased two Xerox 252 scanners for approximately $700 each.  We still use both of these scanners.  I do recommend this family of scanners (see the Xerox DocuMate 262i Color Duplex 38 PPM 76 IPM ADF Scanner for $715), because they are fast (38 ppm) and do a great job, but so is my favorite scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Scanner for PC.  The ScanSnap iX500 is only $415 (Amazon varies the price – it was $301 for two days in May) and it comes with Adobe Acrobat XI standard (a software program almost everybody in a law firm should have on their personal computer or on a server).

I recommend that all  lawyers (except those that are tech-retarded), legal assistants and secretaries in a law office have a personal scanner on their desk.  The best way to be paperless is for the people who know a particular document best to take a minute or two to scan the document then save it in the law firm’s document system.  Do not create inefficiencies, bottlenecks and added expense by letting people send their documents to a designated scanner who scans docs for a large number of people.  The best time to scan and save the pdf file is when you get the letter or the document.  You know best where the document should be saved and how to name it.  Once saved the document is now on your system to be accessed and viewed by others in your firm (unless you attach security to the document using your document management system).  If your firm does not have a document management system it should.

My Law Office Scanner Recommendation:  the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500

I recommend that attorneys and law firms buy the $415 – $450 Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac.  I have several ScanSnaps. Here are the reasons your law firm needs this scanner:

  • Fast scans:  25 ppm in color and faster for black and white.
  • 50 page sheet feeder
  • Small:  It is about the size of a shoe box.
  • It comes with Acrobat XI Standard]. This is a $279 (as of 1/19/14) stand-alone software program.
  • Scan to: PDF, searchable PDF, JPG, Word (editable), Excel (editable).  It also scans business cards and zaps the data into an organizer.
  • Automatic duplex scanning
  • Easy to use.  Drop the document in the scanner and press the scan button and your five page document will appear on your computer monitor in Adobe pdf format in about 15 seconds.  You can then save the document, attach it to an email message or print more copies of the document.  No need for a stand-alone copy machine any more because everybody that has a scanner can scan and print as many copies of the scanned document as needed.

Buying the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac (PA03656-B005) scanner is a no-brainer because you get such a smoking deal – Acrobat XI for approximately $279 plus the ScanSnap iX500 for a little bit more.  When you buy this scanner from Amazon you are literally paying only $100 = $160 for it.

Acrobat XI Standard is a necessity for the scanning because it is the program that converts the scanned document to pdf format, the universal document file type.

Twain Compliance

From time to time I read on email message forums that lawyers do not want to buy the ScanSnap iX500 because it is not “twain” compliant.  I have no idea what that means, but I can tell you that in the eight years my law office has been 100% paperless we have never needed a twain compliant scanner.  To learn more about twain and why the ScanSnap iX500 is not twain compliant and does not need to be read “Why Doesn’t ScanSnap come with TWAIN drivers?

By |2019-06-17T07:03:17-07:00May 19th, 2012|Hardware, Paperless Office, Tech Stuff|3 Comments

Law Office Faxing in the 21st Century

Does your law firm have a stand alone fax machine that sends  faxes the old fashioned way?  I mean does your law office print the document to be faxed, insert it into a fax machine and push the send button and watch while the machine scans each page and then uses its modem to send the fax to the recipient?  Do your incoming faxes come into your fax machine over the phone line and does your old fax machine then print a hard copy of the fax?


If so, your law firm needs to move into the 21 century and use the not so new fangled technology to send and receive faxes.  My law office has used to send and receive faxes since 2004.  It’s great.  To send a fax I do the following:

  • Convert the item to be faxed to an Adobe pdf file.  If the document is a Word document, I click on the Acrobat tab on the menu bar at the top of Word then I click on the “Create PDF” tab and tell the program where I want to save the pdf file.  If the document is a hard copy document I put it in the sheet feeder of my  Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Scanner and press the scan button.  A few seconds later the document opens in pdf format on my computer screen and I save the file on my computer.
  • Click on the eFax icon on my desktop to send an email to eFax.  This opens the free eFax software.  I enter the name of the recipient, company name (if desired) and the fax number.  If I previously sent a fax to the recipient that information is saved and easily zapped into the proper fields for my fax.  I can check a box to create a fax cover sheet that contains my recipient information and add more information if desired.
  • Attach the pdf file to the fax.  I click the attach icon and browse to the pdf file I saved and attach it to the eFax email.
  • Click on the send icon.  The email  and attachment are send to eFax and it then converts the pdf and immediately faxes it to the recipient.

One very nice feature is eFax maintains a record (including the content of the fax) of every fax my firm has sent since we purchased the service.

What I like best about eFax is that all incoming faxes are converted to Adobe pdf and sent to us as an attachment to an email message.  I can add up to five people in the firm to receive the same fax.  Both of my legal assistants get every fax I get and they handle most of the faxes.  Any email can easily be forwarded to another person in our firm or anybody outside the firm.  When we get a fax that we want to keep we click on the Time Matters save icon in Acrobat and save the pdf file to the client or matter in our Time Matters document management system.  For more on our document management system see my article called “A Simple Inexpensive Way to Create a Paperless Law Office.”

Every attorney in our firm has his or her own dedicated eFax phone number.  This allows each attorney to have a fax number that causes faxes to that number to go only to the attorney associated with the number and up to four additional recipients in the firm.  eFax also retains every incoming fax in case you need it.

Here’s the cost of an eFax Plus account as of the date of this post:

With eFax Plus, you’ll get a private and secure way to send and receive faxes as email attachments.
Choose a local or toll-free number
150 Included inbound fax pages per month
150 Included outbound fax pages per month*
$.10 per page overage charge
$10.00 one-time setup fee
Lifetime storage

Monthly Plan: $16.95/mo

Do yourself and your staff a big favor and switch to the new way of sending and receiving faxes.

What do you think?  Do you use a different digital fax service?  Tell us about it.

By |2019-06-17T07:03:58-07:00May 18th, 2012|Paperless Office, Software, Stuff We Recommend, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

75% of Consumers Seeking an Attorney in Last Year Used Online Resources

Larry Bodine of LexisNexis and the Editor in Chief of wrote an article that should get the attention of attorneys who do not know that the internet is an untapped goldmine of potential new clients.  In his article called “Most Consumers Go Online to Look for an Attorney” he says:

“The way consumers look for a lawyer has changed in today’s digital age. The advent of social media, smart phones and search engines has dramatically affected the way consumers find lawyers. . . . For lawyers, it is essential to have a website and blog that discuss the legal problems of consumers. An attorney’s online presence should feature FAQs, white papers and checklists to be found by consumers conducing online research. . . .  For lawyers who want to get leads and find clients, it means having a robust directory profile, activity on social media and client-friendly websites. Lawyers can join the conversation – or miss many opportunities to find consumer clients.”

By |2018-01-14T08:40:46-07:00May 17th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

Law Office Printers

Hewlett Packard Laserjet Printers

Ever since 1985 when I bought my first Hewlett Packard laser printer I have only purchased and used laser printers in my law practice.  I am biased towards Hewlett Packard laser printers because in my experience they are fast, produce high quality text and never need maintenance and produce high quality text output.  I’ve probably owned about 20 of them over the years and can only remember calling a repair person one time to fix an ailing HP Laserjet.

The first HP Laserjet printer hit the market in 1984.  It was a 300-dpi, 8 ppm printer that originally sold for $3,495, but the price was reduced to $2,995 in September 1985.  I bought the original HP Laserjet printer in 1985 for $3,000.  Can you imagine paying that kind of money today for an 8 ppm printer?  The printer replaced an impact printer that I was using to print documents and letters sent to clients.  Laser printers produce the best quality text.  I would never print documents on an inkjet printer and send them to clients or anybody else.  HP has sold over 100 million Laserjet printers.

In 2001 I bought two HP Laserjet 3300 printers.  These were great four in one printers that included a fax machine, scanner and copier.  The machine had a 50 page sheet feeder.  It also had a top that could be lifted to copy over-sized paper or open books.  I  still have one of them that we use in the office solely as a copy machine.

HP 2055DN Laserjet

HP LaserJet P2055dn Printer Monochrome

Now I give everybody in my firm a personal HP 2055dn Laserjet printer.  The printer is relatively small and fits easily on a desk or small table.  It only prints in black, but at the high rate of 35 ppm.  The HP 2055dn Laserjet also does automatic duplex (both sides of the paper) printing.  As of the date of this post Amazon is selling the printer for $349.  If you don’t want duplexing then get the HP P2055D Laserjet for $249.  Amazon sells the HP 05A black toner cartridge for these two printers for $72 today.  The average cartridge yields 2,300 standard pages.

I believe that everybody in the office who produces paper should have a personal printer to increase their productivity and make them more efficient.  These HP 2055 printers are relatively small and inexpensive.  They are also fast even when printing on both sides of the paper.  They print high quality text.  Do your staff a favor and buy enough of these printers so they do not have to share with other people.  The HP Laser printers are also very reliable.

Xerox Phaser 6360 Color Laser Printer

My firm also has one high speed laser that we use when we have big print jobs.  I form 40 – 50 Arizona limited liability companies every month.  We prepare about 350 pages of text for each one.  For big print jobs we use the Xerox Phaser 6360 color laser printer because it is very fast – 42 ppm including duplex printing.  We print our longer documents on both sides of the paper to save paper and reduce the size / number of pages we put in the LLC portfolio.  I do love this printer, but it has two issues you need to know about:Xerox Phaser 6360/DN Laser Color Printer

  • Black toner cartridges are reasonably priced, but the three color cartridges are pricey.  We do print a lot of documents with a little color (not very much actually) to give the page a better look so the cartridges do last a long time.
  • You  must purchase an annual maintenance plan (approximately $400/year) after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires.  I’ve had two of these machines the last five years.  The first one broke and we didn’t have a maintenance contract so it was cheaper to buy a new one.   Our current Phaser 6360 has needed the maintenance guy three times in two years.  If you don’t have a maintenance plan it will probably be cheaper to buy a new machine that fix the broken one.  Xerox techs are very expensive when you pay them by the hour.
By |2019-06-17T07:04:02-07:00May 16th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

Content Marketing 101: How to Build Your Business With Content

One of my favorite websites for learning about how to get more traffic to my websites is CopybloggerContent Marketing 101 starts with:

Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.

The primary goal is to obtain opt-in permission to deliver content via email or other medium over time. Repeated and regular exposure builds a relevant relationship that provides multiple opportunities for conversion, rather than a “one-shot” all-or-nothing sales approach. . . .

There are many ways to profit with content: blogging, video tutorials, email newsletters, white papers, free reports . . . and yet many people are confused about the entire concept. . . . this quick 5-part tutorial that lays out the basics in plain language.

  1. What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?
  2. The Three Essentials of Breakthrough Content Marketing
  3. 49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing
  4. How to Use Content to Find Customers
  5. Why Content and Social Media are a Powerful Match

Do yourself a favor and sign up to get Copyblogger’s free 20 part internet marketing course and its email updates.

By |2018-01-14T08:40:47-07:00May 13th, 2012|Marketing|0 Comments

Inside The Atlantic: How One Magazine Got Profitable by Going ‘Digital First’

There are many ways to skin a cat just as there are many ways to get more people to visit your website or blog.  Mashable has an interesting story about how Atlantic magazine used the web to make money.

The Atlantic, a monthly magazine on politics, foreign affairs, economics and culture, made $1.8 million in 2010, its first profitable year in decades.  In October, digital ad revenues topped print for the first time, up 86% year-over-year, but not at the sacrifice of print.  In fact, The Atlantic sold more print ads in October than it had in any other month since David Bradley acquired the title in 1999.  Traffic to its three web properties – and – recently surpassed 11 million unique visitors per month, up a staggering 2500% since The Atlantic brought down its paywall in early 2008.

“The web is a news medium, and you can’t compete ambitiously on the web if you’re not in the news flow,”

By |2018-01-14T08:40:47-07:00May 13th, 2012|Marketing|0 Comments

What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently?

Kissmetrics posted an excellent article that examines what websites need to do to convert more visitors into paying customers (aka clients for us lawyers).  This is a topic that I need to spend more time understanding.  My Arizona Limited Liability Company website has 9,627 visitors during April of 2012, but I only formed 41 new Arizona LLCs.  That’s an awful conversion rate of .004.  I would have loved to convert 1%, which would have been 96 new LLCs.

Understanding the best ways to convert traffic to paying clients is important for all attorneys who have websites and who want more revenue.  Remember this important fact:  Your goal is not merely to have a blog or a website – it is to make more money.  To accomplish that goal you must do more than have a static site/blog.  Take some time and learn from Kissmetrics’ article that begins:

“In this post we’re going to go over what the highest converting websites do differently. But before we get into the details, we want to highlight a few points to get you thinking first:

Note the statistic that 96% of the visitors who come to your website are not ready to purchase your services.  This fact is why it is so important that you have a system like Infusionsoft to collect visitors’ names and email addresses from your blog or website and do automatic email followup marketing.  Your site must offer visitors a free report that they get only in exchange for giving you their name and email address.  Once you have the prospect’s name and email address you want your system to automatically send the prospect one or more email messages with content designed to:

  • Give the prospect some useful information about the topic in which the prospect expressed an interest.
  • Keep your name in the mind of the prospect.

Marketing experts say that you need an average of 7 – 9 touches (contacts) with a prospect before the prospect becomes a customer/client.  If you don’t keep your name and contact information in the mind of a prospect that prospect is not likely to remember your name or how to contact you weeks or months after the prospect visited your site/blog when the prospect is ready to buy.

I have used Infusionsoft for five years to collect leads from my websites and do automatic followup marketing.  To learn more about Infusionsoft and how I use it to make more money in my law practice read my “Infusionsoft Review: The Cheapest & Best 24/7/365 Marketing Department.”

By |2018-01-14T08:40:47-07:00May 10th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Websites|0 Comments

How to Shorten Long URLs

Did you ever want to send somebody a link to a web page, but the URL for the page was very very long?  There is a simple way to convert a long URL into a tiny URL.  Just copy the URL, go to, paste the long URL into the box, click the make tiny url icon and copy the URL generated by Tiny URL.

I could copy and paste the below URL into a Word document or an email, but why not convert it into a tiny url.

Normal URL:

Tiny URL: 

Go to and bookmark it so you can easily convert long URLs in a matter of seconds.

Another site that does the same thing as TinyURL is Bitly found at

By |2012-05-09T07:03:11-07:00May 9th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

Beware of Blog Posts with Long or Ugly URLs

I got an email today from a lawyer who said check out my article at :  Have you ever gotten an message with a link that is mostly numbers such as  I am sure you get lots of email messages that have URLS with a long string of text or numbers and/or text that doesn’t make much sense.  I call these URLs “gross URLS” or for WordPress users “gross permalinks.”

Do yourself and your readers a favor and do not create pages or posts on your website that have gross URLS for four reasons:

  1. They look bad.
  2. They often get broken by email programs and don’t work when clicked.
  3. They are hard for people to type into a browser.
  4. They probably do not help your search engine optimization.

The last point may be the most important because you want your URL to contain key words that may help increase the page or post’s search engine ranking.  Think about the most important key words in your post and use them in the URL / permalink.  If you are writing an article about Arizona widget law which of the following URLS is better:

  • www.firmname/arizona-widget-law
By |2018-01-14T08:40:47-07:00May 8th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Macro Express

Must Have Productivity Software by Insight Software Solutions

Macro Express is the premier Windows macro utility. It can automate all of your common computer tasks. I love Macro Express because it saves me a tremendous amount of time and makes my computer life easier.  Macro Express satisfies my biggest requirements for law office software, i.e., it makes me more efficient and productive.  Everybody in my small law firm uses Macro Express constantly throughout the work day and they love it.

Do you type the same text into Word, email messages or other programs over and over?  We all do.  Every attorney and law office staff person is constantly typing the names, phone numbers and email addresses of themselves and firm personnel into email messages and letters.  Imagine how much time you and other people in your office would save if the contact information could be zapped instantly into a Word document or an email  message.  Using macros to insert repetitive text has the added benefits of always inserting the desired text (no omitted text) without any spelling errors.

Macro Express is a program that allows you to create a macro (memorized computer keystrokes) to automate virtually anything you do repeatedly on your computer. I use it primarily to insert text into Word documents or email messages. If you use the same text or phrases over and over, why waste time typing the text from scratch each time you need the text when you can type a short abbreviation that inserts the text instantly at the point of your cursor?  Not only does Macro Express save time it eliminates typos and insures that the exact desired text is generated every time just the way you want it.

For example, when somebody calls and asks me about forming a limited liability company, I ask them for their email address so I can send them a marketing email message that has links to pages on my website about LLCs. The message is several paragraphs of text. With Macro Express, I simply type “.llclink”

[the name I gave this particular macro] and Macro Express zaps my canned message into the body of my email message at the point where my cursor is located.

I have several email signatures that I can insert as closings to email messages depending on whether I am sending a message to a person related to estate planning, entity formation or some other area of law that I practice.  If I am sending an email message to an estate planning prospect I want my signature block to read:

Richard Keyt
Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
Phone: 602-906-4953, ext. 1
Fax: 602-297-6890
Arizona Estate Planning:

BM (before Macro Express) I either had to type this closing from scratch or have it saved somewhere that I could access, copy the text then paste it into the message.  AM (after Macro Express) all I need to do is type the text that invokes the macro and a second later the text is inserted perfectly into my email message.

Macro Express makes it simple for me to have a different email signature block that is area of law specific for the intended recipient of the message.  If you are trying to get somebody to hire you for widget law don’t send the person a message with a signature closing that says you do thing-a-ma-jig law.

Macro Express is an incredibly powerful macro recorder and playback utility. Automate all of your common tasks by simply turning on the recorder, performing the actions one time, then playing back the macro when needed. Or use over two dozen Quick Wizards to guide you through a series of questions and build the macro for you. To create more powerful macros, utilize the Scripting Editor.

Macro Express can also automate procedures. You could create marcos to configure Word to print to your color printer, your black and white printer or to Adode pdf.  Think of Macro Express as a recorder that records your key strokes.  You start the recorder, hit whatever keys and/or mouse clicks you want to record then stop the recorder.  Give the macro a name and the short keys you want to use to invoke the macro and you are done.  Now when you type the keystrokes that invoke the macro the program will replay the recorded keystrokes.  Macro Express has a wizard that makes creating macros extremely easy.

Your increased productivity will quickly pay the small cost for Macro Express. Use it to automate boring, repetitive computer tasks. Perform tasks quicker, more reliably and with less stress. Reduce wear and tear on wrists and hands.  Macro Express provides all the tools necessary to create macros that will simplify your computing life. You do not need to know any programming language or have any programming skills. Everything is created in simple steps.  Use Macro Express for quick insertion of boilerplate text, international characters or symbols. Speedily populate a database with information from a file. Manipulate text strings, open web pages, prompt users for input, back up files and much more.

The program contains hundreds of commands to automate practically any function on the computer. These include keystrokes, mouse movements and clicks, launch programs, send email, move and resize windows, variables, logic, input boxes, questions, menus, ASCII delimited and text file processing, network connections, file manipulation, math calculations, waits, pauses, repeat loops and much more.

For more powerful and complex macros, it’s easy to create if/then/else logic that examines variables and makes decisions based upon what it finds.

Macros may be launched via hot keys, shortkeys, mouse clicks, window controls, a window title, a pop-up or floating menu, or via the macro scheduler. Assign macros to play back in all Windows programs, in only one specific window or program, or in every program except the one defined.

Your time is valuable so give yourself a productivity present and buy Macro Express.  It’s only $39.95 for a single user license.  Click here to buy  Macro Express.

By |2018-01-14T08:40:47-07:00May 6th, 2012|Software, Stuff We Recommend|1 Comment

Why Attorneys Should be Bloggers

Do you have your own law blog?  Does your law firm have a blog?  Do you want to get more clients?  Do you want to make more money?  Does a bear . . . oh never mind.  I am a big advocate of the attorney law blog.  It works for me.  It can work for you.

The term “blog” is short for web log.  In the early days of blogging a blog was a series of posts displayed on a website in reverse chronological order.  People typically created a blog with content about a specific topic because they wanted to provide a source of information about their topic of interest.  You can find many blogs on any topic you can imagine.  The quality of each blog depends on the creative talent, knowledge and writing ability of the blog’s creator.  Nobody know how many blogs exist, but there are millions of them.

Here is my list of some of the reasons a lawyer should have a blog:

  • Blogging is a learning experience.  Writing good articles (called “posts” in blogese) helps you to know your topic better and increases your legal knowledge.  When you write something that can be viewed by the entire world it has a tendency to cause most people to invest time in making sure the don’t say something that is not true or that is misleading.  It is very common for me to spend time researching a statute or reading one or more cases to make sure that what I say in my post is correct.  Writing about a topic also helps me understand that topic better.
  • Blogging brings traffic to your website/blog.  An important goal in having a website/blog is to attract a lot of visitors to your site.  The best way to get visitors is to have large quantities of good content on your site.  One of the best and easiest ways to create content is the blog.  With good blog software like WordPress is it extremely easy to write an article and post it on your site.  No need to send the article to your web designer and wait a week for the article to be up on your site.  With WordPress adding an article to your site is as simple as writing the article, giving it a title, adding it to one or more categories and clicking the upload icon.   Read “Why I Love WordPress for My Law Firm.”
  • Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your area of law practice.  Over time as you add more and more content about your specific area of law (widget law for example) your blog becomes clear evidence to visitors that you are an expert in widget law.  When deciding on who to hire a prospective client is more likely to hire the lawyer that has tangible (ok technically it is intangible) proof of expertise than the lawyer who has no blog or website about widget law.  Consider for example my blog called “U.S. Real Estate Law.”  This blog is about a single topic, i.e., nonU.S. citizens investing in U.S. real estate.  I form a lot of new Arizona LLCs for people all over the world who want to purchase U.S. real estate.
  • Blogging helps you convince propects to hire you.  Several times a day I talk to prospects on the phone who are interviewing me for the purpose of deciding whether or not to hire me.  Prospects frequently ask about a subject that is an article or post on one of my websites.  When that happens I tell the prospect I have an article on the subject and if he/she will give me his or her email address I will  send a link to the article.  I then use Macro Express to zap canned text with the link to the article into an email message and send it to the prospect.  For example, people frequently ask me about dissolving their Arizona LLC.  When I get a call on that topic I send the prospect the following message:

Thanks for contacting me about terminating your Arizona limited liability company.  To hire us to prepare the documents to terminate an LLC, complete our service agreement found here:

For more information on terminating an Arizona LLC, see my article on this subject found here:

  • Blogging is fun.  Yes it is.  I enjoy the writing and creative aspects of blogging.  I also get personal satisfaction in knowing that people are reading my posts and learning from the results of my investment in time.

A great way to get ideas for blog posts is to listen to questions prospects and clients ask you in email messages and over the phone.  I am sure you have the same experience I have with people who ask the same common questions about widget law (ok maybe questions about your area of practice, not widget law).  These commonly asked questions make great blog posts.  Turn these questions into a post you can email to prospects and clients to show your expertise.  See for example a blog category on my Arizona Limited Liability Company Law website called “How Do I.”  When I get a call or email message from somebody that asks me a question I’ve answered on my blog I send the person a link to the blog post.

An very important fact of blog life and the key to a successful client generating blog is that you must create good content.  This means you need to invest the time to create posts.  This leads me to Keyt’s Technology Rule #5, which is call the Website Content Equation.  The equation is:

more posts = more content = higher search engine rankings = higher web traffic = more new clients = more revenue

Schedule times for content creation and set a goal for a minimum number of posts every week.  Over time your content quantity will grow and the Website Content Equation will put more money in your pocket.

By |2018-01-14T08:51:52-07:00May 5th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Ramblings, Websites, WordPress|0 Comments
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