Client Ads on Law Firm Web Sites? Hmmm.

I just dropped an idea bomb over on the Legal Marketing Association‘s bombSmallpeer-to-peer social network, LMA Connect; it’s a members only community so I can’t post the link. However, it’s so big –at least in my mind– that I thought I’d share it with my blog readers with a caveat “you heard it here, first.”

I think law firm web sites should host banner and skyscraper ads for their clients. For free, of course.

It may help if I set up the story.

Someone wanted to know if any law firms were using client testimonial VIDEOS on their web site.  Most state Bar rules prohibit client testimonials for a number of reasons which I’ll not get in to here assuming most of my readers are familiar with that restriction. So, on that issue alone I was pretty sure no one would come forward with examples.

We did learn, however, that one firm, out in the wild west, did use clients in videos posted on their blog site. The jist of the videos were business owners, who happened to be clients, communicating that the firm served creative and successful businesses. Hmmm.

Another firm featured clients talking about their businesses in videos that played on those elevator TV’s.

A philosophical discussion then ensued, which was really good. Summary: clients give you feedback and respond to client interviews to help firms improve their services–not to create great marketing collateral.

Then it was my turn. What if, instead of testimonials law firms partnered with clients on a philanthropic mission and made videos to explain and promote the cause?  What if a law firm hosted videos produced by their clients? What if the law firm was launching a new practice focused on the legal issues of social entrepreneurship and the firm made a video, interviewing and featuring their entrepreneurial clients, to help educate other social entrepreneurs? I liked that one.

Then the light bulb went on.

Why not host client ads on the firm’s home page? Tasteful little nuggets that are search optimized. Better yet, add contextual ads on content pages. Say, the firm writes an article on the struggles of the real estate industry and when the page opens it pulls up from the ad database, filled with client ads, those ads with the keywords real estate, finance, or something similar that matches the keywords in the article. Pretty cool, huh?

Just remember, you heard it here first.

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