The pace of change never ceases to amaze me, and some of the uses for new technologies make things interesting, to say the least! The trend over the last decade or so has been toward information sharing. Indeed, consumers now expect information to be free. This shift has changed the business model for many firms, including law firms, who now have potential clients reading the law online and finding articles, blogs, and other information (some of it incorrect!) on the Internet.

The book market is one where there are significant shifts in progress. Amazon has offered its Kindle e-book reader for several years and has many titles available for purchase. Others are now in the game, offering readers more choices. Forrester estimates that fewer than 10% of adults in the U.S. now read their book content online, but the market is growing.

Recently, Google got into the game, opening its eBookstore and offering over 3 million titles for download. Their stated goal is to scan every book ever printed and make them all available online. There is speculation that the next step will be an ad-supported book publishing model. This means that you would be able to read the book for free as long as you accept that there would be ads showing on the screen as you read. And because the book is read online, the ads would be current and relevant. Buy the book, and the ads go away.

What does this mean to you as a business owner or manager? One of the things we promote at Lawyers Marketing Agency is the use of books or white papers (Decision Making Guides) as a marketing tool. Many of our clients have gotten great results by offering a free book on personal injury, workers’ compensation, or another practice area. Writing a book (or using a ghost writer) positions you as an expert, and readers appreciate the free advice—your gift to them. Many pass along the book to family and friends or hang on to it for future reference. Your book can be made available to online readers (for sale or free) or printed for those folks who do not yet read their books online.

Take it a step further: consider pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to entice visitors with a free copy of your book or Decision Making Guide. This brings visitors to your website, improves PPC response rates and provides for a more successful campaign!

Marketing by offering free information pays dividends in the long run, providing value to the client or prospect and visibility/goodwill for the firm. To learn more about using Books or Decision Making Guides to market your firm, contact us.

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