Referral-Based Federal Practice


Focusing on a niche, working with journalists, having a solid web presence, and mailing referral sources are bringing in business for this trademark lawyer.

Matt Kulseth has now been practicing law for two years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He specializes in trademark law and that often means he’s doing business across state lines with people from all over the country. Because of the flexibility trademark law offers in that regard, Kulseth has found his website to be instrumental in both the marketing and operation of his practice.

His site, Mighty Marks, is where his clients go to begin filing their trademark applications. In this case study Matt answers several questions about his site and his general approach to marketing.

1. Where do you get most of your referrals?


Other lawyers. I try to have a good marketing presence online. I practice in Minnesota but most of my referrals come from outside thestate. This is unusual but it’s due to the fact trademark law is one of the only practices you can perform across state lines. So my referral network is much larger than just Minnesota. I have other firms that I partner with in New York and other states.

2. Your website is attractive and to the point. How important has your website been in generating new leads?


It’s been very important, actually. The website went live about a year ago. It’s done well for me. It was nominated as one of the best law firm websites in 2013. So it’s received good feedback and clients actually like it. It’s a part of my client intake process. When clients come to me for services, I point them to my website and that’s where they view my Terms & Conditions and file for trademarks.

3. How did you go about deciding on the site’s design? What elements were “must-haves”?

First and foremost, it had to be secure. Second, I really wanted the website to be responsive. This means it works on a smartphone and a tablet, and that was really important to me. Finally, it needed to be interesting and fun. Basically I was trying to provide a sense of personality to the company, which is why I branded it Mighty Marks instead of Kulseth Law, P.L.L.C. But at the same time, I wanted it to stay professional.

4. Do you use analytics software on your website to track the number of visitors and conversions it receives?

Yes, I use Google Analytics.

5. Have you done anything to increase traffic to your site?

I’ve used Google AdWords in the past with limited success. That’s something I’ll be looking at doing more in 2014. My experience with Google AdWords is that the market was saturated with competition and we really weren’t making a profit with it.

6. Are you listed in any attorney directories? If so, which ones and have they contributed to lead generation?

I’m on the National Bar Association website and I volunteer with the Minnesota Bar Association so I’m listed there. I’m also on the Chamber of Commerce website but I’ve not received any leads from these resources.

The free marketing that I do get is by actively going out and finding folks who are interested in trademark law (or writing articles on trademark law) and volunteering my time to work with them. So, sometimes an attorney will forward a journalist to me who is working on an article about trademark law they’re trying to get published and I’ll contribute to it. That’s been one of the best ways I’ve found to market myself.

7. What other methods do you use to market yourself?

Actually, I just tried one about a month ago with much success that I’m going to be advancing here in the next month. I’ll be setting up some direct mail and direct email campaigns targeting other law firms. Specifically, those who do not cover my area of expertise.

What I’ve learned over the past year of being a small-practice solo practitioner is that most of my referrals haven’t been through traditional means. Most of my business hasn’t been from clients. It’s been—and is going to be—from other attorneys who don’t have the expertise I do in trademark law and have a client who needs [that expertise].

8. Have you done any blogging?

That’s something we’re looking into doing in the next month. I see that there’s a real opportunity out there in the trademark world for someone to blog about trademark applications. So that’s something we’re going to take a look at but I think it’ll wind up being  something that’s going to be more integrated with the direct email campaign we’re doing.

9. Do you have any words of advice for other attorneys out there looking to establish better marketing plans?

Yes, where I’ve had the most success with my marketing has been with going out and generating leads from other attorneys. And I think part of the reason I’ve been successful at that is I’ve been able to message and brand myself as an attorney who does one thing and does it well. So, I’m not going to take your clients with me. You can refer your client to me and I’m not going to keep them for myself in the sense that I just do one thing. Basically, your client will come back to you. I’m not a threat. And that has been a beneficial approach.

10. If you were to encounter a lawyer who has a website but does next to no online marketing, what would you suggest she do to get started?

I would suggest she read That is a fantastic resource for small and solo practitioners for getting their marketing practices up to snuff.

And if you’re going to market yourself and your practice online, you should really consider marketing yourself as a niche practitioner. I think that’s really important for differentiating yourself in the market.


Comments are closed.