Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Creating a QR Code for Your Law Firm

Novelty or Great Marketing Tool?
On a recent shopping excursion with my wife, I found myself sitting on the requisite "husband/boyfriend" bench holding an assortment of bags. As I plopped down in front of a Williams Sonoma store, I noticed they had placed a bar code symbol on the window.  A kid on a skateboard was scanning the symbol with his phone. 

When the coast was clear, I sauntered up to the window and attempted to scan the image as well.  Apparently frantically waving my phone at the display wasn't going to do it.  It only resulted in strange looks from other shoppers.  Thankfully, the manager came out and gave me a hand.  After verifying that I was not having a medical emergency, he instructed me to download a free bar code scanner from the Android marketplace.  I chose the free scanlife application which allowed me to easily scan the image.  Within seconds, a video opened on my phone showing a cooking demonstration using William Sonoma products.  "When did they invent this?" I asked the pimple faced manager.  "Several years ago, sir. In fact the Lawyerist legal blog covered this topic earlier this year. Are you going to buy something or not?"  Well, it was new to me. I was determined to steal this idea for my law practice. 

Scan with your phone to watch a
welcome video from our law office.

 For my more tech savy readers, the symbol I came across is old news.  Known as a QR code, (short for quick response code), they are coded images that can be embedded with a variety of data including contact information, links to websites, text or other information.  The codes were actually developed in Japan back in 1994. Popular in many countries, they just seem to be catching on here in the United States.  And by just catching on, I mean I finally got around to catching on. 

Depending on your law practice, incorporating one of these codes into your marketing efforts might not be a bad idea.  Others may find them an unnecessary novelty.  If you practice elder law, for example, chances are your clients are not going to be scanning QR codes on their new Droid phones to get website links.  If you have sausage fingered clients, they may also have trouble using the new generation of sensitive touch screen phones.  Nevertheless, I decided to incorporate the QR codes into my own law practice.  I have been pleasantly surprised at the response. 

The prestigious law firm of Podorowsky, Thompson & Baron is actually located street level in an area replete with heavy foot traffic. I decided it was the perfect spot to place a QR code in our window.  Prospective clients scanning our code would automatically have my information added to their phone's contact list.  Scanning another QR code would result in a law office welcome video opening on your phone. 

Want to try it?  Just scan the code above.  Don't forget to first download any one of several free bar code scanning applications.(For example "Scanlife.") As a side note, I created the admittedly amateurish video using Windows Movie Maker, some photos from our office and some royalty free music downloaded from i Tunes.  For a smaller practice with a limited budget, it's relatively easy to do and will cost you virtually nothing.
For my tech savvy readers, you probably know how to create a QR code.   This post is for the rest of us.  Those who had trouble setting the time on their VCRs.  Those who can barely figure out how to make a phone call on their new smart phones. I write for the technically challenged among us.   If you want to create a QR code for your practice follow these easy steps.

1.  Google the term "QR code generator".  Like I said,  It's not rocket science.  Best of all, it's free. No time?  Here is a link to one 
Man, you are lazy.  Here is another one that allows you to create your account so you don't have to constantly update your info.

2. Fill in the blanks with your particular information.

3.  Hit enter and you have your very own QR code.

4.  Place in window and get ready to make millions off all of your new "fancy phone" owning clients. 

In my case, I simply saved the image to my desktop.  I then  inserted the symbol into a Word Document and printed it out.  Using the printed out image, I scotch taped it to our window.  Remember, it's important to stay classy.  We now plan to utilize the image on our envelopes, business cards and newsletters.


Anonymous said...

I scanned your QR. It's upside down.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, couldn't sleep. That's what happens when I try to be funny before I make coffee.

Mike Jameson said...

Attorney Baron, Thank you for explaining this like a normal person. To be honest, I had no idea how to use the damn things lol

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea. The video actually doesn't look that amateurish. Not bad

Anonymous said...

For iPhone users who don't have a barcode scanning app, try RedLaser. It does more than just scan QR codes, and its also free.

Adrian M. Baron said...

Thanks for the tip

Anonymous said...

How did I miss this? What a cool idea. Thanks Nutmeg.

Irene C. Olszewski, Esq. said...

I always learn so much from you! I scanned your QR code with the nifty app on my iPhone (RedLaser) and enjoyed your firm's video. Thanks for educating me yet again!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I really like for generating, managing dynamic QR codes and analyze stats.

Robert said...

I use to see the stats of my business cards.

immigration lawyers said...

this is actually a great post..thanks

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