Whether you’re a seasoned law firm or just opening up your practice, one of the main struggles we hear from attorneys is getting more clients. There are many strategies you can do to expand your market and get more clients. The first thing you should do though, is conduct a thorough research on your market and your target audience. Skipping this step will result in business failure. Why? If you’re marketing initiatives are aimed somewhere besides towards your potential clients, you’re delivering the wrong information to the wrong people.
Who needs your legal assistance? How old are they? Where do they live? What questions do they have? Will they have any legal knowledge? Once you have conducted thorough research on your market and ideal target, you can begin implementing strategies to dominate the market and expand even further.
One. Content Marketing.
Content marketing is the best tool you can use to stand out from your competitors and go beyond your initial market for more clients. As much as 49% of people research their legal issue before hiring a lawyer. When a potential client types a query into a search engine, you want them to click on one of your pages. And the more pages you have, the more chances you have for someone to do so. By creating a blog, lawyers not only grow their digital presence with more web pages but help reach the right people by providing valuable information.
As important as a blog is for law firms, many lawyers and law firms do not have a blog. In fact, the American Bar Association reported that 65% of law firms don’t have a blog at all. But with 70% of customers influenced by blog posts in their decisions, lawyers are making a fatal mistake in not having a blog. Although it may be time consuming, the long term gains of a valuable and regularly posted blog are invaluable. You can either hire someone to write unique and informative blog posts, or write them your own. If you have any troubles of what to write, we suggest categories that are extremely valuable to your target audience such as:
- Legal advice on specific practice areas – your expertise is your greatest strength. By providing posts centered around specific practices areas, you can begin showing your value and building trust with visitors.
- What to do now guides – many people search for lawyers reactively, not proactively. After all, you never know you’re going to need a lawyer until after the fact. In that moment, a guide on what to do now will be of most value to your potential audience.
- Recent changes to law
- Answers to frequently asked questions – every new question you receive from a client could be repurposed in a blog article
- Common legal myths or misunderstandings
- Seasonal content
- Guest bloggers
It’s important to keep your goal in mind when writing these posts. You want to attract new clients so make sure to mention the need of legal representation and most importantly, make it easy for the reader to contact you. And just as important, make sure to do keyword research and optimize each blog post for maximum success.
Two. Leverage LegalZoom
Competitors are increasing in numbers and boundaries. Huge multistate law firms are aggressively expanding beyond their home states. Additionally, they have invested immense amounts in advertising and are able to quickly build reputation from miles away. The democratization of the internet has made it easy for everyone to become “tech savvy” and services like LegalZoom have been considered a big threat to local law firms.
Alternatively, you can leverage LegalZoom for your own growth. For solo-practicing attorneys or small law firms, joining their attorney network might be a good way to expand your market reach and acquire additional customers that would have not normally found you. Because many tech savvy millennials are self-doers, consider creating free online tutorials as well to capture a wider audience, build trust and establish rapport.
Three. Focus on Your Distribution Channels
Understanding your ideal target customer is extremely important in understanding your distribution channels. Who are your customers? Where do they hang out on the internet? What sources of information do they read? Which social media channels are they mostly like to be on? What tv shows might they be watching? Honing in on this will help create your channels and strategies. Some channels include:
- Referrals – word of mouth from existing customers or other lawyers
- Your own website – organic and high ranking in search results
- Paid Search and Paid Advertising – from Google AdWords to editorial advertisement
- Directories – Yelp, FindLaw, Justia, Avvo, Superlawyers
- Partnerships – For example, a personal injury lawyer may partner with a doctor to get clients from those injured by others
- Influencers – Did you have a high-profile client? Ask them to leave a testimonial and promote it across various channels.
Four. Host an Event.
Hosting a local event or online webinar has numerous benefits. The first is it provides value to your potential customers who are not quite ready to pull the trigger and hire your for your services. The second is it builds rapport. Whether this is the first, second or fifth interaction, it sets precedence of building trust. When the user is ready to take the plunge, they will most likely call you because of the rapport you’ve created. And third, it helps generate new leads. Hosting any type of legal event is an opportunity to meet your next customer, or at least begin collecting emails, phone numbers and other information that you can then implement in further marketing strategies.
Five. Get Involved in the Community.
In order to get business, attorneys need to get out on the field and meet people. You need to learn how to break down the boundaries of formality and form relationships with people outside your immediate influence. Bear in mind that your next customer isn’t necessarily in your legal network. They are “regular” citizens who participate in local events, like to go to restaurants and participate in other “normal” activities. If the only people you know are those you are meeting through work, you have to get out and meet people outside. One strategy is to go to events where you are likely to stand out because you are an attorney. There are millions of potential social situations you can dive into and it’s important to get involved in as many social situations as possible.