The 9 Most Effective Marketing Techniques for Law Firms
Whether you’re a seasoned attorney with an established law practice or a rookie attorney with a budding career in the nascent phase of take-off, getting more business is always top of mind. Unfortunately, many attorneys struggle getting new clients because they don’t invest in basic business development tactics, much less, more intricate strategic initiatives. If they do focus on business development, it’s either at scale with a poor ROI or worse, wasted on the wrong activities or services.
Developing a healthy pipeline of leads and prospects for your law firm takes a lot of hard work. It’s not necessarily your track record or knowledge of the law that determines your success. Your ability to market your services to potential clients makes all the difference between a successful attorney and one fiscally stretched and overwhelmed with an abundance of competitors.
But marketing a law firm is not always the same as marketing other types of businesses. There are many companies that specialize in law firm marketing specifically to help attorneys improve their search engine rankings, their overall digital presence and most importantly, pull in more prospects while outlasting their competitors. While digital marketing is a complicated business in itself, there are many tips and tactics you can implement immediately to increase your business.
The tips outlined below are conducted based on scientific research, leveraging online marketers, search engine optimization experts and established, tech-savvy attorneys.
Number One. Create an Effective Website.
We really can’t stress how crucial it is to have a functional, simple and professional looking website. Nearly everyone conducts a business research before purchasing any product or service, especially if it pertains to something as life-altering as legal implications. Because your website serves as your digital resume, it’s imperative your visitors have an exceptional experience. First impressions are everything. If you don’t have an aesthetically pleasing website with a seamless user flow, visitors will quickly drop off and research your competitors. Although there are many bells and whistles you can add to your site, if you’re a new practice, ensure you have the basics applied:
- Clear navigation bar
- Case studies or testimonials
- An “About” page
- Service offerings
- An easy way for visitors to contact you
But in such a highly competitive market, adding other elements such as helpful resources can differentiate you from your competitors. Blog posts, ebooks, videos and things of the sort are fantastic ways to add value to your visitors and potentially convert them to a client.
Because it typically takes 7-8 touch points to convert a visitor to a client, it’s best practice to add a lead capturing form in which you can then apply further marketing initiatives. When it comes to website development and marketing expenses in general, experts suggest spending at least 2.5% of your gross revenue on marketing. Anything short of that suggests you are not serious about marketing and therefore will not get any results. But it’s also important that the financial investment you do contribute is allotted strategically. As John Wanamaker said,
“half of my money is working, the problem is, I just don’t know which one”.
Make sure you’re not blindly investing in marketing without knowing what exactly you should be doing.
Number Two. Devise a Content Strategy.
We’ve said before that content is king but many law firms fail in implementing a strategic content initiative. The number one reason a lot of practicing lawyers fail to do so is the time commitment necessary with a lacking of immediate ROI. It should be noted that a content strategy will not reap immediate ROI. It is a strategy designed for long term benefits. When done well, can see massive benefits. Now that you already have a website, the next step would be to implement a blog. But before you begin typing away, make sure you list out the strategy:
- How often will you produce content?
- What topics will you cover?
- What resources do you need?
For a starting blog, we recommend producing at least once a week and the topics can vary. For instance, if you’re a personal injury attorney, you can write about topics such as:
- Premises Liability (construction sites accidents, stairway related accidents, swimming pool accidents, etc)
- Product Defects
- Dog Bites
- New laws passed
- New cases you’ve worked on
- And so much more!
List out the topics you choose to cover and stick to it a strict schedule. Alternatively, you can hire someone to write the topics but always make sure you hire a trusted individual and check their work for plagiarism. Once you have high-quality written content, repurpose that information in other deliverables such as:
- White papers
Before diving into other forms of content, make sure you have sufficient written content. There is no magic number to how many posts you have but if visitors see valuable information scattered across different channels, they will most likely view you as illegitimate. Plus, mastering blogging not only makes you the subject expert but directly improves the traffic and ranking of your website, so long as you don’t produce “thin content”.
Number Three. Get Social.
Social media doesn’t seem glamorous for most law firms but just like the importance of a website, not implementing any social media questions your legitimacy as a practice. Plus, now that you have killer content on your blog, you need various channels to promote it. The most common mistake we see with law firms is inactivity. The point of social media is to be “social” so make sure you’re actively engaging with other users. Because this can seem overwhelming, it’s crucial you only start with one social media channel at a time and then expand when you have the bandwidth to do so. Alternatively, you can hire a digital marketing firm that handles social media management on your behalf.
Facebook is the most suitable and obvious platform for law firms for various reasons. One, it’s easier to share content of all sorts – articles, ebooks, images, videos, etc. Second, Facebook advertising, when done well, has massive power.
Number Four. Stop Wasting Money.
Sounds like an easy thing to do but surprisingly, a lot of law firms waste money unknowingly. Back to the first point, make sure you know where the money you’re investing is going to. And most importantly, ensure that it’s measurable. Applying an agile methodology based on data is crucial for any law firm to succeed in marketing efforts. Do you want to increase website traffic? Would you like 5 new clients this month? How about an increase in referrals? Establish your goals, develop the KPI’s and then implement the strategy. That will pave the roadmap to success, allowing you to adjust and change what isn’t working.
Understanding data can be daunting. But investing the time and energy in things like Google Analytics you’ll ensure you’re measuring the right metrics and doubling down on what works.
Number Five. Focus on Exceptional Service.
Exceptional customer service is key for any business to succeed but it’s even more crucial in the legal space. Your clients, for the most part, are facing serious real-life problems that can alter their life in myriad ways. It’s not as simple as returning a flat screen TV or inquiring about a cell phone plan. They are inquiring about something that affects them for ever and nobody wants an emotionless, bitter and unfriendly lawyer by their side. Show empathy and compassion. This will help you build the trust with your client which in turn will amount to a raving testimonial.
Number Six. Begin an Email Newsletter.
This varies heavily depending on your legal practice. In general, with periodic emails, you can let clients or other industry experts know of your latest cases or new content you created. It helps increase traffic to your website and improves your overall position in SERPs. But a newsletter should be carefully curated, especially when so many people’s inbox are inundated with unwanted information. For instance, if you’re a criminal defense attorney, most of your clients are finding you after the committed crime. Therefore, the information in your newsletter may be too late or irrelevant considering criminal law covers a vast amount of topics. However, if you’re a family law firm, your content and legal expertise may be relevant for the rest of their life, especially if kids are involved. You can potentially garner interest at the onset, when one spouse is contemplating divorce. And then continue to provide legal insight through your newsletters throughout their journey of a divorce, child visitation rights, custody issues, etc. Make sure you implement some of the tips below:
- Use plain english – do not overwhelm your visitors with too complex legal jargon
- Provide useful content
- Don’t be too salesy
Number Seven. Leverage Your Current Clientele.
Your current clients already trust you, give you work, and write you a check. You should continue to provide exceptional service to them, but also ask them for referrals, at the very least, testimonials. It’s much easier to get a referral from an existing client than it is to generate a brand new customer. Invest the time to know your client further – schedule frequent check-in calls or lunch meetings. Talk to them as a person and not just as their client.
Number Eight. Get Active in Associations, Networking Events and Speaking Engagements.
Although digital marketing is paramount for success, there are many other traditional approaches to capitalize as well. Become an active community member and participate in various networking events. Remember, your prospective clients are not necessarily going to “legal events”. You’re next client may be at a community bake sale, fundraising event, or political protest. Get more involved and start building rapport with community members. They’ll not only think of you when they need legal help, but will refer you to others who are in need of your services.
Depending on the community you live in, speaking engagements is another extremely useful tactic. It enables you to leverage your expertise and grow your exposure. This also depends on your legal practice but by drilling down your ideal customer persona, you can identify the associations or other distribution channels your prospects are at and begin gaining exposure through those channels. For example, if you’re a family attorney, you’re prospective clients who are considering divorce may be seeking counseling or therapy. Find local therapists specializing in family relationships and see if there are upcoming events in which you can provide a seminar or legal workshop on such matters.
Joining local publications and phone directories are other distribution channels you should be active on.
Number Nine. Implement Facebook Advertising.
Although this requires additional investment (financial and time investment), statistics prove this can reap massive success when done well. Facebook has over 1.65 billion active users accessing Facebook as much as 8 times per day! It serves as the number one advertising tool for all businesses but especially for law firms who often need to apply re-targeting and re-marketing ads to successfully convert a visitor to a customer.
Ready to Take On Digital Dominance?
As a law firm, whether you’re a solo attorney or a firm with established lawyers, improving your advertising and digital presence is no easy feat. But by taking such simple tactics mentioned above, you’ll see massive changes in your practice. If you need additional help or just need some advice on how to get started, contact us for a free consultation for your law firm.