A law firm is a business. In law school, you were only taught law and not the business of running your law practice or law firm. A successful law firm entails that you become an expert at bringing in clients, office operations, bookkeeping, and lawyer marketing.
Legal marketing is what will jumpstart your law firm, create the image of your law firm, and attract clients. It may be overwhelming to engage in legal marketing. However, to grow the law firm, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and help clients find you.
In the overcrowded legal market, you need to market your law firm. Everyone seems to have their own ideas on the best ways to market a law firm. Should you stick to traditional marketing strategies? Should you invest in Google Ads? Are Facebook ads effective? Should you engage prospective clients in Social Media?
Many law firms tend to steer away from creating a marketing plan, engaging in social media and PR. While most businesses engage in innovative and creative marketing, most law firms want to avoid them.
The challenge, however, is continuously present: the legal market is overcrowded, and it can be challenging to stand out without a concrete marketing plan. What then, are the most effective marketing strategies for the modern law firm?
A law firm, just like any business, should have a goal: to grow the business and create a good reputation.
Traditional marketing strategies, such as brochures, billboards, print, radio, and TV ads, calling cards, and others, are still useful. Digital marketing, however, should be part of an ever-evolving modern law firm.
Your ultimate goal is to get a continuous stream of clients, and a detailed marketing plan will help achieve your goals. Defining your law firm's marketing strategies is the most important thing you need to do to ensure your client base keeps growing.
Before creating a marketing plan for your law firm, you first need to determine the qualities your prospective clients look for when finding a lawyer to deal with their legal issues. Most clients seek law firms that are professional, secure, and talented.
Everyone wants to hire a lawyer they can rely on to give the best solutions to their legal issues, provide them with the best possible legal advice. With these in mind, you need to focus your law firm's marketing strategies around this premise.
Law firm marketing involves operational and strategic functions focusing on positioning your law firm with your target audience so you can maximize leads and ultimately convert them into clients.
While word of mouth marketing, referrals, and traditional marketing strategies still work, it is no longer enough to remain competitive in the legal market that is dominated by law firms that earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
It is essential to know who your ideal clients are so you can tailor-fit marketing strategies that will attract them to the services of your law firm. Knowing who they are and the types of marketing platforms they use are going to be the core of your marketing plan.
While offline or traditional marketing strategies cannot be completely eradicated, online or digital marketing strategies are what will drive your law firm to thrive and grow these days.
Choosing just one primary marketing approach and not minding the other will reduce your chances of getting more clients. In short, you need to include every possibility into your marketing plan to make your law firm more accessible to clients.
Your law firm's marketing strategies should today focus on digital marketing. Most people who need legal advice and representation are most likely to rely on the internet. Digital marketing has distinct categories, and you will need to be able to reach different audiences on different platforms.
Your law firm is a brand, and as such, you will need to give it a personal approach. To create a good brand, you will need to determine your primary goals, core values, as well as the market you are trying to reach.
You can build a reliable brand by showcasing your law firm's achievements, testimonials from previous clients, and firm awards. These prove that your law firm has expertise and credibility.
Close to 80% of consumers rely on reviews and personal recommendations before deciding to buy so always ask your clients to leave a review or testimonial each time they are happy and content with your service.
Determine your Target Market
Do your market research. Know where to find your target market or where your target market can find you. A marketing campaign can only be effective when it reaches your target market. The value of your brand will help determine your target market.
Once you have determined your target market or audience and know where they will most likely find you, you will be able to focus on the marketing strategies that will be right for your law firm.
Close to 40% of legal consumers search online when they need a lawyer. That number will increase as more consumers rely on a Google search for the vital services they need. A smart and effective digital marketing campaign for your law firm is essential to ensure a steady stream of potential clients.
Additionally, about 80% of consumers in the United States regularly use the internet. About 98% of them search for products that they eventually buy. With those statistics, you need to make sure that potential clients can easily find your law firm on the internet.
Given those statistics, digital marketing should not be regarded as a secondary marketing strategy to traditional marketing techniques. Digital marketing should be the primary marketing strategy to grow your business.
A crystal clear digital marketing plan is vital to be ahead of your competition. It will also help you create a solid brand, generate new leads, and engage with potential clients. We look at some of the considerations to create an effective marketing strategy for your law firm.
Step 1: Build an Attractive Website
Your law firm's website is the heart of all your digital marketing strategies and even your offline or traditional marketing strategies (should you opt to have both online and offline marketing strategies).
Your law firm's website should include:
• Information on the legal services offered.
• Biography of each of the lawyers in your team.
• Contact information.
• Press releases of important milestones of your firm.
• Testimonials from satisfied clients.
All these should be available to potential clients in just a few clicks.
It is best for the homepage of your law firm's website to include a video that presents your legal services. Visitors to your website will most likely watch a video than read through lengthy descriptions of your legal services which can sometimes be boring.
Replace high volumes of text content by incorporating unique and creative infographics, photos, images, or similar visual instead of legal materials. Interesting visual content helps in increasing the positive experiences of your website's visitors and therefore increases the reputation of your law firm.
Embedded videos and visual content also help increase your site's SEO rank and conversion rates. They also encourage visitors to your website to connect and engage with you on your social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms).
Your website should have a fast loading time on desktops and mobile devices. Most people today access the internet through their Smartphones and tablets. When your website is not optimized for mobile devices, you could lose potential clients to law firms with fast-loading and mobile-friendly websites.
Assess the performance of your website by making sure that everything works well, more importantly, the page speed. The page speed is a high-value indicator in the performance of your website. Fast load time has a significant impact on the experience of your visitors.
Do a page speed analysis to know about the factors your website may lack. This will help improve your website so you can be on top of your competitors.
In summary, your law firm's website should allow your potential clients to easily find the information they need, know more about your law firm, and how to directly contact you. Prospective clients should always have a great experience when visiting your website.
Voice search is fast becoming highly acceptable in search engine ranking. A voice search on a mobile device based on your targeted keywords can bring your target audience and potential client to your client because you already have ready answers.
Step 2: Optimize your Website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to establish the online presence of your law firm. SEO increases the rank of your website in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
When potential clients search online for a law firm, they usually focus on the first page of SERPs. SEO gets your website to the first page so potential clients can easily find you.
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SEO involves selecting the right relevant keywords about the legal services of your law firm. Keywords are what your potential clients will type on the search box when they are looking for a law firm.
The right relevant keyword for your law firm website should include the locality of your law firm and the legal services offered.
Step 3: Content Marketing Strategy
With a correctly set up website, you are now ready to create marketing strategies and techniques to generate more potential clients.
Marketing professionals swear on the phrase "content is king." This is true also in the legal industry. After creating the target keywords, your potential clients will use when searching for a law firm, trustworthy and relevant content focuses on strengthening your brand and reputation.
When creating a content focus on topics that are interesting to potential clients. Use conversational language instead of legal jargon. Make sure too that the content you create is shareable so it can reach more of your target audience.
• Testimonials and reviews are two of the most important content you should incorporate in your website. Testimonials and reviews nurture trust and confidence in your law firm in the minds of potential clients.
• Create Blogs. Blogs are important to SEO. Google rewards websites that regularly update and post fresh content. Fresh and new content keeps Google busy indexing and crawling your page for your targeted search terms.
• Including a blog on your website allows you to use your targeted keywords and will help your website get a high rank in SERPs.
• Include geographical tags such as "New York, "California", or "Virginia". You can also use long tail-keywords like, "how to choose a divorce attorney".
• Make your blog clear about a specific topic to show potential clients how well-versed you are on a legal topic. It will not only help your audience learn information but will also result in engagement metrics.
• Your blog post will have multiple audiences including visitors to your website and potential clients. You can share your blog on your social media sites including a link to your website.
• Search engines also reward long-term content covering many aspects you are willing to share with your audience. Long-term content, usually about 2000 words may include checklists, FAQs, how-to, reviews, testimonials, and much more.
• Long-term content can benefit your law firm in many ways:
• Are more evident and will, therefore, position you as an expert in your field.
• You will be regarded as an expert in your field.
• You will get more social media shares.
• You will receive from your audience more engagement metrics.
• You will be able to share more with people who are new to the topic as well as to those who are familiar with the topic.
• You will generate more inbound links to your law firm's website.
When you write blogs, make sure not to use copied content. You can check your content against plagiarism with a plagiarism checker.
• Gated Content and Ungated Content. Gated content consists of articles, white papers, and videos that require a user to fill up a form before he can access the material. The structure is used to gather names and email addresses. The forms are often referred to as registration walls or information gates.
Ungated content, on the other hand, consists of YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook posts, and pages.
Gated content is used for lead generation (prospects or potential clients). Google, however, does not crawl gated content so it can be difficult for people to find this type of content.
Many of the top law firms offer a free guide in exchange for a user's email address. A divorce lawyer can write about "5 Steps to Divorcing an Unfaithful Spouse or a lawyer specializing in Bankruptcy can offer a guide on "7 Ways to Increase Your Credit Rating After Bankruptcy. "
• Frequently Asked Questions. Potential clients always appreciate FAQs and incorporating these on your website is a surefire way to acquire qualified leads because you can offer responses to the types of legal service you provide.
Providing answers to the frequently asked questions of potential clients allows them to relate with the brand of your law firm and build confidence and trust in them. You can write about endless issues your clients may ask your law firm and they will be indexed on search engines.
Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce:
• What are the usual procedures of having a divorce case?
• What do we mean with a contested divorce?
• What does uncontested divorce mean?
• How long can it take to get the contested divorce?
• How long can it usually take to get an uncontested divorce?
• What do we mean with no-fault divorce?
• How can I get a divorce if I cannot find my spouse?
• What about child custody?
There is a multitude of other FAQs you can include in your law firm's website.
• Video Content. Consumers enjoy watching more video content from a brand they support rather than reading through a pile of text content. It does not, therefore, come as a surprise that video marketers get high ROI from video content.
Your law firm can utilize video marketing to explain the team of lawyers in your law firm, law firm's mission, vision, and culture as well as why new lawyers should join your firm.
In using video as a digital marketing strategy, you need to define the legal services offered by your law firm and who are your target audience. You should also provide as much information about your law firm, clients as well as testimonials and reviews. It will also help if you include news about your law firm's areas of speciality.
Step 4: Email Marketing is hugely tapping leads. Build your firm's email list through gated and ungated content as well as social media engagement. Your marketing emails should contain helpful content and sent in a timely manner so prospective clients will have your law firm in the topmost of their minds when they need legal representation.
Step 5: Digital Advertising delivers promotional content via various online channels.
Step 6: Google Ads. Google search ads are done through your Google account. It is a powerful tool that can generate many leads for your law firm. Google uses your targeted keywords to display your ads. Your ads will appear only to those searching for legal services of your law firm; thus you will be able to generate quality traffic to your website.
Google ads that are prepared and optimized correctly can make your law firm's website land in the first 3 positions of the Google search pages.
Step 7: Bing Ads is also a profitable platform for digital advertising. While Google Ads is the platform with the highest volume, Bing Ads offers lower and cheaper costs per click. There is also lesser competition in Bing, making the cost per lead more affordable compared to Google Ads.
Step 8: Pay-Per-Click Advertising brings in leads in real-time. PPC is a form of advertising wherein you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. It can be expensive to run a PPC campaign, but if your law firm has the funds, your phone will be ringing quickly.
In a PPC campaign, you can dictate where and when your ads appear. Your ads appear based on the specific keywords searchers type in Google. If you are looking for fast results, PPC is an excellent option for you to attract new clients to your law firm's website.
Step 9: YouTube Ads are a valuable means to build the brand of your law firm. Similar to other social media channels, YouTube comes with various video lengths you can use to get your law firm in front of people.
You can place your short 6-second bumper ads before the start of the video or longer and commercial-like ads within the video. Your YouTube ads have to be of good video and sound quality with valuable content so you can grab the attention of the viewer.
You should be able to quickly emphasize your message as these ads can be skipped in a matter of seconds.
You can customize your targeting, so your ad can appear only on specific YouTube channels, video topics, and keywords. You can also target your audience based on demographics, income levels, education, marital status, homeownership status, and many others.
Step 10: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to increasing the visibility of your law firm's website using a combination of SEO (content-based information) and paid digital advertising.
Landing Pages are pages where your potential clients are directed after they click on any of your ads. It can be annoying for someone searching for a tax lawyer in New York, clicks on the first ad, gets directed to the homepage of the law firm's website, and has to search for the tax law service on the website.
You should build a landing page that instantly redirects the user to the specific legal service he is searching for. When someone searches for "tax lawyers in New York," your law firm website should redirect the user to the IRS Tax Investigations page or another targeted page to create a good user experience.
Social Media Presence is important for your law firm because regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status, and education of your target audience, they are highly likely to be active on multiple or at least one social media platform.
Do in-depth research to determine which social media platform your target audience is most likely active. Focus your marketing effort on this platform instead of as many social media platforms as you can.
At least 55% of Americans rely on social media in getting the latest news. This means that the time you spend in engaging and promoting your brand on social media is extremely important in generating leads for your law firm.
Investing time and effort in promoting your law firm and engaging with potential clients in social media is time well spent. Here are three of the most effective social media platforms your law firm should be focusing on:
LinkedIn showcases your law firm's expertise. Most lawyers have LinkedIn accounts because it is an effective social media site for getting new clients.
Being in LinkedIn allows you to be in a professional network; thus you can earn the reputation of being an excellent resource person in your area of speciality and get new leads and referrals.
LinkedIn offers lawyers an excellent opportunity with varying specializations to share engaging and relevant content with potential clients. If you are a personal injury attorney, you can share articles in LinkedIn outlining various criteria to determine liability for injuries in the workplace.
Twitter allows you to engage a potential client. This social media platform is an excellent networking source because you can position your law firm as an authority who can provide your target audience with valuable and relevant information.
You can use Twitter to share articles about the legal services of your law firm. Try to share relevant content so you can increase the followers of your law firm's Twitter account. The more followers, the more engagements you will be able to generate. This will result in more potential clients you can convert into paying clients.
Facebook has numerous customization options and features that give you higher chances to meaningfully connect with potential clients. Facebook is the most powerful and influential social media marketing site because it provides you with more data about a user so you can easily tap your target audience.
If you are a family law attorney, you may choose to tap users who are married, within a particular geographic area and income bracket.
Increasing your Law Firm's Presence in Legal Directories will generate a lot of traffic to your website for a wide range of keywords. You, therefore, need to ensure that that your law firm has a strong presence in the legal directory that ranks for keywords that are vital to your law firm such as 'The Best Divorce Lawyers in New York" if your law firm specializes in family law.
You should indicate the primary information about your law firm that is important to potential website visitors when enlisting in these legal directories. Here are some of the best legal directories:
• The Attorney Guide
• Avvo Directory
• Findlaw Directory
• HG Directory
• Jurist Directory
• Justia Directory
• Martindale Directory
When looking for the right lawyer to help with their legal issues, potential clients rely on legal directories because they often suggest the best lawyers based on the requirements of these potential clients.
The more places your law firm can be found online, the more your online identity can be proven to be accurate and perfect. As a result, search engines such as Google will assist potential clients searching for things related to the specialization of your law firm. Legal Directories are the best source of this information.
Your website is important to your law firm; thus, you must be able to measure how effective your digital marketing campaigns are. Here are the metrics that can help you determine the effectiveness of the efforts you invested in digital marketing:
Are you seeing an increase in the overall traffic to your website since you started your digital marketing campaigns? Before launching your digital marketing campaigns, establish the baseline of your website traffic so you can compare the percentage of increas