Online Marketing Strategies for Small Law Firms
Change the playing field and make size and specialty your advantages
What do you do when your small firm doesn’t have the resources to compete against the giants? Change the playing field and make size an advantage. It could be that you’re looking at your perceived weaknesses from their point of view. What if, instead, you looked at your advantages?
Client acquisition through inbound marketing is a narrow targeting process for your small firm, whereas it’s a widely-cast net for large firms. For you, it’s quality. For them, it’s based more on quantity.
Think like Google
The search engine giant knows that we’re really not that interested in nonspecialized businesses. We’re looking for experts who can help us solve specific problems. What’s more, before we’re even interested in hearing about how a business can help us, we want to be sure they understand our problem in the first place, and we want to know why.
For this reason, Google lets businesses help searchers know what, specifically, a business does, so we can match it up with our nongeneralized needs. In the world of attorneys, nobody wants to hire one who claims to be an expert at everything. It often means they’re an expert at nothing.
Google will reward your website with higher placement when you take a highly narrow focus with your content. You’ve already got limited resources, so creating specific content relevant only to your specialty is the optimal way to put those resources to use.
Determine your strength. Pick your playing field. Focus all your effort on content only about your value proposition. You’ll establish yourself as an online authority in this specific practice area, and you’ll see your client acquisition efforts pay off.
A few words about the content that will help with this inbound marketing strategy.
- Create general awareness content that helps people gain a deeper understanding of the problem. Show that you are an expert in this area by offering insight.
- Create more content that offers solutions in the specific practice area. It’s crucial that this content offers objective advice on finding the best attorney to help with this legal challenge. This content is not self-promotion.
- Create content with the understanding that it is not intended to sell your firm’s services. It’s either offering insight into the problem, or it’s offering perspective about the solution. In both respects, it’s positioning you as a subject matter expert.
Don’t skimp on your website
Unless it’s word-of-mouth recommendations, your lead acquisition is going to come from your online efforts. Social media posts, online display ads, YouTube videos – whatever marketing strategy you decide to use – will all point to your website.
So, does it have to stand up in comparison to the largest law firm’s web presence in your area? Stop comparing yourself to them and start looking at it from the perspective of your prospects. They’re interested in knowing only a few things:
- Do you understand my problem?
- Can you help me find a solution?
- Why are you the best source of information about my problem and the solution?
- How do I engage with you to find out if you can help me?
When used for lead-generation, your website should be set up to help prospects go through this process of discovery. Everything else – all those other website sections that larger firms may feature – could be a distraction.
Market with prospects in mind, not your competitors
Make your website all about your prospect. Yes, you’ll include information about your area of practice, as well as testimonials and other material that underscore your positioning as an authority and expert. But remember that prospects aren’t coming to learn about how you do it, they want to know why – and they want help with how to put your small firm into their worldview.
They go to a giant firm’s website and they’re greeted with what? Mostly, it’s intimidation. Marble pillars. Gavels. The scale of justice. Okay, it’s all beautifully done – but it can be highly impersonal. A marble pillar and the scale of justice are not going to represent you in the courtroom. A human lawyer is.
Make your website about the people in your firm. Show those people in action. That doesn’t mean you need a professional photographer snagging dramatic images of them cross-examining a witness. Again, put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. They want to see images of reassurance and problem-solving.
Pay particular attention to your “About Us” page. It’s often one of the most visited pages on your website. Take a look at our own “About Us” page for an example. It’s all about people.