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Learn the best practices for promoting your law firm
One of the most challenging parts of running a business is learning the nuances of marketing your services appropriately. After all, if you own law practice, most of your time, effort, and expertise is probably related to providing legal services, and while advertising your business is an important part of professional growth, it’s unlikely to be your entrepreneurial sweet spot.
Aside from that, both the audience and the mediums for advertising are constantly evolving so even if your advertising instincts are good, your current understanding of tech trends may be limited. However, a basic understanding of marketing can help you fine-tune your message and method in a way that can build your brand and attract new clients for years to come.
Promote your practice
One of the greatest challenges in marketing a law firm involves oversaturation. Not only is your potential audience inundated with advertising in every aspect of their lives, but there are also more attorneys than ever before. According to the American Bar Association, there are over 1.3 million attorneys in the United States as of 2018, with a 15 percent increase over the last decade. So, competition is fierce in every direction.
However, although there is an abundance of competing practices, there are also more methods to deliver your marketing message than ever before, and many take a relatively passive approach after the initial set-up.
Since most people do their research online these days, your greatest advertising ally is the internet. Working towards a greater understanding of best online marketing practices is one of the most valuable business decisions you can make.
Know your audience
The single most important aspect of developing an attorney marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. Understanding the income, employment, location, background, and needs of your potential clients makes it easier to create a message that will actually reach them.
Once you understand who you’re looking for, it’s easier to figure out where you may find them and what type of information is most likely to appeal to them in a way that inspires action, whether that’s calling you for a consultation or recommending you to a friend.
Optimize your website
Your website is the technological equivalent of a business card, and much more important. The online representation of your business should be functional, attractive, professional, and helpful. Furthermore, it should quickly and clearly convey your expertise and have a strong call to action.
It’s essential to hire professionals to develop your website – not just the technical aspects like domain mapping and navigation, but in the creation of web-optimized graphics and compelling copy that educates and informs potential clients.
Highlight your experience
A lot of online consumer research includes user reviews. People tend to trust their peers, so showcase the positive testimonials of past clients prominently on your website and in social media posts.
The primary purpose of a testimonial is to offer a clear understanding of what you do, and evidence that you’ve done it well.
Share your expertise
Thanks to the internet and a heightened awareness of marketing, consumers are savvier than ever, and skeptical when they sense a sales pitch. A better approach is to build your brand through content marketing, either through a series of blog posts or online videos.
Content marketing offers its audience helpful information, without an overt attempt to sell anything. Establish yourself as a trusted expert by and speak to what you know; it will be remembered and appreciated by those who need it. This approach is also helpful when it comes to Search Engine Optimization but don’t try to shoehorn keywords into each post, just let it happen naturally.
Study your metrics
Some marketing methods will work better than others, and evaluating what works is key to prioritizing the investment of your energy and effort. Whether it’s an understanding of Google Analytics for your website or blog, or the dashboards of various social media or marketing sites, develop a baseline familiarity with, and appreciation of, online metrics.
While it’s important to broadcast your message across multiple mediums to effectively target your audience, metrics will soon make it easy to determine where the return on your investment is highest.
Marketing your business is an important undertaking and not an easy one – even with the access and information afforded by the internet. Just like you most likely wouldn’t advise a marketing expert to represent themselves in court, they wouldn’t advise you to develop an advertising campaign without professional input and assistance. Learn enough about marketing to know what you need and how to determine effectiveness. Then find a professional to collaborate with, and get back to the business you do best with the confidence that new clients will be on their way as a result of your advertising efforts.
At Boss Certified Realtime Reporting, we’ve been providing nationwide court reporting services for trials, depositions, mediations and more since 1995. If you’d like help or more information, you can call us at 954 467 6867 or complete our contact form to let us know how we can assist you.
DIY marketing combined with a little professional help can go a long way for solo practitioners and small firms
Whether you’ve recently set out on your own as a solo practitioner, or you’ve started a small firm with a few other attorneys, getting new law clients is often a number-one priority. To do that, you’ll need a business plan– and by making one, you can create a solid roadmap for your practice– full of strategies you can use to see what kinds of marketing activities work best for your law firm– and a smart plan to implement them.
To make the most out of self-marketing, you’ll need to know your goals, including your ideal client
To effectively create a DIY marketing plan for your firm, it’s essential to know your exact goals. To do that, it helps to ask yourself questions, including:
- If you’re a solo practitioner, how much revenue and profit would you like the firm to (realistically) bring in?
- If you’re a partner in a small firm, how much would like you and your partners to bring in?
- What exact legal services do you want to promote?
- Who is your ideal client? What’s their age? Gender? Industry? Ethnicity? Net worth?
Asking and answering these questions is a great first step to legal marketing success– and knowing the answers will allow you to make more efficient, effective, and rewarding choices when it comes to marketing your law practice. Without knowing yourself and your clients, you’ll simply be trying to find your way in the dark.
Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, print ads, mailings, and more: Which is most effective, and which comes first?
When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to be confused by the multitude of options. As much as you want to see (and potentially mimic) what other successful firms have done, you also want to make sure that your firm does something a little different, or extra perhaps, to give it a competitive edge over the competition.
To know which marketing activities are likely to provide the biggest ROI for your firm and generate real, quality clients, you’ll have to learn a bit about them, and, after consulting with co-workers, employees, or yourself (in the case of solo practitioners), decide how they fit into your integrated marketing strategy. Here are how some of the most common marketing methods might align with your firm’s goals:
- Facebook: Creating a fan page or business page for your firm is essential; firm partners and other employees can use their personal Facebook pages (and friends) to draw traffic to the firm’s page (just make sure all public info on personal accounts, including photos, is business appropriate.) Later, firms may also want to purchase Facebook ads or “boost” page posts in order to increase customer awareness.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily have the massive reach of a platform like Facebook– but its users include many business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs, all of whom might be potential clients for your firm. To increase credibility, lawyers can have other clients and professionals offer recommendations– and they can also post blogs to share thoughts and ideas with others on the site.
- Blogging: Blogging is another essential part of legal internet marketing. Law firms should update blogs regularly, either writing the posts themselves, or hiring a marketing firm or blogging service to create informative posts of interest to potential clients. Blogs can and should be posted and promoted through a firm’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages– and it helps to get creative. Multimedia tools, like helpful (and shareable) videos and infographics, can make your marketing succeed on even the most crowded of platforms.
- Websites: While nearly every firm has a website, not all law firm websites are equal. Ones that look dated, extremely plain or too flashy, don’t provide essential information about the firm’s attorneys and their practice areas, and don’t prominently feature the firm’s blog may not be ideal for attracting new clients.
- Mailings: While the ROI differs greatly between different markets and practice areas, many businesses (including law firms) have stopped using mail as a marketing technique due to an increased focus on digital marketing strategies. This means that, since there may be fewer competitors, mail marketing could help your firm succeed in a crowded legal marketplace.
- Print Ads: Print ads might be considered an afterthought in the age of digital marketing, but the truth is that many older customers still crave the sensation of reading printed newspapers and magazines– especially on the local level. Due to digital advances, local print advertising may be offered at a steep discount in many markets, and some firms that print ads can significantly boost the combined ROI of their sales and marketing efforts.
- Email: Some experts posit that email marketing has the best (on average) ROI of any digital marketing method– but it can be tricky to master. Developing a big contact list, and a creating a consistent (yet non-intrusive) communication strategy are key to making sure your emails help, not hurt, your marketing initiatives.
- In-person events: Having your firm’s attorneys give free, in-person talks throughout the community can be one of the best ways to increase local exposure for your law practice and create goodwill for your firm. When giving a talk, you never know who might be listening– and a random audience member could become your firm’s next big client.
When it comes to legal marketing, success is not determined by how many tools you use, but how you use them to achieve your firm’s goals
All the marketing options listed above are simply a fragment of the options law firms have to promote themselves. Unless you or your firm has a big budget (and a lot of time) it’s best to stick to 2-3 at first and do them well. Trying more than that at once can often be confusing and demoralizing– after all, you’re not just marketing–you’re running a practice at the same time.
In many cases, it can also be effective to bring in a little outside help, even for solo practitioners on a small budget. That could mean consulting with a local PR agent to get a local speaking engagement, or purchasing a few hours of consultation with a small advertising agency or marketing company in order to brush up on your email and social media strategy. Remember, just because you’re doing it yourself doesn’t mean you should do everything alone. Even if you’re willing to put the hours in to make every Facebook post and write every blog yourself, it can pay to make sure that you’re going in the right direction.
Smart legal marketing isn’t necessarily complex– but it can be time consuming. However, if you do your research, make smart decisions, and aren’t afraid to sweat, a little work can go a long way toward building the rewarding legal practice that you deserve.
To learn more about how to manage, market and protect your law firm in a changing world, contact Boss Reporting today for a free consultation.