In a time where internet marketing giants encompass much of the online space, it has become more imperative than ever for companies to engage in their online marketing efforts. While having a website and social media channel may have done the job in the past, there is no use in having owned media that is not kept up-to-date. According to the National Law Review, 97% of all law firms fail to deliver any kind of personalized content, and 96% of all users looking for legal advice use a search engine. Not only do social channels need to be kept updated, but content needs to be relatable, relevant, and resourceful. There will always be tons of marketing practices and techniques, but the following five tips are better suited than others for law firm marketing:
1. Create a professional website.
Having a branded, well-developed, and user-friendly website is the first step to getting clients. 74% of prospects begin their searches online, 72% of people only contact one attorney, and 87% of people go on to hire the attorney that they call. Now imagine that your website is hard to use, takes long to load, does not have a visible phone number, or is haphazard–you may have just lost a potential client call that may have been fruitful. While no one wants to hire a lawyer, at the end of the day, good lawyers are needed. Your website is where you can show-off your traits and accomplishments. Create a page that visitors will be comfortable in, and they’ll be more likely to want to approach you via phone call or email.
2. Use review sites and encourage reviews, don’t expect them.
Mujdah Rahim, a divorce and family law lawyer in Walnut Creek, CA tells us that the majority of her clients come to her after hearing about her work through family and friends. However, Rahim does not actively engage in asking her clients to leave reviews. While this may work for some people, more and more companies are using online testimonials as a way to define their credibility. Especially if clients leave high rated reviews, it is imperative that they at least know which channels to leave them on. In Walnut Creek, CA, Yelp seems to be popular amongst the law community. Rahim states that many of her colleagues use Yelp and ask their clients to use it in order to leave reviews.
Jibran Muhammad, a criminal defense and immigration lawyer in McLean, VA reiterates that word-of-mouth is the primary way he gets his clients. Being a criminal defense lawyer, he is acutely aware that many times, his clients are uncomfortable with giving out their names when leaving testimonials. However, he has found that online marketing is helpful. Clients tend to leave their reviews either on his AVVO profile, or on his firm’s website http://www.kmkhanlaw.com/. Over the past three years that Muhammad has been at K.M. Khan Law Office, he says that they have taken more of an initiative in online marketing as time went on. The law office has outsourced their digital marketing efforts and is pleased with the results that they have been getting.
3. Content creation/whitepaper/SEO
Only 30% of law firm websites have been updated in the last year. Use your website to grow your customer reach. By keeping information in-line with the 3 R’s: relatable, relevant, and resourceful, users who engage with your site will be more likely to trust you and your work. Use videos to introduce yourself so users can put a face to the name, and answer common questions that are relevant to your area(s) of practice. Having downloadable whitepapers on your site also allows for users to gain credible information. An easy way to build your listserv would be to request clients to leave their email in exchange for a whitepaper to be emailed to them.
4. Focus local and brand accordingly
62% of legal searches are not branded. Most users will search for lawyers according to the area of practice that they need or the location in which they reside. When paying for keywords, bid on location and areas of practice first.
5. Develop KPIs and measure these metrics
Key performance indicators are used in businesses every day. However, small businesses need to determine specific KPIs that are beneficial to their practice. Client-based KPIs are a good place to start with smaller firms. Increased client satisfaction will generally bring in more value over a period of time than decreased client satisfaction. Ask questions like: “Did that client like my service or not?,” or “Did my client come to me as a referral or as a result of my marketing efforts?”
Implementing even one of these tips to start your online marketing efforts will prove fruitful if done well. Take it slow and do it well, but be sure to put yourself in your client’s shoes and decide whether you would hire yourself for life-altering decisions after viewing your own online profiles.