When an attorney graduates with a law degree and intends on growing their own practice, far too often it is assumed clients will just show up at the door. It is said referrals build a business, which is an important marketing channel, but there is much more that needs to be done.
Your reputation alone, online and with peers, just won’t cut it. There are many ways you can throw mud at the wall for marketing your firm, however there are only a few ways that truly work in the online world.
Having a solid marketing plan if your first step to set yourself apart from the others and demonstrate to potential clients you are their best choice.
Following I outline five Lawyer Marketing Ideas that will help you build that practice this year.
1. Invest in Good SAO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results in ranking your business or website high in the search engines for keyword searches.
For example, someone who was just in a car accident would have several questions regarding their case and might search for an attorney using the keyword phrase [car accident attorney].
If you are not in the top 3 spots, you won’t get a phone call.
Search Authority Optimization (SAO) is our flavor of SEO. Many people in the SEO world play a cat and mouse game of chasing the algorithm. Or rather, attempt to reverse-engineer it. This is Google’s best kept secret, with some of the smartest engineers on the planet. This chase-and-play game is for the short-term players field.
SAO on the other hand employs traditional marketing techniques – answers buyers’ objections – in the process. This is true marketing at its finest, creating quality content that’ll resonate with a target audience.
While the process is evaluated on links, exposure, authority, trust and engagement, at the end of the day, the more your business is exposed on the internet, the better you’ll rank.
Some of the best exposure comes in the form of press releases, videos and guest blog posts. Join your local chamber of commerce, distribute a press release to Fox, ABC and NBC, and watch your link count and rankings improve.
2. Have a Functional Converting Website
This is much easier to say than employ. Let’s look at a website from two perspectives.
- Usability & Conversion
- Functional Structure
Usability & Conversion
Far too often do I see law firm websites that are simply a digital brochure and break many marketing rules, such as the most basic rule. The 5 W’s….who, what, when, where, why.
When a prospect lands on a webpage, these questions should be answered in visual and written form, above the fold, to have answered in 10 seconds or less.
A fancy picture of cowboys on horses for a Texas attorney is poor. An image should say “We’re a Personal Injury Law Firm in Dallas”.
Prospective clients all go through a buying cycle when looking for your services. A car accident victim has questions, a personal injury suit would like to know implications, a client who just got a DUI may want to know their options….
By having content that answers the buyer’s questions and taking a prospective client on a journey through the website is much more critical than how it looks.
Building a website is like building a house…which requires a project manager, electrician, plumber, carpenter and real estate agent to sell it.
A website requires a programmer, graphic designer, project manager and marketer. Sure, I can program and manage projects, but my skills are marketing. Understanding human psychology along with the English language is an art in it-self.
A website should load in 2 seconds or less. It should have a well-designed navigation. Elements like map embedding and schema are crucial. From header tags, title tags & naming conventions, best practices should always be followed. And I’d guess 80% of websites have many holes in them.
3.Provide On-Going Valuable Content
You’ll hear ‘content is king’ in the world of internet marketing. I wanted to shrivel in a ball and throw the towel in the first time I heard this.
Marketing is about providing value to an audience that’ll consume the message. In other words, answering buyer objections before they come up. And make sure that content is easy to get to.
This is a piece of website usability. Consider the law services you provide. Brain Injury or Car Accident personal injury attorney? Well someone who was just in a car accident might want to know the implications to the law, the average time of court cases in your state. Point is, you can come up with a dozen questions or more that prospective clients ask.
Good content can mean different things, but how it’s consumed is also important. Your writing style, can a reader skim the piece and know what’s about. Do you have video to support your greatest claims? Do you have a frequently asked questions section for each of your services, on their own page on the website?
Include Video to Build Trust
Images can help really enhance your branding, but video can really seal the deal and earn new clients.
Video is simply engaging. When you create a video for your firm, a video can simply be a narration of a blog post, a question in your FAQ or a testimonial. Distribution should be your website or your blog and all social media channels, and hosted on your YouTube channel.
Albert Mehrabianconducted one of my favorite studies ever – verbal and nonverbal communication. We’ve heard that 93% of all communication is non-verbal…this is where that comes from.
Video provides the element of emotion that written words simply can not. A prospect gets to see you, hear you, feel your voice. This goes a long way in conversion.
4.Reviews & Testimonials
Reviews are merely the digital form of word-of-mouth. Sharing your client’s experience have tremendous value for prospective clients.
But it’s not as easy as giving a good service. You need a review implementation systemin place.
A client review is where a client leaves their opinion about you or your firm on a 3rd party site like Google, Yelp & Facebook. While there are dozens of other places to leave reviews, such as AVVO, those first three are paramount.