The 4 Crucial Elements of Successful Law Firm Marketing Strategies
Building a legal marketing strategy from scratch is a necessary but challenging project for law firms both big and small. Luckily, the Optimized Attorney and Publishing team has analyzed what works for law firms of all sizes so you can create a legal marketing plan with the right structure for success. Explore these 4 crucial elements of a successful legal marketing strategy and find out exactly how to invest in your law firm’s future today.
- A lead development strategy
The only way to continually build business is to consistently gather leads and push them down the sales funnel, cultivating them at each step to promote conversion. That’s easier said than done when you have a full plate of cases to focus on, which is why it is so important to implement a lead development strategy that almost runs itself.
A successful lead development strategy for your law firm encompasses three main elements:
- Lead gathering tools like email opt-in forms, lead generation pages, and lead magnets
- Click-through landing pages
Social Media B2B has reported that companies who blog generate nearly 70% more leads every month than organizations that don’t. While this figure may be slightly different depending on your particular legal niche, the point is that no matter your industry or size of law firm, content goes hand in hand with lead generation.
The first step is to become active on your legal blog. Publish high-quality, internally generated content at least weekly (if you don’t have the bandwidth to do this with your current team, consider outsourcing it to a reputable legal marketing company that specializes in custom content). Establishing and building a legal blog is a great jumping off point because it becomes a base for many other avenues such as:
- Gathering an email list
- Posting valuable material on social media and generating audiences on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+
- Transforming blog topics into podcasts or videos
- Improving SEO; every blog article becomes a link to your website and consistently drives traffic there—a sign to Google that your website is valuable and should therefore be ranked higher
Lead Gathering Tools
There are many different types of lead gathering tools, but one of the most effective is lead magnets. If you are unfamiliar, lead magnets are great offers in exchange for a website visitor’s contact information. These could include legal marketing collateral such as quick reference guides, white papers, access to webinars, quizzes, downloadable checklists, e-books, and more.
For instance, a bankruptcy firm could create an easy 10-question “Is bankruptcy right for me?” quiz that asks questions like:
- Are creditors harassing you? (Yes/No)
- Altogether, my debt totals… (Less than $20,000/$20,000 to $50,000/$50,000 to $100,000/More than $100,000)
- My debt includes… (Credit card debt/Business debt/Mortgage loans)
At the end, the quiz could require users to enter their email address in order to receive their results. The results could say that in the user’s particular situation, an experienced bankruptcy attorney could help them decide whether bankruptcy is best for them. The results page could also provide the contact information of the best person to speak to as well as a quick bio about the attorney(s) that specialize in these types of cases, and a testimonial from a happy client.
Click-Through Landing Pages
Landing pages are informational pages that visitors are routed to once they click on an advertisement or a call to action button from an email, for instance. They can provide more information about a special promotion you’re having or a particular service that your law firm is launching.
Creating landing pages for your legal marketing campaigns can help to both gather leads and move website visitors down the sales funnel to become clients. Keep in mind that all landing pages should have one specific goal in mind, whether it’s to have them call your law firm or book a consultation online, and that the calls to action should reflect this goal.
- Consistent communication (with less manual labor)
Once you’ve gained leads from your law firm’s social media pages and website, consistent and tailored communication is the best way to convert them into clients. It sounds obvious, but many law firms fail to invest in automating their follow-up to ensure a high response rate with less manual labor.
For instance, let’s say that someone reads an article on your legal blog and sees value in it. They decide to opt onto your email list to receive more articles of interest. What legal marketing steps could you take to eventually transition them from warm lead to hot lead to client?
The answer: send highly tailored emails via drip email campaigns, host promotions, and offer free resources that provide value. Uncover how to automate your follow-up and score more clients in this article.
- Online reputation management
Earning more positive online reviews is a powerful way to improve SEO while strengthening your brand. One example of this is the Law Offices of Loren S. Etengoff in Vancouver, Washington, which increased its positive online reviews and more than doubled its caseload in one year.
Every legal marketing strategy should include online reputation management in order to be successful. Learn how to garner more positive online reviews for your law firm’s website and social media profiles here.
- Results tracking
No legal marketing plan is complete without results tracking. Keeping an eye on your ROI figures ensures that you’re moving in the right direction and providing the most value to your website visitors, clients, and potential clients, while still staying on budget. Find out which numbers you should be tracking and how to automate your attorney marketing ROI in this article.
The James Legal CRM is made to address the 4 elements of a successful legal marketing strategy. Click here to learn how to receive more leads, referrals, and clients now.
Lure Prospects Without “Selling”: 5 Research-Backed Strategies for Law Firms
Let’s face it: old school, interruptive law firm marketing strategies do not work anymore. Prospects would rather be engaged with than sold to—and frankly, most law firms would prefer the more cost-effective route of inbound marketing than dedicating massive resources to television advertisements that may not drive business.
The following 6 strategies are ideal for legal practices aiming to avoid the “hard sell” and instead, utilize research-backed techniques that consistently engage prospects, convert them to warm leads, and nurture them into clients. Read on to learn about law firm marketing strategies.
1. Client testimonials
This strategy is probably not new to anyone, as client testimonials have long been employed for marketing purposes within and outside of the legal industry. If a lack of novelty has caused you to push video and written testimonials to the back burner, though, these statistics may make you rethink that decision:
- Brands that inspire a greater emotional response in their audience receive 3x as much word-of-mouth marketing as less emotionally-emotive brands, according to the Journal of Marketing Research
- HubSpot reports that visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media than other content
Law firm marketing strategies that use client testimonial to evoke emotion in their prospects can gain a significant edge over their competition. The benefits don’t stop there. Because testimonials also leverage your clients’ own words to make the case for why others should work with you, they increase social proof and circumvent your team needing to sell the idea of working with your law firm directly to prospects.
Therefore, hand the microphone to your most satisfied clients—your true brand evangelists—and let them tell their story. In their own words, let them explain:
- Why they reached out for legal counsel? (What specific problem were they facing? How did that make them feel?)
- Why they chose your law firm over your competitors
- How your law firm resolved their issue and improved their life
- What they enjoyed most about their experience with you
- Why they would recommend your law firm to others
While written testimonials are valuable, testimonial videos tend to be much more powerful. 52% of marketing professionals around the world claim that video provides the greatest ROI of all content, according to Syndacast. In fact, merely using the word “video” in email subject lines can increase open rates by nearly 20%.
For the greatest impact, combine the best of both worlds: create a testimonial video like the one below—created by Lavis Law Firm located in New Orleans—and then translate snippets of these videos into written testimonials to feature on your law firm’s website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials (assuming that this is legal in your area; always check local/state law first). This combinatory approach can help to sing your law firm’s praises and psychologically convince prospects to reach out to your law firm without the pushiness of a hard sell.
2. Case studies
While testimonials tend to focus on evoking emotion to connect with prospects, case studies take a more logical approach, leveraging data to explain your law firm’s services and value to clients. Most importantly, law firm marketing strategies that employ case studies provide an opportunity to strategically highlight your successes and promote your law firm’s unique strengths.
The Veen Law Firm, PC, a San Francisco-based personal injury legal practice, excels at using concise case studies to showcase their value as a highly capable, rapid-response law firm. In just two paragraphs below, they mount a strong, real world case for hiring their firm for challenging cases where millions of dollars are on the line.
Telling the story of their win is much more effective than saying “The Veen Firm has handled high-profile personal injury cases with great success,” a sentiment that is probably echoed on many of their competitors’ websites. Whether your legal practice specializes in personal injury law or another highly-competitive specialty, such as DUI defense or divorce law, employing case studies in your law firm marketing strategies can differentiate your legal practice from the crowd.
Luckily, they are simple to write. A typical case study features four distinct sections:
- An attention-catching, descriptive title
- The client’s challenge—what made them reach out to your legal practice?
- The step-by-step solution provided by your law firm
Keep in mind that the best case studies do not just throw data points into a paragraph; they weave the above four elements into a story and strategically employ facts and figures to drive their points home. By the end of each case study, you should have clearly answered the questions “what pivotal role did our law firm play in resolving the client’s issue, and how did this improve the client’s life/business?”
Best Law Firms, The American Lawyer Awards, The Legal 500 Awards, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal Awards… there are dozens of awards programs and ranked lists that “grade” the players in the legal market. Any one of these individually or a combination of several can increase the public’s perceived value of your law firm—and when it comes to convincing on-the-fence prospects or potential clients who are shopping around to several law firms, a more positive perception can make the difference between winning and losing business.
A similar phenomenon occurs with trust seals on ecommerce websites. Research shows that featuring trust seals, such as a VeriSign seal or Norton trust seal, on a landing page or during checkout can lead to a significant increase in conversions—as much as 42% in the case of Blue Fountain Media. The psychology behind this is that it increases the company’s perceived trustworthiness and demonstrates that they prioritize customer security and privacy, which are two of the most common concerns among online shoppers.
Tip: Data security is also a huge concern among attorneys and their clients as well, which is one of the top 6 reasons that more law firms are migrating their data to the cloud.
Similarly, awards highlighting the quality of your law firm’s work and dedication to client service directly address your prospects’ most common concerns, and lend your practice greater credibility while establishing trust with your audience.
In the example above, the law firm Benezra & Culver, P.C. features several prestigious awards on their homepage to showcase their expertise and experience, and back up the claim that they are “the premier Colorado employment law firm.”
Although Optimized Attorney & Attorney Marketing doesn’t have access to this law firm’s website conversion rate, we can bet that it receives a boost from listing their accomplishments on the front page so that prospects immediately become aware of their award-winning status. Keep in mind, though, that some of these awards only carry weight because of the source. U.S. News, for instance, is a recognizable and reputable source, and therefore has a greater impact than accolades from an unrecognizable local publication.
One last point to consider regarding legal awards: they aren’t the be all, end all of law firm marketing strategies. Yes, they can distinguish your law firm from competitors, especially if you can brag that you have been named to the “Best of Law Firms” list for 10 years running. However, that does not necessarily guarantee that your audience will care or that awards will make up for poor performance in other areas. No amount of shining accolades may convince prospects to become clients if your law firm’s online reviews are consistently low (something we discuss later in the article).
Therefore, treat legal industry awards as tool in your arsenal of law firm marketing strategies to add to your credibility and differentiate your law firm… after you have established a strong foundation by providing excellent client service.
4. Involvement in the local community
Most of your business probably comes from people and businesses within the vicinity—your neighborhood, city, or county. This makes sense for two reasons:
- Most people search for legal assistance within their comfort zone; according to FindLaw’s U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, 71% of people looking for an attorney think it is important to hire a local one.
- Google and other search engines are now delivering more localized results (this is why maintaining a strong Google+ Local account and increasing the visibility of Google+ listings in local search rankings is so important for law firms).
This provides law firms a fantastic opportunity to connect directly with their prospects by participating in their local communities. When you sponsor a city sports team or charity run, sit on the board of local organizations, or donate time and/or resources to philanthropic causes, you are not only directly marketing your law firm’s brand but also demonstrating that you prioritize social responsibility—solid law firm marketing strategies in and of itself.
According to Cone Communications’ 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Study, nearly 90% of Americans would choose a brand that supports a good cause over their competitor, price and quality being equal. Additionally, 79% of consumers actively seek out brands that are socially and environmentally responsible in order to financially support businesses that align with their values.
Take a break from your online law firm marketing strategies every so often and get involved in your community on a face-to-face basis. Not only will you reap the networking benefits and familiarize people with your law firm’s name, but you may just find that supporting local associations emotionally connects prospects to your brand in a way that a landing page cannot.
Phoenix law firm Mushkatel, Robbins, & Becker, PLLC, for instance, highlights their various community involvements on their website. Although the law firm consists of just 6 lawyers, they are involved in an impressive number of organizations and sponsor a fundraising event that assists homeless people within their community.
Like awards, community involvement isn’t a replacement for other attorney marketing efforts such as Google+ Local optimization. However, creating face-to-face relationships and spreading your law firm’s name at a grassroots level is never a bad idea if you can dedicate the time and resources.
5. Social media
Unlike the law firms of 20 years ago, today’s legal practices have direct contact with prospects and clients at the click of a button. Social media and the internet have transformed attorney marketing, making it faster, more affordable, and potentially much more effective.
Many attorneys take this to mean that they should use Facebook to disseminate sales-oriented messages like “Injured on the job? Call us now!” While this type of messaging does have a time and place, the power of social media lies in providing your prospects information that they find valuable and will share to their networks.
For instance, the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, uses their Facebook profile to share very relevant blog articles that address specific questions that prospects may search for. The blog article below, titled “What Happens if a Tourist Gets Hurt During a High-Risk Activity,” answers questions like “I was injured during a rock climbing trip. Is the adventure company responsible for my hospital bills?” In other words, they provide value to their audience by offering pertinent, timely information.
Tip: Learn more about producing excellent attorney content, based on research and Optimized Attorney & Attorney Marketing’s decades of experience.
Another way to use social media to indicate your law firm’s value without pursuing the hard sell is addressing prospects’ questions and concerns. Hootsuite determined that nearly 60% of Americans who have a social media account (which is 83% of the population) agree that customer service over social media has made it easier to resolve their questions and concerns. In fact, 28% of social media users prefer to engage with a brand or organization on social media rather than visit the physical location.
Don’t let those online prospects slip away. Assign a team member to observe all social media profiles (preferably the same person in charge of posting content on these profiles, since they understand your brand voice) so you can quickly address any questions or concerns that may arise, and convert information-gatherers into leads and clients.
Lastly, a final word to the wise for those who currently don’t see the value in their law firm marketing strategies that utilize social media: Hootsuite’s survey also found that more than 40% of Americans believe it is important that the brands they choose have a significant social media presence. Time to add social media to your marketing efforts!
Bonus: Once you have a steady Facebook following, paid ads can help to increase your website traffic. Read our step-by-step guide to creating Facebook ads here.
How to Implement Education-Based Legal Marketing
As of 2017, the American Bar Association reports that there are 1,335,963 active attorneys in the United States. As the number of attorneys increases year over year and the number of trial hours decreases, law firms are finding it more difficult to land business and remain profitable. The key to overcoming this challenge and pull away from the competition is having a solid legal marketing strategy.
More specifically, an education-based marketing strategy is an ideal way to establish your law firm as an authority in your space, as well as:
- Provide valuable information to your audience
- Generate qualified prospects
- Build rapport with prospects and convert them into leads, and leads into clients
- Increase brand trust
- Boost search engine optimization (SEO)
In this guide, we explain why an education-based legal marketing strategy is essential in today’s legal landscape and how to create one from scratch. By the end of this guide, your law firm will understand how to gain an edge over your competition, showcasing your experience and building a strong online presence in order to increase, and improve the quality of, your caseload.
The State of the Legal Market Since The Great Recession
Why is an education-based marketing strategy so essential? Since the Great Recession, the legal market has been plagued by issues such as:
- Stagnating demand for legal services
- Decreased attorney productivity
- Increased pressure for greater efficiency and higher quality services for the same price
According to Thomson Reuters’ 2017 Report of the State of the Legal Market, demand for law firm services has dropped off since 2009. Additionally, the billable hours worked per lawyer has steadily declined throughout the past decade—down to an average of 122 hours per month in the end of 2016 compared to 134 hours per month in 2007. This costs legal practices an average of $66,672 per attorney per year.
All in all, competition in today’s legal market is fierce. Law firms are under pressure to gain and retain more clients while working with fewer resources. Many struggle to break even or increase profitability year over year.
Why An Education-Based Marketing Strategy Is Ideal For The Current Market
An education-based marketing strategy makes the most of these limited resources. It can ensure that you’re connecting with the right prospects and building trust to convert them into clients.
First, educating your audience builds your reputation as a thought leader in your space (whether it be personal injury law, divorce and family law, criminal defense, etc.), causing prospects to view you as the most knowledgeable and experienced legal practice in their area.
In fact, DemandGen reports that 87% of B2B consumers believe that industry influencer content lends authority to a law firm. This can lead to significantly greater prominence—content marketing leaders experience nearly 8 times as much website traffic as non-leaders, according to Content Marketing Institute.
Second, an education-based marketing strategy helps to convert some of that increased traffic into promising leads for your law firm. Curata claims that 74% of companies report content marketing increases lead generation and improves lead quality.
Third, focusing on producing content that informs your audience facilitates greater brand loyalty and more referrals, thereby leveraging one client into multiple clients with minimal additional marketing spend. The VCU Brandcenter and the VCU School of Business have determined that law firms that focus on educating their audiences can build stronger relationships with potential clients than legal practices that don’t educate their audiences.
Overall, education-based marketing focuses on building long-term relationships with prospects, connecting with them during the information-gathering stage (when they aren’t yet ready to sign a retainer agreement), generating trust, and informing them about the best solution to their specific problem. When they finally are ready to “buy,” your law firm is ideally positioned to snap up their business.
However, this is easier said than done. Legal practices across all specialties often make four common mistakes when it comes to an education-based marketing strategy:
- Not covering the “right” topics that their prospects are interested in and searching for online (nearly 90% of B2B marketing professionals struggle to produce engaging content, according to Forrester)
- Not possessing a documented education-based marketing strategy
- Struggling to produce well-written content that is SEO optimized
- Failing to properly disseminate content to achieve maximum reach and engagement
We provide solutions to these common issues in the following sections. Read on to learn how to create a better education-based marketing framework that generates results.
Solution to Common Problem #1: Not Focusing on the Right Topics
Your niche is probably full of similar content. If you’re a personal injury attorney, for instance, you and your competitors cover the same topics such as car crashes, workplace accidents, and injuries due to negligence.
Many personal injury attorneys then fall into the trap of trying to compete with the larger or prolific law firms on these same topics, which is a waste of money because their content will rarely outrank the material produced by very large or marketing-savvy law firms with a hefty head start. In other cases, these personal injury attorneys identify a way to cover the same topics differently than their competition but they fail to produce engaging material.
The result is the same in both situations: an unsuccessful, wasteful content marketing strategy. The solution? Focusing on educating your audience and beginning with their interests in mind—look at what your prospects and clients are asking and what they need to know. For instance:
- What personal injury terms or queries are they searching for online?
- What are their most pressing questions after you get them on the phone for an initial consultation?
- What are the most challenging/confusing elements of a typical personal injury case?
- If you were considering pursuing a personal injury claim, what 5 things would you hope that a personal injury attorney would tell you?
Keep in mind that the prospects you’re speaking to with education-based marketing are in the information-gathering stage. They either are learning about their problem (e.g., realizing that they may be injured after a car accident) or are researching solutions to their problem (e.g., collecting information about personal injury claims to see if they should pursue one). Any topics that you tackle should fall under this umbrella.
Let’s say that prospects often come to you asking, “How long after a car accident can I pursue a personal injury claim, and what’s the first step that I need to take?” Search online to see what other law firms have produced on the topic. If they haven’t fully tackled the query, their articles are outdated, or you can simply produce far better content, then you have a perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.
For example: If your biggest competitor answered the question above in a basic 500-word blog article titled “How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim,” you can go several steps further and approach the topic from a different direction to provide greater value. A multi-page guide and quiz titled “Why You Should Never Wait to File a Personal Injury Claim” could be a good choice (consider turning it into a lead magnet in order to collect prospects’ email addresses), as well as a video that tells prospects what they need to know about the timeline of a typical personal injury case in just a few minutes.
Alternately, if you don’t stand a chance at ranking for the keyword “personal injury claim timeline,” because large law firms have taken the top spots, then strive for a related keyword phrase instead. “When to file a personal injury claim” or “car accident personal injury claim deadline” could be two promising alternatives.
No matter the medium or keyword focus on your content, just remember that it should always come back to delivering the greatest educational value by addressing a specific question or challenge experienced by your audience. This is not the place to hard sell your law firm’s services.
Solution to Common Problem #2: No Documented Education-Based Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve brainstormed some topics to tackle, you can turn those ideas into a documented marketing strategy. Many attorneys skip this step, but going in without a plan often results in ineffective marketing activities and lackluster results.
An education-based content marketing strategy ensures that you remain on track toward your marketing goals while focusing on serving prospects and clients. Law firms with a documented content strategy are much more likely to be “very effective” or “extremely effective” than those without a formal plan, according to LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Report.
Follow the steps below to create a documented education-based marketing strategy.
Step 1: Understand objectives
Again, the purpose of any educational marketing strategy is to teach potential clients about their law-related problem and possible solutions. The ultimate purpose of having an educational marketing strategy, though, is to attract attention from the right prospects, convert prospects into leads, and turn leads into clients. Don’t lose sight of this when crafting your strategy!
Step 2: Assess resources
How much time and money do you have to devote to content marketing? Will a handful of support staffers and/or attorneys handle strategy, writing, editing, designing, and distribution, or will these duties be spread or rotated among several parties (in which case, do you have a dedicated point person to manage essential processes and deadlines)?
LinkedIn reports that 51% of organizations don’t have enough time or resources to create content—if your law firm falls in that category, consider outsourcing at least a few elements of the content creation process such as writing or design.
Tip: Does your small law firm have no time for marketing? We’ve got the perfect solution.
Step 3: Set goals
After either gathering outside resources or dedicating internal resources, it’s time to create a roadmap for your education-based marketing efforts. What do you hope to accomplish within the next month, 6 months, and year in relation to where you are now?
For instance, if your law firm is generating 10 leads per month and converting one of those leads into a client (10% conversion rate), then a realistic goal may be to generate 20 leads per month with a 12% conversion rate within the next 6 months. Other examples of goals include:
- Increasing website traffic
- Boosting social reach
- Increasing social engagement (comments, likes, shares)
- Improving your ranking on Google search engine results pages (SERPs)
Read more about setting content marketing goals in our data-driven guide here.
Step 4: Create a calendar
One of the keys to success with content marketing is consistency. Creating a content marketing calendar ensures that you’re regularly pushing out new content in order to achieve results. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just be sure that you include both content and distribution (social media posts, for instance) on the calendar.
The James Legal CRM provides intuitive calendaring and appointment setting functionalities for better team communication and collaboration.
Step 5: Attempt and adapt
Implement your calendar and assess the impact month by month. Try not to judge results too quickly—noticeable improvement could take 6 months to a year depending on your starting point, efforts, and quality of content.
Solution to Common Problem #3: Producing Content That Isn’t SEO-Optimized
We’ve discussed establishing a framework for your law firm’s education-based marketing strategy. Now let’s cover what actually goes into a well-written piece of content that can attract website traffic, engage your audience, and lead to conversions.
The most engaging content contains five important factors:
- Audience relevance
- Engaging and compelling storytelling
- A call to action
- Effectively delivered message
- Search engine optimization (SEO) elements
While the first four elements are most self-explanatory and have been at least touched on in the material above, the final factor—SEO—presents more of challenge to most attorneys.
If you are new to SEO, it is best to reach out to an experienced attorney marketing company for assistance. At Optimized Attorney, we specialize in helping law firms of all sizes—particularly small, medium, and boutique firms—jumpstart their legal marketing and SEO efforts in order to improve their online reputation, generate more traffic, and increase their caseload.
We helped Phoenix criminal defense attorney Howard Snader go from 18-25 prospect inquiry calls per month to more than 200 calls per month in less than 12 months after:
- Implementing the James Legal CRM with its specialty-specific library of content (including pamphlets, books, and automated email drip campaigns)
- Producing a direct mail campaign
- Improving Mr. Snader’s website including improving optimization and content
- Adding live chat to his website
The James Legal CRM comes loaded with specialty-specific attorney marketing content like this bankruptcy guide.
Another client, personal injury attorney Loren Etengoff, increased his caseload from 62 to 141 cases year-over-year after utilizing the James Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool and working with us to produce keyword-optimized content. The James ORM tool automates review-gathering and “parks” negative reviews so you build a library of positive online reviews that not only improve your reputation, but also help to rank your law firm higher with search engines like Google.
BONUS: We’re offering free educational content for 4 legal specialties: bankruptcy, criminal, family, or personal injury law. Download complimentary prospect content now!
As demonstrated by the results experienced by Mr. Snader and Mr. Etengoff, there are multiple ways to improve your law firm’s SEO using online content. If you don’t have the know-how to make it happen, be sure to reach out to a resource like Optimized Attorney for assistance.
Find out how you measure up to the competition—schedule a free marketing audit! You’ll receive customized suggestions for improvement as well as money-saving strategies.
Solution to Common Problem #4: Failing to Disseminate Content for Greater Reach and Engagement
Content distribution is just as important as content development. Without a plan to spread your content, it doesn’t matter how well-written each piece is—no one will read it. Therefore, if your law firm isn’t already active on email marketing and social media, it’s time to join the pack. An email newsletter is a great way to spread word about new educational blog articles, as well as educational drip email campaigns like the ones included in the James Legal CRM.
Regarding social media: You don’t have to be on every platform—just ones where you will actually reach your audience. This may mean LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube, for instance. Why YouTube? 55% of people thoroughly consume video content, according to HubSpot, and Animoto reports that 4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a topic than read about it.
Social media marketing will not automatically make your content marketing efforts more successful—you must develop an audience of the right followers who will engage with your education-based content and increase its reach. For more information about building a social media presence to better reach prospects and promote your content, read:
- 30-Minute-A-Day Social Media Marketing for Busy Attorneys
- The Simple Way to Add Video to Your Attorney Marketing Arsenal
Tip: Don’t forget to leverage your attorney team and support staff to grow your legal practice’s network! A significant number of law firms fail to take advantage of what are essentially their greatest promoters. If team members don’t know what to post on social media, simply phrase the post for them ahead of time and charge them with copying and pasting.
In addition to utilizing social media, email, and your team members to distribute content, try online networks and PR strategies. Reach out to organizations cited in your researched material and ask them to share your content if they think their audience would find it valuable.
Also, join conversations on platforms that cater to your audience. For instance, a divorce and family law attorney may want to join online communities that focus on parenting—an ideal place to engage in relevant conversations and then share appropriate blog articles and e-books.
Overall, the more you put into building communities of prospects and helping them solve their problems while asking nothing in return, the greater the reward.
No time to create great education-based marketing content? Try the James Legal CRM, which includes:
- A specialty-specific content library
- A 100-page educational book for prospects, which comes branded with your logo
- Automated drip email campaigns
- Intuitive reporting dashboards
- One-click call tracking and monitoring
- And more
7 Refreshing Attorney Marketing Strategies
Summer is a tough time for many law firms, particularly the small ones. With much of their client base leaving the Internet in favor of the outdoors, abandoning email, and going on vacation, many practices see their marketing ROI stalling.
That doesn’t have to be the case. This lawyer marketing cheat sheet can help you adapt your overall strategy to the season, improving your “bread and butter” legal marketing methods that may suffer during the summer months and offering new ways to attract clients.
Improve your foundational lawyer marketing strategies
1. Email Marketing
Because fewer people may be inclined to open your firm’s emails during the summer, you’ll need to make them extra enticing. Instead of a regular newsletter, consider crafting an e-book or guide to give away. For instance, a personal injury firm could create a “How to Travel Safely with Your Family This Summer” guide that discusses risks and safety tips for road trips, beach visits, and the like.
You can send these to recipients on your email list and then do double duty by offering these items as lead magnets (material offered in exchange for an email address) on your website. This enables you to cover both bases—keeping in touch with existing clients and gathering warm leads that could turn into new clients during the quieter summer months.
2. Content Marketing
Go visual for the summer. Embed YouTube videos into blog articles, include more images/infographics and less text in posts, or try including a fun quiz related to your firm’s services. When people are feeling lazy, they’re more likely to look at a colorful infographic about DUI statistics than read a 750-word blog post.
Add in summer lawyer marketing strategies
In addition to adapting your basic legal marketing strategies to the summer landscape, injecting a few new methods into the mix may help your firm gain marketing momentum.
3. Write thank you notes
Cards aren’t just for the winter holidays; the summer months are a great time to catch up on some of the client appreciation activities that fall by the wayside during the rest of the year. Even if people aren’t opening email they still have to check their mailbox.
Order a batch of thank you notes and then hand write clients’ names in them, along with a short message. Recipients will appreciate the small gesture and feel like you truly value their business, which could make them more likely to refer your name to others.
4. Give out promotional items
Frisbees, keychains, sunscreen bottles, notepads, drink cozies, pens, and beach towels are just a few examples of ideal promotional items for the summer months. You can bet that people will take them to the office, bring them to neighborhood get-togethers, or give them to friends and family. This lawyer marketing strategy can boost your firm’s brand throughout the summer and into the fall.
5. Host a summer contest or raffle
Incentivize your audience to stay active on social media or refer clients to your practice with raffles and contests. Keep in mind that most summer contests are lighthearted—that’s what makes them appealing. A real estate attorney could post photos of beautiful homes or buildings from around the world and encourage social media followers to guess their locations. Winners earn prizes.
When choosing raffle prizes, think of the types of items that would most appeal to your client demographic (age, gender, married with a family versus unmarried, hobbies, etc.) and the kinds of entertainment that are popular in your area. A few examples: baseball tickets, gift cards to a popular restaurant, movie tickets, a gift certificate for a local landscaping service, or vouchers to a water park.
6. Advertise outdoors
Summer means more outdoor community gatherings like movies and music in the park, sports games, music and food festivals, car shows, and charity walks. If you’re not seeing much traction in online lawyer marketing avenues, funnel that money into advertising where your audience physically is.
A family law firm could sponsor a youth soccer team in the area or a DUI defense practice could set up a booth at a music festival and offer branded water bottles.
Don’t worry if your budget can’t cover promotional items or advertising. You can always volunteer your time or donate to a good cause. A lot of charities receive fewer donations and less support during the summer months compared to the winter, and issues like food insecurity are just as prevalent (if not more so) when school is out, since children who struggle with hunger can’t take advantage of free school lunches.
To reap the lawyer marketing benefits, you can spread the word about your actions online and in person. Ask for support for your network and explain why this cause resonated with you. Your team can also wear branded shirts bearing your law firm’s name and logo while volunteering. Together, your practice will be supporting a good cause and getting your name out into the community.
Is your website feeling a little… blah? This summer, get the website you’ve always wanted. Take our free website evaluation to find out how!
Learn Marketing Techniques From Non-Lawyers
This is the seventh installment of our Content Marketing blog series. To view the beginning of the series, go here.
Lawyers are notoriously-late adopters. That makes it easy for you to watch what marketing is working for other types of businesses, and then bring the adaptable techniques to your practice.
Test the marketing techniques of others
Wisconsin bankruptcy lawyer Michael Mack is a wonderful example of how successful this approach can be. In his words:
“The first year I started my practice I struggled. I dissipated precious capital on advertising — most of which didn’t work. John Wanamaker said, “Half the money we spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is we don’t know which half.” I think John was being optimistic because it’s probably more than half that we lawyers waste on advertising. That’s why so many lawyers struggle.
“Things changed for the better when a friend of mine, an insurance salesman, gave me a book on direct response marketing. It was not a book for lawyers per se, but for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“The concepts contained in the book just clicked for me. I went from struggling with advertising and marketing, and not sure what to do and frustrated, to actually enjoying the marketing process. I changed my mindset. I suddenly understood that in addition to being a lawyer, I was also a business owner. Therefore, I needed to have a sales and marketing driven law business.”
Michael found success using a combination of direct mail, book writing, print ads, and giving away free information. He added his own twist to each method to boost his response rate.
Michael hasn’t been successful by making any groundbreaking discoveries in marketing. His practice thrives from his marketing efforts because he finds out what has worked for others, and then uses those techniques along with his own personal touch to continuously bring new clients through his door.
“I’ve succeeded a lot more than I’ve failed, but it’s not because I’m some genius. Far from it. I have simply duplicated what has worked for others – mostly in other industries – and used them in my own practice.
“I have “swipe files” of letters, and ads, and free reports, and web sites, and audio files, and other things which I collect. Almost all of these things come from other industries, but you can change them to suit your legal practice – assuming you’re in compliance with your state bar.”
Michael has client acquisition down to a science. Even though it takes serious time and effort in the beginning the benefits are well worth the hard work.
“Besides the financial benefits, there is peace of mind knowing that you are in control of your client faucet. Marketing is no longer guesswork. I can create a steady stream of clients predictably, consistently, and cost-effectively.”
We have many detailed case studies from which these quotes have been excerpted. If you want to learn more about inbound marketing for lawyers, obtain content, or receive help from the pros in our legal marketing agency,email us or call 800-440-4780.
“Spring” Into Action with These Seasonal Lawyer Marketing Ideas
Spring is an ideal time to let creativity take center stage in your law firm’s marketing. Not only do March, April, and May provide a plethora of holidays to work into great campaigns, but the great weather enables outdoor events as well. Below, you’ll find a few resourceful ideas to help your firm “spring” into marketing action this spring—use these lawyer marketing suggestions to get your creative cogs turning and then customize them to work for your law practice.
According to Hallmark, Mother’s Day is the third most popular greeting card-giving holiday (the #1 most popular in the Hispanic community), and the biggest holiday for gift-giving aside from Christmas. As these statistics show, Mother’s Day is no small holiday for most people, whether they decide to celebrate with just a card or something more. Take advantage of the buzz around the holiday with a campaign that makes sense for your law firm.
If your practice specializes in personal injury law, a Mother’s Day campaign could include copy like “Don’t give the mom in your life a reason to worry. Do what’s best for your family—call us for a free consultation about your personal injury case today.” If it doesn’t make sense to market your firm from this perspective, change your lawyer marketing to be generally family-oriented or explore other options such as tailoring copy more toward the grandmother’s/grandparents’ perspective if your demographic is older, for example.
Promote Other Holidays
A few other holidays that could make great spring campaigns to include in your lawyer marketing plan are: Tax Day and Earth Day.
Earth Day is a holiday that law firms of pretty much any specialization can take advantage of for marketing purposes. Demonstrate how your firm “goes green” by sending email newsletters versus print pieces (also a great time to promote signing up for your email list!), ask for environmentally-friendly tips from your LinkedIn audience regarding how they reduce their carbon footprints at home and in the office, or host a contest on Facebook.
Lovely spring weather provides the perfect atmosphere to reach out to your community and potential clients. Try arranging an outdoor event like a community night or even inject a philanthropic element into things: sponsor a local youth sports team, do an outdoor cleanup, or support your firm’s particular philanthropic cause.
No, not your filing cabinets; your online presence! Examine where your attorney website needs improvement, from formatting and design to cleaning out backlinks. Reexamine your calls to action and your email opt-in forms, update old content and write it to be more evergreen, ensure that all hyperlinks work and your About Our Firm and team bio pages are up-to-date. Then, ask:
- Is everything truly the best that it could be?
- Am I seeing ideal traffic and conversion numbers?
- Is my SEO ranking as high as it could be?
- Do my blog posts receive a good amount of readership and engagement?
If the answer is no to any of the questions above, take steps toward improving your website and associated lawyer marketing this spring. For example, set up A/B testing to determine which calls to action improve your conversion rates, or ask for a free attorney website evaluation from the experts at Optimized Attorney.
A free attorney website evaluation is waiting for you. Contact our dedicated team to learn how to increase traffic and conversions!
Law Firm Marketing: Strategies that Wont Break the Bank
When attorneys hear the term “marketing,” many think of glossy print ads or expensive television spots advertising their law firms. However, marketing simply encompasses all actions and opportunities that spread the word about their law firm’s services, and some of the simplest, most cost-effective activities can have significant impacts.
Whether you are trying to advertise your law firm on a shoestring budget or merely looking to maximize your marketing potential, using the following clever tips may just give your law firm’s marketing strategy the boost it needs.
1. Insert social media links into your email signature.
Think about how often you email a client or prospect. Weekly? Bi-weekly? Aside from telephone calls, email is often the most frequently used mode of communication in many types of law firms, from personal injury to criminal defense. Savvy attorneys understand that this touchpoint provides a marketing opportunity for their law firms.
For instance, simply inserting social media links into an email signature can increase traffic to an attorney or law firm’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages.
Featuring a clickable icon that routes to a law firm’s Yelp! page can also help to accrue more client reviews and powerful testimonials, increasing overall search engine optimization (SEO) results and vamping your law firm’s marketing strategy.
2. Redesign your business card.
Similar to email signatures, the purpose of an attorney’s business card is to provide prospects, clients, and connections with his or her contact information. Yet, business cards can be much more; when viewed as a valuable marketing tool, they can help boost your law firm’s brand.
Redesign your business cards to include the logo of a prestigious award your firm has won, or your firm’s mission statement. Another idea is to keep things simple and note the URL to your firm’s blog or testimonial pages on the back of the card. All are great law firm marketing strategies that might produce significant results in terms of branding, elevated website traffic, and increased referrals.
3. Capitalize on “hold time.”
You will probably have to put your prospects and clients on hold at some point during a telephone conversation. Instead of blasting them with ‘hold music,’ take advantage of their undivided attention and play a personal message from you or your law firm’s founder/partner. For example, this personal communication could thank the person for their time and briefly explain your law firm’s history and values—why you opened the doors in the first place and what mission you hope to accomplish.
Don’t forget to implement this as part of your law firm’s marketing strategy when it comes to live chat as well. If your firm’s website has a live chat function, try urging people to visit your social media pages while they’re queued to speak with a representative.
5 Often-Overlooked, Effective Marketing Tactics
To get a leg-up on the competition, you have to take advantage of every opportunity.
In case you missed it, here’s a recording of this week’s Optimized Attorney Attorney Webinar: 5 Often-Overlooked, Effective Marketing Tactics