It goes without saying that the legal world is a competitive one. With a significant portion of new business for law firms being procured on the internet these days, it’s become crucial to have a well-designed marketing plan in place to ensure client base growth and maintain sustainability and growth in profits.
Below, we’ll discuss some essential marketing tips and tricks for law firms to use to grow their business and establish their reputation within the legal community.
Develop the Law Firm’s Identity
Before focusing on developing a marketing strategy, the identity or “brand” of a lawyer or law firm must be established. Law firms should consider what makes them unique and sets them apart from the competition during this step, i.e., What is your unique selling point (USP), and why should clients choose you? This step is important because it helps set the precedence of the approach each marketing move will take going forward.
Create a Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan is vital because it allows a law firm to determine who key clients are and learn the best way to advertise the firm’s business to them. The key to implementing a good marketing plan is to figure out what solution to a problem is being offered to customers and then identify precisely why the law firm is the right choice.
Once these critical points have been figured out, the marketing plan will need to be designed around what long-term goals the law firm has. The marketing plan must work to achieve client growth and financial results that are necessary and expected. It’s also imperative that a marketing plan works within the law firm’s monetary budget.
In breaking down the preceding notes, a good marketing plan will mostly follow these steps:
- Determine the firm’s key client base.
- Identify what problem the firm is solving for potential clients.
- Decide on long-term client and financial growth expectations and needs for the firm.
- Implement a financial budget for the marketing plan.
Invest in a Good Website
No matter what a law firm specializes in, one of the most important aspects of good marketing is maintaining a useful website for clients. Websites are crucial to law firm growth because most consumer searches for products and services these days are conducted through the internet, and a great site allows for a law firm to make themselves searchable, more visible, and give vital information about their business.
Here’s an idea of what a useful legal website will consist of:
- Clean and Clear Design - First impressions matter. When a potential client lands on a law firm’s website, the design should be professional, clear, and easy to navigate. To achieve this, many law firms will hire a web design company to help establish a concept and build a website.
- Useful and Helpful Content and Blogs - Search engine optimization (SEO), as well as the client’s determination of usefulness and reliability of a company, are very much based on the content provided on a website. Law firms should regularly provide useful and original legal content on their website. Blogs written by the firm’s staff and attorneys are also helpful to establish expertise.
- Staff Photos - When clients are choosing the firm they plan to use, it’s helpful to be personable. Allowing clients the opportunity to get to know staff and attorneys can go a long way to improving client experiencing and boosting confidence in their choice.
- Videos - Videos are another important way to deliver a message and bulk up the useful content. Law firm attorneys can convey important messages about the services provided, cases won, and other pertinent legal information in an easily digestible (and shareable) format.
- Web Forms - Through the use of lead generation web forms, law firms can gather contact information from clients who are interested in their services. Web forms are an important contributor to building a strong client base and quickly.
- Clear Service Listing - The services that are available through a law firm should be clearly outlined on their website for potential clients to determine usability quickly.
- Contact Information - A useful legal site will clearly list how potential or established clients can reach them. This is often done through an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page.
Focus on Perfecting the Landing Page
Landing pages, also known as “lead capture” pages, are basically a destination web page that results in a specific action taken. A landing page can be developed around an email marketing campaign, a search engine result, or a pay per click (PPC) campaign. This page won’t be part of the daily functionality surrounding the legal website, but will instead be an extension focused on a particular marketing concept. Landing pages will be centered on inciting actionable responses or call to action (CTA), such as a client requesting more information, signing up for services, or signing up for a newsletter.
For a law firm to make an effective landing page, the following should be focused on:
- Short in Length - Landing pages should always deliver their message in as few words and CTA requests as possible. Focus on enabling action in as few steps as possible - potential clients and visitors want quick results.
- Offer Value - The value of the landing page must be demonstrated quickly and efficiently. Within a short period of time being on the landing page, visitors should have a clear idea of why they’re there and what value they can gain by engaging with the CTA.
Client reviews can go a long way in establishing the credibility of a law firm. Because the clients will usually have no prior knowledge of a law firm before locating and considering them for service, it proves helpful for them to view previous and current client’s experiences with the firm. Clients can feel more comfortable in choosing a law firm if they’re able to get an idea of what to expect. Client reviews should be featured on the law firm’s website. Sites like Yelp and Google Reviews also provide a useful platform for clients to give reviews for others to view easily.
Establish Professional Credibility and Expertise
We’ve addressed this some in the previous sections, but the act of establishing credibility and expertise in their field is so important within the legal industry that it deserves its own section. Consumers and businesses are entrusting law firms with sensitive data and requiring assistance with legal matters that can significantly impact business and daily life functionality.
Because most law firms don’t offer a broad stretch of services these days, instead opting to focus on more defined and narrow practice scopes, knowledge and ability must be demonstrated well.
For law firms, credibility is often established by doing the following:
- Winning client cases.
- Featuring client testimonials on their experience with the firm.
- Developing consistent and helpful legal content.
- Engaging in social media communication.
- Communicating regularly with clients and being available when they need assistance.
Paid Online Advertising
According to Vox, in 2018, it was expected that 40 percent of the world’s advertising spending and efforts would be online; That’s a substantial number, and law firms should be sure not to ignore it. Paid online advertising consists of pay-per-click (PPC), display ads, and pay-per-impression (PPI) ads.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) - In this format, law firms will have an advertisement placed on a relevant website and pay a predetermined amount per each time a visitor clicks on the ad.
- Pay-Per-Impression (PPI) - In using this type of online advertising, law firms will pay each time their advertisement is displayed on a website.
- Display Ads - Display ads consist of banners, video, or audio advertising the firm’s services that are placed on search results or websites.
Run Email Campaigns
Email marketing can prove to be a very efficient way of growing a firm’s client base. Broken down, email campaigns are basically the act of marketing services and information to a broad current or potential client base at the same time. Once a law firm has built up a base of contacts requesting more information, they can then market themselves through regularly sent emails that seek to prompt clients to interact with and hire the firm for services.
There’s a precise method of crafting effective emails for marketing purposes. Many law firms will use services, such as Constant Contact, to assist in the process of writing emails, maintaining contact lists, and monitoring email campaign client conversion rates.
Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to getting a law firm seen by potential clients. When good SEO is practiced, law firms can boost their rankings within search results and quickly grow their client bases. Some fundamental essentials that should be focused on to optimize SEO for a law firm are:
- Keywords - Placing relevant and highly-searched keywords and terms within the site’s content is a large portion of ensuring search engines pick up on a law firm’s website.
- Internal/External Linking - The internet is all about connectivity. Search engines like to see sites linking to other websites, and also linking to relevant content within the same location - this is known as internal and external linking.
- Providing Regular Content - The importance of a website is very much based on how often and how much regular and useful content they share for consumers. Law firms should focus heavily on providing relevant, useful, and easily digestible content for client’s to use.
- CTA Placement - A call to action (CTA) is a website asking a visitor to perform an action, such as signing up for a newsletter, following a blog, or submitting contact information. CTA’s should be easily found and shared for them to be useful in SEO practices.
Maintain a Regularly Updated Blog
As mentioned previously, maintaining a blog can be an important tool for a law firm to establish and maintain their professional reputation and be seen as experts in their field. Blogs allow attorneys to discuss legal information, answer common questions, and talk about relevant cases. Well-written blog posts can be easily shared by consumers and go a long way to quickly boosting the regular traffic to a law firm’s website.
Use Social Media
The utilization of social media by companies is a practically unavoidable portion of marketing and advertising these days. Consumers view social media as an effective way to get to know and communicate with companies. Businesses and law firms have also seen that social media offers a fast method for advertising changes, services, and other pertinent company information.
Advertise in Legal Directories
Legal directories can prove a valuable tool for law firms to boost their search rankings and to be seen. Legal directories can simplify the process of being found by the right client by categorizing law firms in accordance with their areas of expertise, allowing for client reviews to be posted and read, and providing an outlet for law firms to profile themselves and their services. Most of the legal directories will require paid placement by the law firm.
While there are a lot of directories out there, some of the most used ones are:
While a lot of marketing hammers on advertising and SEO, the method of client referrals certainly hasn’t lost its effectiveness and charm within the legal community. By placing a focus on effective case handling and providing excellent customer service, law firms should have no problem in building organic referrals directly from their clients.
At the end of the day, the success of a law firm’s marketing efforts will come down to the results. To ensure a marketing campaign is succeeding in bringing in business for a law firm, results must be analyzed regularly. This can help law firms determine if changes need to be made within their marketing plan, and help ensure that money and efforts aren’t being wasted in areas that aren’t producing results. Most law firms will turn to customer relationship management (CRM) software, such as Capterra, to analyze marketing results.
With an effective marketing plan in place, law firms of all sizes can help ensure they maintain relevance within an increasingly growing and competitive space. The marketing tips and tricks for law firms mentioned above are regularly used by businesses and law firms every day to increase the results of their marketing efforts and increase business.