If you started your own law firm because you wanted to be your own boss, you were likely attracted to the flexibility and freedom that it can offer. Sure, you may be able to choose your practice areas and hours to some extent, but what about the business aspects of running a law practice?
Few attorneys went to work in this industry with a mind towards sales and marketing, for example. But it is going to be tough to practice law and grow your business if you don’t have any clients. Here is why your law firm should make marketing a priority and how it can create the most impactful legal marketing team.
Why You Need to Market Your Legal Services
The dream that clients will flock to your doorstep once you hang out your shingle may be an attractive incentive for many lawyer entrepreneurs. But the reality is often something much different. In fact, the competition in the legal space is fierce, and consumers have more choices than ever. In 2021, there were over 1.3 million licensed attorneys in the U.S. alone.
How do people decide which attorney or law firm to hire when they have a legal issue? Most turn to online resources for help. According to Google, 96% of people that need legal advice turn to a search engine. FindLaw reports that 74% of prospects that begin an online search for legal services end up contacting a law office about those services, and 87% of those people hire an attorney.
Most consumers don’t have a specific law firm or attorney in mind when they begin their search. In other words, their searches are more generic or unbranded. They might consist of phrases like “divorce attorney near me” or “beat a DUI in Alabama.”
Potential clients are looking for answers to questions about their situation and assurances that your firm has the knowledge and experience to address their issues. Getting found online by potential clients during this initial search process is vital to your law firm’s success.
If your digital marketing efforts can place your firm’s name, website, and content in front of these clients at the right time, it can transform your business. This is where your legal marketing dream team comes into play.
What Makes a Winning Legal Marketing Team?
The business of law is largely built on reputation and relationships. Your digital marketing efforts should be focused on establishing a strong online reputation for your law firm as well as building lasting relationships with potential, current, and past clients. To effectively market your law firm, you need access to resources. These consist of time, money, and the right people.
According to a 2019 ABA survey, just 47% of law firms surveyed have any type of marketing budget. If you have time constraints, you may need to funnel more financial resources into your marketing efforts. If you are short on cash, your law firm might invest more of its in-house time in its marketing efforts.
Some of the things that make up a winning legal marketing team include:
Legal Industry Knowledge and Experience
The team that creates and advances your law firm’s digital marketing strategies must have legal industry experience. They do not have to be attorneys, but they must understand your audience’s pain points, the attorney-client relationship, the common sales process, and possible objections.
In the legal industry, you are not selling a product, but instead, your experience, reputation, and the peace of mind your services offer. Being able to create a mix of effectively telling your firm’s story, addressing client’s concerns, and staying within the guidelines outlined by the ABA and your State Bar are vital considerations for your digital marketing team.
Mastery of Digital Channels
Worldwide, businesses now spend more than half of their marketing dollars on digital channels. The argument could be made that they should allocate even more considering the amount of time consumers now spend using digital devices to connect with brands.
But digital marketing is complicated. Your legal marketing team needs to have expertise in a variety of different disciplines:
- Conversion Funnels– You can guide your law firm’s potential clients through the optimized conversion funnel your marketing team creates.
- Website Development – Your law firm’s website is the main online gateway to your clients. You need a web development and design expert that will ensure your website is fast, mobile-friendly, attractive, easy to navigate, optimized, and useful.
- SEO– Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to get your law firm to rank higher in Google’s organic search results, and you need local SEO to show up in map search results.
- Paid Marketing– With pay-per-click (PPC), display ads, and social media ads, your firm can create laser-targeted scalable campaigns to reach certain audiences.
- Email Marketing– Creating and using an email list to deliver useful information to current and potential clients is a valuable way to market your business.
- Content Marketing– Your legal marketing team should understand how to use blog posts, videos, and other online content to build relationships and deliver value to your potential clients.
- Social Media– Over one million new users join social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram daily. More than half of these users turn to social platforms to research everything from pizza parlors to DUI attorneys.
These are just the core disciplines, but digital marketing is constantly changing. If your legal marketing team isn’t experienced with these channels, it will not be able to effectively market your law firm.
Access to Real Marketing Data
Most law firms have limited resources devoted to marketing. You need to make sure your marketing spend is as efficient as possible. And you can do this by leveraging data.
Real-world data is one of the secrets to success in marketing. An experienced team will carefully examine and test what is working on your website as well as use their industry-based knowledge to guide your firm’s growth.
Creating Your Legal Marketing Dream Team
Not too long ago, a single person could handle the bulk of your law firm’s marketing efforts. But that has changed with the complexity of online marketing. A jack-of-all-trades is tough to find these days. To run a formidable in-house marketing team, your firm will need to fill some critical roles such as Marketing Manager, Social Media Manager, Web Developer, SEO and Analytics Expert, Content Writer, and Paid Ads Specialist – just to name a few.
Staffing in-house can be time-consuming, and any turnover in these areas can bring your marketing efforts to an unwelcome halt. Many law firms opt to outsource some or all marketing activities to digital marketing agencies. To remain competitive, the best of these agencies work with a variety of clients. This gives them exposure to new technologies and innovative tactics that can bring an outsider’s perspective to a situation and identify opportunities to drive results.
Filling the Gaps in Your Legal Marketing Dream Team
Not every law firm has the resources or capabilities to put together this ideal dream team. If you would rather focus on serving the needs of your clients than digital marketing, there are talented agencies available that can help fill the gaps with the marketing talent you need.
At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, our team of talented and dedicated internet marketing professionals has over 40 years of combined experience helping businesses like yours stand out from their competitors through a comprehensive online marketing strategy. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.