A lawyer’s primary purposes are to ensure that laws are upheld and clients’ rights are protected. But it’s tough to accomplish those goals if your law firm can’t remain in business. You need a steady flow of new clients to keep the doors open and grow your business, which means you need to market your services.
Making marketing an afterthought can be dangerous in the legal industry. It’s simply too competitive and important to ignore. It’s also not something you want to waste resources on and not get the results you want and need. Here’s why your firm needs to make legal marketing one of its priorities and several questions it should be asking about its current marketing strategy.
The Importance of Effective Law Firm Marketing
Every business, regardless of industry, needs some type of marketing plan. While it’s easy to overlook marketing when you’re focused on managing your busy law practice, the reality is your business won’t be busy for long if you don’t have an effective strategy. Legal marketing has become a vital aspect of law firm success for several reasons:
Connects You With Prospective Clients
A legal website is often the first introduction a prospective client has to your business. They might arrive via a web search, social media link, or some other online source, such as a referral. But, when they do arrive on your site, what they discover in the first few seconds is vital. Ideally, they’ll experience a well-organized and engaging site that provides some answers and encouragement to move forward with contacting your firm.
5 Questions Lawyers Must Ask Themselves About Their Current Marketing Strategy
It’s highly unlikely any law firm is going to achieve success without a robust digital marketing strategy. According to one consumer survey, 97% of people use an online search to find the services they need. Whether it be a restaurant for tonight’s dinner, a local locksmith, or a skilled DUI lawyer, the internet is what connects these clients with businesses that can fulfill their needs.
But not every digital marketing strategy is the same. If yours isn’t up to par or better than your competitors, you won’t get the results you want and need. To ensure the best possible results, here are five questions lawyers must ask themselves about their current digital marketing strategies.
- Is our law firm’s website up-to-date and an effective lead generator?
One of the first questions you’ll want to ask yourself is about the effectiveness of your legal website. People often make a judgment about a business within seconds of landing on a website. If your law firm’s website is outdated or doesn’t convey the right message to visitors, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get the results you need.
Website development has evolved substantially over the past several years. Consumers can tell an outdated website immediately and will judge you for it. They will also judge your law firm harshly if your website is slow, not secure, hard to navigate, or has unprofessional photos.
One of your website’s primary roles should be to generate leads for your business. After all, without new clients, your firm will eventually be in trouble. If it’s not doing this, it’s time to make some changes.
- Are we targeting our marketing efforts to reach the right audience?
Who are the people most likely to need your law firm’s services? Where do they live? What are their ages and gender? What type of lives are they typically leading? Where do they spend their time online?
Knowing the answers to these questions is vital to a strong and successful legal marketing plan. Whether you are focusing on organic traffic or paid ads, you must know who your target audience is first. This information will guide your choices relative to which keyword phrases you will target and the type of content you decide to create.
For example, if you’re an estate planning attorney, you know that everyone could benefit from your services. But the people most likely to search you out are in an older demographic. Once you clearly identify your target audience, you can also choose the best channels for reaching those potential clients.
- Do we need more compelling content to engage and attract clients?
If you want your law firm’s digital marketing efforts to be a success, your online content must be a priority. Posting a compelling “About Us” page and detailed practice area pages is an excellent start. But your efforts need to go even further.
You need content to fuel your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, which is what will help you achieve better website rankings. Ongoing content is also what helps your law firm engage visitors and build credibility and trust as a skilled and experienced provider of specific legal services.
You can post different types of legal content regularly, such as blog posts, videos, and ebooks. As visitors read or consume these items, they will form a stronger connection with your brand and become more likely to hire your firm.
- Are our marketing practices violating any attorney ethics rules?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules when it comes to how you can and should market your law firm. The American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct is one example, and some rules vary from state to state.
While a client isn’t likely to file a complaint about your law firm’s marketing practices, a competing firm might. And the last thing you want is to be the subject of a disciplinary investigation or face sanctions.
So, how can you avoid violating any attorney ethics rules with your marketing practices? Here are several guidelines:
- Avoid any false or misleading information, such as claiming you practice in a larger geographic area than you do.
- Avoid using copyrighted images in your marketing materials without permission.
- Avoid making direct comparison statements between your firm and others, such as claiming your firm is the “best.”
- Avoid promising a guaranteed case outcome, such as “We’ll get your charges dropped.”
The best way to avoid these potential issues is to work with an experienced legal marketing agency that understands these rules.
- How are we defining and tracking law firm marketing success?
Your law firm and its digital marketing partners should have established some key performance indicators (KPIs) to track its success and inform ongoing business decisions. Without these, your entire program is simply guesswork, and you may end up wasting resources on strategies that aren’t providing a positive return on your investment (ROI).
Your KPIs should align with your business’s strategic objectives. Some examples of marketing KPIs include organic traffic, cost per lead, social media traffic, conversion rates, and many more.
Each time to review your marketing results, it’s important to understand whether you are getting closer to your goals or further away from them. Regular measurements are essential so you can view trends in the KPIs that give clues about items you may need to address.
One of the biggest mistakes law firms make is not taking action on valuable insight. Change isn’t always comfortable, but the sooner you take action to correct a bottleneck or seize on a new opportunity, the quicker your firm will be able to enjoy the benefits of improved business results.
Are You Working With the Right Legal Marketing Agency?
Ok, that’s one more question. But it’s a critical one. Choosing the right legal marketing agency can make a significant difference in your marketing strategy’s outcome. At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we understand how competitive the legal industry is and focus our efforts on helping our clients get found and chosen by clients who need their services the most.
Whether your firm is large or small, new or established, we can help you create a winning online presence that produces results. Our approach is 100% customized, meaning we only recommend the services you need. Give us a call at (800) 649-1764 or reach out to us online to schedule a free initial consultation.