10 Steps to Establishing a Winning Law Firm Marketing Plan
Regardless of how people search for a lawyer, the majority of clients want to know the following about a law firm before they choose to hire:
77% want to know the law firm’s credentials
72% want to know the types of cases they handle
70% want to understand the legal process and what to expect
66% want an estimate of the total cost for hiring a lawyer
These stats indicate that today’s clients have pretty high standards when it comes to hiring a law firm.
With this in mind, it’s becoming increasingly important for firms to have a rock-solid marketing strategy that puts them ahead of their competitors.
Question is, what does it take to create a winning law firm marketing plan from start to finish?
Content marketing for law firms: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/how-to-develop-content-marketing-strategy-law-firm
It’s Time to Brainstorm Your Law Firm Marketing Plan.
Truth is, there are many law firm marketing strategies you can use to grow your traffic and attract more clients.
But the success of these strategies depends on you having an effective game plan based on your unique business and target audience.
How Well Do You Know Your Business?
Before you dive into any marketing “hacks”, you’ll need to brainstorm a plan that will work best for your business model.
To brainstorm this process, begin with asking yourself these questions:
What types of legal services do I offer and why?
What geographic areas do I serve?
What am I trying to accomplish with my marketing?
How will I measure marketing success?
If you don’t have answers to these questions yet, that’s okay.
By following the process below, you’ll be able to uncover what makes your audience tick, what makes your law firm stand out, and which platforms you should use to get noticed by potential clients.
How Well Do You Know Your Audience?
The other objective in brainstorming your marketing plan is to determine what types of clients you want to reach. This is where you dig into the pain points your audience is facing and what their goals are in hiring a law firm.
You might be able to answer these questions yourself, or you can dive deeper by asking your audience directly (via email, surveys, etc.):
What types of clients am I trying to reach
Where do my potential clients go to find law firms like mine?
What solutions have my potential clients tried already?
What is their #1 goal in hiring a law firm?
What terms are my potential clients using to search for law firms online?
What kind of experience do users expect in working with me?
The better you can answer these questions, the easier it will be to establish a marketing plan that’s based on what your audience wants, how they’re searching, and what expectations they have for working with your firm.
1. Establish a Brand Identity
The process of understanding your business and understanding your audience serves to help you cultivate a strong brand identity that resonates with your ideal clients. This brand identity will help you stand out from the competition and build trust with potential clients.
Whether you’ve been in business for years or are just getting started, it’s never too early to establish a strong brand identity. This identity essentially consists of:
Your company values
Your law firm mission statement
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
An Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA)
USP & ICA
Your law firm’s USP is a statement that distinguishes your firm apart from what other law firms in your space offer.
For example, you may be a personal injury law firm, but your USP addresses the types of services you offer, how you offer them, who your audience is, and how you help them.
Knowing your USP will help you determine what makes your firm unique so you can incorporate this messaging into all of your marketing campaigns.
At the same time, an ICA is a description of who your ideal client is. This goes beyond demographics to explain what your prospective clients are searching for, struggling with, and hoping to accomplish in hiring you.
You can craft an ICA and USP statement to reference internally (with your team) and then apply this messaging to all of your marketing. Doing so will make your marketing even stronger and more likely to convert users into paying clients.
2. Dive Into Website Design
If the former section seemed dense, it’s because building a brand identity sets the foundation for your entire marketing plan. This should happen before you ever think about building or revamping your website.
Once you’ve established your brand identity, you can dive into website design. You’ll already have a better idea of what your prospective clients want and what kind of experience they are looking for when visiting your website.
What Makes a Great Law Firm Website?
Website optimization for lawyers consists of a few key elements – ranging from the look of your website to the “bones” that help set you up for marketing success. In creating or redesigning your website, know that your website should:
Be designed with your ideal client in mind
Accurately describe the services you offer
Give users an glance into how you work and what they can expect from hiring you
Be optimized for organic search (see Step 3)
Have a quick load time and great user experience
Include website security to maintain uptime
Our recommendation is to hire a professional website designer to ensure your website is optimized from the inside out. This sets you up for the best ROI and ensures your site is built to last.
3. Implement Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is one of the best marketing strategies for law firms due to the fact that most potential clients start their lawyer search via Google. SEO works to help law firms rank higher in organic search and drive more traffic (and leads) to their websites.
You’ll need a solid SEO action plan in order to optimize your site for the right users and the right search terms. This process primarily involves:
Keyword research – to identify the search terms your clients are using to find law firms like yours
On-page SEO – to optimize your website for these focus keywords
Local SEO – to optimize your business to attract clients in your service area
Technical SEO – to ensure your website is indexable by search engines, user-friendly, and protected against security threats
Off-page SEO – to attract authority-boosting backlinks from other websites
Optimizing Your Website for Users & Google
The key with law firm SEO is to not only focus on pleasing the Google gods but to optimize your website with your target audience in mind. This involves creating content that effectively communicates your brand USP AND target the specific search terms your audience is using.
Beyond on-page SEO, backlinks for lawyer websites serve to boost your site’s authority and drive more traffic. Some of the best ways to attract backlinks is to submit your business information to reputable directories, publish guest posts on high-authority sites, and create valuable content assets (like ebooks) to drive links organically.
4. Get Started with Local SEO
Local SEO is a specific type of SEO that involves optimizing your business for local, organic traffic. If you’ve ever done a search for, say, “Italian restaurants near me”, then you have seen the localized search results.
For law firms, local SEO consists of optimizing your Google My Business listing and online directories to attract localized traffic. It also involves using geo-specific keywords (like “Seattle PI lawyer”) on your website to attract clients in your area.
Local SEO best practices for law firms include:
Creating and optimizing your Google My Business profile
Submitting your information to local business directories
Optimizing your website for localized keywords
Attracting backlinks from websites in your service area
Again, it may be best to work with an expert to ensure your law firm is implementing local SEO correctly. A local SEO specialist or agency will help you identify the right keywords and attract clients in your area.
5. Run Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing is an inorganic marketing method that involves running paid ads to acquire more traffic and clients.
Many law firms use PPC to generate more leads in a shorter period of time compared to organic methods like SEO and social media marketing. However, PPC can often come at a higher cost per lead and requires precise targeting to make the most of your ad budget.
Google Ads is the most popular PPC platform for law firms due to most users searching for lawyers in Google search. These ads can help your law firm appear above the organic search results, giving your business a bit of an edge ahead of other firms that are only using organic methods.
The key to running successful Google Ads is to target the right keywords and the right audience. This may require hiring a PPC expert to run data-driven campaigns, optimize your ads, and generate the best results possible.
When used with SEO, PPC is a smart component of a successful law firm marketing plan. With both, you’re able to generate organic traffic as well as inorganic leads to keep your schedule full of new clients.
6. Grow with Email Marketing
Does your law firm utilize email marketing? If not, it may be time to add email to your law firm marketing plan.
Email marketing involves growing your list, nurturing subscribers, and turning website visitors into new clients. There are a few steps to doing this effectively:
Optimize your website and social media platforms to draw in new users
Create content assets users can opt into to join your email list
Run targeted email campaigns to nurture your list
Give subscribers multiple opportunities to learn more about your firm and hire you
Follow up with new leads via email to get them on a call
Retain and support existing clients with quality email content
Generate positive reviews by following up with past clients
Email marketing tools like MailChimp and ConvertKit make sending marketing emails easy. Simply sign up, create contact forms, write your campaigns, track results, and land more clients from your list.
7. Take Advantage of Social Media Marketing
Social media is one area of marketing that law firms know most about but few do it right. Most often, we see lawyers publishing yawn-worthy content when they should be creating value-packed content that appeals to their target audience.
Again, this is where knowing your USP and ICA come in handy. With this messaging in mind, you can create social media content your unique audience will love.
Some of the best social media platforms for law firms include:
Facebook (organic and paid)
LinkedIn (organic and paid)
Social blogs (like Medium.com)
8. Brush Up on Conversion Optimization
It’s one thing to generate traffic and another thing to turn that traffic into clients. This is where conversion optimization comes in.
Conversion optimization involves giving users numerous and obvious opportunities to opt into your content, subscribe for more information, contact you, or otherwise learn more about your firm. Concise calls-to-action (CTAs) can help you turn passive visitors into new leads.
Contact Forms and Call Tracking
For most law firms, conversion optimization involves website contact forms and call tracking. Your website should have multiple forms where users can opt into more information, plus trackable phone numbers to see where your new leads are coming from.
Also, rather than a generic “Contact Us” posted on your website, you can get more creative with your CTAs. Here are some ideas:
“Subscribe to our newsletter”
“Download the free ebook”
“Access our free resource guide”
“Schedule your 30-minute consultation”
“Speak to an attorney”
“Send me more information”
Look at your website and social media accounts to see if you’re giving users ample opportunities to reach out to your firm.
9. Create a Lead Follow-Up System
Once you’ve collected a user’s information – via a contact form, phone call, etc. – you need a system to follow up with them as a potential lead. This is where all of your marketing efforts come together, because this is the point that can make or break the sale.
Many law firms are casual about lead follow-up and, as a result, let potential clients fall through the cracks. We want to be sure you are generating as many viable leads as possible, so follow-up is absolutely essential.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like Salesforce, HubSpot or CASEpeer allow you to collect user information, automate follow-up, send legal documents, and more. We highly recommend subscribing to one of these (or similar) tools to fill any gaps in your lead follow-up process.
For example, a solid lead follow-up system might look something like this:
A visitor navigates to a key landing page on your website
The users fills out a contact form asking for more information
Your CRM tool collects this information in your database for easy access
This tool also sends a follow-up email, automatically, to let the user schedule a call
Once your consultation has ended, you can use your CRM to send a contract or any other documents
Having this software on-hand makes it so much easier to follow up with potential and new clients so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any new business.
10. Track Analytics & Results
Finally, your law firm marketing plan must include some measurement of the results you’ve generated from your campaigns. After all, without data and analytics, how do you know if your marketing is actually working?
The main tool you should be using to track results is Google Analytics. This is a website analytics tool that tracks where your traffic is coming from, how users are navigating your site, and whether users are completing the “Goals” (conversion points) you’ve implemented on your website.
At the same time, most social media platforms and PPC ads accounts have their own version of analytics. Here you can see engagement metrics, conversion rates, number of clicks, cost per click, and more to assess the success of your campaigns.
Many marketing agencies track these results for you, even going as far as to provide a detailed report that analyzes the data. With this analysis, you can determine ROI and decide how best to spend your marketing dollars.
Do You Have a Legal Marketing Plan?
Chances are you know of a few law firm marketing tactics to drive traffic and leads. But are all of these tactics working together effectively as a cohesive marketing strategy? If not, it’s time to outline your marketing plan from start to finish.
Above, we’ve covered every area of marketing you should consider in creating an effective game plan. From SEO to social media to web design, you’ll have everything you need to drive traffic, turn that traffic into leads, and close new clients.