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Volume XII, Number 146

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How to Market a Law Firm - 10 Strategies

As an attorney, you know better than anyone the stresses of running a successful firm, attracting clients, and delivering top-quality service. With most of your time spent helping clients, it can be difficult to find the time to market your first effectively.

In fact, in 2020, less than half of law firms had a dedicated marketing budget. This implies many firms rely heavily on referrals or invest in marketing on an “as needed” basis - neither of which are sustainable strategies.

If you want to market your law firm and keep your lead pipeline full, here’s how to do it. 

How Do You Market a Law Firm?

There is no single strategy for marketing your law firm; there are actually many different methods, tactics, and platforms. This should be great news to you, as it presents the opportunity to diversify your marketing and reach more clients than ever.

Marketing your law firm starts with a few baseline principles. Know the basics and you're well on your way to establishing a winning legal marketing strategy.

Know your audience

The first step in creating a law firm marketing plan is to hone in on your niche and know your target audience. After all, most lawyers provide specific types of services for people in a specific area or region.

If you are a family law attorney, your services will be different from those of a DUI attorney. That means you may be marketing to a very different type of audience. Take some time to think about the specific needs of that audience and how you can appeal to them with your marketing.

Pick your platforms

There’s a misconception that in order to market effectively, you need to be on every platform. That is not the case, and can in fact be a huge waste of your time and money.

Instead, you should focus on the platforms your potential clients use most and then establish a strategy that works on those particular platforms. Marketing on Instagram requires a different strategy than marketing on LinkedIn. Plus, if your clients aren’t using Instagram to find attorneys, it’s not worth it to invest too much time there.

Nurture your leads

One study found that 40% of law firms don’t respond to their contact forms at all, letting potential leads run cold with no contact. If you are going to invest in marketing, you want to make sure you are following up with your leads in a timely manner.

Beyond that, you should be nurturing your leads in order to keep your firm top of mind. Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, email marketing, or SMS marketing are a few ways to streamline follow-up and keep in close contact with potential clients. 

Keep clients happy

Marketing your law firm doesn’t stop with new client acquisition. Maintaining relationships with existing and past clients is also important in earning positive reviews, driving referrals, and keeping clients happy.

Happy clients are more likely to hire you again and to send new business to you. And positiv client reviews on Google and other directories can improve your business’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is important for attracting organic traffic.

Again, once you have the basics down, marketing your law firm becomes much easier.

10 Strategies to Market Your Law Firm

Wondering how to market your law firm? Then you’ll be happy to know there are many strategies you can use - from law firm SEO to content to paid ads. Here are a few of the best strategies to start using today. 

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are great tools for growing your following online. Many law firms see success with creating valuable content for users and engaging with their existing follower base.

The important thing to avoid is buying followers in order to grow your numbers. Doing this will only result in an irrelevant, unengaged audience that’s unlikely to hire you. It’s best to grow your following gradually, based on people who genuinely value your firm.

Social media marketing involves optimizing your online profiles, publishing interesting posts, videos, and graphics, and building a following organically. The key is to post content that provides information, insight, tips, and more to your target clients. 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to market a law firm since potential clients often flock to search engines like Google to find legal services. SEO allows you to rank for the terms your target audience is searching for. 

The basics of SEO include:

  • Conducting keyword research to identify the terms users are searching for

  • Optimizing your page content (titles, descriptions, headings, and body content) for these terms

  • Implementing technical SEO to improve pagespeed, user experience (UX), accessibility, and interactivity on your website

  • Publishing thorough, optimized legal web content

  • Localizing your website landing pages and online listing for geo-specific terms

  • Earning backlinks through outreach, content marketing, and PR

  • Monitoring site traffic with Google Analytics to improve SEO over time

Working with a legal SEO agency can help you implement all of the above and more so you see the best results from your SEO. With help, you’ll be able to increase your organic web traffic and drive more leads to your firm.

3. Email Marketing

Don’t fall into the traditional habit of only using email marketing to send a monthly newsletter. These rarely present much value, especially if it is templatized content. Instead, get creative with your email marketing!

Use email to follow up with new leads. Introduce yourself via email and include a link for them to schedule their first consultation call (tools like Calendly can automate this for you). Send confirmation messages and additional follow up messages to nurture new leads.

Publish something interesting on your blog? Push it out to your email list. Post a video on YouTube? Send it to your subscribers. Being consistent yet creative with your content will help build rapport and trust with your audience. 

4. Referral Marketing

I read a sign in a dentist office once that said, “The best compliment is a referral”. Isn’t that true? And while receiving referral business is great, it’s hard to bank on… especially if you aren’t intentional about building your network.

But you can be. It’s always fair to ask clients to send new business your way, either in person or via email. Another way to build referrals is to attend online and in person networking events with other professionals in your industry. Make a good impression and you can grow your connections that way.

This is also where using a CRM software comes in handy. You can track all your past clients’ information and see where new business is coming from. This makes it easier to follow up with your contacts. 

5. Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising methods like billboards, telemarketing, and print ads are all methods that can work for lawyers, but with mixed results. Remember, there are strict ethical guidelines lawyers have to adhere to in their marketing. It’s no longer appropriate to cold outreach to potential clients and infer about their legal issues.

However, it is worth exploring ads as an option if you have a lot of local traffic or if your target audience is likely to read newspapers and magazines. Only you know your niche best, so consider this when it comes to investing in traditional ads. 

6. Paid Ads

Paid advertising is another area of potential for law firms looking to generate leads in a shorter amount of time. However, Pay Per Click (PPC) often comes at a higher cost than organic methods.

Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Instagram Ads are all examples of PPC avenues. Here, you can “bid” on certain keywords and/or audiences in order to reach potential clients for an array of queries. With social advertising, your targeting is further informed by user interests and user behavior.

It’s best to work with a reliable PPC professional with a proven track record of results, otherwise you risk blowing your budget on low-performing ads. It takes analysis and insight to set the right targeting parameters, write effective copy, and optimize your budget to generate the best results. 

7. Events and Networking

Hosting and attending events are two ways to grow your network and reach more potential clients in your market. You can never overestimate the value of good-ol’ conversation when marketing your business.

Search online for professional events in your area or host events of your very own. Use these opportunities to build professional connections and even generate leads for your firm. At the very least, you can put your information in the hands of people who may send referral business your way. 

8. Lead Generation

Many of the marketing tactics above focus on traffic generation first, lead generation second. And while the end goal is always to drive more leads to your firm, doing this is often easier said than done. This is where genuine lead generation comes in.

Lead generation involves optimizing your campaigns to not only drum up brand visibility, but turn users into potential clients. This can be done through Conversion Rate Optimization (SEO), hiring a lead generation agency, outreach, website chat, or adding contact forms to your website.

Every campaign should have your entire marketing funnel in mind. What is the final action you want users to take? How are you going to get them there?

9. Content Marketing

Content marketing encompasses a variety of activities in marketing, from blogging to guest posting to social media content. In short, getting the right content in front of the right audience is what content marketing is all about.

Here are the most effective content marketing tactics I’ve seen work for law firms:

  • Ebooks - thought leadership content that users can subscribe to and download as a PDF

  • Infographics - Digital media embedded in posts or web pages that grab users’ attention 

  • Guest posting - Publishing on third-party platforms to earn links and traffic

  • YouTube - Publishing video content to generate organic and referral traffic

You can certainly get creative with your content and share it across a variety of platforms. The key is to publish content your audience can’t find anywhere else so they are itching to learn more from you.

10. PR

PR is an underrated area of marketing because many businesses assume it’s outdated. Not the case! PR can be used to get you published, earn backlinks, publish press releases, and much more.

We know attorneys accomplish some amazing things and have valuable insight to share. Make yourself known! Platforms like Help a Reporter Out get businesses connected with journalists looking for a hot tip or story; you just may be the right fit.

Market Your Law Firm to Success

There are so many strategies law firms can use to get in front of more people, generate more traffic, and earn more leads. But at the core of every successful marketing strategy is an understanding of what your audience wants and what compels them to hire.

No matter what platform you use, be sure to publish content that’s relevant to your audience. Start conversations, build connections, and grow your network. And beyond that, use your content to put your best foot forward and earn the trust of potential clients.

Copyright 2022 © Hennessey DigitalNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 26
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About this Author

Jason Hennessey CEO Hennessey Digital

Jason Hennessey is an internationally-recognized SEO expert, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and business executive. Since 2001, Jason has been reverse-engineering the Google algorithm as a self-taught student and practitioner of SEO and search marketing. 

As CEO of Hennessey Digital since 2015, Jason leads a team of 100+ digital marketing experts. Because of his reputation as an authority in legal SEO, he has grown a small consultancy into a $10M+ business that made the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row in 2020. A keynote speaker, webinar host, and...

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