A large majority of the smaller Solicitor and Lawyer firms don’t get new clients and files because they aren’t actively doing business development alongside targeted marketing.
You can spend a ton of cash on legal marketing, but it’s not as much as you may think when done correctly and I’ll be covering a lot of free and paid methods to grow your firm through smart growth marketing.
When you execute any of these 26 tips and marketing strategies – targeting them at the right audience and while maintaining consistency – The business will come.
You can imitate the marketing strategies of larger firms with a much smaller budget, even with part time marketing staff.
In 2014, 84% of law firms stated that they expect to start more marketing campaigns and create more content – many haven’t and a mere 29% are lacking a proper strategy to make a significant impact on their bottom line profits.
“Twenty years ago all you needed to do was purchase a yellow page ad, and that was pretty much it.
These days, if you don’t spend time utilising online and digital marketing alongside paid search specifically, you’re not going to make it,” says Jeff Kelly, owner of his own law firm specialising in bankruptcy. “Your business will quickly dry up if you’re not marketing online.”
1: Create a marketing plan
French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery once stated that “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Without taking the time to create a plan to achieve that goal, it’s not likely to happen. Use our Free Marketing Plan Template to get the ball rolling.
2: Define the end results of your marketing.
How will you define success? The more specific, the better. Don’t say “I want more clients.” Say “I want to double my revenue in 2016” or “I want four new clients by April”. This template may also help Free Marketing Objectives Template.
3: Your plan should be ambitious.
As a lawyer, your instincts will likely lead you to create a plan that’s Safe. It won’t move you outside your comfort zone but it also won’t result in any meaningful change in your life. Challenge yourself and your marketing!
4: Start tracking website visitors
Get Google Analytics installed on your website as a priority. It details what search terms got people to your site and how long they stayed there. You can also use it to determine popular search terms to start building content around, and put the terms that relate to your practice on your website.
5: Set Up Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is extremely useful resource for website owners. You can see search queries that people are using to find your site, find errors in your site, have Google crawl your pages and much more. Most importantly, you can also receive warnings of manual actions, spam or if your site has been hacked in your webmaster tools interface.
6: Don’t waste any money on marketing that you can’t measure.
If your marketing activities can’t be measured, stop doing it. Although advertising and PR are used by many a local firm, spending £15k and not being able to directly attribute new revenue to it counts as a waste of money. Get website tracking in place. Every ad, billboard and PR piece should be directed to a specifically created page on your site (more info below).
This allows you to track exactly what revenue is coming in from which ads and can be tracked to the penny. This includes blogs and content marketing. Your analytics will show you what pages people were reading prior to making contact.
7: Build out your referral machine
Getting the most out of your current clients is one of the best source of new files, but it doesn’t happen on autopilot. The most effective Solicitors and Lawyers create referrals.
Clients that you’re already doing work for: Tell them the exact type of new work you’re looking for and ask if they can refer any to you. People don’t instinctively refer the firm they’re using and need to be prompted with precise instructions.
Contact three to five potential referral sources a week—every week, regardless of how busy you are—and arrange to meet for coffee, drinks or a meal. That works much better than reaching out only when business is slow.
8: Start writing more recommendations
Use Linkedin and take time once a week to write endorsements for people you’ve worked with and respect. Don’t wait for them to ask for one; do it on your own.
The law of reciprocity will have those people returning the favour in no time, while boosting your profile views and credibility.
9: Set aside at least 2.5% of your gross for marketing.
Anything less that this and you’re just playing “marketing”. This doesn’t include what you’re paying staff and partners. This money is Business Generating money.
10: Generate useful content and articles for your blog.
If you have a practice-related blog, write posts with information that’s truly useful to business targets. More often than not, that doesn’t include descriptions of how competent you or your firm are, but answers questions related to your niche.
Collect a series of frequently asked questions from your team and systematically start crafting answers to these questions. Your site will begin to pick up new sources of targeted traffic as people begin to search the internet with questions like these.
11: FAQ pages are a HUGE Asset for Legal Websites.
You may be a law professional but not everyone is. The legal process and the amount of different lawyers available can make any person’s head spin!
An FAQ page offer answers to commonly asked questions, but there is another benefit; you can use these pages to add a lot of rich keywords that explain what people are actually looking for as well as the technical terms.
Offering a mix of legal jargon with the terms your clients are actually using can give you more chances to get found in the search engines. Since consumers don’t always know legal speak, they don’t search for that either, especially in very specialised practice areas.
12: Turn away new business – Sometimes
People sometimes need to be convinced that their legal problem is severe enough to hire you, and it’s up to you to persuade them.
That said, turning someone away when they really don’t need a lawyer is good for business, too. It’s a good way to build trust and can also lead to referrals.
13: Work with clients who have a large number of continuing matters.
Correctly targeting clients with the most amount of continuing work allows you to sell more work to the clients with more compelling needs. This translates into a long and reliable stream of business, reducing the cost of acquisition and delivery, and demanding the ability to deliver multiple services.
14: Work on your Google+ Local Presence
Make sure your location on Google maps has be claimed and verified so that consumers can see up to date and optimised information. It is free to add your business to Google+ Local and will give you the opportunity to be found for local searches (which is a majority of the searching that is done, especially for mobile searches (upwards of 50% of search on a mobile device is said to be with local intent as announced by Google+).
There should be one Google+ Local per lawyer as well as a firm profile. Get on Google+ Local Now!
15: Utilise video in your online marketing
Many people forget or don’t realise that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Videos can also help improve conversions because of rapport with your audience. There is something much more personal about a video.
When solicitors can appear before an audience on film, people get a chance to see who they really are and are more likely to reach out than when they read web copy.
16: Guest Posting for an SEO Boost
Guest posting has recently been in the spotlight1 as being negative for link building. Used responsibly however, guest posting can be a very valuable tool in both getting relevant, high-quality traffic to your site and some good backlinks.
Remember to choose the sites you guest blog on wisely. Stick to blogs that are relevant to your practice area or the legal niche in general.
17: Twitter Specific Marketing For Solicitors & Lawyers
Twitter is another awesome source of traffic great for acquiring new clients. As of last year, Alexa ranked it as the 8th most popular website in the world. Google is also indexing Tweets in real time. Solicitors and Lawyers that leverage Twitter and learn its intricacies can benefit greatly.
18: Complete Your Profile Description with Keywords
A great way to increase the number of followers is to use keywords in your description. Determine what the best keywords are to describe your practice area and use those in your Twitter profile.
Use as much of the character limit as the interface will allow. When you do this, your profile is more likely to appear in search (both on Twitter and on the web) for relevant searches.
19: Use Hashtags i.e.: #Solicitor in your Tweets
Get used to adding in some relevant Hashtags to help categorise your tweets. It makes them more available within the search section of Twitter.
Examples of hashtags an Lawyer may use are: #Solicitor #Lawyer #law #legal #lawsuit #criminaldefense #divorcelaw #LocalSolicitor, etc.
20: Track & follow your ideal client
Follow Twitter users in your target market and potential partners who may help expand your message. Think about current or past clients, potential clients.
Also look up parters that you’ve worked with, peers and co-workers, local businesses, restaurants etc. Look up who your competition is following and being followed by, you may find some patterns to up your game.
21: Sync Your Twitter Account
Sync your account with LinkedIn and other social media platforms. By syncing your Twitter account with LinkedIn and other social media accounts you can share content on each network at the same time. This can save you quite a lot of time in the long run.
22: Google Ads – More Traffic
Google advertising is a fantastic way to draw in new, targeted customers to your online campaigns. Google Keywords Planner allows you to create a list of highly targeted and relevant keywords to add to your campaign.
It also shows you how often these terms are searched for by users. Don’t forget that each campaign needs to lead to a unique and specifically made landing page to collect leads!
23: Facebook Ads – More Traffic
Facebook ads are another great way to drive more traffic to your site. The main difference with Facebook is that simply placing an ad with Name – Rank – Serial number + Years in business is not going to work on this platform.
Content marketing is the most effective way to drive cheap and targeted traffic to your site using Facebook. This means creating articles and useful “Content” that will interest your ideal customer into reading more.
24: Landing Pages – Conversion
Any form of paid advertising must lead to either content that retargets (see next tip) or a landing page designed for conversion and lead capture. Allowing paid traffic to land on your contact us page or even worse, home page, will see your valuable revenue wasted….and quickly too.
Use paid advertising as bait and your site as the Hook. Give away some valuable free information in exchange for an email address so that you can market to them over time rather than loose them immediately.
25: Create a Re-Marketing campaign
Remarketing is a relatively new term to some and has been pushed into the mainstream by companies like Google as a feature of online display and text advertising.
Long story short, it is re-introduction of a product or service that can be delivered to users based on the specific websites, pages, or applications they have used online – Think how Amazon will follow you around the internet with adverts of products that you have recently viewed.
People do not make a decision the first time they come to your site. Remarketing allows you to stay top-of-mind and increase the chance you will get a conversion from website visitor to client.
Retargeting ads in comparison to direct paid advertising is about 1/10th of the price. Draw people in to your site with interesting content (no sales pitch), tag them, if they make contact – great, if not, use retargeting to deliver your sales pitch to them.
26: Email Marketing – Follow up
Using landing pages to generate a list of interested prospects is just half the battle. However, now that you have their email you can market to them as much as you like until they tell you to “get lost”. When used responsibly an email marketing system to generate massive profits from your lead capture efforts.
Try to provide value and educate your potential clients with content before invading their inbox with sales pitches and “when’s the best time to call“ emails. Following a Content -> Content -> Content -> Pitch -> Repeat pattern works well for many service based businesses.
- Email List Growth Engine
- Correspondence Emarketing: Using Automated Email To Convert Your Website Traffic Into Customers
For more help with your marketing you can arrange a consult with us to go over your marketing plan and more. Click here to arrange a time to talk.