Developing your own legal marketing strategy (and following through with it) can feel overwhelming. There are endless tools and tactics out there to try. It can be difficult to know what may work for your firm to attract potential clients.
But in 2021, your digital marketing strategy is more important than ever. Using the right tools can put you ahead of the curve and help bring in new clients. By taking steps now to develop your firm’s legal marketing plan, you can get a leg up on the competition — especially if the competition isn’t taking the issue seriously, which is more common than you think.
In fact, according to the 2020 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, 26% of law firms cited acquiring new client business as a significant challenge, but only a third actually developed a plan to deal with it. But, their loss could be your gain.
To get you started on the right path, here are five of the top tools and tactics you can use to help build your plan and bring in business ahead of the competition.
1. Law firm directories
According to the U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, nearly a third of legal consumers use online directories when searching for a lawyer online. So, it is vital that your firm has a presence in these directories.
Be sure to select directories where your potential clients are looking. FindLaw.com is visited by millions of legal consumers every month and is a good place to start. However, if your clients speak Spanish, Abogado.com can help boost your visibility in front of an important emerging market.
Once you select the directories that fit your client base, work to ensure your listing is customized with information about your firm. Add images and a brief biography to engage potential clients and be sure that this information, as well as your address and phone number, are consistent across all directories.
2. Your law firm’s website
Even 15 years ago, some firms were able to get by without a website, relying on referrals and ads in the yellow pages to drum up business. This is no longer the case. Having a custom website is essential for any small business, including law firms. It allows consumers to understand your firm and connect with you before picking up the phone or sending you a message.
Your law firm’s website should be customized to the specific needs and goals of your practice. For some attorneys who rely on referrals, having a website that acts as a simple business card can be enough, with just a few pages to highlight their areas of practice and expertise. For other attorneys in competitive practice areas like personal injury or criminal defense, you may need a more robust website with pages dedicated to every aspect of your practice to compete online.
3. Social media
Social media is not going anywhere, and more individuals rely on it every year to connect and get information. While there seems to be new social media sites and apps every day, you should focus your efforts on those sites where your consumers spend their time.
Not sure which social media sites to target? Ask some of your current clients what sites they use. You might be surprised to find that your clients use Twitter or Facebook most frequently. If you represent businesses, the majority of your clients are likely on LinkedIn looking for information. Find the places your clients go and make sure you have a presence on those sites.
4. Blog posts
Nearly every year, various people proclaim that blogs are obsolete. They declared an end to blog posts when Twitter started, saying that people wanted quick, short content. And they declared the same with the rise of Vine, TikTok, and other video-sharing sites.
The fact remains, however, that blog posts are an effective way to drive traffic to your site. With a post, you can capture the niche topics and ideas that your clients are searching for, and direct them to your website.
You don’t need to post every day or even every week, but developing a consistent plan to post content about the topics your clients care about can help you build your brand and improve your website’s performance.
5. Paid advertising
A website and blog can help to capture those clients who search online organically, but if your market is competitive or your website is fairly new, you may need to pay to get your brand in front of the right consumers.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a good way to get in front of legal consumers online. You can also pay to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, which allows you to select specific types of consumers in your area who should see your ad.
Tying these tools together
You need to pick the right mix of tools to market your firm. But no matter which tools you choose in your strategy, make sure that your voice and brand are consistent across all of them. For example, the images you use in your bios and on your site as well as your descriptions of your practice should match with each other. That way, if a consumer searches and sees you on a directory and later sees your firm on Facebook, they will recognize your brand and be more likely to connect with you.
By using the right legal marketing tools together, you can attract new business, build your brand, and set yourself up for a strong 2021.
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