With all the highly-technical and fast-paced changes in internet marketing, most lawyers are not tech-savvy enough to know how to optimize their online presence. However, it has become essential in this era for lawyers to learn how to market themselves, or at least how to obtain the tools for it. Here are some tips:
- Hire a good “search engine optimization” (SEO) expert to increase traffic to your website, to select the best search terms, to link to other sites, and to monitor the effectiveness of your SEO.
- Create a great website and make sure it is easy to navigate. If you have multiple legal specialties, then have a page on your website for each. Similarly, if you have sub-specialties then have a page for each. For example, if you practice business law then you can have a page for LLC formation, Contracts, Franchise Agreements and Corporate Loans. Use clear drop-down menus or clickable links on the home page. Consider hiring a reputable website developer.
- Hire a branding expert to establish your “brand”. Ask yourself this, “what makes me unique?” If you don’t want to hire someone, then look at several websites of other lawyers and law firms to help you figure out your own personal brand. Then design your website so that it expresses your unique style.
- Furthermore, consider adding a blog page or an article page to your website. Use this to discuss brief topics that relate to your practice, such as how much it costs to set up a corporation, or the steps involved, or changes in the law, or common myths. One of the best ways to build your reputation as a trustworthy and reliable professional is to become a credible source of information.
- Include a video of yourself to establish a rapport and trust. Look at the videos of other lawyers and determine what works best and what to avoid. A branding professional may also be able to assist with this process. Either way, use an expert videographer for a high-quality result.
- Have a testimonials or reviews page. Ask former clients to complete a brief form so that their comments can be posted to your page, but make sure that they know their content will be public, and that they agree to the posting. You can also ask clients to post reviews on Linked-In and Google. In all cases make sure that you comply with ethics rules and privacy laws.
- Social media platforms are an effective way to market yourself, especially to a specific audience. With platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, you can create targeted ads to your desired audience and generate leads/business that way too. You can also build your brand as an influential professional through what is posted on the platforms. Make sure to get familiar with the types of posts that do well on the specific platforms to get the highest reach possible.
This personal approach is a good-old fashioned way to connect with potential clients in your community.
- Determine your target market(s) and then consider how to best network within them. For example, if your practice is wills and estates then consider offering a free seminar in your neighborhood clubhouse to discuss the advantages of having a good estate plan. Have sign-in sheets that allow people to list their contact information, like name, phone number and email address.
- E-blast newsletters: Create an email distribution list of clients, friends, neighbors, and even family. Have content on your website (guides, forms, articles) that people can download if they give their email address. Then use email software or services such as MailChimp or Constant Contacts to send out a newsletter. Keep the newsletter brief and simple. For example, discuss a case you just won, your community service event, a blog with a link to your post, a recent or upcoming change in the law, or a bio on a new hire in your firm.
When someone contacts you from your website, make sure to respond immediately (or ASAP) or they will likely move on to the next lawyer. You can use an automated form response for this. For example, the form can thank the person for contacting your firm, let them know that a member of your team will be contacting them shortly, and that you look forward to speaking with them to help with the matter. Make sure you follow up, or someone from your office follows up, in person and as soon as possible. Clients with legal problems are eager to talk to someone and won’t wait for long before moving on to the next lawyer.
So why is it imperative to build your unique brand as a lawyer? Yes, your work speaks for itself, but you want to strive to be that well-rounded individual. Even after a case, you want clients to keep you in the back of their minds for potential future cases. You want to be one of their top sources for tips, updated news, and relatable information. So even if you’ve invested five years in your career, it’s never too late to develop your brand.
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