#001 – Digital Marketing – Where Should You Start?

 


Law Quill | #001 - Digital Marketing - Where Should You Start?


As a small or solo law firm owner, are you completely overwhelmed with your options regarding digital marketing? It’s challenging to know what your options are and where you should even start!

This episode of the Legal Marketing Lounge is going to look at all of your legal marketing options from paid advertising to organic traffic. Know all of your options before you make a decision which direction to start in to gain more of a digital footprint (and more clients!) for your law firm.


TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to the very first real official episode of Legal Marketing Lounge. I am super excited that you are here. And we are going to be starting to talk today about a digital marketing strategy. What is it? Why is it important? Where do you even start? Because I can pretty much guarantee that most people who are starting a law firm or if you’ve had a law firm for a little bit of time, and are either interested in digital marketing, or even if you’ve been doing digital marketing for a little bit of time, you feel overwhelmed. Am I right on that? That you just feel overwhelmed because there are just so many things, so many options to choose from regarding digital marketing strategies.

Now, before we get into all of the digital marketing strategies that are available to you. I want to talk to you first about why this is even important. Give me a hot minute to convince you why the trajectory of your law firms advertising and marketing should be spent online. Okay. The first is we’re going to be throwing some statistics your way but don’t get scared. They’re not boring. I promise they’re, they’re going to be interesting. Well, to me anyway, they’re interesting. Here we go.

The Statistics

Over a third of potential clients start an attorney search online. Now, I personally believe that this is really low. But the statistic says start their attorney search online. That means they might have already asked someone in their family or something like that before they actually went online. What’s even more shocking is the fact that 92% of people will actually trust what they read online, over their family and friends’ recommendations. So what is this?

What is this telling you, it’s telling you that if you ignore any kind of Internet Marketing, digital marketing for your law firm, you are essentially eliminating a third of all of your potential clients. That’s, again, I think, a low number, but it’s definitely a significant one. So it doesn’t get any more obvious than this, that you have to be looking towards some sort of digital marketing strategy for your law firm.

Here’s another statistic 65% of law firms spend most of their marketing budget online, that means that we’re already looking at a majority of law firms that are spending most of their marketing budget online. So if you are not spending any money, or any time or any kind of investment into a digital marketing strategy, you’re already behind other people who are working the online space to get leads, but that’s okay. That’s okay. That’s what I’m here for. We’re gonna help you out.

But just in case, you needed a little bit extra incentive to start a digital marketing strategy. Statistics show that 72% of people looking online for a lawyer only contact one lawyer in their entire search. After looking through all the websites and all of the blogs and all of the different law firms in their area. They usually only contact one. And so you want to be that one lawyer that they actually contact.

So let’s start talking about digital marketing and how you get started. Digital Marketing or online marketing, internet advertising, however you want to call it is the way that you connect with your potential clients and influence and encourage potential clients to call you and hire you for your legal services. So, digital marketing really is referring to any kind of marketing you are doing online. And that can either be organic, where you are just putting in the time and the energy on different social platforms to gain more of an influence or audience, or it can be paid advertising. So that can also be a strategy. And those two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Types of Digital Marketing

A lot of law firms work with an organic digital marketing strategy along with a paid digital marketing strategy as well. So let’s kind of break down all of the different types of digital marketing assets, you have the option to include in your digital marketing strategy, really, almost anything can be a digital marketing asset, it just has to be something that you’re using online. So a lot of people just don’t realize how many there are. So here’s a few.

Website

First and most importantly, is your website. I always say that a website is kind of like your home base. You want everyone from social media channels, from your paid advertising, from podcasts that you’re on whatever you’re doing, to come back to your website, that is like a business card on steroids. It’s got not only all of your information on it, but it has all of your accolades, your expertise, your practice areas, it’s going to offer a lot of different information for a potential client in the form of articles on a blog, it’s really probably your most important digital marketing asset.

Logos and Inforgraphics

There are other assets, though, that you can have in digital marketing that can include your logo, icons, any images or infographics, you’ve created, company photos, things like that. There’s also video content. So if you have video advertisements, or if you have a YouTube channel, these are also potential digital marketing assets, any written content that you have. So that would include like blog posts, articles, ebooks, any kind of even testimonials, or any kind of written content that you have outside of your website that you have been featured in, if you’ve been featured in Forbes magazine, or in above the law, magazine, anything like that.

Google Reviews

Also, your reviews online on Google, as well as other platforms is an excellent digital marketing asset. And obviously, social media pages. And we’ll talk a little bit more about this in a minute. But social media is not limited to just Facebook groups. It includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, it includes Tik Tok, there are a lot of lawyers right now on Tik Tok, and using that to their advantage. And now, the newest member of the social media marketplace is Clubhouse. So there are a lot of lawyers using that to their advantage as well.

Strategies

So now that you know what all of the different types of digital marketing assets may be at your disposal, let’s talk strategies. Now, I want to give a huge disclaimer right here, which is that not every single one of these strategies is going to be right for every law firm. Really, this is a very customized individual decision that has to be made by the lawyers of a law firm. So it’s important to understand that digital marketing strategies are evolving, but your law firm is evolving as well. So these are not in any particular order. So please do not interpret the order that I give these as some sort of indication that one has a better return on investment than another. So really, it’s going to depend on how you utilize all of these strategies and how you implement these strategies. But with that disclaimer said let me move forward.

Pay Per Click Advertising

The very first one is pay per click advertising. So this digital marketing strategy really covers any kind of marketing online, where you the law firm will pay for every potential client or user who clicks on an advertisement of yours. So for example, you may have heard of Google AdWords, and that is a form of pay per click advertising. It is called paid search advertising. And basically, this means that you are paying Google for real estate at the top of different searches that potential clients may look for in your specific practice areas. Another example of pay per click advertising is Facebook ads. So a lot of people are very familiar with Facebook ads. This is, again, a paid social media advertising, that is a pay per click advertising. LinkedIn has advertising as well. So anytime you are actually paying for a user to click on an ad to get to your law firm, that is a pay per click advertising, digital marketing strategy.

Now, this type of strategy can be expensive. It is my understanding that at the recording of this particular podcast, the Google AdWords that we’re most expensive included words like lawyer, Attorney, law, law firm, and other related words. So you may not be in a position to actually be able to launch a Google AdWords campaign. But again, I don’t know your situation, I would highly suggest that you at least investigate this as a potential digital marketing strategy. If you are at the point that you are looking to invest some financial resources behind your strategy.

Paid Search Advertising

There’s another way, however, that you can pay for advertising. And that is paid search advertising. So all of the different search engines we all are familiar with Google, but Bing and Yahoo also allow you to run text ads on their search engine results pages. Now, you may hear me refer to search engine results pages as SERPs. It’s S-E-R-P-S. So if you ever see that, you know that that acronym indicates what is happening when someone searches for a particular keyword or phrase, the results that come up is the search engine result paid. So you can pay to have advertising and text ads on those specific search pages. So paid search advertising on search engines is a very good way to target potential customers who are looking for your legal services.

However, again, this is oftentimes expensive in the legal universe, on the search engine pages, because, frankly, they know that lawyers that have very large law firms are willing to spend a lot of money on advertising. So really, that will be a decision up to you whether or not you are at the point where you want to invest in any kind of pay per click, or paid search advertising.

Search Engine Optimization

So now, let’s talk about search engine optimization, you will hear me refer to this as SEO. And what this is, is how you can take your own content that you created organically, and have it show up at the top of Google and other search engines. So if you don’t want to pay to show up in the SERPs in the results pages on Google, you can use SEO, which is search engine optimization to try to rank your articles on your website or blog posts or your entire website organically and organically means that Google thinks that what you are producing regarding content is so valuable that it deserves to be on that first page of Google, so you don’t pay directly for every click.

But if you are going to try to get a page to rank on the top of Google, it will take quite a bit of time, and effort. And perhaps you may even be paying a content writer to write that content for you. Someone who is already experienced in finding SEO keywords, and maximizing your particular blog article to have the results that Google bots want to see when they search your particular article on your website to help you get to the top of the Google search engines. So you may not be paying directly for the advertising. But there are some costs that could be involved regarding attempting to try and rank pages or blog posts of your website organically.

So how are you doing with all of this learning? It’s a lot. I know it’s a lot but really the entire point of this episode is to impart how important a digital marketing strategy is, to every single law firm, really, no matter how big or how small, you can have a digital marketing strategy. So in light of that, let’s move on to some that are not paid.

Social Media Marketing

So these are going to be digital marketing strategies that are not necessarily ones that you need to pay for. And one of the biggest ones is through social media marketing. So just like SEO, social media marketing is a way for you to organically create traffic to go back to your website, using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, tik tok, Instagram, and, and now even clubhouse. And all of those social media platforms can help you market your business.

So again, just like SEO, where you are organically trying to rank an article on Google, you are now using these social media platforms to market your business on social media, it does take a considerable amount of time and effort. And frankly, every one of these platforms has their own unique characteristics and nuances that work for that specific platform. Every one of these social media platforms has a different algorithm. So some things will work on some of them, and they won’t work on others. And frankly, those algorithms are changing all the time anyway.

So your best strategy regarding social media marketing, is to post content that is valuable, and often, and no matter what kind of algorithm exists on any of them, you will still be in the best position. Because at the end of the day, all of the algorithms truly want to reward people who are posting content that other people want to see. So while he can take a lot more time and effort, it can deliver, obviously less expensive results.

And in the end, that is where a lot of quality business relationships are made. At the end of the day, people do business with people, not brands, or logos or buildings, they do business with people. And you will find that your potential clients are on these social media platforms, and you can engage with them, and provide them a lot of value there and connect with them as a person.

In LinkedIn, for example, you may not find your potential clients there. But you will find other lawyers around the entire country that may set up a network for referrals for you. Again, it’s connecting people together. So that is really how social media really shines regarding a digital marketing strategy.

The next and I feel like the very, very most important piece of a digital marketing strategy puzzle relates to content marketing. So I just talked to you about social media, and the fact that you need to produce good content and valuable and interesting content on social media. But what in the heck do you even talk about? How do you even think of ideas and clever things to visit with your potential clients about every day on social media? How do you think of topics that would be of interest to them, and provide them information or answers to some of their questions?

The best way to do this is to start with a foundational piece of content. In most cases, that foundational piece of content is a blog post on your website, having a long-form piece of content, which really means over 1000 words, and really the more the more the merrier. Because Google has a tendency to reward longer blog posts, posts that have video posts that have infographics.

At the end of the day, Google’s job is to serve up whatever content is the best for the people that are searching for that keyword. Okay. So what does that mean for you? That means that you need to put content on your website, that then you can disseminate throughout all of social media and have people come back to your website. First of all, this gives you something to talk about on social media. So if you’re having a blog post once a week or twice a week, you can take that blog post and cut it up a couple different ways for little blurbs that you can put on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

And then you can also put that content into an email to send to your email list, you can also make a little video of it to put at the top of the post or even make a small short video for a YouTube channel, you can create voice snippets, that you can then also promote throughout all of social media, having a foundational piece of content is, frankly, the beginning point of almost all organic digital marketing strategies.

In fact, I’ll take this a little bit further, you can take the content that you write on your website, and put it together to make an E book, you can take it and go over to Canva, which is a free tool and create infographics. Basically, at the end of the day, once you have a foundational piece of content on your website, you can build brand awareness in tons of different places throughout the internet. And have everyone coming back to home base, which is your website. Now, the way you actually do your content marketing on your website is extremely important.

And coming up, I’m going to have a seven-part series that is going to describe exactly how to find content to talk about how to write that content, how to keyword that content, and then how to promote that content throughout all of social media to get more organic traffic back to your website.

Bounce Rate

Now, I want to talk for just a short minute about why it is so important to have people constantly coming back to your website. What is the point of that? I promise you it is not a vanity metric. When you see on Google, that the number of people coming to your website is increasing. The Google bots are also taking note of that. And then they interpret that to mean that this law firm website has fantastic content on it that more and more and more people are coming to visit every single month. So it is important in the sense that it provides a bit of a clue to Google, that what you are doing on your website is valuable to the people that are ending up on your website, which is why if you have even more content on your website, they will stay longer on your website.

That is another bit of a metric that Google uses. It’s called a bounce rate. And what that is, is it tells Google how long people stay on your website before they bounce off. So if you have a low bounce rate, that tells Google that people are coming to your website, and they are staying to read your content not only just on that page, but then they’re clicking through to other pages to find out more information. What this does is it lifts the entire law firm website higher in the Google rankings, because you are telling Google that what you’re providing to potential clients is valuable enough that they are staying for a long period of time to actually listen to it.

So again, content marketing is probably the largest piece of the puzzle in your digital marketing strategy. There are some other digital marketing strategies that you can still use also that are not paid marketing strategies.

One of these is email marketing. So email marketing is probably the oldest form of online marketing. But that doesn’t mean that it’s outdated. In fact, it is going strong. Most digital marketers actually use email marketing in some sort of a way to connect with their potential customers or clients. So how can you use email marketing as a law firm? First of all, and we will talk about this in other episodes, but you should have a very easy way for people that come to your website to contact you and leave you a message through email. So while you want to have your phone number on the website so that they can call immediately. You want to be able to capture their email as well. This means that if they don’t turn into a client Immediately, you have their contact information. So you can send them out an email once a week, once every two weeks regarding new areas of law that you may be practicing new legal developments in the area of law that you already practicing, perhaps certain accolades or awards that your law firm has received, you can use your email marketing in a lot of ways.

And frankly, other than the cost that it takes to have a monthly fee with an email service provider, which is also abbreviated as ESP. Other than that monthly fee, there’s really no additional cost regarding email marketing. So at the end of the day, digital marketing is really something that every single law firm should be utilizing in order to gain additional clients to their law firm getting started, however, is another story. Where do you start? So the truth of the matter is, any one of these is pretty easy to get started.

However, starting with all of them at once, is very overwhelming, and can get very expensive in terms of either time, or money, or maybe even both. So it’s very important to sit down and think about what your goals are. If you are a very small law firm, that, frankly, is bootstrapping and starting out, perhaps it’s not the best use of your finances to go straight into pay per click, or advertising on Google, you want to get some brand recognition for your law firm, and the best way to really do that is through organic growth on LinkedIn, and Facebook and other social media platforms. So really, at the end of the day, it’s going to be very specific regarding your particular needs for your law firm. So it depends on how much time you want to spend.

But the truth of the matter is, it’s kind of like anything in life, right? The more time you spend on something, or frankly, the more money you spend, the better rate of return you will get. But that said, I know what you’re thinking right now, this isn’t helping me, I don’t know exactly where to start. So let me help you make that decision. And again, everyone will have a different comfort level, either with the time that they can spend or their finances.

Which Digital Marketing Strategy is Right for You?

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself, as you start to consider which digital marketing strategy you should start with first for your law firm.

The first question is, how much do you need to make? When you get right down to it? The goal of your digital marketing strategy should be to get clients, right, that is your end goal. So at the end of the day, how much do you need to make right now, if it is too cost prohibitive for you to spend money on pay per click, then you need to think about how to get conversions of potential clients into actual clients without spending that income. So with that in mind, you need to first determine what your budget is, and how much revenue if any, you want to spend on actual advertising. If you are not in a place to be able to spend a great deal on advertising. 

The next question you need to ask yourself is Who are you marketing to? Who is your client? Are you an estate planning attorney? Are you a bankruptcy attorney? Are you a personal injury attorney, criminal attorney, all of these types of lawyers have different clients. And as a result, the digital marketing strategies can be different. Although I will tell you as a small footnote here, that there are attorneys that are crushing it on Tik Tok, and on Facebook and on clubhouse now and on Instagram, in areas of law that would traditionally be seen as frankly boring, but they are crushing it in these areas because they are approaching these social media platforms with just a completely different approach and marketing tactic. So at that point, how is that happening? Well, it’s because they’re ending up connecting with their potential clients as a person and again, remember people do business with people on these platforms. They are also finding out exactly the persona of their potential clients, and they are meeting their clients where they hang out, which is on Instagram, on clubhouse on Facebook, on LinkedIn. So doing a little bit of research to figure out who your client actually is, can really help you make a decision regarding where you want to begin with your digital marketing strategy.

So with that said, I hope that you have started to consider all of your different options regarding your own digital marketing strategy for your own law firm. And we are going to go in depth on all of these. And it is my absolute goal to demystify, SEO, and demystify digital marketing, both paid and organic, so that you can be successful with your law firm. And every single one of these episodes is really going to dive deep. And and here’s the thing, I’m going to give you practical advice, boots on the ground rubber hits the road kind of stuff, so that you can actually take the things that I’m talking about the tips, the tools, the different strategies that I talked about, and actually implement them for your own law firm so that you can get more clients and more money, right. That’s what this is all about at the end of the day.

So thank you so much for being part of this very first official episode. And I just can’t even express how excited I am for everything that is to come. So if you don’t want to miss out on it, you’ve got to hit that subscribe button, right. I know you’re going right now to do it, aren’t you? You’re gonna
do it. I know you are!