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As the legal industry becomes more competitive, small law firms need to develop clear marketing plans that help them build a solid brand, reconnect with past and potential clients, and reach new leads.
Solo law firm digital marketing is unique in that individual attorneys can have a more challenging time making a name for themselves than firms with many attorneys. It can be more of a challenge to network and highlight legal skills and practice areas clients need. Individual lawyers typically have more responsibility within a small firm, and the marketing budget may be smaller. However, with a well-developed and ever-evolving digital marketing strategy, any solo law firm can increase its clientele and drive revenue.
Why Do Lawyers Need Digital Marketing?
While word-of-mouth referrals are still helpful to many attorneys, the most successful law firms recognize the importance of utilizing the internet to its fullest and developing a solid digital marketing strategy.
If you have not already started thinking about your firm’s digital marketing strategy, it is time. The following statistics come from the 2019 Legal Trends Report and discuss the perspective of legal clients:
- Forty-five percent of consumers who have experienced a legal issue agree it is challenging to find the right attorney.
- The majority of consumers want to know about a lawyer’s experience, the types of cases they handle, an outline of the legal process, and an estimate of the total cost for their case.
When you consider your digital marketing strategy, you can answer those questions before a client even knows they have them. You can convince potential clients that not only are you the right lawyer for their situation.
SEO Tips and Best Practices for Solo Law Firms
SEO, or search engine optimization, is essential to ensure you have an active and recognizable presence online. While SEO best practices are constantly evolving to incorporate user demands, some techniques are universal. If you are looking to improve your website’s SEO, consider the following tips.
Remember the Client
Taking a client-centered approach to your firm’s marketing strategy is crucial. You need to put the client experience first. From the moment a potential client becomes aware of your services to when they decide to hire you, their journey needs to be as smoother as possible. If they have difficulty navigating around your site, can not find the information they are looking for, or do not know how to get ahold of you, that potential client is likely to go somewhere else.
Outsource As Needed
Quality lawyers are experts in their fields. They stay current with legislative changes, balance heavy caseloads, and provide consistent legal representation. Most quality lawyers, however, are not also marketing specialists. It is okay to outsource your marketing goals. Companies that specialize in SEO for law firms understand how you can make the most of your website and attract the right clients to your firm. When you work with marketing specialists, you could have a dedicated marketing consultant, SEO specialist, web designer, and more.
Write Great Content
Your website needs to not only look great but be engaging and easily readable. Whether you write your own copy or hire a professional to write for your website, the best practices are universal.
Identify your target audience. You know you are targeting clients, potential clients, and people who could refer you to potential clients. What do those people what to see? What information will they benefit from having? When you keep your reader in mind while producing content, your content is bound to be more popular.
It is also important to write in a clear and concise manner. While you and your network may understand legal jargon, sometimes called “legalese,” it is unlikely potential clients do. If potential clients are overwhelmed with pedagogical phrases and confusing statute information, they are likely to click off your website and go elsewhere.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do when developing law firm website content is to create clear call-to-action links. Consider what you want potential clients to do when they find your website. If your goal is to convert visitors into clients, help them along that path by including contact information or contact forms.
Understand the Benefits of Social Media
Digital advertising is one of the best ways to draw potential clients to your website, but you need to know where to go. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are among the most popular social media websites for law firms.
If you are looking to utilize social media in your digital marketing strategy, start by following legal leaders on your chosen platforms to engage in thoughtful conversations. If you are looking to start a LinkedIn, you will benefit the most from running a personal profile, as well as a law firm profile. This will increase your potential audience and help you stand out from other law firms and solo attorneys.
If you are looking to use paid ads, Facebook advertising campaigns are popular. You can use ad campaigns to position yourself as an authority in your practice areas and attract potential clients to your website.
Always remember that while social media is a useful tool for law firms, you need to be careful when it comes to ethics and advertising rules. Brush up on your law firm jurisdiction guidelines if you are uncertain about posts. In most instances, you will want to avoid terms like “specialist” or “expert” unless you are certified in something. Also, remember to avoid inappropriate lawyer-client relationships.
Utilize Email Leads
Email marketing is an often under-utilized digital marketing strategy. While social media and content creation target new clients, email marketing targets people who already know about you and your law firm.
You may have heard the phrase “top-of-mind-awareness.” It refers to the goal of having your law firm be the first that comes to people’s minds when they think about legal service providers and legal guidance. Examples of email marketing audiences include clients on retainer, clients with recurring legal requirements, and potential clients that have upcoming cases or pushed their cases back. If you are not sure where to start with email marketing, consider establishing a regular piece of content you can push. The key with what you send out is it needs to be relevant and scheduled.
No matter its size, every law firm should utilize email marketing. It is one of the best ways to continue to network with people with who you have already worked with in some capacity. It also keeps those individuals up to date on what is going on in your law firm.
While your law firm undoubtedly keeps track of case results, do you measure the success of your law firm’s marketing efforts? For solo law firm digital marketing purposes, especially in the beginning, every penny counts. You need to regularly analyze your digital marketing strategy results to confirm that what you are doing is improving your firm’s reputation and brand.
If you have never tracked digital marketing campaigns and efforts before, start with your website. Track how many people visit the site and what your conversion rate is with leads to paying clients. Consider social media and advertising metrics to ensure you are getting the most out of your efforts.
What Are the Elements of a Quality Law Firm Website?
Your law firm’s website is likely the first thing a potential client sees and makes the first impression. If the elements of a website are poor, it is more likely a potential client will leave and seek legal guidance elsewhere.
In terms of elements a quality law firm website contains, consider the following:
- Quality photographs exemplify professionalism.
- Clearly stating the provided services lets clients know if you can help them.
- Awards and recognitions highlight success.
When it comes to building a law firm website, there are two options: do it yourself or hire a professional law firm web developer. While building your own website is typically more cost-efficient in the beginning, it is less likely to produce results in the long run if you are not staying on top of SEO trends and Google’s requirements.
The price to hire a professional law firm web developer varies significantly. A basic design with no maintenance may only run you hundreds of dollars, while a unique and constantly maintained site could cost over $100,000. Your marketing budget will help you decide what you are comfortable spending if you choose to have professionals design your site.
How Law Quill Can Help Solo Law Firms
The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving. Trends change regularly, and it can be challenging to stay up-to-date. Solo law firm digital marketing is particularly important because the competition is often more significant. It can be a challenge to rank amongst the larger firms without the right marketing strategy.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.