It’s easy to get swept away in marketing planning. With new trends at every turn and an ever-changing digital environment that even professional marketers struggle to keep up with.
For law firms, the effort may seem even more challenging. Considering the nature of your subject matter and the varying amounts of marketing resources available within firms. To get a handle on your law firm’s marketing approach. I’ve pulled together some tried and tested marketing tips that can help you engage with your existing clients and recruit new ones.
Tip 1: Audit your website and make tweaks that matter
When was the last time you took a step back and took a hard look at your website? As the digital ‘shop-window’ for your firm, your website is essential and if executed effectively. It could be an invaluable tool for marketing your services. Ask yourself a few questions in your website audit:
What does your website say to clients about your firm?
The modern-day website visitor expects a seamless experience whilst searching online. They want to find the information they’re looking for in seconds. Law firms offer different services within their area of law so make sure your website clearly communicates those services. So, once a visitor lands on your website, they can understand quickly what you offer and your areas of expertise. If your website is not clear and easy to follow, users will get frustrated and leave quickly.
Firstly, start by looking at the landing page of your website. Are your visitors able to find the information they’re looking for in two clicks or less? If not, consider a restructure and introduce one page for each service you offer.
Ensure they are clearly linked from your menu. For instance, if you have an employment practice in your firm you could have a page like unfair dismissal, paternity leave and TUPE sitting as separate pages under employment. But, also ensure that when a visitor sees a menu item, they know exactly what it does. For more advice on how to build a knock-out homepage, click here.
Is your website Google-friendly?
In other words, is the content on your website written in a way that’s easy for your clients to understand? But also a way that pleases google? Introducing the wonderful world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The higher you rank on a search engine, the higher up you appear on search results and to stand out from the crowd. You want to be as high on this list as possible. One tip to improve your ranking is to review the content on your website and make sure it incorporates the vital keywords that your clients are using in their online searches.
A couple of example keywords that are crucial for law firms are your location and particular speciality. Which are two things your clients will likely be searching for online. Be sure to incorporate your keywords into page titles, meta descriptions and body text. Read more about SEO on my blog post here.
Is your website visually pleasing?
Visual content has taken over the web, and your website users expect to see content that is aesthetically pleasing. Words are important to spell out what you do as a firm. But by incorporating visuals your messages will be more effective and help break up text on the page for better user experience. Visuals can also help guide a user to your call to action quicker and more effectively, making it a useful way to bring in new clients. But with all the options out there, which visual content should you focus on? Read on …
Tip 2: Use content to engage and gain clients
For law firms, content is key to any marketing strategy. High-quality content will not only improve your SEO but it can also bring in new clients and build your firm’s reputation. Your clients choose you for your expertise and content is an effective way to establish your firm as the authority in your area of law, helping build trust with existing and prospective clients.
However, before you decide which content to produce, ask your colleagues, speak to your clients or take to Google and find out which questions are being asked about your speciality. Do some research and figure out what the biggest challenges your clients have are. Then tailor your content to help answer their questions and provide value. When it comes to content it’s not just about telling people but about explaining the issue and what your client needs to do next.
Once you’ve chosen an angle that maximises value for the reader, take some time to think about how you’re going to deliver it. Make sure your content doesn’t drown the reader in complicated legal terms and jargon – aim for approachable and accessible. I encourage clients to follow the ELI5 rule and explain like I’m five. Using language that makes it easy for the reader to digest. Use a checklist or a guide with easy to follow tips that address the needs of the reader and provide actionable advice.
When you can, consider livening up your content by turning it into a video. Your clients will be most interested in engaging content and will likely walk away from long, unstructured paragraphs of information. A video with you delivering your content can help humanise the firm. And bring life to information that may otherwise come across as drab and dull.
Another interesting option for law firms is to start a podcast. Which is essentially a radio show delivered online, with a focus on the topics that you specialise in. The take-up in podcast consumption has risen exponentially with no signs of slowing down and it is therefore a useful tool for consumers to gain insight. On their daily grind to work, out for a run, or unwinding at home.
With your video and podcast series, your viewers can subscribe and keep coming back. Making it an effective way to develop a rapport with clients. More content advice on my video series here.
Tip 3: Use LinkedIn to promote your content and develop your network
Now that you have engaging content, you’ll want to shout about it and a key approach to do this is via social media. The draw with social media is that it’s a free outlet to promote your firm. And with nearly everyone on some social media platform, it can offer the potential to promote your firm to a lot of people. The reality though is that to get the balance right on social media, it takes time – a lot of time.
If you have limited time to spend on social media marketing, focus your energy on one platform. It’s better to make a splash with high-quality content on one platform, then spreading yourself thin trying to churn out content for every platform in existence. For law firms, I would recommend you try LinkedIn which is often described as a Facebook for professionals. LinkedIn allows you to build a digital network of other individuals and businesses and can be a useful tool in growing awareness and credibility of your firm.
The key to making LinkedIn work for your firm is to focus on engagement with your network. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to crafting your posts and make sure you’re promoting content of value to your followers. You don’t want to annoy and lose followers by posting too many promotions or ads. So, think about how to get that balance right. It’s important to nurture your network and focus on relationship-building. More information on how to do that via LinkedIn is here.
Tip 4: Grow your business with this ‘old-school’ technique
Whilst a lot of marketing is now done online, never underestimate the power of in person human connection – give old-fashioned networking a try! This is something I’m a big advocate of. I only wish I had started doing it sooner.
Networking can be the first step in developing relationships with new clients. But think of it as just that, and don’t treat it as an opportunity for a sales pitch or a quick close. Approach networking events as opportunities to meet new people and build new connections. Be friendly and approachable and avoid pitching your services too soon. Make sure you collect business cards and contact details and invest time in follow up. Networking is all about the follow-up. It’s not enough to turn up to an event and think that’s it, job done.
Where to find networking events in your area? A simple Google search will bring up their events search feature, with a filtered list of networking events in your area. This is a useful tool that retrieves a tailored selection of events depending on your search criteria. Another way is to use the events search on Facebook which is good at retrieving nearby events. And also features an RSVP option which allows you to get a feel for the kinds of people you can expect to be in attendance.
Tip 5: When in doubt, bring in a pro!
If this all sounds like too much, bring in an expert to help. Here are some of the ways I can support.
More advice for law firm marketing: