Legal services tend to rely on word of mouth and positive press from victories in court. If they do advertise, it may be a small ad in the community paper or a generally viewed television ad. Unfortunately, these old-school methods aren’t good enough for modern law firms. They are relatively expensive and have a low return on the investment. Instead, you should invest in a good marketing program so that you generate quality prospects with as little money as possible.
You Don’t Give Your Time Away for Free
Lawyers often have free initial consultations. Unfortunately, if this is your main marketing message, you’ll have an office full of people seeking free legal advice, pursuing cases that are unrelated to your area of expertise, or both. A good marketing campaign will promote your firm to people seeking an attorney for a case, regardless of what area of law you practice in.
The ideal marketing campaign saves you time while protecting your reputation. This means abandoning the social media marketing campaigns that depend on you writing long answers to questions posted online and hoping someone reads it and calls you. It may involve answering very short questions while sharing the content strategically.
You Spend Less Money to Generate More Business
A common mistake law firms make is assuming that nearly everyone is a potential client. If you work in family law, your clients are the ones needing pre-nuptial agreements, divorce decrees and child custody agreements. If your area of expertise is personal injury law, your clients may have survived car wrecks or assaults, but you aren’t going to be marketing to moms going through a divorce. The best legal marketing services will do the detailed data analysis to determine where to post advertisements and targeted content where it will be seen by those in the right stage of the sales funnel. This is what distinguishes advertising from marketing. Marketing requires more research on the target demographic and their behavior before they call an attorney. The best legal marketing firms perform detailed market analysis so that you aren’t paying for ads that are seen by people after they’ve hired someone else or those who are only tangentially interested in your service. For example, you don’t want to have your ad appear in front of those doing an informational search on the product.
You Protect Your Reputation
Legal marketing firms know how to promote your firm while protecting your reputation. For example, they won’t create a marketing campaign that makes you look like an ambulance chaser unless that fits your image. They won’t undermine a carefully crafted image as a community icon and advocate for those in need by making you look like a slick aggressive attorney. They won’t plaster your ad across town in the hope of attracting local clients. Their marketing efforts will promote the image you want to project, and it won’t generate criticism by current or former clients. It certainly won’t spam your clients with requests to refer their friends. Good legal marketers will research what people already say about your firm so that they can correct the negative aspects as well as accentuate the positive.
You’ll Engender More Trust
Legal marketing efforts can’t ignore the basics like NAP+W, the combination of name, address, phone number and website that are key to being found by potential clients. A real marketing firm will include a review of your location information on social media and business directories to ensure that they are correct and consistent. This has a number of benefits. First, you don’t end up missing prospects because there is an incorrect phone number or old address on a business directory site. Second, you maximize your rankings in local search results by having a consistent NAP profile across the internet. Third, by including links to the best web page for those prospects, you’ll generate significant organic traffic to your website, and most of them will be qualified leads. This will increase the number of calls or emails you get, and it will improve your website’s ranking in search engine results.
A clean, professional and consistent online presence will also make clients and search engines trust you
more. Variations like street versus St. and second floor or 2nd floor will confuse search engines as to your location and cause you to show up below the competition in searches for lawyers in your area. A consistent local SEO profile will consolidate reviews for your business, maximizing the odds that you’re seen as reputable to customers. And it will avoid the negative impression created by looking like your firm has constantly changed locations or just opened up