Developing a reputation in your community is an important step for every legal professional. The market for legal representation has become saturated – in fact, The USA has more lawyers per capita than any other developed country. With this type of competition, how can you set yourself apart and bring clients to your law firm?
The answer lies in your marketing strategy. You know it’s important to advertise and get your name out there, but with so many options and the more recent advent of digital marketing, it’s likely you have no idea where to start. For the majority of attorneys, marketing efforts – digital or traditional – should start in your community. The majority of your clients are local, and people searching for legal representation will be looking for an attorney in their area. So how should you focus your efforts, and more importantly, where should the majority of your budget be spent?
In 2015, the first step should be developing an online presence. This could be a dedicated website, a blog, social media channels, or directory listing (like Yelp or Yellow Pages). Because more than 60% of people begin their search for any product or service online, digital marketing can no longer be ignored. A dedicated website will provide the best results, but proceed with caution: a badly developed website will cost your business in the end. This is why it’s important to choose a trusted, established agency with a strong background in developing websites for attorneys specifically. After your website has been established, the next step is joining Google+. Google+ is Google’s social media platform, which impacts your SEO (search engine optimization), and can quickly bring you to the top of the list for local searches originating from your area. Google has every business go through a verification process, and after establishing your firm’s existence you will show up in Google search results and Google Map results, which is a very important in developing a local online reputation. It is also helpful to sign up for Facebook, Twitter, & Linkedin, other popular social networks. Once you’ve established several online channels to represent your business, try to post articles (whether from another news source or something you authored) regularly – every time you post something the internet knows, and your firm’s brand will appear with that article on other people’s account “feeds”. There is a lot more to know about using social media and digital marketing to boost your client retention rate, but the steps above will give you a good start in establishing your online presence.
Of course, it’s important to utilize more traditional marketing methods too, but these are generally more expensive and it’s almost impossible to measure the effectiveness of most tools. Whether this is a good option for you largely depends on your locale – the cost to rent a billboard will vary greatly depending if it’s at the intersection of major freeways or out in the boondocks. This isn’t to say these methods aren’t effective. Printed materials are still used to advertise, and even marketing by word-of-mouth benefits greatly from a business card exchange. In today’s environment, it’s important to market your firm online while still taking advantage of traditional advertising techniques.