As an attorney, you’ve got enough things to stress about: a never-ending schedule, challenging clients, and a market so competitive that your ability to generate new clients can make or break you.
It’s particularly difficult when ethical laws prevent attorneys from directly soliciting their services to prospective clients, meaning a practice’s only recourse is to market heavily (often in blanket campaigns) to raise awareness in the event a lawyer is needed—rather than keeping a consistent online presence that builds a user’s confidence in your firm over time.
To make matters more difficult, when heading your own practice, you may often also assume the role of CEO and business owner, complete with the responsibilities of managing your finances and staff—all while overseeing your own marketing efforts.
Marketing is an incredibly expansive field filled with individuals and organizations that have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of mastering it—and it’s constantly changing.
With that said, a solo practitioner or senior partner looking to improve or restructure their marketing efforts may face a steep learning curve and investment of time in order to gain the knowledge to see effective returns on their efforts.
In short, in learning the fundamentals to market your practice, mistakes will be made.
However, mistakes can be avoided when properly understood. Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid to improve your attorney advertising.
5. Lack of Specificity in Web Design
What does your current website say about you?
For starters, everything, like:
· How much you’re willing to invest in your presentation (i.e. a cheap suit vs. a custom-made suit)
· Whether your practice is successful or struggling
· If you’re adaptive or stuck in your ways
These judgments can be made before a visitor even knows what area of law you practice.
This means the quality of your website is incredibly important in not only keeping your prospective client on the page, but compelling them to keep reading, find assurance, and pick up the phone to call your firm.
Your website may realistically be the first thing a potential client sees without ever meeting you, so it should be the very best representation of yourself and your practice that you can possibly provide, as it can speak for you in your absence and inspire confidence within a user to move forward.
Keeping up with contemporary web design trends can be a tricky beast—especially in the aesthetically conservative space of attorney advertising. Visual tastes evolve—take a look at this website from the 90’s for proof—which means if your website is more than 2-3 years old, it most likely needs to be updated.
4. Not Diversifying Your Advertising Strategies
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
It may be a cliche, but the idiom is also a compelling reminder that one way isn’t always the only way. In the realm of attorney advertising, there are many digital vehicles that have been proven to yield positive ROI in generating new clients.
These marketing vehicles include:
· Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
· Social Media Advertising (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram)
· Organic Lead Generation (Inbound Marketing)
· Email Marketing
Though the Internet is generally a competitive and noisy space, it’s also the most popular marketplace in the world—which means if you want to compete, you’ve got to enter that market, and use techniques proven to grab the attention of the clients you want.
Like a fine stock portfolio, diversity in your marketing strategy is key. Spread out your efforts into different channels, like email blasts and paid advertising campaigns, in order to promote yourself best using all the tools around you. The best defense is a lack of weak points, so being well-rounded is key in growing your firm.
3. Ignoring Facebook
Facebook is a key pillar in the future of digital advertising.
Because on a daily basis, more than131 million American adults use it.
That’s more engagement than 1.5x the Super Bowl's annual audience on a daily basis.
Due to the internal data Facebook collects on these users every day, it presents a distinct opportunity for one of the most targeted and cost-effective advertising platforms in the world based on potential reach and the specificity of user targeting.
Unfortunately, in the realm of social media, organic reach (unpaid content distribution) for a business has been dramatically scaled back, meaning that paid ads are a necessity to truly tap into this market.
2. Forgetting to Measure Your Marketing Performance
Whether spending advertising dollars or tracking your inbound marketing campaigns (blog, emails, social media posts, etc.), if you aren’t tracking your progress, you aren’t successfully determining what is and isn’t working for your firm.
The importance of tracking your leads and where they come from is a process of learning how best to invest your time to get a better return from your efforts.
If your website’s blog content is generating 50 leads a month (people who fill out a contact form or call directly) and those leads convert and become clients at a rate of 10%, you earned 5 clients. If these clients—based on a retainer alone—are worth $2,000 dollars each, you just earned $10,000 for perhaps 10 hours of writing and research.
On the other hand, let’s say you run a Facebook campaign that costs $250 and reaches more than 3,000 people, with an average lead-conversion rate of 2%. Within that 2%, let’s say 2% convert into clients at the same retainer mentioned above. That’s a gain of one client and earnings of $2000 dollars at the expense of an initial $250.
With that understanding, you may choose to focus more on increasing your organic lead generation (leads coming from your blog) or choose to invest more and alter your Facebook ads to inspire a higher conversion rate.
Tracking your progress allows these types of decisions to be made with a clearer picture, so always keep a birds-eye-view of the goings-on of your marketing campaigns.
1. Failing to Understand It’s a Numbers Game
As evidenced above, a key mistake in attorney advertising is a lack of patience. Marketing and advertising are very much a game of numbers, with average conversion rates across mainstream digital marketing channels falling around 5%. However, these figures are the average, with particular channels, strategies, and campaigns, reaching well above that in some cases.
With that said, it’s best to first establish the core forms of digital advertising mentioned above, then tweak and refine constantly to incrementally improve your lead conversion rate to bring in the best clients—the ones you really want—to your business.
· Target the demographic you want with focused specificity.
· Widen your net using the dominant forms of digital marketing.
· Keep them in the net by continually improving your conversion rate.
Making mistakes is inevitable when learning, so take your time in establishing the basics. If time constraints are a factor, it may be wise to outsource these responsibilities and focus the bulk of your efforts and attention on what’s important:
Scorpion is a digital marketing agency specializing in the growth of law practices big and small. Using time-tested practices, and decades of combined experience, we’ve continued to help clients across the U.S. build their web presence, attract more patients, and grow their organization.
Looking to Bring in More Clients?
Get Started Today with Scorpion.
Cameron Kennerly is Scorpion’s Corporate Marketing Copywriter. He writes content that educates businesses about digital marketing best practices so they can improve their online presence and attract more customers. He also writes about the latest Scorpion news.
Cameron has a bachelors degree in English Literature from Florida State University. When he is not working, he enjoys hiking, surfing, writing for his blog and arguing about Japanese anime.