What Do Clients Look For In A Law Firm?
Although legal marketing is similar to marketing for other disciplines, there are a few things that make it unique. What makes legal marketing unique from other types of marketing is that all of the content must speak to some level of expertise. Lawyers have a very specialized role and hold rare, valuable skills. It is especially important for your audience to view your firm as an authority. In addition to a high degree of credibility, there are a few other specific factors that clients look for when choosing a law firm. Some of these factors include:
Level of experience
Availability and communication skills
Competence surrounding relevant issues
If you want your potential clients to know that your law firm has the qualities above, you will have to communicate that message in your marketing materials. This means there are certain steps your marketing campaigns need to take in order to see success. The top four non-negotiables that your legal marketing strategy must include are:
A strong social media presence
The American Bar Association found that 35% of lawyers who use social media professionally have been able to gain new clients from their platforms. Considering the fact that 42% of social media users have made purchases after seeing an advertisement, and a lawyer is a sizable investment, this is a very encouraging number. Social media marketing is also a budget-friendly marketing strategy for lawyers. Although social media platforms provide options to boost your ads by investing in them, it is free to simply run your pages.
Social media is also a great way to reach potential clients because it is where a large portion of your audience spends their time online. On average, internet users spend 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media per day, according to a survey conducted by Global Web Index. The average person spends the most daily time on Youtube at 44 minutes, followed by Facebook at 35 minutes, Instagram at 33 minutes, TikTok at 32 minutes, and Twitter at 10 minutes.
It is for all of these reasons that 80% of attorneys use social media as part of their marketing strategy. If your firm does not have a social media presence, you risk falling behind the competition. Being that your future clients will be looking to you as a thought leader in your practice area, your social media platforms are a great way to demonstrate this. It is important to note that lawyers must be careful of what they share on social media so as to avoid giving out legal advice. The following social media platforms are the best choices for lawyers:
Attorney at Work conducted a survey and determined that 31% of attorneys reported Facebook as the number one social media platform for bringing in new business. Facebook is one of the best places for efficient audience targeting. The platform’s built-in analytics will provide real-time data so that you can update your strategy without spending more money than you need to.
According to the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Survey, nearly 76% of law firms use LinkedIn. This means that LinkedIn is not only important for connecting with potential clients, but for networking with other legal professionals as well. Networking is such a powerful tool for lawyers because you can offer your expertise to them in certain areas and they can do the same for you. It is the same reason why so many lawyers choose to work on a team instead of being solo practitioners. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to build your community and foster connections with both current and future clients and other lawyers.
Twitter can also be an effective way for law firms to showcase their knowledge and connect with potential clients. This platform also gives you an opportunity to see into the mindset of your clients and potential clients. You can follow important trends such as what types of cases are on the rise and what types of malpractices your community is talking about. Twitter also offers specific hashtags and location-based search features that you can use to help your community find your firm. Some of the most popular legal hashtags on Twitter include #personalinjury, #lawyer, #law, #legal, #lawsuit, #dui, and #legalmarketing.
If you think your law firm is better off without posting on YouTube, think again. There are more than 3 billion YouTube searches every month. In general, lawyers tend to underutilize YouTube, so if you are posting videos as a lawyer, it could really help you stand out from the crowd. When you begin to approach your YouTube content, think through the lens of someone who would be searching for legal questions. If you choose to go this route, you can offer helpful tips throughout your videos while being careful not to disclose sensitive information. It is important to include a call-to-action in your videos that can help your viewers find your services. This will increase your chances of being the lawyer they contact instead of the lawyer they simply come across online.
Informative, highly ranking content
When it comes to digital marketing, one of the most important factors that can set your firm apart from the competition is how well you rank on Google and other search engines. In fact, The National Law Review reported that 96% of people use online search engines when searching for legal advice. Plus, searches account for 59.2% of all online traffic. Most searchers do not go into their searches thinking that they need an attorney, but if your content ranks highly and helps them, they will be more likely to remember you down the line.
Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are the best way to help your content rank on Google. This is the practice of driving more visitors to your firm’s website through tactics like in-depth keyword research, onsite optimization, link building, citation building, Google Business Profile optimization, content development, and analytics configuration. Some of the benefits of prioritizing SEO content in your legal marketing efforts include:
More traffic leads to more prospective clients
It will help you remain competitive amongst other leaders in the legal industry
Your website will be more engaging
You will appear more credible and as a thought leader in the legal industry
Your ROI will be higher
There are a variety of ways you can help your website rank highly on Google. You might choose to create the content yourself or you might choose to hire a team of legal experts. Some of these ways include:
Well-written quality content will help you rank for more keywords and drive more qualified traffic to your website. Some of the forms of content you can include on your platforms to drive more traffic include blogs, videos, infographics, case studies, e-Books, user-generated content, testimonials, and customer reviews. Use this content to establish yourself as a thought leader in your practice area and to convert website visitors at a high rate.
Local search results
Local SEO is extremely important for lawyers because most of your future clients are searching for firms in their communities. When we talk about local SEO, we are referring to the search engine optimization area that focuses on searches that have local intent. Results in specific locations will also trigger the local search pack, where Google will display a map of the most relevant nearby businesses.
For example, if your future clients find themselves injured at work, they are likely to search for “personal injury lawyer near me.” Over 25% of users will click on the first result, so it is ideal to rank at that level, but aiming for the first page is a strong starting point. Local searchers can also trigger specific local results, such as local maps.
To achieve these local search results, your approach should only be slightly different from organic SEO. Optimizing your website and web presence for local SEO is vital if you want to increase your chances of appearing in the local pack, which Google has now limited to only three entries.
Strong event marketing strategies
As we talked about before, networking and building relationships is one of the most crucial ways to ensure success for your law firm in the long run. Once you have fostered strong relationships, you can continue to grow them while creating new ones through event marketing. In fact, 45% of lawyers have reported that events hosted by the firm are the best source of business development behind client meetings. Events help attorneys generate more publicity, which ultimately leads to more leads. If you are intimidated by the idea of throwing a large event, don’t be! You can always start slow with smaller events and work your way up to larger events if you choose. You can also create joint marketing events and cross-promote with other firms of different specialties in the area. Some additional kinds of events you can throw include:
Educational events will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and engage with your community at the same time, so they are a great way to knock out two birds with one stone. For example, if you are an immigration law firm, you might choose to host a seminar regarding the latest federal and state law updates that could impact your clients. If you want to mitigate the stress surrounding an in-person event and open your audience, you might choose to host one online, which brings us to the next point.
There are pros and cons to hosting an online event. It certainly cuts some of the costs that come with hosting an in-person event and it expands the potential for a larger audience to join. However, you might not be able to build as strong of a connection with your attendees, so keep that in mind when deciding what kind of event to host. As a lawyer, you can host live streams and webinars where you answer common client questions and share your knowledge in a friendly way. As always, be careful not to share any information or legal advice that is confidential during the event.
If you don’t feel like you have an event idea that is relevant to the legal world, do not fret! You can always host a social event for lawyers and those who are interested in connecting with lawyers to enjoy. This could simply be a cocktail hour with food and drinks, or it could be a charity event that raises awareness about a cause that is important to you.
Email marketing strategies
Last but not least is email marketing. Email marketing is one of the strongest strategies when it comes to attracting new legal clients, gaining referrals, and keeping your firm at the forefront of your clients’ minds for when they need your services in the future. Plus, email marketing is cost-effective, with 65% of marketers perceiving their email marketing ROI to be good or excellent. Beyond that, it showcases your expertise and helps you to stand out from the competition. There are plenty of email marketing software programs that your law firm can use, such as Mailchimp, SendFox, and Constant Contact. It is also a great option to hire a team of professional marketers who have the skills necessary to make your newsletters as successful as possible. If you are ready to create a strong email marketing strategy for your law firm, you can start by taking the following steps:
Find legal content that your audience cares about and market your existing content
This is where the marketing content you’ve already created will come in handy. Your email newsletters will be a great way to draw attention to that content and increase traffic to your website. Not only will this expand your reach and potential client base, but it will help your content rank highly on search engines as well.
Provide free guides on useful topics
If you are having trouble gathering client emails, offering a free guide is one of the best ways to encourage them to subscribe. They are likely to appreciate your efforts in creating content that is tangible and helpful for them. For example, if you are an immigration law firm, you might create a guide surrounding “10 Ways to Prepare for the U.S. Citizenship Test.” You can create cohesion amongst your website content and social media content by addressing these guides throughout them as well.
Offer free consultations and special seasonal deals
You might have noticed that many marketers email you with seasonal deals and special offers, and there is a good reason for that. If you offer your subscribers something special that others are not privy to, they will build more of a connection with your firm. You can also create incentives for them to refer their friends to your email list, which can keep them engaged and help you grow your potential client base.
Ready to dive further into the world of legal marketing? Contact the marketing team at Scorpion to learn how to take your digital efforts to the next level.