Helping Legal Eagles Spread Their Wings Online
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. If you’re not taking advantage of the many benefits the internet has to offer, you’re falling behind your competitors. That is most definitely true of such an old and established profession such as law. In fact, an online presence for your law firm might be even more important than it is for the average business. Here’s how getting net savvy could help shine the right light on your law savvy.
Get legit in the eyes of the client
The internet is teaching the growing plethora of consumers on it to be more tuned in when it comes to finding businesses they can trust. When it comes to choosing a law firm, there’s one arbitrator of the public’s trust that matters more than anything. Avvo ratings evaluate the background of all the attorneys in your firm by taking a look at the information online about them and their past experiences. From that, they provide a rating from 1-10 on how good that background is. If you have the right talent, show it off by including all the relevant information, such as work experience, past awards, involvement in legal associations and more. Even if you have your own brand, people are likely to turn to Avvo as often as not to double-check your credentials.
Build a strong brand home
It might not pertain directly to your skills as a lawyer, but people will look at the quality of your brand presentation. It’s often said that when people can’t differentiate between two companies providing the same services, they differentiate between brands, instead. The home of your brand is the website, and it’s worth being picky with who you get to build it. Choose a generic site designer and you will get a generic site. Partner up with services that show a deeper knowledge of the industry, such as law firm marketing with GLM. Looking for legal help is entirely different to looking for other kinds of products, and an experienced hand can help you ensure your site and your brand is distinct enough.
Climb those ranks
How are people going to find your site? They might get referred to it, or visit it after a direct meeting with you. However, a growing number of people are using search engines in order to find the businesses they need. That is why search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising are a vital part of any modern marketing plan. SEO helps you rise to the top of Google search results, using details like the right keywords and your location to help pair your site with the relevant people looking for services just like yours. PPC goes a little further, giving your adverts prominence even over the top search results. The former is for cheaper, long-term brand building that lasts as long as you keep it up. The latter only goes as far as your budget, but is a lot more effective at drawing conversions, making it a perfect fit for building a client list in short order.
Know the lingo
The online world is all about sharing information. To do it effectively, you have to make sure you’re sharing in a way that your audience can understand. Unless your services are aimed specifically at those who know the legal details of what they’re looking for, do try to avoid legal jargon. Especially for SEO and PPC efforts. Those methods work directly off keywords, i.e. the language your clients will use when trying to find legal help. Know the terms they use and make them a principal part of your online marketing campaign.
Demonstrate that expertise
Content marketing has become just as important as search engines and having the right site. That’s true for a couple of reasons. For one, informative content and advice adequately demonstrates your expertise, further heightening your image as an authority in the field. High-value, easily digestible content is great for incentivizing people to share it and thus spread the brand name further, too. But content is also the best friend of SEO. People with specific questions about the law will type those questions directly into Google as often as they will look for the lawyers that can provide that advice. Having the answers in a piece of content means your site is more likely to appear at the end of those searches, too. Content’s a good way to cover all your search engine marketing bases.
Find your PR platform
The internet is all about sharing nowadays. Content can be shareworthy because it demonstrates a value that your customers want other people to see. Newsworthy content is different. It might include news on a trail you’re interested in, launching something like a networking event, or any charity events of initiatives your firm is involved in or partnered with. Hosting your own blog and using your own social media channels can help spread the news, but it’s worth considering a PR manager that can make sure the news gets to all the top providers. If someone else shares your news, it reflects much better on the company than when you share it yourself.
Know what works
Even if you’re entirely outsourcing your online marketing, it’s a good idea for you, the business owner, to know whether or not it’s really working. To that end, get used to the different analytic tools and keep track of the data such as click-through rate and conversions through the site as well as shares, likes, and links on social media. You can even determine which parts of the site are most popular, and help hone the fine details with A/B testing, which creates different versions of the site. These versions have changes in banner text, call-to-action placement, content formatting and much more. It can help you pinpoint the site design that is most likely to win you more conversion.
Use it to offer quick, effective support
The internet isn’t solely for marketing, either. It can make some real changes in how you provide your services. For instance, you can include a live chat app on the website. That way, visitors don’t have to hunt for the information they need, they can ask you directly. Social media has become a customer service platform, as well. Many clients and potential clients will use it precisely because it’s a public forum. Saying the wrong thing can be risky. However, showing a customer success-oriented direction and keeping your response to feedback polite and encouraging of more information can make you seem like a much more conscientious company. Solving an issue publicly on social media can turn a potential PR disaster into a whole new level of brand awareness and trust.
Build that network
Social media should be used for much more than just providing support. It’s a place to get in touch with your clients, to thank them for their interest and custom, to share stories of your success, your content marketing efforts, and much more. In law, getting social media right can be crucial. Spend time actually chatting with your community and foster its continual growth. The more people show an interest in your business, the more likely that others are to follow. That’s the power of positive social proof. People tend to believe in and value what the masses value. So, work on getting those masses on your side.
A new way to deliver your services
You can offer a lot more than a few quick answers and a reactive response to potential issues through the internet. You might be able to offer full consultations and personalized legal advice, as well. Virtual law practices are becoming more and more common. These are much the same as arranging an appointment in office, except you’re using the internet and a couple of webcams, or at least microphones. This way, your services become immediately more convenient and accessible to those who might have barriers to getting to the office. For instance, if you’re a car accident attorney, then your potential client might be too injured to make the trip to the office.
Keep in contact with your old clients
The internet might be a powerful tool for connecting you with new audiences, but it can be just as effective as retaining old clients. For instance, you can suggest that a client signs up to your email campaign. They may think they are done with your services once their case is complete, but legal email marketing can remind them of your other services and make your business the first thing they think of when someone they know needs a law firm. Repeat clients are the most profitable of all, so make sure you’re using social media to keep fostering relationships even after you’ve made your money from them.
Better brand awareness, more clients, a better reputation, happier customers. The internet is the key to all of them in the modern age of business. Just make sure you’re not taking on too much at once, and consider outsourcing to learn from the best if you’re a complete novice.