Whether plagued by poor reviews or buried in search engine obscurity, many small law firms and solo practitioners need a marketing makeover. There are countless reasons why a law firm lacks exposure, but attorneys must overcome the obstacles to gain online exposure and build a client base. With the right tools, attorneys can improve their marketing presence, even if that means starting from square one.
1. Educate Yourself on Marketing Basics
It is estimated that 96 percent of people seeking legal advice use a search engine, but nearly half of law firms do not have a website. Similarly, many solo practitioners and small firms do not have a marketing plan. A key reason is that attorneys often do not know where to start with their marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, many attorneys lack practical knowledge on how to gain exposure. After all, you went to school to study law, not marketing. Nevertheless, skills in reaching your target demographic, branding, and promotion are crucial to build a client base, especially because it is easy to lose an audience in a highly technical field such as law. For this reason, learning the basics of marketing is pivotal. Online educational resources are a good way for attorneys to learn marketing skills and how to reach their intended audience. Resources such as webinars, online courses, and how-to articles teach attorneys how to better foster connections with clients and deliver effective messaging. Look for educational resources that not only provide skills training but include templates and premade client deliverables that can be used with little upfront work.
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2. Stay Accountable with Community Support
It is easy for marketing to take a back seat to more pressing concerns, but consistent messaging is crucial. Many attorneys need a nudge to continue with their marketing efforts as their other responsibilities pile up. Belonging to a community of attorneys with similar goals is a great way to stay engaged when enhancing an online presence.
Coaching programs are facilitated by industry experts and connect peers who are working toward the same goals to help with accountability. These groups cater to busy attorneys and allow for peer feedback when creating marketing plans and deliverables. Whether they are developing an elevator speech, establishing a blog, or creating newsletter content, community support might be the encouragement that attorneys need to create and maintain a substantial online presence. Marketing is the fuel of any entrepreneurial engine, and community support can help fill the tank.
3. Reach Current Clients First
When you first dip your toe into marketing, start with what you know. Your current clients already know and trust you, so offering them new or additional services will be much easier than trying to engage new clients. Plus, increasing your exposure among current clients will keep you top-of-mind so they can refer you to their friends and family.
Consider the concerns of current clients, and address their needs by creating tailored content and sharing relevant articles on social media. When it comes to your firm’s marketing budget, The National Law Review says, “it is good practice to allocate anywhere from 2 percent to 18 percent of gross revenue to marketing.” While that might seem daunting at first, starting with an audience you know can help ease the transition into marketing your practice.
4. Meet Target Demographics Through the Correct Channels
After getting valuable marketing practice with current clients, it will be time to branch out. The first thing to consider is who you are looking to connect with and through which medium. Regularly asking yourself “who” you’re trying to reach and “how” is the crux of any messaging campaign. This will lead you to explore platforms or channels you might have overlooked in the past.
Millennials are becoming more relevant to estate planning, since they are newer to the job market and beginning to plan for their futures. It is no secret that the Millennial generation relies heavily on social media to stay connected—however, blindly posting online will not yield results. Leveraging social media starts with recognizing that not all social media is meant for you as an attorney. Look for sites that your ideal clientele use (e.g., Facebook or Instagram) to ensure that your message reaches people that actually need attorney services.
Reaching a millennial audience is a good way to grow your client base, but Baby Boomers remain the largest demographic in need of estate planning attorneys, and they require different marketing considerations. Though this group might be more responsive to traditional marketing efforts such as email blasts and printed brochures, this group’s use of online shopping and social media platforms continues to increase, possibly an effect of the pandemic The key to reaching target demographics is meeting an audience where they are.
Marketing Source: Marketing Content and Resources for Attorneys
Would you like to accelerate your firm’s marketing efforts while spending less time creating content? It is possible with Marketing Source. Marketing Source provides trusts and estates attorneys with a host of attorney-approved resources, content, insights, and tips—right to your inbox. Every month you will get thoughtful, timely written content developed by legal marketing experts that will resonate with your clients, prospects, and referral sources.
Interested? Check out the subscription perks:
- Monthly turnkey marketing packages that include social media content, brandable client handouts, blog posts, scripted PowerPoint presentations, and tips to customize your content to your target audience and jurisdiction
- Monthly advisor and client newsletters, which can be sent using the Constant Contact account provided as part of your subscription.
- A Constant Contact account that serves as your marketing platform to send newsletters and other email campaigns, create and manage event pages, and review impression metrics
- Weekly blog content to share on your firm’s website or social media pages
- Weekly practice-building tips on various topics, such as hiring and training staff, increasing profit, and managing your time
- Exclusive listing on estateplanning.com