In the legal community, do-it-yourself has become ubiquitous with technology companies who provide quick and cheap alternatives to working with legal counsel. And if you're a lawyer, you might be sick of seeing these three letters: DIY.
However, we are turning the tables with this 5-step DIY 'Marketing for Lawyers' guide, to help grow your practice and get more clients in the door.
Marketing for lawyers, like marketing for any business, requires you to adapt to new technologies and practices, or risk becoming extinct. Both big and small firms alike have been forced to downsize or worse, close their doors.
But for small firms and solo-practitioners, the future is bright. Technology has provided lawyers with flexible and scaleable opportunities, and the ability to create leaner and more cost effective ways to deliver services to clients. By following this DIY guide on marketing for lawyers, lawyers can save time and money reaching new clients.
Marketing for Lawyers: A DIY Guide
Step One: You NEED a Website
Studies demonstrate that each year the number of Americans using the Internet steadily increases. They aren't just using the web to research and compare products and services like restaurants, shopping, and travel, but this also includes legal services. Today, without a website you're essentially practicing out of an office with no 'Open' sign on the door. When clients can’t find you, they can’t hire you. Marketing for lawyers is different than for many industries which have kept traditional methods of promotion, similarly to healthcare, up until the last few years when companies like ZocDoc entered the market.
Building a website does not require a computer science degree, but simply access to a computer and the internet. There are a number of free and reasonably price website-building services like Wordpress (which this blog is on), SquareSpace, and Wix that make building a website as simple as choosing a template and filling out some forms. Laywers.com also provides site creation tools and resources related to developing a web presence and marketing for lawyers.
For your website to properly market your legal services it MUST include:
- a photograph of you (see step two)
- a short biography
- legal experience
- areas of practice
- address and contact information
With thousands of lawyer applicants at Priori we know what turns a bland website into an invaluable marketing tool. To improve their digital knowledge in marketing, for lawyers in our attorney network we work with our network to build a profile within our site to successfully differentiate them from the competition and help them attract more potential clients.
Step Two: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The human brain processes images faster than text, even images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds! So take a page out of your teenager’s book and make sure your website (and any social media you use) includes a great selfie. Whether clients do so consciously or not, they are weighing your professional photo heavily in their decision to hire you. Therefore, take the time market yourself properly.
In marketing for lawyers and the legal industry, this means a professional headshot - a photograph of just you, facing the camera, wearing professional attire, and with a white or empty background. Enlist a close friend, family member, or colleague for a second opinion to help you choose the best option.
Step Three: No One Likes a Know-It-All
When marketing your area of practice, resist the urge to do-it-all. Marketing for lawyers is not like fishing – you don’t want to cast a big net. By listing all the practice areas you could provide legal service, it appears like you lack in-depth experience in all of them. So, focus on what you do best!
Instead, when you market, think of the niche where you have the greatest experience and give examples that demonstrate your expertise. Clients want to know that they are in good hands, which translates to them means you handled a similar case and won.
Step Four: Demonstrate You Have the 'Write' Stuff
In conjunction with your website, maintaining a blog provides a powerful marketing tool for lawyers.
A blog aids your marketing efforts by:
- Increasing the visibility of your brand
- Driving traffic to your website
- Providing example of your expertise in relevant practice areas
- Giving you great social media content to post, share, or tweet!
At Priori, we offer our lawyers opportunities to write for our blog in the From Our Network segment in order to increase their exposure and help guide them in improve their blogging skills, an important component in marketing for lawyers. We work with them to create search engine optimized posts, which ensures each post receives a solid number of readers further increasing the reach of our lawyers’ marketing capabilities. Optimizing content may seem like the Wild Wild West to you but gaining a foundation in SEO will help get you started in the right direction.
Step Five: Become a Social (Media) Butterfly
Social media is here to stay and all marketing efforts to better improve marketing for lawyers should include this as part of your strategy. Social media extends the reach of your marketing efforts. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others social media platforms, allow you to share information well beyond your social circle. These platforms are free and enable you to start building your online brand with just an email address.
Additionally, be wary of the social media ethics guidelines of the state you're barred in. For example, in New York lawyers may provide general responses to legal questions asked on social media but cannot provide specific legal advice that may create and/or complicate an attorney-client relationship.
Equip yourself with this 'Marketing for Lawyers' guide to get you started. If you are dreading adding this marketing guide to your to-do list, Priori is here to help. Priori connects business with a network of trusted, vetted attorneys. Apply to join our network.
If you are already a member of our exclusive network, and are interest in writing for our blog. Contact us!