Want to be highly effective at digital marketing? Stephen Covey advises that we should “begin with the end in mind.” This is great advice for law firms struggling with how to present themselves online. Your law firm marketing goals should drive your entire digital marketing strategy. With a clear vision of where you currently are and what you hope to achieve, you can apply the law firm marketing strategies that will most effectively get you there.
Marketing is the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. If you’re not marketing your legal services, you’re losing out on potential new clients and the revenue that comes with them.
What is worse than not marketing your legal services? No matter your side of the “v,” wasting time and money on a law firm marketing strategy that fails to reach your law firm marketing goals!
Common Law Firm Marketing Goals
Marketing goals in their simplest form are designed to generate income. In terms of attorney marketing goals, this equates to generating clients, a law firm’s primary source of income.
Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve. Common law firm marketing goals fall into categories like these:
- Establishing a focused brand;
- Developing your professional reputation, expertise, and thought leadership;
- Providing a community service;
- Building relationships with potential referral sources such as other attorneys; and
- Drawing in new business.
Goals like these are important for any law firm. Still, many firms never meaningfully consider what they’re trying to achieve, and without goals and measurement, there’s no way to know whether your firm’s meeting its own mark. Don’t fall into the trap of throwing money at legal marketing without knowing whether your strategy will help you progress toward articulated goals.
Establishing a focused brand helps you tailor your law firm marketing strategies to build the legal practice you want. What kind of law does your firm practice? What kind of clients do you want to attract—B2B? B2C? Refine your legal practice areas, then develop your law firm brand and marketing plan targeting ideal clients in those areas.
Already getting plenty of divorce clients but want to shift toward more lucrative plaintiff or defense work? You don’t have to market to every possible client. Instead, put your marketing spend toward the practice areas you want to nurture—those that are most lucrative for your firm or that you enjoy. As they say, “Choose a job that you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
Once you have focus, you can develop your law firm marketing goals and content around that focused brand.
Case-in-point: TOPDOG rebranded in 2019 to better reflect the breadth of our services. In addition to updating our firm name and revamping our website, we introduced a brand-focused, full-circle legal marketing model that conveys our approach to legal marketing.
Develop Your Professional Reputation and Expertise
You’ve chosen your brand and worked hard to develop expertise in your desired practice areas. Now you need to let people know what you do and how well you do it.
Use your digital marketing efforts to establish yourself as a go-to resource in your field. Online content is your opportunity to shine.
Your law firm website and content represent you in the digital arena. Most people search for legal services online, and referrals are likely to review your website and other online collateral to confirm a good fit.
Your website and online content should convey your law firm’s unique value and culture, highlight your attorneys’ skills and experience, and provide information about your firm and its legal services. A website’s home page, attorney biographies, about page, and practice area pages are prime real estate. And you can maximize their effectiveness by combining search engine optimization (SEO) best practices with quality content.
A resources, news, or blog page is also a valuable tool to attract potential clients to your website and provide them with useful information. Posts to these pages can include a variety of blogs, announcements, and highlights of your successes, including discussions of legal developments and news as well as common questions that arise in your desired practice areas.
Establishing law firm expertise in your brand should provide clarity as to why clients should hire your law firm. Your law firm’s online content should provide the answers to questions potential clients would typically seek. It should also demonstrate to other attorneys—potential referral sources and opponents—that your skills are top-notch.
Cultivating useful and informative content: Posting law firm marketing blogs that discuss topics relevant to our audience and press releases with TOPDOG news offers benefits for clients, potential clients, and our firm.
Provide a Community Service
Many firms want to serve as true resources for their communities independently of their desire to build relationships that lead directly to new business. If this sounds like you, consider incorporating community service into your law firm marketing strategy.
To meet this goal, build part of your content around topics of importance in your community. You might publish a series of FAQ resources, for example, or you might provide checklists or resources for basic legal concepts that are often investigated online. And, of course, volunteer for leadership and frontline roles in community service organizations that are important to you. Many nonprofit organizations welcome licensed attorneys into leadership positions.
Practice what you preach: Learn why and how TOPDOG contributes to local and legal communities.
Build Relationships with Other Attorneys
If you publish regularly online and do it well, you will begin to develop relationships with others, including attorneys and other potential referral sources.
Building relationships with other attorneys is essential to developing expertise in your brand and expanding your network. Your law firm marketing goals should include deepening ties with lawyers and other professionals such as accountants, financial planners, and others who have natural horizontal relationships with your practice areas. Why? Because developing relationships with other professionals serves these important marketing goals:
- Networking is crucial for meeting your attorney-to-attorney marketing goals.
- Sharing your expertise with others in the legal field allows for greater referral resources and strategic marketing.
- Developing these two-way relationships allows your firm to cross-market with other attorneys and professionals.
Building a strong network: In addition to sponsoring and supporting legal associations and events across the country, TOPDOG is an approved partner of the State Bar of Arizona. Learn more about how we developed this unique, reciprocal partnership.
Use Your Law Firm Online Marketing Strategy to Draw in New Business
Drawing in new business is at the heart of most firms’ marketing goals, and this is typically done by boosting your online visibility for searches, repeat business, and referral sources.
Increasingly, people are turning to the Internet not just to check out lawyers before making a final hiring decision but also to find them. This often happens when potential clients conduct searches about specific legal topics or lawyers who practice in a certain geographical area. If you want to be found online, it’s imperative that you build useful content that is structured to be found by Google and other search engines and that is relevant to user inquiries. Aside from using paid ads (which can be useful but offer only temporary benefits), the only way a person will find your firm online is if your law firm shows up in their online search engine results (SERP) page.
Dig in: Here are some of the ways TOPDOG helps law firms optimize their online presence to “get found” by search engines and potential clients.
How Can I Reach My Law Firm Marketing Goals?
Many attorneys find it difficult to step into the proverbial shoes of potential clients. It’s hard to step back and imagine how people might search for your services online and what’s important to them.
The truth is that you can develop pristine content, make announcements, or draft blogs, but if you are doing all of this without knowing what potential clients are trying to find, you’re flying blind.
Fortunately, search engine optimization (SEO) can help. Part of what legal SEO specialists do is begin with the end in mind: determine what people want before you create content, which is vital to getting potential new clients to your website. And once they are there, accurate, relevant content keeps them there to learn about you, your firm, and your knowledge base. Both SEO and quality content are necessary for turning potential new clients into existing clients and thereby achieving your law firm and attorney marketing goals. At TOPDOG Legal Marketing, we help attorneys identify and reach their law firm marketing goals. We can help you identify and develop the law firm marketing strategies that best fit your goals and make them a reality. Contact us today to get started on your firm’s customized legal marketing plan: (844) HEY-TDOG (439-8364) or (480) 744-7331.