The biggest factors in the success of your small law firm have nothing to do with marketing. Being a competent lawyer and charging your clients fair prices are more important to building the reputation of your law firm than any amount of advertising or any promotional campaign. Marketing does, however, help prospective clients become aware of the existence of your law firm, and even the smallest law firms dedicate part of their budget to marketing. Even if yours is a small law firm with a modest marketing budget, spending your marketing budget wisely can make the difference between whether the money goes to waste or whether it does its job of raising awareness about your law firm and the services you offer. Here are some law firm marketing strategies that have a good return on investment and some ineffective ones to avoid.
Do Have an Informative, User-Friendly Website
Many new clients will make the decision to contact you based on what they read on your website. These are some important things to include on your website. Please note that these are things that clients will want to see on your website; these components help with SEO rankings, but SEO is not your primary reason for including them.
· A list of your practice areas
· A page for each practice area, with a few paragraphs describing the laws related to that practice area
· Short biographies of the attorneys at your firm
· A blog with posts about common questions related to your practice area or news about laws and cases related to it
· Your contact information, including a physical address, phone number, and email address
Don’t Waste Your Time and Money on Gimmicks
Many of the mistakes that lawyers make regarding how to allocate a law firm’s marketing budget have to do with wasting money on gimmicky advertising strategies. Following the advice of advertising firms that promise miracles probably will not decrease your client base; the problem with pursuing pie-in-the-sky marketing strategies is that your efforts are better spent elsewhere, such as serving your current clients. Here are some examples.
· Don’t obsess over which SEO keywords to use on your site and where to use them. Make a website for clients, not for Google.
· Don’t pay marketing firms to post fake reviews of your law firm. Google can tell the difference between real reviews and fake ones, and so can clients.
· Don’t waste your money buying clicks. No matter how many bots click on your site, not a single one of them will hire you to represent it in a court of law.
· Don’t resort to black hat SEO tactics. They will harm your site’s rankings instead of helping them.
Legal Content Writing
Your law firm’s website is the best place to invest your efforts to market your law firm, but most lawyers do not have time to write web content. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create an informative, professionally written website for your small law firm.
Many lawyers entered the legal profession in part because they love to write and to share ideas, but it is obvious even by the time you graduate from law school that being a lawyer is a business. Therefore, most of the law blogs on the Internet exist mostly, or at least partly, for commercial purposes. If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you are looking for ideas about how to attract new clients and how to generate revenue for your law firm.
You might be daydreaming about eventually being able to cut back on your work hours and devote more time to writing, but that is some distance in the future. Therefore, you might need to take a different approach to your blog from the one followed by your favorite law blogs, which you read frequently.
Law Blogs for Lawyers: Too Aspirational for the Average Law Firm
Reading law blogs is a great way to get inspiration for posts to write on your own law firm’s blog, or even to learn information that could be relevant when you are researching and arguing your own cases. Feedspot published a list of 100 law blogs it considers recommended reading for lawyers and law students. While the blogs on the list make for fascinating reading, there are several reasons you should not model your law firm’s blog too closely on them.
· Most of them were not published by law firms. Instead, their editors are law professors or even entire editorial staffs employed by law schools. In other words, these blogs have many more resources to devoted to blogging than your small or medium-sized law firm has.
· The topics that many of these blogs cover, such as news related to law careers, will not help your blog attract new customers. Their target audience is lawyers, not clients of law firms.
Law Blogs for Prospective Clients: How Low Is the Lowest Common Denominator?
The best law firm blogs assume that the reader has no background knowledge of the laws or legal issues that you discuss in the posts. A post on the American Bar Association blog contains some rather cynical advice about how to make your law firm’s blog effective at attracting new clients. While its advice that you should focus more on telling an interesting story than in delving deeply into legal issues, is sound, it is not necessary to assume that your readers are so dumb that they only respond to clickbait, calls to action, and brightly colored contact information. The better choice is to treat your readers like readers, not like paying customers. Don’t try to sell to them; just tell a story.
Legal Blog Writing
Does writing blog content that is intellectually rigorous but easily relatable sound like a difficult balancing act? You can count on Law Blog Writers to provide blog posts that will make prospective clients and generally intellectually curious people want to keep reading.
As a graduate of law school, you have learned to see the invisible templates that underlie virtually every piece of writing. Starting with a template and then filling in content makes you a more organized writer and a more organized reader.
Of course, the key is to make your content so engaging that readers do not see the template. You, as a lawyer, are such an astute reader that you know that almost every piece of writing conforms in some way to genre conventions, whether or not this was its author’s intention. In the 90s, the “rants” of teen authors, published first in handwritten zines and then later on lovingly crafted personal websites with garish background colors, had formal conventions and common themes, despite their claims to free-wheeling individuality.
Anyone who goes online looking for thoughtful commentary on popular movies and TV shows from their childhood will find pieces that are thought-provoking indeed, and noticeably similar to each other in form and content.
A Farewell to Listicles
Perhaps the most maligned form of Internet writing, though, is the listicle, a literary form that proudly displays its outline. Listicles have many applications, but they are particularly common on business blogs. Whether they still have a place in content marketing is too broad a question for purposes of this post, which will not take the form of a listicle, so as to avoid the charges of tone-deaf lack of self-awareness so often leveled at Internet writers. The better question is this: Do listicles belong on a law firm blog?
A 2015 post from DesignCo Marketing says that they do not. The post’s greatest virtue is its graphic, which appears to depict proboscis eggplants. The post makes important points about the drawbacks of listicles. Here are some highlights.
· Listicles present the wrong level of detail for most topics. If you want to present a simple list, just use bullet points. If you want to go into enough detail to be informative, make each item on the list several paragraphs long, at which point they become sub-headings, not list items.
· Listicles assume that the reader’s attention span is shorter than it is. Posting listicles means that you really just want readers to click on your page and skim through it, without really learning anything new.
· It is usually more effective to tell a story in the form of a story than in the form of a list. Both stories and checklists have a place in the legal profession; decide which one you want to write.
If You Must Use Listicles
Internet writers love listicles because you can write them quickly, and because in the hands of a skilled writer, they are well organized. If you want to write listicles on your blog, link them to longer content. For example, your listicle can be five Supreme Court decisions that relate to a certain topic. Then link each item to the text of the decision or to an article on a law school’s website explaining the decision in more detail.
Legal Content Writing Help
Are you too overworked to decide whether you love listicles or hate them? You can count on Law Blog Writers to provide blog posts that your readers will not merely skim but will reread as reliable sources of information.
Lawyers get conflicting advice about how to optimize their law firms’ websites for Google searches. Just be yourself and be the best student (or write the best web content) as you can. Game the system and search far and wide for little known tactics to gain an advantage. Update your blog a few times a month, writing natural-sounding content, letting the keywords fall where they will. Include every possible keyword, including the names of competing law firms. Write about topics of enduring interest to people who need the services of lawyers in your practice area. Research trending topics and write about them on your blog before the news cycle leaves them behind.
So, which is it? In fact, while the basic principles of SEO remain the same, web content is always changing, and search engines are always adapting to keep up with it. The following story illustrates how Google’s search engine modifies its tactics to stop Internet charlatans from having the last word.
Bogus Links, Beware of the Penguin
Google Penguin in a search engine algorithm introduced in 2012, which is ancient history in the world of SEO. Wikipedia is uncharacteristically tight-lipped about where the algorithm got its name, but it probably has something to do with the fact that penguins look cute and harmless, but are not to be messed with, especially when it comes to protecting their adorable, fluffy penguin chicks. Google Penguin was an improvement on older algorithms in that it was better at catching websites made using black-hat SEO tactics.
Specifically, Google Penguin penalized sites that included link schemes. In other words, the builders of these sites would link lots of other sites to them, making it appear to the pre-Penguin algorithms that the sites were popular or authoritative because so many other sites relied on them or considered their content worthwhile. In fact, many of these links had been paid for, or else the owners of the sites engaged in “I’ll link to you if you link to me” exchanges purely for the purpose of increasing their rankings.
Links in a Post-Penguin World
It still helps your site’s rankings if other sites link to it, but now you have to earn links the old-fashioned way, by posting content on your site that other sites will want to use as a source. The best way to achieve that is by creating informative content that people will enjoying reading. This is reason enough to pay for professionally written content for your law firm’s site.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
No matter how many times Google’s algorithms change, you can count on Law Blog Writers to provide blog posts and website content that avoids black-hat and gray-hat shenanigans.
According to a frequently shared Buzzfeed article, burnout is a nationwide epidemic among Americans of working age. The author, Anne Helen Petersen, attributes the constant feelings of malaise, stress, guilt, and indecision to constant pressure to be productive. While the article might come as an epiphany to many young adults trying to cobble together a living from assorted gigs in addition to their full-time jobs, the feeling of being required to function at superhuman levels of productivity 24 hours a day is nothing new to lawyers.
Simply put, you as a lawyer are indispensable to your clients. In order to make enough time for them, something else has to give. How do you dispose of the other tasks involved in running a successful law firm, the ones that take time away from helping your clients win their cases or enter valid legal agreements, tasks such as managing your law firm’s marketing strategy? Well, you do what the most productive people have always done. You eliminate, automate, or delegate those tasks as appropriate.
Marketing Tasks You Can Eliminate
With law firm marketing, less is more, so you can eliminate most tasks. You don’t need to film new client testimonials and post them on YouTube every week, so you can fire the acting coaches, makeup artists, and anyone else associated with such costly and time-consuming marketing stunts. You can stop sending print flyers, since they are the snail mail equivalent of spam. (“Snail spam” sounds like it could be a clever entry in a Food Network competition where contestants must combine the posh, namely escargot, with the folksy, namely Spam, but as a marketing tactic, it is uninspired.) Don’t eliminate your regularly updated blog, though.
Marketing Tasks You Can Automate
While bots are not quite human language savvy enough that you can entrust the composition of your blog posts to them, you can automate some aspects of your marketing strategy. You can have a newsletter automatically sent to subscribers to your mailing list. Analytics software makes it easy to automate your keyword research, as well. Once you have accumulated a set of blog posts, you can program in advance the times when they should go live.
Marketing Tasks You Can Delegate
A frequently updated blog on your law firm’s website is essential to the marketing strategy of successful law firms. Writing blog posts is not the best use of your time as a lawyer, especially not if you are trying to make partner. As long as you communicate the goals for your blog clearly, delegating the task of blogging can be a very fruitful endeavor. You can delegate the task to interns, paralegals, or even your spouse if you are married to someone who loves to write, but the best choice is to entrust your blog to a professional content marketing firm.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
You can count on Law Blog Writers to provide engaging, informative blog posts while you concentrate on the tasks that only you can do.