Law Firm Marketing

Law Firm MarketingIs there a magic formula to match law practice focus areas to the market at large? Probably not. But you need to get in the minds of the prospects when they have “search intent” to find a lawyer.  Webdirexion specializes in Law Firm Marketing, so we do have some definite ideas on that subject. It boils down to this formula:

Inbound Marketing + Media Placement + Social Media + Content Marketing Strategy

So we publish marketing tactic and strategies articles here to keep you up to date on tactics and strategies for law firms that need to compete smartly within legal guidelines and be top of mind for prospective clients.

» Learn more about our Law Firm Marketing Solutions

Smart Marketing for Your Law Firm

Most law firms have caught onto SEO and other online marketing tactics, but do you sell the brand, the firm, or individual lawyers?

Most law firms have caught onto SEO and other online marketing tactics, but do you sell the brand, the firm, or individual lawyers?

The Jan/Feb issue of Law Practice Magazine (published by the ABA — American Bar Association) is focusing on Marketing, so we thought it would be a good idea to review a few of the concepts in the issue and contrast with some things we’ve learned in our own focus on smart marketing for your law firm.

What we have found, generally, is that while top-level marketing solutions are the same for professional services firms — branding, positioning, differentiation — the nuts and bolts of tactics, marketing automation software, and even some strategies will differ between firms.

Analytics to learn what prospects do and do not do:  In an article on Leveraging Analytics in Marketing, Adam Severson, CMO of Baker Donelson (ranked as the Country’s 68th largest law firm) recommends four components of marketing analytics which include “creating dashboards of activity,” and “tying activity to revenue”.  Perfect.  We like to use Google Analytics to look at site activity, and sometimes use 2-3 other dashboards including Hootsuite* for social media, SEO profiler and/or Bright Local for search results; and even Google Webmaster Tools for some insights you can’t get in Analytics.

STJSE-Stats

Above is a quick look at page performance for a law firm client we have, where the key is what people do leading up to becoming clients.  In the last column we measure “Engaged Visitors” — those who view 3 or more pages — because studies have shown visitors who engage with your site are more likely to do business with you.  Note that “/” (the top line) is the firm’s homepage, and that it more highly engages visitors at 13.78% is a good sign it is performing well.

…part of “selling” each attorney means that they write blog articles, sometimes with personal anecdotes so prospects can get to know them. People buy from people they feel they know.”

Then there are reports from Google Adwords and other pay per click advertising we manage for clients.  Lots of places to look, so the question then becomes just what do you look at in these tools?  That’s where you stats to desired business outcome goals — which goes to the revenue talked about in the article.  We like to create quick top-level custom reports for clients, and then take deeper dives into data as required.  Deeper dives for what?  What indeed.  It is “what prospects do” and don’t do that you can learn from analytics, but usually the “why” of their behavior.  For that you need to actually ask them and there are some testing methods, social media tactics, and visitor polling that can help you with that.

Making your Practice Credible:  In an article on Cultivating Credibility, author Brad Shepard offers up some real gems.  First noting that two things prospects seek are, good experience with the specific legal issue they are facing, and recommendations from trusted sources, including other clients, Shepard goes on to give these take-away points:

  • “Firm credibility isn’t the same as brand awareness.”
  • “Research indicates that clients are buying attorneys, not firms.”

Presenting experience and recommendations goes to credibility — and that means a focus on both firm level credibility and that of each attorney.  Then you add a brand awareness goal to the mix and you have your marching orders.

Klout

Above, we’ve identified a “Klout” influencer using Hootsuite dashboard — a possible “amplification” ally with 4,100 followers.

 

The fun part is choosing the tactics and tools to accomplish those goals.  Here’s an outline of some methods we like:

  • For websites, we custom develop on the WordPress platform with an eye on hitting experience, and brand awareness on the home page with an introduction to the firm’s lawyers as well.
  • WordPress began as a blogging platform, so it then becomes easy to use a blog marketing strategy where part of “selling” each attorney means that they write blog articles, sometimes with personal anecdotes so prospects can get to know them.  People buy from people they feel they know.
  • Next we make sure there’s a good presence in all “big four” social venues — G+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — for brand awareness and some conversation.  Sure, you want to post links there back to blog posts, but social means you actually talk to one another too.  Hootsuite offers a time-saving, all-in-one dashboard for this.
  • For email newsletters (another great way to leverage the content you produce)  and quick “postcard” announcements

We’ve already talked about Analytics reporting, and we also like A/B testing, smart PPC advertising, and sometimes even “old-school” tactics like direct post-card mailings.  But these all have to prove out for ROI, and we believe one essential component of that to be studying phone calls direct from your online marketing effort — with a smart solution that provides ROI for call tracking, call routing and lead scoring.  We’ll cover these items in some future posts.

* Webdirexion is a pro-solution partner with Hootsuite, and Scott, Julie and Wendy are certified in Social Media Marketing by Hootsuite University.

 

 

Lead Gathering for Law Firm Marketing

What is the most effective way to gather leads for a smaller Law Firm?   Let’s talk about firms of one to eight attorneys and consider now that the Yellow Pages are mostly dead, what are some strong strategies and tactics to gather qualified leads for rainmaking in your practice.

Law Firm Marketing Factors

Law Firm Marketing Factors: Above (1) we see that PPC ads for personal injury law firms can cost around $60 — per click. (2) Checking search volume for Seattle “personal injury attorney seattle” had 3,600 searches last month according to Google — a good term to target. (3) A search return for the same phrase shows both paid ads in play as well as organic “earned” listings. (4) research (from Lexis Nexis) shows 75% of consumers seeking an attorney will use online resources. [click to enlarge]

“…law firms need a mix of tactics to gather leads, and you need to put in place tracking metrics to gauge ROI.”

Five tactics to gather leads for Law Firms 

  • DirectoriesNolo vs. Lawyers.com (Lexis Nexis) vs. AVVO vs FindLaw:  What I learned by checking different lawyer forums is that while each directory listing company has their advocates and detractors (this article denounces Nolo and “Expert Hub”), I still believe that an ad for approx. $200 in the right directory for your firm is a smart part of your marketing mix. 
  • Pay Per Click Ads on Google:  Click costs can add up at rates ranging between $8 – $111 per click (see infographic showing a study of recent rates for legal terms).  Let’s say you pay $60 a click (more…)

Flawed Law & Medical Practice Template Websites

There are a number of professional practice marketing companies out there for law firms, medical practices, dentists, etc., offering mediocre solutions based on outdated tactics and online marketing practices.  Don’t be fooled by Glitz that’s actually Glitch.  Here are five ways they fail for online marketing…

Law Site Templates

(click to enlarge) These cookie cutter templates from FIndLaw offer you a choice of colors, but none are designed to communicate the unique value of your firm.

The Problem with Cookie Cutter Templates: Templates are generic designs which were not crafted based on your strategy, your goals, and your unique value proposition. Here are two examples of typical choices — the first from FindLaw (right), a large lawyer marketing company, and the other from a Chiropractic marketing services firm (left, below).

The FindLaw offerings are in three different cost categories, and while the more expensive designs offer more glitz, they still are generic, so your unique strengths will not be revealed.  For example (more…)