Blog/Podcast: Lawyers Resistant to Online Marketing Are Falling Behind the Competition. You Don’t Have to Be One of Them!
You don’t need to become a super marketer to get your fair share of business; you just need to be enthusiastic and consistent. Attorney Barry Goldberg was a guest on the Law Firm Marketing Catalyst podcast, where he shared his successful strategies and philosophies for marketing yourself online.
- Tip #1: Make Sure You Have a Good Website
If your current website is designed as more of a digital business card lawyer-to-lawyer type of site, it’s time to make a change. Upload a professionally shot picture of yourself to make it easier for people to relate to you and add relevant, well-thought-out, authoritative content on a regular basis.
- Tip #2: Be a Consistent Blogger
The easiest way to develop content is to have a blog attached to your website. Make sure to focus on topics that provide answers to people’s questions. Use the news to tell your readers how what’s in the news relates to the law, as this is helpful and significant for people to know. This provides the vehicle for writing real information with citations to cases, statutes or recent trial verdicts, which demonstrates your expert status.
Don’t spend a lot of time on mundane topics that everyone discusses because if there are a thousand law firms posting virtually the same blog, Google is not going to find you or give you much credit. Google looks for authoritative blog posts. One in-depth blog post a week of about 1,000 words is enough. Make sure your name is prominently displayed in the first line of the blog as well as your geographic location and what you do. If you do that week after week, Google can reliably believe you are who you say you are and will rank your content higher so you’ll come up in searches.
- Tip #3: Focus Your Content
Become the “go to” expert in a specialty within an industry and write about that area. Innovative ideas will come to you based on the cases you get or in talking with colleagues. Another suggestion is to read the advance sheets from the Court of Appeals to see what’s going on in the law. When you see a case that interests you and that you think might interest your audience, use that as an idea for a blog post.
- Tip #4: Repurpose Content
Repurposing content helps extend the value and shelf life of one piece of content. Share your blogs, presentations, awards, etc., on your website and social media to build credibility.
Once you have a lot of content and don’t have time to write a new blog, take one you wrote from two years ago, post it on social media and pose a question about it – for example, what would you do in a particular circumstance?
- Tip #5: Keep Your Enthusiasm Up
Many law firms’ websites start out for about a month with two blogs a week and then none for a year. It’s important to be consistent. Checking out Google Analytics will help you stay the course as you’ll start to see an increase in the number of people who visit your website from reading your blogs. It’s very motivating when the phone rings from someone who found you online.
- Tip #6: Be Present on Social Media
Prospects hire lawyers who are on social media. You want to put yourself in front of people as a reminder of who you are and what you do. Social media is a reliable resource for that; you can add people in your network and post about your business, events, awards, blogs, etc. Posting regularly on your social media platforms will help keep you top of mind.
Although it’s nearly impossible to understand Google’s ever-changing algorithms, there is a large connection between being on social media and search engine optimization – another reason why being on social media is so important for business development.
- Tip #7: Create Online Directories and Check Your Data
Establish an online presence; people are finding lawyers in directories and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be one of them. Make sure your name is spelled correctly and that your website address is right. Fill out information about your firm, any awards you’ve won, etc.
- Tip #8: Include Local Keywords
Google loves local. Google will send people to you if you have an address, they know what you do, and they recognize you as skilled in that area of the law. As you’re writing for your website, make sure your content includes local keywords such as your city or neighborhood, e.g., Los Angeles-based law firm or tech and media law firm near Silicon Beach.
- Tip #9: Ask for Reviews
Reviews are becoming more and more important as they are being considered in Google algorithms to point people to you. Many lawyers feel awkward asking for reviews. Make sure to start every meeting with a new client — after you shake hands and say hello — by telling them one of the things that you do differently from other law firms is that you start your process as if your client is going to give you a review at the end of the case.
What that means to them is that as you work through their case, you will explain everything clearly, be responsive, return phone calls and get a great result for them. Then, at the end of the case, when you ask them for a review, they won’t be surprised and will be expecting the request.
The best way to get a review is to earn it and then ask for it. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to get a negative review because that can be handled. Just be sure to ask.
- Tip #10: Don’t Let Resistance Derail Your Efforts
Commit to everything in tips #2-10 for just a couple of hours each week for six months and you will see results.