24% of lawyers surveyed who passed the bar in 2000 were no longer in legal practice by 2012. While some had gone on to law-related positions such as professorships, many left the field entirely to become real estate agents or other professionals. Entry-level positions in law have long been in decline.
What does it mean for your law firm?
No matter where you graduated or what your grades were, achieving lasting success in independent practice means combining legal acumen with business insight. For many highly skilled and educated attorneys, business is a second education that calls for many years of work after the bar.
The most important of those business skills is lawyer marketing.
Digital Lawyer Marketing Goes Beyond Bench Ads To Draw Clients To You
Gone are the days when firms could advertise on buses, benches, or even on television and expect to yield revenue suited to a senior partner. Today’s legal markets are more crowded than ever before, and prospective clients have more options for meeting their needs.
The internet has made it easier for some legal consumers to opt for self-service. Independent paralegals are doing more of the work a local full service law firm may have done in the past. Traditional media has lost its luster – and large, established firms buy up the remaining placements at premium rates.
What’s a smaller firm or solo attorney to do? The same thing you do in court: Turn the tables.
The old-fashioned marketing paradigm relies on you spending more to chase after clients. It uses dated methods that interrupt their day, seize their attention, and shout “Look at me!” With digital lawyer marketing, you can draw them to your website exactly when they need you most.
Many clients are first-time legal consumers. They don’t remember the last law firm advertisement they saw. But they know that when they’re in trouble, they need to go online, get information, and choose a lawyer … fast!
People look for legal advice online when time is of the essence. Unlike the audience passively absorbing ads at home, they have a concrete problem and a burning need to reduce the ambiguity around their situation.
That opens the door to a strong relationship and a fast-moving customer journey.
Blog Writing Is The Biggest Arena For Lawyer Marketing Online
So, where should you start building a strategy for lawyer marketing?
Bar none, the answer is blog writing.
Blog writing isn’t just for kids, foodies, and influencers. Done right, it turns your website into a lead engine that consistently attracts traffic from local visitors with pressing needs. Just look at brands like Nolo and FindLaw, which bring in thousands of views every month through their content.
Blog writing is the first, fundamental step in a content marketing strategy that puts you on the same path.
You already know who your ideal clients are and what problems they face. A commitment to consistent blog writing helps you capture higher positions in Google search results related to your business. Over time, that turns into a competitive advantage no newcomer can replicate and no amount of money can buy.
The basics of blog writing for lawyers are simple:
- Know the kinds of clients you want to work with and what information they seek out online
- Understand the stresses and feelings that they deal with when confronted with a legal issue
- Explain the basic legal concepts that may apply to their situation in simple, concise language
- Give them a clear directive about what to do next – in marketing-speak, a “call to action”
Confusion, dread, panic, all of these are common when someone is drawn into the legal system. That’s true no matter whether it’s a criminal or civil matter. Legal consumers are often acutely aware that they don’t know enough. On top of that, they don’t know what they don’t know.
They’re at square one and the clock is ticking.
No matter how impressive your credentials are, they don’t differentiate you from competitors if clients don’t understand what they mean. Since the average consumer has no interest in law school rankings, relevant website content written in your own voice is one of the easiest ways to help them tell you apart from the rest.
Virtually every successful law firm has a blog … and the reason is because they work.
Three Misconceptions About Lawyer Marketing Blogs To Beat Now
Writing more blogs leads to more traffic, while publishing helpful, informative blogs that resonate with those visitors motivates them to contact you. Unlike many other industries, legal consumers don’t generally have to be enticed onto a mailing list and spend weeks getting to know you before they will take action.
That means you can add significantly to your monthly case load after just a few months of blogging.
But there are some misconceptions about lawyer marketing with blogs to overcome. These myths easily trick motivated, talented attorneys into putting their digital marketing on the back burner. When they get poor and inconsistent results, they might think they can’t keep up with the big guys online.
Here are the three biggest facts attorneys should know about lawyer blogging:
1. You Don’t Have To Compete Against Everyone
Many attorneys are misled by the idea that lawyer marketing online means competing against the whole nation for a limited number of top-ranked positions on search results. While there are brands out there that operate on the national level, the great majority of traffic to lawyer websites comes from within 20 miles.
That’s how it should be, of course. No one wants to jump on a plane to visit their attorney.
This distinction is vital for your lawyer marketing because it means you are never going head to head against the industry leader in criminal defense, business law, personal injury, or any other practice area. Instead, you can build brand equity by focusing content on the unique needs of your community.
Lawyer marketing strategies include local search engine optimization (SEO) that hyper-targets content to your local area. Combined with reputation management measures like soliciting testimonials and responding to online reviews, local SEO connects you with the prospects most likely to respond to your message.
2. You Don’t Have To Say Anything Breathtaking
Although most lawyer marketing is directed at consumers, it doesn’t have to be as entertaining or engaging as conventional marketing to make its point and be effective. You don’t have to have a controversial take on a legal subject or livestream yourself paragliding to get clients to respond to your message.
Most of any lawyer marketing blog will consist of evergreen content. That’s content many of your visitors will be interested in that rarely needs to be updated. Especially early on, the bulk of your posts might consist of basic treatments of routine legal matters with a slight local twist.
Lawyer blogs can and should have a smattering of newsworthy content when events warrant. For example, if you work with clients affected by the War on Drugs, they might have good reason to be interested in new laws on medical or recreational marijuana in your state. This also boosts local SEO.
While lawyer blogs can be interesting, the most important thing is to communicate your brand.
3. You Don’t Have To Write Everything Yourself
If you would normally bill hundreds of dollars for a 1,000-word legal brief, it might sting to spend hours doing the same work for little upfront gain – especially if you have a full caseload to handle. Luckily, you don’t have to write every blog post on your site yourself. A lawyer marketing team can do the job for you.
Accuracy is crucial in online lawyer content, but so is tone. If you aren’t versed in communicating for a general audience, it could take months to develop a sense for content others will read, use, and understand. A lawyer marketing team can maintain your publishing schedule based on your goals and get your audience to act.
How does working with marketers square with writing in your own voice and demonstrating your brand?
Simply, it’s critical to choose lawyer marketing experts who are as interested in your firm’s success as you are.
Not only will you need writers who can do basic legal research, but they should also understand who you are, where you come from, and your positioning in the market. This helps ensure all your communications ring with authenticity and all your blog posts are works you’re pleased to associate with your firm.
Three Steps To Launching Your Lawyer Marketing Blog
1. Select Your Keywords And Subjects
While most companies need to use a specialized search keyword tool to know what their customers search for, the same is not true of lawyer marketing. You probably understand what your clients need and how they word it – “slip and fall in Pasadena CA” for example. Each blog post should center around a handful of keywords like these, using them naturally throughout a broader discussion of one main legal topic.
2. Develop Targets And A Calendar
Consistency is essential to any successful lawyer marketing campaign. To achieve it, workflows related to your digital marketing need to become central to your practice as a whole. Most firms should focus on publishing one blog post each week to start. Once you have a solid process for meeting those expectations, you can gradually ramp up to two or even three posts every week – the more high quality content you have, the better.
3. Learn Your Data Analytics
Analytics software tells you how people reach your website and what they do once they get there. By reviewing analytics data weekly, you learn which blog posts get read in full and which ones prompt visitors to schedule a call. That, in turn, equips you to create more of the content your readers find compelling. Over time, small improvements in the effectiveness of your content snowball into major results.
New York Ave offers the expertise to accelerate your lawyer marketing campaign. We work with you to clarify your objectives and realize your vision through great content while you stay focused on what you do best.
To learn more, contact us.