For many years, most law firms have gotten most of their clients through word-of-mouth. Makes sense, right? Your attorneys provide stellar service, so when a client knows someone who needs a lawyer, they’re all too happy to recommend your firm. But that’s rapidly changing. A recent study found that more and more people are finding their attorneys through online searches — especially young people. The future of legal marketing is online, especially as these young people grow older.
Not only is this younger generation more likely to find you online, but they also care more about ideals. As we move into the future, it’s critical for your law firm marketing to highlight the firm’s ideals and show the human side of its attorneys.
Changing your law firm’s strategy seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by answering this question: What does your law firm stand for, and what sets you apart from the competition? Once you’ve come up with the answer, here’s how to incorporate that message in your legal marketing.
1. Rethink Your Website Messaging
Your website is the linchpin of your legal marketing strategy. Whether potential clients discover your firm through a friend, Google, or Facebook, they’re going to check out your website before picking up the phone.
When they arrive, what will they see? Does your site clearly express your firm’s values?
There are opportunities to humanize your law firm all across your site. Start with your “About Us” page. Does your firm sponsor events in the community? Support charitable causes? Add that to your list of awards and achievements. Take it a step further by adding videos showing your attorneys discussing some of the firm’s most important cases.
From there, move to your attorney bio page. Every person’s page should show their personality. We don’t just mean listing a favorite movie or including family photos. Discuss areas of law you find fascinating, and any pro bono work you may do. Are you a dedicated volunteer at the Humane Society? Include that, too! The Legal Marketing Association also suggests swapping out headshots for a photo that shows the attorney in their element, or a video of them speaking about an important case.
Showing another side of the attorneys helps potential clients feel as though they have a personal connection with your firm. Once they feel that bond, they’re much more likely to pick up the phone.
2. Content Strategy And Social Media
Your content and social media presence work together to help people find your firm. Both areas are perfect for establishing thought-leadership and highlighting your law firm’s values. When crafting your content strategy, think about what potential clients are looking for, and how you can showcase your firm’s expertise. Here are some ideas to incorporate in your blog:
- Give a legal perspective about a major news story
- Write about ways your firm is involved in the community
- Has your firm recently won an award? Write about it!
- Shine the spotlight on your attorneys with a written interview
For more on creating innovative, informative content for your law firm, be sure to check out this post, where we take an in-depth look at strategy.
Once you’ve crafted this amazing content, it’s time to share it. Social media is one way to amplify your content, further cementing your firm’s reputation as a thought-leader. Social media is also the perfect place to show a personality. Incorporate photos and videos of volunteer or community work. Share news articles that relate to your practice area. Curate content from other sources. Whatever you post, make sure it tells your firm’s story!
3. Stay Engaged Online
Many negative reviews have to do with attorney attitudes, bad customer service, or lack of communication rather than poor quality of legal services. You can counteract this by staying engaged and responding to negative comments on social media, Yelp, and legal directories. As soon as you see a negative comment, respond. Don’t just use a canned response, either. People see right through those. The best response will invite the negative reviewers into a dialogue. Ask the person with a complaint to contact you so you may resolve their issue offline.
This approach ensures their privacy is respected, the issue is dealt with, and other commenters see your firm is engaged and willing to respond. While negative reviews and comments are the most damaging, don’t neglect the positive ones! A simple and sincere “thank you” goes a long way in establishing a positive personality for your law firm.