5 Essential Tools To Help Small Firm Lawyers Grow Their Practices
Marketing, SEO and more.
Marketing – it’s one of the many things lawyers aren’t taught as part of their legal education. Marketing may not seem like an essential skill when students are in law school and are busy pontificating about substantive issues. But once lawyers enter the crowded legal market, its utility is quickly understood – especially small firm lawyers whose livelihood depends on their ability to bring clients in the door.
Legal marketing used to be as simple as advertising in the phone book, attending networking events hosted by the local bar association, and writing the occasional article for the local legal newspaper. Fast forward to 2017 and how things have changed! There are a vast assortment of marketing options both on and offline for small firm lawyers, some of which are incredibly affordable and can have high impact. The trick is knowing which ones make the most sense for your law practice.
For lawyers looking for more information on effective legal marketing, CLEs are a great way to learn. Case in point: a recent seminar at this year’s ABA Techshow, “Start From Scratch: 5 Essential Tools For Growing Your Practice.” During this session, Tim Baran and Paramjit Mahli offered lots of useful marketing tips for small firm lawyers.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips and links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
Start a blog
The results are in: one of the most affordable ways to reach potential clients and showcase your expertise as a lawyer is to start a blog. According to the speakers, blogging is one of the best ways to market your law firm online. This is because blogs drive website traffic. And, search engines really like sites where content is updated frequently and that use keywords that are relevant to your target audience.
Questions you should should ask yourself before you start blogging are: 1) Who do I want to help? 2) What do I want to say? and 3) How often do I want to say it? Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ll be well on your way to creating a blog that will serve your purposes. And, the blogging platform recommended by the speakers? WordPress.
To learn more about blogging for lawyers, make sure to read my recent post, “Blogging 101.”
Write for people, optimize for search
When you blog, your tone is very important. It should be approachable and understandable, but still manage to convey your knowledge and expertise. According to the presenters, the best way to blog effectively is to “write for people, but optimize for search.”
In order to do that effectively, you need to choose topics about which you are passionate. Because if you don’t enjoy writing about the subject matter, then you won’t find the time to do so – you’ll always make an excuse to avoid writing the next post. The speakers also emphasized the importance of writing with empathy for your readers.
To learn more about blogging effectively, watch the recording of our recent webinar, “Build Your Practice Through Blogging.”
Research the most impactful keywords
One of the reasons you’re starting a law blog is undoubtedly because you want to be found on Google. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. Search engines seek out relevant content, so it’s important to use keywords that will lead potential clients to your blog.
According to the presenters, the best way to do this is to carefully research keywords in order to determine which ones your target readers will search for on Google. Ask yourself: “What are 5 – 25 words that I want to be ranked for?” And make sure to use Google analytics to help you achieve the keyword goals you’ve set for yourself.
Become an expert in content marketing
Effective content marketing is the core of a successful online marketing program. That’s why the presenters recommended that lawyers gain a comprehensive understanding of content marketing. They explained that it’s important to create a niche and become an expert in it. That way you’ll be top of mind whenever anyone thinks about that topic.
According to the speakers, it’s important to establish a publishing culture in your firm. Start by creating a content calendar for your firm. Content can consist of checklist, Q & A pieces, video clips, or even summaries of recent news. They recommended publishing at least once per week and that posts should be 300-700 words. The posts should be short, on point, and provide valuable information for the reader.
Create content once, publish it everywhere
And last, but not least, make sure to get the most out of every piece of content that you create. Create one piece of content and then share it across the web! The presenters referred to this as the “CORE” of your online marketing: Create Once, Publish Everywhere.
Use social media to share your law firm’s content. It’s an affordable, effective way to reach your target audience. And by sharing your content, you become an expert in the eyes of the people you reach. Think of your law firm’s blog as your online marketing home base, and think of social media as hte method for getting the word out.
To learn even more about marketing your law firm, including the ins and outs of measuring your success, watch the video recap of this webinar, “Money Out the Window: How to Measure Your Marketing ROI for Lawyers.”