It’s no secret that having a strong online marketing strategy is essential for any law firm these days. What many lawyers need to know, though, is how you can leverage your offline activities to give you a leg up online.
As an active professional and dedicated member of your community, you are likely already involved in plenty of endeavors that could improve your online presence. Now, you just need to take that extra step to tie those into your online marketing campaign.
How Can These Everyday Pursuits Affect Your Firm’s Online Results?
Focusing on great client service. Of course, most law firms strive to provide excellent client service, especially since many new clients will come to you through referrals. However, you may not always be thinking about how those in-person relationships with clients can translate to online referrals. Make sure you have a process in place to help your satisfied clients leave you positive reviews on Google, Yelp, and other trusted ratings sites. Of course, be aware of regulations and guidelines stipulated by each platform, as well as applicable bar rules.
On the flip side, take a hard look at your intake process to ensure you are leaving a friendly and positive impression even with people who don’t end up as clients. Research has shown that customers who have a bad experience are more than 50 percent more likely to leave a review online than those who have a positive experience.
Taking an active role in your community. Many attorneys are happy to give back to the communities they serve, either by volunteering, sponsoring events, or donating to local charities. Whether these efforts benefit causes near and dear to your heart or causes that support your clients’ interests, these types of activities can add depth to your brand online.
When volunteering at an event, take photos and videos to post to your site and share on social media, tagging the organization to further your reach. And remember to ask charities that you support or organizations that you sponsor to link from their site to yours in return.
Participating in social clubs or pursuing your passion for hobbies. Not only do these types of activities improve your work-life balance, they provide an opportunity for website content that encourages potential clients to connect with you on a personal level.
For example: Are you an avid motorcyclist? Do you enjoy Sunday rides with your bicycle club? Do you spend your weekends rebuilding old cars? Are you a culinary mastermind? Or are you adept at all things DIY? Reading about your professional experience online may give clients confidence in your legal abilities, but learning that you have hobbies in common may sway them to choose you over the competition.
Building relationships with media outlets. Make an effort to connect with local reporters to establish yourself as the go-to resource for commentary on hot topics in your practice area. In addition to issuing news releases on the awards you receive and accomplishments you achieve, consider making yourself available to write op-eds on controversial laws, comment on the legal issues surrounding trending topics, and share insightful analysis on pending cases that other attorneys can’t discuss.
Every press release you send out will garner links back to your site. And links to every media appearance or article you are quoted in help establish you as an attorney who is at the top of his/her game.
Booking speaking engagements. Whether you are leading an educational seminar for other attorneys or hosting a Q&A on a hot topic for potential clients, you are likely to make some good in-person connections through speaking engagements.
However, you should also make sure that all online and email promotions for your speaking engagements link back to your website, and consider giving the audience a reason to visit your site after your talk. Perhaps they could download a copy of your PowerPoint, a free copy of an ebook you’ve written, a useful checklist, or a list of additional resources.
Writing guest articles. Look for opportunities to be a guest author, whether it’s for a local newspaper, a bar publication, or a law review.
Because a majority of publications also have online versions, linking to your articles from your website can establish you as an authority on certain subjects. And that’s something that will resonate with both referring attorneys and potential clients.
Staying active in professional organizations. Your involvement in local bar associations, civic organizations, and other professional networking groups provides obvious opportunities to make new connections.
Showing your involvement in those organizations on your website establishes credibility with clients, especially when comparing you to another lawyer who doesn’t have that long list of credentials.
Sharing news of your awards and honors. You should be proud of the awards, honors, and rankings you receive. They provide social proof of how much clients and peers appreciate the work you do.
Include information about awards and recognition, in the form of logos such as Super Lawyers or the Better Business Bureau, on your website to build credibility among visitors.
Being the successful lawyer you are. Just doing your job and winning cases plays a huge part in building your reputation both offline and online.
Highlighting your prominent cases and subsequent results on your website shows potential clients that you have a strong record of success and the capacity to take on complex, large cases.
Round Out Your Online Presence
There’s no denying the power of a personal referral, but there’s also no way to ignore the increasing power of online searches. A recent survey from FindLaw, for example, showed that 38 percent of people found lawyers through online searches, versus 29 percent who asked a friend or relative. That’s a massive jump from the 7 percent who hired a lawyer from online searches in 2005.
Although the way people are finding a lawyer may be changing, the qualities they’re looking for haven’t. Your online presence should reflect your character, your personality, and your professionalism. That way potential clients can see you as the well-rounded lawyer that you are.