1. Supplement Traditional Marketing Methods
Advances in technology have opened up new and affordable marketing avenues that are accessible for even the smallest of firms. Use advanced marketing techniques to supplement traditional marketing methods such as networking, writing and speaking engagements and traditional paid advertisements.
2. Marketing With Social Media
Facebook is a free social networking website that enables people to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
Twitter enables people to posts short messages called tweets and follow other users’ tweets.
Google + is Google’s social networking project that integrates with Google’s other platforms.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for the business community and other professionals. The site enables members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust.
Mashable defines blogging as “an interactive form of publishing content on the web. It comes from the term ‘web log’. The act of blogging dates back to the late 1990s, and has become a dominant way of self-publishing in the 2000s.” There are many platforms for writing and posting your blog; WordPress is one the more popular ones.
3. Importance of a Website – The Modern Day Business Card
A professional website is no longer a “nice to have”. It is a must. One of the first things a potential client will do is look up a lawyer or law firm’s web presence. This includes looking for more information on the website and evaluating how the lawyer or firm have been received on social media.
Clients will make assumptions about a lawyer’s expertise, professionalism and success by looking at their online presence. A professional website will provide a good first impression and will provide the client the necessary information to make an informed decision about whether you or your firm is right for the client.
While the “old school approach” was to keep knowledge close to the chest, there is a practical marketing benefit to sharing knowledge through your website. In addition to showing expertise, the content can improve your rankings on search engines.
4. Blogging for Useful Content
One of the most effective ways to blog is to focus on subject matters that you find interesting or are related to your practice area. Following news feeds, recent cases, and industry specific newsletters can be a great way to generate content for new blog topics and ideas.
Google rewards blogs that produce original, relevant and trustworthy content by elevating the blog post in organic search results.
5. Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves the optimization of your firm’s website to obtain a high page ranking when users search for particular keywords that are relevant to your practice. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to determine what websites are the most relevant for a particular keyword search.
Typically, search engines look for: (a) useful, keyword rich content; and (b) backlinks from high page ranking websites (typically authority sites).
Maintaining a high page rank is hard work and requires constant maintenance and content updates.
6. Google Ad Words and Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (PPC)
Like SEO, most search engines also permit business clients to create advanced marketing campaigns where they “bid” on advertisements that appear at the top of search results. These advertisements are typically charged “per click-through”.
The determination of where an ad will run will also depend on a proprietary algorithm. While this is a complicated and highly advanced method of marketing, it can be highly successful and lead to valuable “warm leads”.
Typically PPC campaigns must be set up and managed much in the same way as an SEO campaign.
7. Analyzing the Results of Your Advanced Marketing
It is often difficult to measure the effectiveness of advanced marketing techniques, especially if you are making a lot of changes to your marketing approach all at once.
Adwords, Google analytics, WordPress and Facebook have excellent statistics relevant to specific campaigns. Part of the problem may be that clients will find you from a number of sources before they make the decision to call.
Perhaps the simplest way to measure success is to have the person processing new callers and intakes keep detailed statistics and “drill down” by asking the new callers specific questions as to how they found out about your firm and what motivated them to call your office. Then track this data over a period of time (monthly, quarterly, yearly) and watch for trends and indicators as to what is working and not working, allowing you to measure your ROI.
8. Getting it Done – On Your Own Versus Outsourcing
We are all very busy with our practices and often wonder when will I have the time to focus on my marketing efforts. It can be effective to set aside a specific time and day of the week to dedicate 2 to 3 hours focused on social media and marketing. The various social platforms may permit you to schedule your posts in advance and release your posts at certain times and days (or even months) in advance.
You can delegate “in house,” hire a professional marketing company to oversee your marketing efforts, or hire professional freelancers and researchers to assist.
Perhaps a hybrid approach may be the most effective for you. Keep active and participate in your marketing efforts while delegating and hiring professionals to help carry the load.
These tips were assembled by Russell Alexander and Allan Oziel for their presentation at the LSUC’s 2015 Solo Conference and are reproduced here with the permission of Allan Oziel.
Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers, a family law boutique with offices in Markham, Whitby, and Lindsay, Ontario. Visit www.russellalexander.com or connect by E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Twitter (@familyLLB).
Allan Oziel is the principal at Oziel Law, an entrepreneurial law firm in Toronto, specializing in business, technology and intellectual property law. Visit www.oziellaw.ca or connect by E-mail (email@example.com) or on Twitter (@allanoziel).