Everything Old Is New Again
Have you heard the expression “The only thing constant is change”? Well, change comes to constants, too.
Consider law firm marketing techniques. The bedrock principles may not have shifted, but how they can be executed most effectively certainly has.
You may not need to overhaul your fundamental beliefs about marketing your law firm, but forward-thinking attorneys and law firms are always interested in refinement, new information and growth. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on how and to whom you should be exercising your law firm’s marketing fundamentals.
- Old: An ad in the Yellow Pages
- New: A listing in an online directory
- Why: Can you remember the last time you used a phone book for anything other than a doorstop? Of course, print isn’t dead and there are certain practice areas, such as Elder Law, for which yesterday’s technology may still have some value. For attorneys in most practice areas, however, it makes much more sense to allocate resources to an online directory listing instead. First, consumers know online directories are an efficient one-stop shop and seek them out because they offer many options all in one place. Second, directory listings can help demonstrate to search engines that you’re a viable, legitimate entity. Best of all, directories tend to be low-effort marketing initiatives that, with a relatively small amount of care, can produce results for a lengthy period of time.
- Old: A nicely designed business card
- New: A built-out social media presence
- Why? Let’s say a consumer with a legal need recalls hearing something about you and wants to know who you are as a person and what it would be like to do business with you. Ten years ago, she might have a business card of yours in her purse, where she stashed it after the last chamber of commerce mixer. These days, she doesn’t need a physical token like that because she’s likely to go straight to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. FindLaw research shows these platforms hold appeal to consumers because they provide authenticity, immediacy and a strong brand and image. Not being present on social media will mean losing an important chance to make an impression; being present on social media in a half-baked way will mean making a sloppy, disorganized or out-of-touch impression, which might be worse. (Interested in learning more about social media? We’ve written a wealth of blog posts on the topic, or you could set an appointment to learn about the social media products we offer.)
- Old: Network, network, network
- New: Network, network, network – but do it online and off
- Why? FindLaw found that between 2014 and 2015, the importance consumers placed on social media grew 70 percent. That’s just one of many statistics that could be used to show a solid social media presence is a must for law firms that want to thrive. That being said, there has never been a magic cure-all in legal marketing, and just because social media is the shiniest option in the toolbox doesn’t mean it’s the miracle we’ve all been waiting for. In fact, the growth of to social media simply reinforces the old saying about “location, location, location.” If you want to come to mind when a consumer has a legal need, then you need to be where he or she can see you. That means you need to post to Facebook, volunteer at the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, check in on Twitter, sponsor the PTA silent auction and update your LinkedIn profile.
So stick with what’s always worked: If you’re expressing what distinguishes your law firm from its competitors, and sending that message through the right channels to the right audience, you’re on solid footing even when the online landscape changes. As long as you’re open to new ideas, trying new things and meeting your potential customers where they are, you’ll remain in a good position.