Law Firm Marketing Ideas to Leave Behind In 2016
After the excess and hubbub of the winter holidays, January is a natural time to refresh and renew. While you’re cleaning your cupboards, organizing your desk and reordering your closets, you should also clear your law firm’s marketing plan of these outdated ideas. Outmoded thinking and stale marketing concepts will hold your business back, so let’s leave these ideas in 2016 where they belong – behind us.
- Be #1 in search engine results: It’s appealing to think successfully marketing your law firm means nothing more than convincing search engines to make you the top search result for key search terms. Unfortunately, that’s an oversimplification. Of course you need to be visible to search engines, but today’s consumers jump around, gather information on the fly and collect feedback from strangers – feedback over which you’ve had no control. They have many resources at their disposal, and they like to use them. If you can let go of the idea that search results are the only thing that matters, and can instead focus on a holistic, integrated marketing approach, your 2017 calendar will fill up much more quickly.
- Reviews don’t matter: The idea that strangers’ thoughts and impressions can influence client behavior has been tough for the legal industry to accept, and isn’t hard to see why. Attorneys studied very hard to become experts themselves, and when they need an opinion during a trial, they consult qualified professionals. Even so, a contemporary, successful law firm marketing plan must recognize there isn’t any doubt members of the general population are interested in what their peers have to say. Eighty-four percent of all people use social media, and 67 percent of consumers say reviews from former clients are a top criteria when selecting an attorney. The longer you dismiss reviews and social media assessment of your law firm, the longer you will miss out on future business. Make a new year’s resolution to put a stop to the flow of clients moving away from you for these reasons.
- Knock ‘em dead with credentials: Lawyers have a natural tendency to make their point – and then some. That may make sense with judges and juries, but it does not hit home with clients. When a potential client lands on an attorney’s website, the assumption that attorney is qualified already exists. Clients are not looking for an overstuffed resume, a CV of law school classes or a laundry list of published articles. Rather, they are looking to see if that lawyer has handled cases similar to the matter at hand, and whether that lawyer is a good fit on a personal, relationship-based level. The goal here should be marketing materials that are client-focused, not ego-focused. In fact, it’s even okay if your marketing appeals to emotion.
Digital marketing changes very quickly and no one expects your understanding of its concepts to be up-to-the-minute. If you can periodically check in and freshen up your ideas – at the first of the year, for starters – you will be better-equipped to stay competitive when trends shift.