Quick Legal Marketing Tips for What’s Left of 2017
Do you hear that sound? The one coming from offices around the country now that December is here? It’s the stampede of folks leaving work to take the rest of the year off, kick back and put everything on hold until January. Many of them won’t finalize their 2018 business plan before they do, but your small law firm probably doesn’t have that luxury.
When they’re gone, you’ll still be in the office planning your marketing budget, your potential caseload and how many billable hours you need for a successful 2018. Below are a few marketing tips to finish the year strong while preparing for a busy year ahead.
Set reasonable 2018 goals
If you’re aiming for big growth in 2018, you probably want to take every case that comes your way and increase your client base by 50 percent. The problem with moon shot goals like these is that they’re so daunting that it’s easy to give up without the affirmation of meeting small, monthly (or even weekly) benchmarks.
Think of all those people who join a gym on Jan. 1 wanting to change their lives and get back in shape. Most of them don’t quit because they want to, they quit because their expectations weren’t in line with the work and time needed to accomplish them. If, like them, you have an ambitious growth plan in 2018 try to manage your expectations by setting short- and long-term goals that are feasible and will lead you down a measurable path toward the bigger picture.
Build a content calendar
You may have heard the expression “content is king.” In today’s digital marketing climate businesses from sports apparel to massage therapy to law firms understand that a steady stream of content—from social posts to blogs—is needed to position their brand in front of the right consumers.
That doesn’t mean you have to work every hour of every day on your next blog post. You can set a flexible writing schedule that plans for fresh content while allowing you to skip a day here and there (we’re all busy, right?). To you, a daily Facebook post may not seem all that valuable, but it may be just the thing to turn a legal consumer in your favor.
Build your referrals and reputation
If you’ve read our reputation management playbook, you probably understand how crucial online reviews have become to legal consumers. The question many attorneys ask is how to collect enough reviews to positively influence clients that are deciding what attorney to call. It can feel awkward soliciting reviews from former clients, but businesses of all kinds do it (with tact). Try sending an end of the year holiday card to your former clients thanking them for hiring your law firm and encouraging them to review your firm online (if it’s allowed by your state bar association).
Don’t tell them what to say or try to influence how they rate your services. In some states it’s illegal and in every state, it will leave a bad taste in their mouth. Besides, the reviews should be honest both for your sake and for that of your client.
Take a post-Thanksgiving NAP
Like many local businesses, law firms often believe that if their name, address and phone number (NAP) are correct in one local directory (like Yelp) then their NAP is correct on all directories. That’s not true, and if there are variations from website to website it could reduce the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
Look around the web for your firm’s name on sites that aggregate local business information. Make sure the spelling of your firm is the same (down to the letter) and that all of them have your correct address and phone number. You’d be surprised at how inconsistent the results are when you’re not paying attention.
Now, all of this doesn’t mean you have to work through the holidays, but if you take some extra time to prepare for next year, you may have a solid foundation for 2018. The eggnog can wait one more day.