Your Law Firm Requires a Targeted Marketing Strategy
As a business owner and a lawyer, you already know: law firms are different from other small businesses, and law firms that provide estate planning and transactional services are different from all other legal service providers.
Being different means you need to have a specialized marketing strategy designed to attract the right clients. The clients approaching law firms that represent plaintiffs in personal injury cases or that defend DUIs are going to hire an attorney no matter what. For these businesses, marketing is about showing up on search engines.
For firms that provide transactional or estate planning services, the marketing approach needs a more long-term view. Potential clients who approach your firm may not have fully decided whether to hire an attorney at all. It’s not just about getting that first communication. For transactional and estate planning law firms, it takes on average six months to convert a client - that’s the time between the first phone call until signing the engagement letter. That’s a long time, and just showing up on search engines isn’t going to help you.
Your marketing approach needs to be different. You are in it for the long term, and you need to demonstrate your value so that you are in the front of a potential client’s mind when they decide they are finally ready to hire an attorney. This calls for consistent, ongoing marketing with some substance.
As a transactional attorney, you are not just trying to engage a client once. For your business, the goal is to build a relationship that converts a phone call into a lifelong client. Lifelong clients will continue to return for your services as they build wealth, purchase property, develop businesses, and grow their families. This kind of marketing needs to extend beyond initial communications and even beyond the first engagement letter.
Developing a Content-Based Marketing Plan
Using valuable content as the center of your marketing plan may be a little different than the marketing you are used to. At first, it may even seem counter-intuitive. You will be providing useful, relevant information to your target client for free. But don’t panic - this strategy allows you to demonstrate that you care about your clients and you are committed to providing high-quality services and building long-term relationships with your specific audience.
To develop a content-based marketing plan, you have to first ask yourself: who is my target client? Who should my marketing be trying to reach? What are the problems that the target client experiences that encourages them to engage an attorney?
As you develop your content marketing strategy, take the time to write out the answers to the following questions:
Who is your target client?
What are the kinds of problems your client is experiencing?
How can your services solve those problems?
What information can you provide that will help the client understand his or her problem?
What formats work well for the kind of content you will produce?
Which outlets will you use to publish content?
What is a reasonable schedule of content creation and publication that you can sustain?
By answering these questions, you are developing a marketing strategy that
provides quality, valuable content
designed for the specific needs of your client audience
presented in a useful and consistent format.
Defining Your Target Client Audience
As a small business, you won’t be able to serve every potential client in your jurisdiction. This is actually a great position to be in because it gives you a chance to be selective about the kinds of clients you attract and retain. Think first about your ideal client. An ideal client is one with the potential for repeat engagement.
The first question, “who are you creating content for?” is a simple one. The answer may be young families or small business owners or artists. The more creative thinking comes once you have defined your audience and you ask yourself, “what do they need?” Think critically about the clients you have already engaged. What are their common questions? What concerns them most? Are there any themes you can identify?
For content marketing to be most effective, you need to be clear on who you target client is - then your content is geared toward them, their lives, and their needs. If your ideal client is young, wealth-building families, then your website, social media pages, and in-person presence need to be a consistent source of valuable information targeted at that group.
Creating Valuable Content
Once you know who you want your clients to be and what problems they are facing, it is probably obvious to you that these clients need your services. Potential client? First-time homebuyer. Problem? Navigating a real estate negotiation. Services available? Real estate counseling and representation.
BUT, there is huge gap between the fact that you provide services and the potential client deciding to engage those services. If the potential client is savvy, he or she will do plenty on research online before reaching out to professionals for help.
This is where content-based marketing really shines. If your marketing strategy is designed to provide free, helpful content for your target audience, those potential clients will find it long before they ever make that first phone call.
Content marketing isn’t focused on pitching and selling your services. And it’s definitely not about spamming potential clients’ inboxes. It’s about providing useful information that solves problems. By providing this information, you begin building a relationship with potential clients before even meeting them. Your willingness to share valuable information for free shows that you care about your clients, and it makes you more trustworthy.
Great content is key. The better your content is, the stronger a relationship you build with the potential client. They will return again and again to your website, social media, YouTube channel, podcast, or webinars, knowing that you are the best source of information. Your law firm becomes a trusted resource that the client can learn from on a consistent basis.
Creating a Specialized Content-based Marketing Plan for Your Firm
If you are struggling to attract the kinds of clients you want to be representing, you may be making some marketing mistakes that are keeping your firm from its full potential. A specialized, content-based marketing strategy can help you identify those gaps between the services you provide and the potential clients who need them. For help creating a comprehensive, targeted marketing plan that produces consistent, valuable content, please feel free to contact Juris Diction.