Laura Symes* Finding clients for a new law firm is a challenge, but it has become considerably simpler with the development of digital marketing and the social media platforms that provide so much opportunity for marketing efforts. But what are the easiest, fastest ways to gain clients NOW!
You want to be in a position to identify your market (as explained below) and be able to assess the return on investment (ROI) for your efforts so you quickly understand how successful particular social media accounts, for instance, are performing and where you should be directing your efforts.
But there are some key tools and practices any lawyer seeking to get clients to their law firm need to consider.
Check them out.
Know Your Legal Market
- 1 Know Your Legal Market
- 2 Using Google To Attract Clients
- 3 Website Optimization
- 4 Write Focused, Keyword-Rich Content
- 5 Build Your Brand and Authority
- 6 Select A Good Social Media Platform
- 7 Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)
- 8 >> How To Use Local SEO To Reach No. 1 on Google
- 9 Use Legal Directories
- 10 The Power of Video
- 11 Get Positive Online Reviews
- 12 Go To Networking Events
- 13 How To Gain Client Leads Using YouTube
- 14 Use Online Advertising Like Google Ads
- 15 Key Takeaways For Attracting Clients
You need to have a very clear understanding of who your legal market is. It needs to be defined and narrowed down, or ‘niched down’ to a precise definition that you understand if you are a solo lawyer or small firm looking to build your client base.
The understanding of your potential clients must have a precisely thought through definition – for instance, if you are a commercial or company lawyer in a location you should not just think of ‘anyone needing a business lawyer’, but rather focus on ‘anyone seeking a capable and efficient business lawyer in Colorado Springs’.
By have clear definitions you can help shape your law firm content in blog posts, social media platforms and overall branding in a way that lets you and your potential clients know precisely what you are and what you do.
All your marketing content for your law firm website should answer common questions from your target audience following your competitive analysis. This marketing works by providing your readers informative and useful information that educates them about complicated legal issues.
You can undertake a competitive analysis of your competition, where you analyze and monitor what your competitors are doing in the provision of their legal services.
Having that information, which can be gathered using the resources outlined in the Good2bSocial link above will help you understand exactly what you need to do to generate clients for your firm.
But let’s start with some old school methods.
According to a report some years ago by Clio word-of-mouth was something that almost 60 per cent of lawyers used to find new clients.
Speaking with others (family, friends, other professionals) and simply asking them to mention your name is not by any means an ineffective marketing tool.
Using Google To Attract Clients
Obviously Google and search engines generally is one of the key ways to attract new clients and the same report from Clio indicated that nearly 60 per cent of clients – 57 per cent to be precise – went to Google when looking for legal assistance or any help with legal issues.
What has massively changed in how legal work is handled today, partly through the digital transformation but partly also through the pandemic, is that there has been a huge growth in remote work with a vast number of clients who are happy with a remote option, rather than in-person attendances.
Your website is your new calling card, no question, and so you need to make sure you have a website that is going to attract the clients your seeking.
The web site and search engine optimization industry (yes, think smoke stacks and old-style line workers) because this really has become an ‘industry’ with some huge money spent on both.
But you don’t have to. You just need to develop a law firm site cleverly and with some careful thought about content and layout, along with some other matters that we have written about in detail here . . . and here, for instance.
Your website homepage needs to be effective and welcoming – not boring and dull. It is you digital business card and one of the cornerstones of your law firm marketing plan so make sure that it stacks up as something professional, but not off-putting or ‘stuffy’.
Much of your approach with your website will depend upon the brand and image you want to project. There can be room for some friendly fun, approachability and overall friendliness that encourages legal clients to contact you.
You need to ensure that the website is set up to make it as search engine-friendly as possible, which often requires professional assistance so don’t overlook the services of quality web optimization specialists who will ensure your site is cleanly laid out, easily navigated and fast.
Google’s requirements for speed and functionality are well known, but many law firms fall short of actually making their website’s compliant with those requirements, so make sure you are full up to speed by using a service that creates an attractive, fast-loading site.
The next issue is providing the website content.
Write Focused, Keyword-Rich Content
To obtain great online visibility you need to start writing top content regularly, dealing with your areas of legal expertise.
There are a couple of aspects to this approach that will accelerate your ability to generate a great law firm marketing strategy that will help attract the ideal client for your firm.
First, isolate and research the keywords that are going to be searched by your ideal client. These can often be ‘long tail keywords’.
Undertake keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner, and focus on those keywords, including ‘long tail keywords’ (see below) that are focused on your ideal client and your practice areas.
So instead of focusing upon words like ‘business lawyer’, ‘commercial lawyer’ and so forth, dig deeper using some of the keyword tools, several of which are free, and develop more specific keywords like ‘business lawyer in Tulsa’, ‘business transaction lawyer in Orange County’, ‘how to set up a company in Miami’. There are literally hundreds of these specific, long-tail keywords that attract the interested searcher who can become your client.
Second, you need to write content that incorporates those keywords in the titles and body of the content, but without ‘keyword stuffing’ or other, artificially-inflated use of keywords that is neither natural, or Google-friendly. Your content really will be king when it comes to getting the results you’re seeking online.
Build Your Brand and Authority
The power of brand building cannot be overstated, but it comes down to building your own authority within your area(s) of practice.
When writing your posts you need to convey genuinely helpful content that will help build the trust you need to also build your law practice
You can write on anything related to your practice areas, providing legal industry insights, legal trends report, educational content about new cases and any other high quality content that will help your potential, or existing clients.
One of the ways you can further boost your traffic, which is little known by many law firms, is to sign on to the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) where you can boost your authority and content generally through exposure through the major media.
We have written about this valuable ‘secret weapon’ in this article on HARO.
By writing with authority on your areas of expertise you can build your authority and be seen as a thought leader for your target audience. Talk about case studies, recent news relevant to your areas of expertise and you will find there is an increasing ability to build your legal business.
Select A Good Social Media Platform
When further amplifying your great law firm website where you have written about an area of law that is of relevance and authority, you should carefully select the social media platform(s) that you feel comfortable with
LinkedIn is excellent for law firm marketing, focused on a more targeted professional audience than Facebook for instance, but if you are looking to build your law firm brand and awareness you can certainly use Instagram or Facebook and post details about your firm, your cases, new reports or information.
Having an effective social media presence through good use of social media is a key ingredient from which you can leverage your law firm’s authority and reputation when building your clients.
Google Business Profile (Formerly Google My Business)
The Google Business profile is an essential for any business, including lawyers seeking to build their client base.
The idea behind the Google Business Profile is to keep search engine users within the ‘Google Universe’ by providing information about businesses and queries without the searcher having to leave Google.
This ‘zero-click’ search strategy is intended to make Google as relevant and fast in delivering information to the searcher as possible and using the Google Business Profile function – totally free – is the key way to retain a high online presence, to use it, and use it properly.
Google provide details on how to set up your Google Business Profile here.
There is also an excellent article on setting up your Google Business Profile on SEMRush here.
The key advantages of having the GBP are:
>> Increased online profile for your law firm’s website (and brand)
>> Ability to obtain reviews online
>> Ability to share information with potential or existing clients (and to build your law firm authority)
The maps that often appear at the top of many searches on Google are the result of the businesses who have completed their GBP and the ‘local pack’ information, permitting Google to provide details about who you are and where you are.
Some of the most-searched terms on Google are the ‘near to me’ searches – ie – “find a personal injury attorney near me” or “best divorce lawyer near me” etc.
These searches have vastly increased in search volume in recent years – by as much as 200 per cent according to this Google report.
How to optimise your google my business profile
Through Google My Business, you can determine what information people see when they search for your business.
With recent updates, it has also become a way of potential clients communicating with you.
One functionality of Google My Business is for potential customers to ask questions right there on your profile – and for anyone at all to answer them. And then there are the reviews – people can give y
Use Legal Directories
Legal directories may seem somewhat redundant in an age of social media and all that sexy stuff that goes with modern marketing, but in fact they can pay dividends for the new lawyer let alone existing and established law practices seeking to build their audience and develop new clients.
Make sure you make your directory listing correctly, as explained here.
You can do your own checking on which online directories may best suit your purposes, given your location and practice areas, but there are a range of them including Avvo, Nolo, FindLaw, Super Lawyers, and Justia.
The Power of Video
Video has become one of the most popular ways in which to generate online exposure and you don’t need to do a lot of to-camera work if that’s not what you want to do.
As a social media platform YouTube is now the second most popular social media platform, behind Facebook. If you want to look at some amazing statistics about YouTube’s popularity check this article here.
There are an astounding 2.1 billion monthly active users on YouTube, which means it is a place any law firm seeking to market their services needs to be.
When you set up your YouTube account set up a separate brand account so you can manage your law firm channel. When doing so make sure your ‘about’ section is well optimized for your law firm to maximize your online presence, focused on your key practice area whether its as a personal injury lawyer, targeting business owners or anyone else.
Ensure that your account include details like your social media channels, website links, images and with a nice, clear and cohesive theme that looks and feels good.
Your law firm branding should align with the imagery and description that you’re putting into the channel details. You can read more about law firm branding here.
Get Positive Online Reviews
Getting positive reviews online and great testimonials is a terrifically powerful way to help attract clients. Again, many lawyers relegate this ‘tool’ in their marketing toolbox, but it remains one of the best referral sources you can have and is totally one of the best practices you can adopt to build your law firm.
Good reviews can help boost your search rankings, or on Yelp and other online sources that can direct targeted traffic – and clients – to your website.
Apart from helping to attract clients, handling reviews online is also a matter of reputation management, by working to ensure you respond to bad reviews and handle them properly, as you can see here.
Go To Networking Events
Networking may intimidate some, but using your existing and new networks remains a key device to attract clients and build your business as something totally separate from any digital marketing strategy.
That’s one reason big law firms will network themselves to death – it pays, it builds credibility, it builds and retains contacts, it develops your presence and it just plain works.
There are any number of local events that you can attend, including local business groups, volunteer and school groups, university and school alumni groups and the like, all of which carry the potential to help build that word-of-mouth contact networking that can produce some great clients.
Networking seems too easy in some respects, although it takes time when you may be thinking it is better spent at the office, but do not overlook the power of personal contacts and networking is a fantastic way to build your reputation, trust – and your client base.
Use Online Advertising Like Google Ads
Online advertising is an obvious way to build clients by targeting the groups you want to attract as your ideal clients.
Both Facebook (and their Instragram platform) and Google provide huge resources and data by which you can target the sort of audience you’re seeking.
Plus YouTube, as the second largest search engine, should never be forgotten not just as a terrific marketing platform, but also providing the opportunity to use YouTube ads – we have written about some of the ways to attract law firm clients using YouTube ads here.
In many ways this can be the fastest and may seem like the single best way to market your law firm, but there are caveats.
You need to know exactly how to target your audience using the data and tools that the social media platforms and search engines provide you. You can spend a lot of money when running online ads and so you need to carefully monitor your results to ensure you’re getting the ROI that you need.
By all means use agencies that can set up your online advertising, or go through the process of learning the process yourself, but step in with care to avoid wasting time and valuable money attracting click-throughs that do not necessarily translate into clients.
When setting up online advertising, make sure you also have good landing pages on your website to which your potential clients are directed.
This should ideally include a template to capture their details, or a report or download you can provide them as a ‘lead magnet’ to attract them onto your mailing list.
Key Takeaways For Attracting Clients
There are therefore a variety of key tools and practices you can use to attract clients to your site and build your firm – or to get more law firm clients – but you need to ensure you do so systematically by setting your goals and targets.
Knowing exactly who you want to target is key, along with tracking your efforts by assessing the return on investment you generate through your efforts.
There are a number of tools you can choose to track how your new clients interact with your website and your social media channels, so you can see how many follow your Twitter account, or LinkedIn and how many subscribers you attract to a newsletter.
Your Google Analytics account can show you which pages people are using on your site and where they are, along with a bunch of other information that is highly informative in terms of informing you about who is using your law firm website.
Laura Symes writes on legal marketing, including social media marketing, web marketing for lawyers and related matters. She has previously written for LawFuel and other publications on law marketing issues and legal marketing strategies best suited to law firms.