Law Firm Digital Marketing: 7 Growth Strategies for 2020
The goal here is to measure your ROI so you can focus on growing your law practice in 2020.
We’re demystifying digital marketing for every attorney.
With these tactics, expect to have your ideal clients interested in what you have to teach.
Watch your sales process improve as you give your perfect client what they need.
And we’re only showing you methods that produce the strongest results.
So use these tactics to focus your marketing efforts and tighten your messaging.
Let’s get started
Here’s what we’re covering:
- Get More Reviews on Google
- Tap Referrals for Warm Leads
- Write Compelling Articles That Sell with Content Marketing
- Optimize for Search with SEO
- Tell Stories on Social Media
- Grow Your Firm with Facebook Ads
- Convert Leads with Email Marketing
1. Get More Reviews on Google
To make sure we’re on the same page, lets quickly define Google reviews.
What are Google Reviews?
Google reviews are part of a program called ‘Google My Business‘.
Every local business needs a listing because it controls everything a customer sees about you on Google.
- Holiday hours
- Special promotions
- Business reviews
But first, if you haven’t you need to claim your business. If you haven’t claimed your business listing on Google you should do that right away.
Otherwise you can’t respond to reviews and let future clients know more about your law firm.
Why are Google Reviews Important?
Here are a couple of stats to keep in mind: According to Review Tracker:
“63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.”
“Google and Facebook have become No. 1 and No. 2 for online reviews. Because review sites, like TripAdvisor, are seeing less growth than Facebook and Google.”
Now, let’s look at getting those reviews…
How to Generate Reviews on Google
These are the steps you need to take to generate the review link to send your clients.
Sign in to Google My Business.
Go back to Google Search and type in your address into Google Search
Click on “Share Review Form”
Copy the link
Now you have your link that will look like this:
It doesn’t look good to send people such a long link, but we also want to measure our results.
To shorten the link use a tool called Bitly…
It’ll be easier to share the link anywhere and track link clicks.
First, create a new account, it’s a free program. Unfortunately, Google no longer shortens links for you.
Allow access to interact with your google account.
Edit your long link for the specific campaign you’re running. In this case it’s for generating reviews on Google.
Here is the difference:
The link is now short, sweet and to the point.
You want to create a different link for every place you’re looking to track.
Now, let’s see what you can do with these links and ask your customers to leave Google reviews.
What to do with your review link?
There are two goals here.
First, spread the word about your Google reviews. Second, track the most effective strategies and cut off the bad ones.
You want to send this link to your customers and make it friction-less to write a review.
3 ways to get more Google reviews:
- Send your clients a text/email to submit a review
- Include link in email signature
- Add your review link in your marketing emails
Understand that to leave a Google review, the person must have a Google account.
Otherwise, there’s no way to leave a review of your law office.
1. Collect Google reviews via email and text
When you’re interacting with your clients and start sending them “top of mind” communications, include the link to review you.
If a client has a great experience with you and you feel comfortable asking, tell them it would help you to get a review:
It may not be possible with most clients because of sensitive topics but for the clients that are comfortable with reviewing your business it doesn’t hurt to ask.
2. Email signature link
Here’s an example of my personal email signature where I added the call to action at the bottom:
Every time an email goes out the signature can have that link.
Email signatures are not meant to be intrusive and if someone wants to leave a review they’ll know how.
3. Marketing and Sales Emails
After hosting a workshop or lunch at your office how do you follow up?
Create a post-event email sequence that will include sending emails to each attendee.
Ask them to share feedback on Google.
You can combine the texting with an email follow up in this step. But after seminars is a great opportunity to ask for a business review.
You’ll either learn what you can do better or you’ll have glowing reviews about your expertise.
Additional Resource: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hosting a Seminar
Later in the article we’ll talk more about email sequences and automating these tasks.
Next, let’s look at reaching out to referral partners for leads.
2. Tap Referrals for Warm Leads
Warm leads are people that might have interest in your product or service. They can put you in front of their audience, make the introduction and soft pitch your services.
Attorney referrals is a cost effective way to get new clients for two reasons:
- The potential client is in the market for your service which shortens the sales process
- The referring attorney has recommended you so your credibility is already established
The idea is that with an attorney referral, you’re being pre-sold on your services. You would need to mess up bad to lose the client.
How to get attorneys excited to refer you
Are you going to conferences and creating relationships with other attorneys?
Referrals come from relationships and referrals need to trust us.
If another attorney hasn’t spoken to you, then why would they even think about sending clients to you.
You want to build up a network of attorneys you have an ongoing relationship with.
Attend local conferences like:
- Elder Law: Annual Meeting & Fall Conference
- National Aging and Law Conference
- NAELA Annual Conference
Go where other attorneys spend time and take advantage of opportunities to socialize. Get to know your network and let them get to know you.
Send Referrals to Your Partners
Not everyone that comes into your law practice is the ideal client.
Don’t turn away leads but instead send them to an attorney with the expertise they need.
When attorneys see that you’re always sending them clients they’re likely to do the same.
Create Partnerships and Joint Ventures (JV’s)
Everyone needs more content. Help attorneys fill their calendars with a joint seminar to bring value to the community.
You’re likely to land more clients when an audience is learning about you from someone they trust. The trick is, what can you do to land referral partners?
Here are some options:
- Joint Seminar
- Email Blast
Providing value to a referral source in the form of content is a great way to get exposure. If you do enough webinars, podcasts and live seminars your getting your message out in the market.
Here’s a great example of someone creating a platform for themselves. Greg McIntyre is an elder law attorney with his own podcast.
But you need to track your referral revenue.
How to track referral revenue (for free)
The more you help other service providers, the more you’ll get new clients from them.
You want to keep a list of referral partners with their name, email, practice area, and links to work you’ve done.
But none of that matters if you can’t track direct referral income from those partners.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create a landing page for the event
- Create a link for the event
- Set up goal in Google Analytics
- Track lead in Airtable
Imagine having an online Rolodex of referral partners, built out landing pages and a system to track event income…
You’ll know the events that are profitable for you and the referral sources with the best clients.
Even better…you can track everything FOR FREE!
I’ve tested a lot of tools for you and creating systems doesn’t have to be expensive.
Okay, so we’ve talked about Google reviews and referral partners.
Now, lets talk about content marketing.
3. Write Compelling Articles with Content Marketing
There seems to be confusion around content writing for attorneys. It’s common to see agencies tell law firms they need to publish content to rank.
But what kind of content ranks?
I’ve seen websites with over 100 pieces of content and no ranking on Google.
How long are we going to keep publishing content but have no idea what the strategy is behind it?
If you’re reading this article it’s because you’re looking for results.
This is what results look like:
You’re better off not publishing anything than posting content without a plan.
Lets look at what’s involved in a plan…
Why You Need a Content Marketing Plan
A content marketing plan is a results driven plan to not only rank content on Google but to bring people into your office. If those goals are not met then your content program isn’t working.
When you’re coming up with a plan there are 3 types of content that you need to build out.
3 Types of Content Websites Need
This is the foundation of your website. Before any article is published you need to build out your pillar pages and start your website from here.
What are the focus areas of your practice? Here’s an example…
What topics are going to anchor your website with information that will be relevant for years?
Your pillar content is typically your services pages. Normally attorneys don’t pay much attention to services pages and quickly gloss over them with minimal amounts of content.
But your services pages should be the most dense sections of your site because they’re the jumping point to every part of your website. How else will Google know what your website is about if you only have 200 words in your service pages?
The highest ranking pages on your site should be your services pages and they should rank for all the local variations of the services you provide.
Every attorney wants to rank for local keywords and show up on the map but have thin pages without much information.
Case studies are powerful marketing tools that you can share with your email list, potential clients and on social media to help people understand what you do.
The following case study is from The Law Office of George F. Dickerman. His site is full of case studies that can drive emotion and really put inter perspective the amazing work elder law an estate planning attorneys do on a daily basis.
When a client comes into your office or lands on your website do you have engaging case studies they could download and read?
Are you sending case studies via email to potential clients?
Every day attorneys are dealing with cases that can happen to anyone and if you’re not producing the content to connect with your potential clients then no one will ask for your help.
Case studies are a useful tool to start meaningful conversations online and teach people in the process. Someone can read your case study and recognize a problem beginning to form in their family.
In a content marketing strategy the case study is used to engage people without selling.
SEO articles (cluster content) are specifically researched to be supplemental to your pillar pages. Articles on their own can rank on Google but without the large authority pages they tend to feel random.
You want your articles to always be tied to your website pillar because if focuses the intent of your website.
When you build out your content with a plan Google will notice and more people will find your content useful because the topics are interconnected.
Here’s a look at our site and our continuous process to properly practice what we preach.
Websites should always focus on improving and honestly it’s never perfect. Ideas and topics change but the fundamental principles of building out a website don’t.
We can audit your website to see if your structure is set up properly.
4. Optimize Your Website with SEO
It’s possible to beat the big players in the elder law/estate planning space because search engines trust authority and law firm sites are authoritative.
Unfortunately they just don’t have the content to break through.
I know local attorneys should be leading the conversations on these issues.
Here’s what I see daily:
A local attorney in Clearwater, FL has an article ranking for “will a trust protect my assets” among other keywords for a specific page.
All on the second page in google. And they’re ranking for 20 keywords in total. Here are the stats below…
Now there’s a website with an article “2 Reasons Why You Should Create a Trust to Protect Your Assets”
They’re ranking #1 for multiple keywords because they created an article that covers the topic in better detail. Here are their results…
All it takes to beat some of these finance bloggers and get targeted traffic to your site is to plan out strategic pillar articles that completely cover a topic.
Writing 100 articles is not the solution to the problem. Writing 10-12 high quality posts or pages per year that grow your authority is the solution to most of your traffic problems.
Let’s move on to social media…
How can Social Media help you in your law firm?
5. Use Social Media to Tell Compelling Stories
As an attorney, you see things every single day that relate to someone online.
Why aren’t you telling the world about it?
The truth is that names, places and faces don’t have to be in your story.
Your ideal client is not interested in your credentials or where you went to school. Your ideal client wants to know that you understand.
New Article: 6 Ways to Use Social Media in Your Law Firm
Why Telling Stories on Social Media is Important
Attorneys are in a unique position to listen to stories every day. You hear heart wrenching stories about families losing everything.
And uplifting stories about how you helped a family in a crisis.
These stories matter and it’s how you’ll cut through the noise. Even if the topic is ‘boring’, you’re selling a feeling instead.
Create a content plan around those stories
Someone in your office needs to create/maintain a calendar. The point of social media is not to create a massive following. The point is to engage and communicate with people.
Most businesses are doing social wrong because it’s an afterthought for them.
With everything attorneys have to do on a daily basis it’s no wonder tasks go undone. But your perfect client is out there waiting to read about your stories…
Lets create a system where you put storytelling into your posts, without doing more work.
Leverage social media marketing
Social Media Marketing for law firms, especially elder law, is increasing. According to a marketing study:
“Simultaneously, the only demographic group that is using Facebook more than in prior years are Americans 55+” (Convince and Convert)
Social media is becoming the place where older Americans want to spend their time.
To remain relevant your law firm needs to be where the clients are…
It’s no surprise that 74% of Facebook user have a salary of $75,000+ per year (Source)
You need to find your target audience where they are and educate them on what you’re an expert in. The social proof will create a relationship between you and the viewer so they feel more confident to come to your law practice.
6. Grow Your Firm with Facebook Ads
Leverage your website visitors and Facebook page to bring in revenue to your law firm.
Remarketing is a powerful tool at your disposal that most attorneys are not using. Your website has visitors every day. Most of whom never call or schedule a consultation.
If you’re already running a successful SEO program then your site traffic is increasing daily. Reach out to the people that are already interacting with your law practice and stay on top of mind. The more they see from you the more they’re going to trust you and come in for a consultation.
You want to be in front of your target audience enough that once they need your service you’re the one they think about.
It’s also cheaper to run these types of campaigns and give you a consistent lead flow all year.
Why You Need to Be On Facebook
Pick any number of statistics and they’ll tell you that you need to be on Facebook.
From shifting demographic statistics to baby boomer statistics, you’ll find that high net worth clients can be found on Facebook.
62% of online Seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 72% are between age 50-64.(Omnicore Agency)
Older Americans want to see pictures of their families and stay connected across the country.
By leveraging the largest social network on the planet you can continuously bring in new leads into your business.
The goal here is to create awareness on Facebook and there are 3 ways to do this.
3 Strategies to Create Awareness on Facebook:
- Free Consultations
- Case Studies
Lets go over how you can use each one.
Running seminars and workshops allow potential clients to meet you face to face and learn something without making a huge commitment.
We’ve seen amazing success with workshops. Some attorneys we work with have seen $11.93 per lead and see 20 to 40 families for a single event.
From those RSVP we’ve seen close rates as high as 12-14 booked consultations. All of this is happening by leveraging Facebook Ads.
You can also use Facebook ads to advertise to people that made it to your workshop but didn’t book a consultation.
Or reach the people that have landed on your website and never registered for your event. It doesn’t cost much money to reach those people with an offer to come in and sign up for a free consultation.
You also know they’re pre-qualified because they’ve landed on your website or have been to an event you’ve put together in the past.
If you want to keep engaging your audience but don’t want to push consultations, create a case study. All the names and places can be changed but you can write 5 to 6 pages about a family in need and how your services saved them money.
Sometimes booking a free consultation can be intimidating to potential clients that don’t trust you yet. So create a PDF/eBook about a case you’ve recently worked on.
At the end of the case study offer a low cost consultation. Again, you’ve already done the heavy lifting earlier. You’re only targeting people that have interacted with your brand.
The costs to acquire a customer here can be small compared to the cost of having people RSVP to a live event.
7. Convert Leads with Email Marketing
The reason I’m saving email marketing for last is because it’s arguably the biggest lever in your business for new clients.
However, most law firms won’t develop the systems necessary to see a return on investment on their email efforts.
According to Oberlo: “Average expected ROI is $32 for every $1 you spend on email marketing”
If you were to take everything we discussed earlier in the article and convert it into an educational email campaign, there would be no extra work.
The goal is to engage and educate your audience. When you write a case study or share a story on social media, send an email.
Imagine if your clients, email subscribers and initial consultations were continuously being educated by your law firm. You’d start a relationship, stay on top of mind and when they come to you office they wouldn’t show up with bad information.
Email only works once you have a firm grasp of your brand voice and an automated system to help you deliver content on a weekly basis.
Which law firm digital marketing growth strategy are you going to start with?
It’s difficult to know which methods give you the best return on investment sometimes. That’s why the best strategies take your time and focus on one at a time.
We can help you figure out which methods would be the best for your business. We love helping attorneys market their practice. If your interested in a 15 minute discovery call don’t hesitate to book a call in my calendar here.
Additional Resources You Might Be Interested In:
These tips will help you continue to grow your practice all year long!
At Bambiz, we work with elder law and estate planning firms and have extensive experience in developing social media marketing strategies unique to your firm, location, and potential client base.
To learn more about how we can help grow your business using digital marketing, schedule a free 15-minute call with us
Jim’s mission with Bambiz is to help Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys get more clients and grow their business. He was awarded the Tampa Bay Business Journal Top Up and Comer Under 30 and is a Certified Digital Marketer. Jim is also passionate about running and fitness, having completed over 26 full marathons in three continents.