Be Seen in Your Community Through Smart, Ethical Marketing
It is no secret that the best cases come from referrals. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most influential tools in your marketing arsenal. Instead of wasting money marketing to a broad audience online, you can focus your marketing budget on your community.
However, community marketing is easier said than done. It is not enough to set up a booth at local events; you have to be the best attorney booth there. Discover how you can maximize your community marketing investment through smart lawyer marketing tactics designed to give you the maximum local exposure possible.
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Creating a Press Release Feels Like I am Bragging. Shouldn't I Avoid Being That Kind of Attorney?
Here, you have two choices. You can continue to hold onto your dignity and refuse to issue a press release whenever you've scored a “win” on behalf of your clients. Or you can hold your nose, get in front of your computer, and start drafting releases that will make you—and not your competitors—the “go-to” expert when local reporters need a quote for a newspaper article.
The bottom line is that your competitors’ public relations strategy is working. Sure, they may be puffing themselves up, and overstating their accomplishments, and indulging in bouts of self-aggrandization, but they're also getting some very valuable coverage. Every time one of these lawyer's names appears in a news story, that amounts to free advertising—and also an implied endorsement by the newspaper because the average reader will think, “Gee, they wouldn't quote that guy if he didn't know what he's talking about.” The result is that this lawyer will get more inquiries from prospective clients, and your phone will be silent.
Multiply this trend by a few years, and you may be out of business entirely!
A well-crafted press release doesn't have to be dishonest, unethical, or exaggerated—just state the facts (you won X amount in this lawsuit, using this specific strategy, etc.) and let the chips fall where they may. In the worst case, your press release will be ignored or buried underneath a pile of other documents—but in the best case, a reporter will email you or call your number and wind up quoting you in his story.
How Can I Establish Brand Loyalty with My Law Firm’s Clients
Brand loyalty is ideal, but difficult to build for small businesses. When done right, it is an effective way of marketing your legal practice for customers at any level: a new potential client or a previous client looking for representation in the future. However, most brand marketing is done wrong. Before you invest in a branding campaign, you need to understand what that truly means for small law firms.
Typical Brand Marketing Requires Major Investments
TV lawyers will spend a lot of money to show their ads several times a day. The spend is outrageous, with very little tracking. For a law firm with millions at their disposal for advertising, TV ads can be worthwhile. For a solo attorney, they are excessive.
You need to rethink what a "brand ad" is for your law firm. After all, you are working on a budget, so you need to invest wisely and track your return on investment carefully. The good news is by creating trackable ads that focus on direct response advertising; you can brand your law firm and attract new clients at the same time!
Positioning your Law Firm as the Gatekeeper
Think of your practice as a business that sells everything, like Amazon or Google. Even if a customer doesn’t buy an item from them, they will go through them—making that site their natural first stop for questions and the hub of their shopping activity.
You would like to do the same for your legal marketing strategy: make your firm the natural portal for your clients looking for legal information. To position your law firm this way, you have to ask: why are companies such as Amazon and Google so effective?
- Easy information and accessibility. A major reason people click away from websites is because they can’t find what they’re looking for. Take a look at your favorite websites, from calendars and email to the local deli. Can you navigate with ease? Is the information you need available—and is it where you thought it would be?
- Fingers in all the pies. A good website goes far, but those sites have a team of marketers on all the major social media sites (and many develop their own mobile apps for cell phone-friendly shopping).
- An opinion on everything. Shoppers want to do their homework before they buy anything, including shoes, movie tickets, and legal advice. If they like your firm, they’re going to be looking for your opinion on local cases and issues, much like they would look for movie ratings. You don’t lose customers if they read a competitor’s website; you lose if they don’t click back to compare it to what you think.