The last two years have been turbulent to say the least. Nearly everyone experienced some hardships in 2020, including law firms. The global economy experienced a major reset, and the marketing economy had a major reset, too.
For many reasons, 2021 is the end of an era in marketing. Many changes took place in the digital marketing world (core web vitals update, BERT, the death of the tracking cookie) that completely redefined how any business owner acquires clients digitally.
The world of print marketing hasn’t fared well during the pandemic either. Not because the efficacy of print marketing has changed, but because most law firm owners have forgotten how to use it.
Because the marketing economy is in such a turbulent state, we are going to share our top 14 law firm marketing and advertising ideas. You can give these ideas to your marketing director (or whoever is running your marketing) and they can plug ‘n play!
Of course, this is only a small sample of tactics that Great Legal Marketing gives to our HERO and ICON members. If you want to get the whole kit and caboodle, visit JoinGLM.com and find the coaching program that is best for you.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #1: Create a weekly e-newsletter that will re-engage your audience and help you tap into a local referral network
E-newsletters are “old news” to some marketers, but e-newsletters are far from dead. When done right, e-newsletters can be a powerful tool to connect you with people who are 1) interested in your legal services, 2) fans of your practice, and/or 3) local to your practice.
However, an email newsletter is only as powerful as the list you are sending it to. Most attorneys start by gathering the names and email addresses of their current and former clients (in 2021, your firm should get that information automatically when you sign a client), then add attorney referral sources to that list. Eventually, a law firm should create ways to add to their newsletter list from their website and other local listings.
An effective e-newsletter is all about entertainment. People don’t subscribe to boring e-newsletters, and they opt out of anything that becomes repetitive and useless. Attorneys with an email list should create content that keeps their audience engaged.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #2: Adapt your website to the new rules of SEO
Many, many SEO rules have changed, and there are more changes to come.
If your website was built 5 years ago, the chances are that it is outdated and unable to compete for page one of the search rankings. And if your website is doing well now, there’s a fairly good chance that will change in the next 6 months.
That’s why now is a great time to build or rebuild a new website for your law firm. There are a few things to consider for a new website, including:
- Website speed
- Data usage
- Simple design
- Easy to understand and easy to use
Remember, search engines favor websites that are fast and user-friendly, so don’t feel pressured to overdo design!
Law Firm Marketing Idea #3: Delight your current and former clients with personal touches from your staff
Most law firms keep their staff in the backseat in marketing and community outreach. It’s easy to understand why if staff turnover is a problem at your law office, but even so, your staff wants to get involved with your marketing!
Let them put a personal touch on your marketing and outreach by giving them a license to send your current and former clients gifts or cards. You can give each staff member a monthly budget to buy or send a client special gifts, or you can get the whole office involved by sending out Christmas or birthday cards or presents.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #4: Attend a networking event and forge new relationships with referring attorneys and business owners
Depending on your personality type, networking may come easy to you, or it may be anxiety-producing. Still forging relationships is one of the best ways to increase your referral network. There are many ways you can grow your attorney referral list, but good ole’ networking does the trick!
Try committing yourself to attend one networking event a month or quarter. Come equipped with business cards (or maybe a postcard or flyer promoting your practice).
Law Firm Marketing Idea #5: Put your staff in the spotlight on social media
If you are struggling to gain a following on any of the social media platforms, you can tap into a following that you probably didn’t know you had: the friends and family of your staff!
Whenever you share profiles of your staff on social media, that profile gets shared by the people who know your staff member. They will like, share, and follow your page because you featured someone they know on your page. This is a great way to begin to build a local following if you are starting from zero.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #6: Delete your underperforming blogs, articles, and videos and start fresh with your content
If your website is several years old, you probably have a huge backlog of content. Even if you only have a few articles, it’s a good idea to check the performance of those articles and remove the content that isn’t bringing you traffic (or the right traffic).
There are many attorneys who focus on drug charges who have outdated content on their website, particularly when it comes to marijuana laws that have changed significantly in the last 10 years. Even if that content brings you SEO traffic, it’s a good idea to delete that since that content will no longer bring you clients with high-value cases.
And, if you have content that just sits on your website and brings you zero traffic or clients, removing it and redirecting it will only help your SEO and your website overall, so bring out the ax and start chopping down your old content!
Law Firm Marketing Idea #7: Engage your marketing list with contests, discussions, and games
E-newsletters, print newsletters, and social media are three of the primary ways your following interacts with your law firm. Too often, attorneys treat these platforms as a place to shout into a void. Sharing your recent web article simply won’t encourage your audience to engage with your practice.
A great way to create engagement is by hosting giveaways and contests and fostering discussions.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #8: Hand the marketing reigns over to someone new
Is your marketing stuck in a rut? It may be a good idea to switch things up!
Not many law firms have a dedicated marketing employee, so that means marketing is typically assigned to a paralegal, receptionist, or another non-marketing person you have on staff. Maybe you are even doing your marketing yourself!
The byproduct of having marketing done by non-marketers is that they may not have all the expertise they need. Or, they try to make marketing work for your practice that’s meant for another type of business.
Giving these responsibilities to someone else (maybe a full-time marketing assistant?) will give your marketing the kickstart it needs.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #9: Share your personal story
Attorney biographies are one of the most top-trafficked pages on a website, but too often attorneys treat these pages like a digital resume.
Believe it or not, your personal story is far more interesting (and higher converting) than a list of your credentials. Instead of sharing boring information on your biography, include your personal story!
What makes you unique? Which sports teams do you follow? What do you do in your free time? Providing these details can help potential clients connect with you on a personal level and help them see you as more than just an attorney.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #10: Think local with your SEO
Search engine optimization is intimidating. There’s a lot of expertise that goes into optimizing a website for major search terms, but sometimes attorneys don’t need to optimize their entire website. Often, it’s good enough to optimize their local profile.
Most of your traffic is coming from Google My Business. Treat GMB as your second website, and look for ways to feature top attorney keywords in your profile. You can complete your business description, create Google Posts, or even implement a review strategy to get keyword rich reviews from clients.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #11: Listen to the phone calls coming into your law firm
We typically don’t think of intake as “marketing,” but until a potential client becomes a signed client, everything that happens before they sign is marketing.
Listening to your inbound phone calls is a great way to fine tune your office’s customer service. You can adjust your script to accommodate your potential clients better, and you may find ways to delight and excite potential clients and drive them to sign with your firm before they contact another law firm.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #12: Look for local podcasts and participate!
Many small businesses are looking for ways to incorporate podcasts in their marketing. Some businesses are launching their own, which is fun, but running a podcast is A LOT of work.
Instead of trying to produce a podcast, you can try to join in on local podcasts and webinars with other small businesses! Being a guest speaker on a podcast is a great way to expand your reach, get backlinks, and build a stellar referral network.
Law Firm Marketing Idea #13: Record your opinions about popular legal issues
Video marketing is another time-consuming marketing activity, but it doesn’t have to be! If you don’t have the budget for highly produced videos, you can make simple recordings using your phone camera.
Record yourself talking about legal issues, local topics, or even life advice and post those videos on social media, your website, and YouTube!
Law Firm Marketing Idea #14: Partner with a local business
Running a small business is hard, but you are not in the fight alone. Reach out to local small businesses and begin forging new relationships.
You can offer to promote their business on your social media or e-newsletter list in exchange for a promotion on their website. Or, you can simply make a new friend who will refer you clients in the future.