When the Internet first arrived, you probably weren’t too affected. Your client base didn’t know how to use it either, so your business remained about the same.
Little by little, changes were being made to drive you online. Clients began to contact you by email. They didn’t understand that you didn’t have a website—even their dog groomer is online!—let alone a Facebook page. So now that the Internet is here to stay, how tech-savvy do you need to be to stay ahead of your competition?
In order to have an effective Internet presence, your law firm’s website must do the following:
- Be found easily. No matter how good an attorney you are, people won’t hire you if they can’t find you. You need to learn the basics of search engine optimization to drive readers to your site. It’s not easy to dominate the first page of Google, but once you’re there, it’s difficult to knock you off (and it’s pretty daunting for your competition).
- Be interesting. Headlines and videos are key to getting your readers interested in your online articles. Don’t waste space on your logo, firm name, or a picture of your city—people know where they are, and they don’t care who you are (not yet, at least).
- Leave them wanting more. In order to build a successful law firm, your online presence should have one goal in mind: to provoke the visitor to initiate contact with you. This may be done with an "irresistible offer" (such as a book or DVD) that the customer must submit his contact information in order to obtain.
- Assimilate information. You must have an automated system in place that will collect all new contact information, add it to your database, and kick off a sequence of marketing events without your interference.
Put simply, the Internet is just another form of marketing media. You have to learn its tricks and inner workings to stay ahead, but once you have honed your selling proposition, you can automate much of the process. Just remember that Internet marketing is equal parts content and optimization: you can’t rely on one more than the other.