Friday, June 15, 2018
Online Marketing Success: A Primer for Practicing Attorneys
In the 12 years Zola Media has been developing digital marketing strategies for the legal community, I’ve encountered countless perspectives from thousands of clients on the value of online marketing. First, those who have integrated the web into their practice are laser-focused on building an online presence to attract clients and achieve financial success. Then, there are others who recognize the web’s value, but have not been able to realize its potential. Finally, the uninitiated merely see the web as a digital business card. Their ranks are thinning, thankfully, as web skeptics continue to see how other law firms are thriving as a result of online marketing.
Attorneys with a meaningful stake in online marketing typically work with Zola or other legal marketing firms to build a web presence and develop a digital marketing strategy that drives relevant traffic. Put simply, online marketing is far too nuanced and multifaceted to go it alone. It entails design that captures the target audience, an engaging user experience, knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and an appreciation of marketing analytics.
These attorneys know that investing the time needed to sustain a successful online marketing campaign could sacrifice service to their clients. Similarly, failing to deliver a satisfying client experience will undermine any marketing efforts. In short, working with a team of digital marketing experts helps attorneys maximize their online visibility while allowing them to focus on practicing law.
For those who have yet to harness the power of online marketing, here are 5 initiatives to implementing a digital marketing plan.
- A sustained effort – Maximizing your visibility online requires an ongoing effort. Routinely attracting the right clients means keeping your site relevant for search engines and appealing for visitors. A well thought out approach will generate a significant number of leads that can be converted into clients as well as referrals, which can also provide an additional income stream.
- Put first things first – One common mistake for new attorneys is to put off investing in an online presence until their practice gains traction. The best time to focus on digital marketing, however, is in the beginning, before your calendar is booked with court appearances and client meetings. Although it is crucial to bring in revenue early on, implementing an online marketing strategy at the outset can help you target the right clients and generate more valuable leads in the long run.
- Know your audience – The greatest challenge in attracting the ideal client is knowing who he or she is. By clearly defining your client profile, you can align attributes such as practice area, case value, jurisdiction and the client’s ability to pay, with your skills, passion and goals.
- Know your metrics – It is crucial to know the rate at which visitors to your website contact you, or the conversion rate. Call tracking software, a feature of any worthwhile online marketing plan, breaks down leads by source, such as a specific online ad campaign or a referring website. Armed with this information, you can then determine what percentage of calls you close. Based on these metrics, you can also ascertain your cost of acquisition, which can help you to focus your marketing efforts and optimize your fees and marketing budget.
- Create a system – While newer practices may not be concerned with creating organizational systems, it is crucial to have a method for qualifying prospective clients, conducting follow-ups, client intake, generating retainers, and gathering metrics as your practice grows. Legal customer relationship management software like Zola CRM is particularly well suited for organizing your practice and compiling useful data.
Information about effective digital marketing strategies is widely available on the web, and some firms are capable of taking the initiative to design and implement a strategy with impressive results. Nonetheless, those that want to significantly drive returns choose to enlist the services of marketing experts, like Zola Creative. In any event, a successful online legal marketing strategy hinges on a systematic and sustained commitment.
By: Fred Cohen, CEO and founder of Zola Media