The world of legal marketing is filled with pitfalls and evergreen rules of thumb. In order to navigate it successfully, you have to be aware of all of the factors that can either make or break your campaigns.
It’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what you need to do in order to achieve your desired results. This is why we’re breaking down the top do’s and don’ts of legal content marketing to help you hit the ground running for your next campaign.
Do: Stay in Constant Contact
Of course, you already know how important it is to keep in touch with all of your hot prospects.
It’s estimated that one-third of referral business is lost due to negligence. Think of it this way: would you trust someone and give them your hard earned money if they didn’t even seem to care about you?
The solution is simple: always stay top of mind. Consistently hit those touchpoints in a meaningful, jargon-free way. There are many ways to go about this: through email, social media, newsletters, ads, etc. If you don’t take the opportunity to follow up with and nurture genuine relationships with your network, you’re missing out on an opportunity to exponentially grow your practice.
Don’t: Write Like a Lawyer
We’re sure you know a lot of ten-dollar words. Save them for the courtroom.
You should talk to your potential and existing clients in a language they can understand. Otherwise, your marketing will simply leave them scratching their heads and reaching for their dictionaries.
Always keep in mind that your potential clients don’t care about your extensive vocabulary – they care about how you can help them.
Do: Build Your Brand
Your brand is essentially your reputation. It’s important to position yourself as a trusted expert (with the receipts to prove it) in order to earn the trust of your potential clients.
You need to consistently work towards becoming an authority within your practice area. You won’t achieve this by shooting out transparent, salesy content that might as well scream “I’m an expert! Give me your money!” You build this reputation over time by sharing value-adding content across all of your social platforms, generating rave word-of-mouth reviews, and ensuring that your website clearly delivers the merit of your firm.
Do: Maintain Your Website
Consider your website as a direct reflection of how people will view your firm.
It’s essentially the digital lobby in which your prospects are perusing your services before committing. If your first impression leaves much to be desired, you’re sure to bleed lost opportunities and earn a shoddy reputation.
Your website is also an opportunity to separate yourself from your competitors. Make sure you are clearly communicating what services you provide and why you’re different from the other firms that pop up during their quick Google search. You don’t have much time to do this; capitalize on the prime real estate of your website (the top fold) by inserting concise CTAs and a powerful takeaway message. Don’t just talk about yourself – talk about what you can do for them.
Do: Hone in on Your Practice
While finding your niche is largely beneficial while positioning your practice, it will also make you a better lawyer in the long run. You want to avoid being considered a jack of all trades; instead, you want to be known as the go-to lawyer in a specific practice area.
Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to take on too many specialties. Choose one (or two) practice area(s) that you’re most passionate about and immerse yourself in them. Your enthusiasm towards your craft will translate to your potential clients, which will make them feel like they’re in good hands.
Don’t: Compete on Price
Obviously, your prices should be competitive and in-line with industry standards. It’s important to communicate in your marketing that you are a thought leader in your practice area, and not a commodity to be bid upon.
If you market yourself effectively, people will understand the value of your work and happily pay for it.
Do: Send Newsletters Regularly
“Newsletter” doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Sure, your spam folder is probably stuffed with newsletters you forgot you ever subscribed to. But there is a way to write a newsletter your distribution list will actually read.
A good newsletter engages its audience, provides value and knowledge, and helps to position your firm as a thought leader within your chosen practice area. Newsletters also act as touchpoints that further sell the value of your practice to potential clients.
If you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. Sending regular, well-curated newsletters helps you stay top of mind with your leads so that when they are in need of legal help, they know exactly where to go.
Don’t: Talk About Yourself Too Much
We’re sure you’re an amazing lawyer – but actions speak louder than words. Marketing that focuses on what you can do for your clients instead of what you have done in the past resonates far more than your old accolades and recognitions.
Of course it’s great to highlight your team and your accomplishments, but there are specific subpages for these exact purposes. If a potential client wants to know, give them the option to find the information themselves. Use your homepage and marketing outreach to address the needs of your potential clients and how you can solve them.
Do: Track the Right Data
Don’t get caught up in pretty numbers that don’t equate to cash flow.
Vanity data can be a great ego boost. “Oh, yay! My bounce rates are lower!” However, metrics such as click rates, bounce rates, open rates, and social media engagement don’t point to an increase in revenue. They certainly point to the opportunity to increase your revenue; but keeping other metrics in mind provides a more holistic picture of how your firm is actually doing.
For instance, instead of focusing on how many followers you have on Facebook, pay attention to referrals, case value, and case allocation.
Don’t: Expect Short-Term Results
All good things take time. Patience is a virtue. We’re sure all of these old adages make your eyes roll back in your head. However, they’re worn out because they’re true.
In fact, long-game marketing strategies tend to pay off the most over time. Your firm is probably familiar with financial peaks and valleys; this is purely the nature of the business. You can make the valleys more tolerable by generating repeat business and consistent referrals. Obviously, this takes time. But once your potential clients see the value of your services, they’ll keep coming back for your help.
Do: Switch Up Your Content
You should always experiment with new ways to create and distribute your content. Curate a diverse array of content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, and anything else you want to play with to see what sticks and where it sticks the best. Some mediums might fare better on social media or through an email blast. See what works for you and ramp up your efforts when you find the magic fit.
For instance, viral social media lawyer Mike Mandell (@LawByMike) created a TikTok account to target a younger demographic and teach them about the fundamentals of law. He creates short, snappy videos about real-life scenarios (such as forgetting your license if you’re pulled over) and the best way to protect yourself from legal fallout.
It might not be your initial thought to invest resources in an outlet like TikTok, but the platform has gained popularity and is no longer seen as an app people post dancing videos on. It’s evolving into a knowledge base for people who are more visual learners. Thinking outside the box is a great way to stay current and attract new leads.
Don’t: Stop Doing What Always Worked
The oldest principles of marketing include adding value to your network and staying in touch with potential and existing clients on a regular basis. These truths will never change and remain important regardless of the marketing vehicle you deliver them in.
Always experiment with new, inventive ways to market your firm. However, keep the “why” in mind at all times.
Are You Ready?
Congrats! You’ve completed our crash course on the do’s and don’ts of legal content marketing. With these tips under your belt, your marketing strategy will be rock solid and adaptable to any type of campaign.
We hope you found these pointers helpful and look forward to hearing about how you apply them to your firm’s strategy!