The entire world has moved online, and why not? Internet advertising gives almost unrivaled access to people, aided by the magic of targeted advertising. Law firms though have been slow to jump on the internet marketing bandwagon. And even when they have, the results have not been pretty often.
This stems from a systemic fear of the “new” and “untested”. But online marketing is the future. Here are five examples of what not to do while advertising your law firm on the internet.
- Showing your hand
Law is a competitive business, with too many lawyers chasing too little work, and the 200-something American Bar Association approved law schools only serve to exacerbate the problem. In such a scenario, it might sound like a good idea to advertise your hourly rates online, but it can readily turn into a nightmare. Legal affairs are full of unforeseeable circumstances and even mundane works like drafting wills can end up taking a lot more time and effort than you originally thought they might. Advertising your rate will make you beholden to that number, without any flexibility to increase your charges depending on the situation or circumstances. It also makes it very easy for competitors to undercut you by very little and pull clients from underneath you.
- Keep your content current and up to the mark
Lawyers need to stay on top of hot topics and legal trends of the day; your clients expect it of you and you must show it off unabashedly. Your corporate image, as well as that of your individual and high visibility litigators must show what you stand on all things now. Tailor your look to your client demographic: a law firm specializing in technology will have to have a wildly different approach than one the majority of whose business is senior citizens.
- Do not underestimate the blog
Marketing is not just about buying ad space on popular websites. It is about forging an image of the firm and its representative with prospective clients, and every one is a prospective client. A blog for law firms should have credible and reliable information. It is also supposed to attract clients to your firm instead of your competitors’. Posts on your blog should be strategic; do not turn the blog into a mere news dispensing site.
- Use your staff
Every single employee at the firm is a potential marketer; people talk about their jobs, utilize the opportunity. Forge a relationship of understanding with the staff, fulfill their expectations and address their grievances. Ensure they understand the inner workings and recent achievements of the firm. Give them business cards, include them in developmental processes. The more inclusive you are, the likelier they are to market the firm, even on social media.
- Know what to call yourself
Your initials might demand respect from the industry’s biggest stalwarts, but on the internet, people are clueless; they are not insiders, they will not look up your initials on Google. Rebrand your firm and market the full name online. Remember, you are targeting ordinary citizens online and it is important to spread the umbrella as wide as possible.