Rapid changes in technology are generating a multitude of new marketing opportunities – which also makes marketing more complicated, and planning more important. Here are tips for growing your business in 2021 and beyond.
By Martha Chan, Family Lawyer Marketing Expert
Marketing Has Changed. Have You?
- Ad Hoc Marketing
- Is a Website Enough?
- Creating a Marketing Plan
Twenty years ago, when we first told family lawyers they needed websites, they looked at us as if we were from Mars. Twelve years ago, when we told them they needed to be on social media, many family lawyers told us that they would not be caught dead on Facebook. Ten years ago, when we started doing podcasts and shooting videos for clients, most family lawyers didn’t see the need. Those family lawyers who embraced those new marketing ideas have continued to reap the benefits of being an early adopter.
Technology has accelerated change. In 2020, there were 2 billion websites, although “only” 400 million of them were active; there are currently 43 million podcast episodes; Youtube, the second-most-visited website in the world, has 2 billion monthly active users (that’s about one-third of the entire Internet!); and Facebook, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020, is the biggest social network worldwide. Guess what? This matters more now to your prospective clients than ever – particularly during and post-COVID.
Today, if you don’t have a great website or a social media presence, you are pretty much viewed as a dinosaur. If you have podcasts and videos, then you are seen as progressive and relevant. But it is no longer enough to only have these. While technology has created more options, it has also made marketing more confusing and complicated for family lawyers who do not have the skills, inclination, or time to devote to promoting their practice.
Marketing Under Pressure
At Divorce Marketing Group, many of our clients come to us for websites because their competitors have better websites than they do. Others need to have their existing websites redesigned because they are terribly outdated in looks, user friendliness, and technology. Many do not realize their content desperately needs updating as well. Some dip their toes into marketing because their business is not doing well, or they fear they are not getting their share of the growth in divorce since COVID. They now want a Facebook page or to place some advertising on our websites DivorceMag.com or DivorcedMoms.com or a Google advertising program created for them.
Ad Hoc Marketing
Many family law firms practice “ad hoc marketing”: they try out different things once or twice sporadically. These efforts include PPC advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), writing blog posts, directory advertising, etc. Mostly, they try something because a salesperson contacted them or they received a seemingly irresistible email offer from an unknown person (normally from India or the Philippines) telling them they could be on page one of Google search results within two weeks.
When there is no game plan, no strategy, and no business goals, success is unlikely.
Poor Choice of Service Providers
Some lawyers discover from their consultation with us that they have been paying far too much for far too long to have their website hosted or updated. Sometimes lawyers have poured their marketing dollars down the drain because they don’t know how to screen for legitimate and effective providers. We have a client who paid $100 for a click on Google; we brought it down to $3. Unfortunately, their former provider did not know how to market family lawyers.
So You Have a Website…
Many family law firms think that once they have a website, their work is done and they do not have to worry about it anymore. There is no strategy for growing traffic to the website or updating the content on a regular basis. Google does not like websites with stagnant content, and visitors will leave websites that offer no resources or are difficult to navigate, especially on a cell phone. If you have a website, you need a plan to add new content to it frequently – and these days, consumers often choose easily consumable content, such as videos and podcasts, over text articles.
How’s That Facebook Post Coming Along?
Many of our clients ask us to build them company social media pages but do not invest in continuous posts on their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts. They believe they can handle it in-house – but 95% of the time, no posts will be added until they ask us to take over posting for them.
Invest in Creating an Impactful Marketing Plan for Your Law Firm Annually
You have probably heard the saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
When you create a marketing plan, you need to:
- Define the prospective clients and cases you.
- Compose your marketing positioning statement to clearly identify the top three reasons why your desired clients should hire you vs some other.
- Develop your strategy and business.
- Define and implement your action.
More and more of our clients have taken our advice to do two-year marketing plans. Why? So they can focus on their practice knowing they have allocated their marketing budget effectively and that their marketing is being taken care of.
We highly recommend you work with a marketing agency that can help you differentiate yourself from other family lawyers, create a marketing strategy and plan based on your business goals, and execute the plan by utilizing the latest techniques and technologies.
FAQs about Marketing for Family Lawyers
Why do family lawyers need a marketing plan?
Well, if you don’t want to be viewed as a relic, way outdated, then you need to have a website and a presence on social media. The bottom line, social media reaches 2 billion people a month. Without a good marketing plan, how are you going to be part of the growth that is taking place online?
Do you have the skills, motivation, and time?
When marketing a law firm why do you need a strategy/plan?
Without a marketing plan, there is no success. You can’t publish a blog post, share it, and hope that it attracts attention. Creating a YouTube channel without first understanding how YouTube works and how to get those videos seen does not lead to success on YouTube.
You have to have a strategy. Working knowledge of how to get eyes on that blog post and those YouTube videos.
Do I need more than a website for a marketing plan?
No, a website alone is good enough, if you know who to properly optimize that website and actively update the website with new content.
Google ranks websites based on how well of a job your SEO (search engine optimization) team optimized the site. If you don’t have an in-house team you can hire a firm for a one-time fee to go in and optimize your site.
How often do you update your website with new content? Do you have content that is easily understood by your website visitors? Do you have resources and short videos, blog posts or updates to your firm’s activity?
You can have a website and it can be enough if you have a marketing plan for that website.
What do I need to create a good marketing plan?
- Below is a list of things that will go into any good marketing plan.
- Know the kind of clients and cases you want to attract.
- Identify the top 3 reasons a client should hire you.
- Develop your strategy…website, social media?
- Implement and take action!
Martha Chan is a marketing expert for family lawyers. She is a co-owner and vice president of marketing for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, DivorcedMoms.com, and Divorce Marketing Group – a one-stop marketing agency dedicated to promoting family lawyers and divorce professionals. www.DivorceMarketingGroup.com
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