Times have changed. I know that’s not news for many of you. Still, I find myself saying this to countless attorneys every day who are still relying on old school marketing techniques to generate leads. And they wonder why it doesn’t work.
Part of the times changing, means that you have to change—your firm has to change. Still not sure what you’re doing wrong? Here’s a quick list of the marketing tactics that you may still be holding on to that you need to stop doing.
Print advertising can include newspaper or magazine ads, billboards, or flyers and other snail mail. Sometimes they work, but they’re always expensive to test. Unless you’re working with a strong budget, stop using them.
Buying ad space helps you get the name of your practice out in front of people, but it gets forgotten as soon as they look away (in the case of billboard ads). Unless someone gets injured or divorced while standing right in front of your sign, chances are they’re not ready to get legal help right that second.
Knowing that, how can you justify spending money on print? Well, you can’t. While some publications have evidence of lead generation from buying ad space, they’re usually the most expensive of the bunch. More commonly, print sources will only offer estimates of impressions - not closed business - based off of their subscriber base. Plus they’ll pad those numbers with some “expected circulation,” assuming that a newspaper changes hands a couple of times before getting tossed in the recycling.
Assume? Estimate? Impressions? Those aren’t odds I’d bet my marketing budget on.
All through law school and into the first couple of years running my own practice, I wasted so much time buddying up with fellow lawyers. It looked kind of like this:
I get up the energy to go to a cocktail mixer. I awkwardly circle around a bit to see who’s there.
They’re all lawyers. It’s a Bar Association event.
Stopping at the bar for a drink, I introduce myself to a guy about my age. We make small talk, we exchange cards. He’s a competitor. I throw away the card when I get home, with about $40 less in my pocket, an evening wasted, and no real connections.
You know why I stopped? I got tired of standing around. I got tired of meeting lawyers in the same field of practice as me. And I got tired of feeling like I was doing something wrong. Because I was.
Sometimes networking can lead to the results you want, but it usually doesn’t happen at a Bar Association event, and it almost never happens after a one-off meeting with a stranger.
Try Using Effective Legal Marketing Tactics
Okay, so we’ve got the bad methods out of the way. If you want to start using legal marketing techniques that work, you need to utilize 21st century tools. Start spending time on social media (yes, kids, it works - if you know how to use it right). Use LinkedIn to build your professional network and find clients who are already in an environment where they expect to find professional advice.
Use email automation tools to deliver messages to exactly the right people. Group the prospects you find on LinkedIn by interests or job, and send them relevant helpful, education-based messages, or just set up an automatic check-in to let them know you’re there when you need them.
Take some time to optimize your website for conversions, and actually give visitors a way to contact you (not just by leaving a phone number up on the homepage, either). Start running a blog that showcases your legal expertise and keep posting to it. Give some value to clients so they can come back again and again until they have a problem too complicated to solve on their own. That’s when they’ll ask for your services.
These are all legal marketing tactics that rely less on guesswork and more on data. Although attorneys aren’t expected to be marketing experts and analytical wizards, it’s no surprise that if you can use measurable and reliable techniques, you’re less likely to throw time and money away.
To learn more about the secrets behind executing the marketing tactics you should use at your legal practice, click here to download the Complete Guide to Building a Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm.