When you passed the bar, there was no “marketing” section.
Yet, to get more clients and grow your firm, marketing is essential.
As Michael Mogill says in his bestselling book The Game Changing Attorney:
“The game has changed. If you do not market, you are invisible. If you really want to grow to any kind of serious level and scale your practice, you’ve got to be your own advocate. Referrals alone are an unpredictable form of client acquisition. Sometimes the calls come in, and sometimes they don’t.”
Digital marketing, though, is where real growth can be made.
This post will give you a step-by-step walkthrough of the fundamentals of marketing for lawyers:
- An introduction to digital marketing and the legal sales funnel
- Social media marketing and advertising
- Lead generation
- Email marketing
An Introduction to Digital Marketing for Lawyers
Digital marketing — social media, lead generation, email, and all the rest — offers your law firm the best ways to drive brand awareness, increase your client base, and grow your business.
But, in a study from the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), they found that “Nearly 50% of [legal professional] respondents indicated that they allocated 15% or less of their marketing budget to digital marketing.”
That’s a bad thing because billboard, radio, and TV ads don’t work as effectively as they used to.
They don’t let you track your success, don’t reach the right people, and don’t reach people where they can engage with you.
You need a way to stand head and shoulders above your competitors. You need a way to increase awareness and grow your client base while also trying the cases you have and keeping your business afloat.
So what does work for lawyers?
A modern sales funnel – an optimized, online process which uses digital marketing strategies to make prospective clients aware of you, encourages them to provide their contact information, and then contacts them effectively to turn them into clients.
Here’s how it works:
Top of Funnel: You use social media and paid social ads to increase awareness of your business within your target demographic.
Middle of Funnel: You use lead generation techniques (such as consultation pages or seminars) to get the contact details of your target clients.
Bottom of Funnel: You use email marketing (alongside phone calls, if you have the resources) to turn your leads into clients.
Top of Funnel: Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
The first step of your sales funnel is the awareness stage. You want your target demographic to know you exist.
And one of the best ways to do that is through social media.
Social media platforms are essentially just communities with billions of members.
They’re also the largest collection of your target clients ever assembled. Here’s how you can reach them.
Step 1: Use Video
Over 50% of daily digital media time is spent watching video.
Think about that for a second. The average person spends about 6 hours with some type of digital media per day, and half of it is video.
And there’s a reason businesses use it:
- People who watch a video retain 95% of the message, compared to 10% of people who read text.
- 72% of prospective consumers prefer to learn about a product or service by video than any other content format.
- Social media posts with video have 48% more views.
- Video on social media generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
Video enables you to tell your story on social media – to show your face and build trust.
Remember, “Your clients aren’t simply buying legal services; they’re investing in you as a human being. If they can’t connect with you, if they don’t have a sense of what drives you, then they have no reason to hire you.” (source)
There’s no better way for you to connect with people than by telling your story with emotionally-engaging video.
Step 2: Use Social Ads
81% of law firms are already on social media, but only 23% of them are paying to promote themselves:
And that’s a huge missed opportunity.
Without the targeting capabilities of paid social ads, your firm is just hoping that your target demographic pays attention to you on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
With paid ads, you can be sure they are.
The primary social media ad platform, of course, is Facebook, with 2.41 billion monthly active users and unparalleled targeting capabilities through its paid ad platform.
Facebook ads offer your law firm an incredible opportunity to engage with your prospective clients.
In fact, Facebook ads give a better click-through rate (the rate at which your ad’s viewers click on it) for the legal industry than any other.
Let’s see how the legal industry can use Facebook ads by taking a look at a real-world case study.
Social Media Case Study from the Legal Industry
(Source: Berry Law Firm)
The Berry Law Firm, a veteran’s disability benefits law firm located in Lincoln, Nebraska, was looking to increase their client caseload through digital marketing.
The Crisp team helped the firm create Facebook advertising campaigns (which tap into Facebook’s 2.41 billion users with incredibly specific targeting) to reach their ideal demographic – veterans.
The first step was to create a video that resonated with veterans:
And here’s an example of the Facebook Ads they ran:
The video reached 50,656 people in the first week. It got 37,000 Views, 514 Shares, 707 Likes, and 32 Comments.
Judging their initial campaign a success, the teams created another two ads. In total, the three video ads reached 230,055 people and generated 171,000 views, 8,030 likes, 2,783 shares, and 229 comments.
The exciting thing with this social ad campaign (among others) is the growth in organic results — a 1,154% growth in reach — meaning that a good Facebook ad campaign drives unpaid success as well.
Middle of Funnel: Lead Generation for Lawyers
Social media ads can effectively be used to increase awareness of your firm, but they can also be used in lead generation.
Here’s an example from the Ettinger Law Firm which invites their target clients to a seminar on estate planning:
Why would they be running these ads, when they could just direct people to their website and try to get clients directly?
The fact of the matter is that most of your website visitors aren’t ready to commit to hiring a contract on their first visit. In fact, around 92% of first-time website visitors aren’t there to buy or engage — they’re simply there to look.
If people aren’t ready to commit to hiring you, that’s fine.
But you shouldn’t just give up, hoping they’ll come back one day.
Instead, you should focus on providing value for those prospective clients. Start building a relationship by delivering educational content (like Ettinger has above with their seminar).
The best way to do this is through delivering free content to your prospective clients in return for their contact details.
This is called lead generation, and it’s a vital step in moving people through your sales funnel.
Here’s how to get started with lead generation:
Step 1: Determine a strategy to turn visitors into leads. The first thing you need to determine is what content you’ll use to turn visitors into leads. Usually this is done through the creation of a “lead magnet” — the content that people want, and will provide their contact details to get.
A few examples of “lead magnets” for the legal industry:
- A seminar (like the one above) related to your practice’s focus
- A one-on-one consultation to discuss your prospective client’s case
- A video series that covers exactly what will happen in a criminal case
- A Q&A session with an industry expert (you) covering your practice’s focus
- A downloadable resource covering a frequently-asked question in your field
Step 2: Create your promotional video.
This video will feature in your social media posts, ads, and your website’s landing page.
No more than a minute in length, this video should introduce you, tell a little about your expertise (why you’re worth listening to), and tell people what you’re going to cover in your lead magnet.
Step 3: Set up your lead generation landing page.
Here’s an example of a consultation landing page we made in 10 minutes or so with one of the landing page tools we’ve linked below:
Like any good landing page, this page follows a few main optimization best practices:
- It’s focused on a single conversion goal (turning visitors into leads).
- The button to “get a callback” is large and in a high-contrast color.
- The headline “Let us help you get your life back” is emotionally compelling.
- The social proof (“We’ve helped more than 1,000 other victims of personal injury find restitution”) takes the burden of proof off the lawyer.
This landing page could be improved with the use of video, which has shown to increase landing page conversion rates 80%.
Step 4: Be sure your landing page is connected to your email client and/or CRM.
There’s no point in generating a single lead for your law firm if you don’t have a way to contact them after they’ve converted on your landing page.
Speak with your web developer or marketing team (if you have one) to ensure that everybody who converts on your lead magnet’s landing page can be contacted by email or phone.
Step 5: Drive traffic to your landing page with social media and advertising.
- Use Facebook Ad Manager to ensure your Facebook ad only reaches your target demographic.
- Upload your promotional video to Facebook Ad Manager.
- Create ad copy which clearly tells your ad’s viewers what value you’re going to deliver in your lead magnet.
Also create a few organic posts and share them in the weeks before you launch your lead generation campaign.
Helpful Lead Generation Tools:
- Facebook Ad Manager – Facebook ad manager gives you a more advanced way to target your Facebook ads than the “Promote” button on your Facebook page.
- Unbounce, Instapage, Wishpond, and ClickFunnels – Leading landing page tools with dozens of templates which make it easy to create a landing page for your lead generation campaign.
Bottom of Funnel: Email Marketing for Lawyers
Now that you’ve attracted people to your website and gotten their contact information, it’s up to you to turn those people into clients.
As you might expect, this stage is where the real, bottom-line-changing results are.
Unfortunately, most business leads (79%) never become clients.
And it’s usually a failure in “nurturing” (the strategies which prompt a lead to become a client), rather than because the lead doesn’t need the service offered.
Nurturing your leads before pushing them to become a client can result in 50% more sales than pushing your leads to sign the dotted line too quickly.
And email automation is the best way to do it.
Email automation is simply the utilization of tools that allow you to personalize and send emails to your contacts automatically.
It allows your law firm to continue to work on your existing cases, all while hundreds of emails are sent to your prospective clients encouraging them to engage.
Email automation best practices:
1. Use an email automation tool that makes it easy.
There are dozens of email automation tools out there, but some of them offer way more than you could possibly need. It’s unlikely you’ll ever be contacting 10,000 people every day (even if all your digital marketing campaigns go viral), so don’t pay for it.
We’ll recommend a few email marketing tools below.
2. Personalize and segment your emails.
- 74% of marketers agree that personalization increases customer engagement.
- Personalizing your email’s subject lines can increase open rates by 26%.
- Emails that have been personalized deliver 6x higher transaction rates than generic emails.
- Segmented campaigns can increase revenue by 760%.
How do you personalize and segment your emails?
It’s all about the questions you ask when you get your prospective client’s contact details.
For instance, here’s an example of a lead generation form for a family lawyer:
When someone fills out this form, a good email automation tool will enable you to add them to your “Immigration Law” list, which will only send them your emails pertaining to immigration law. It will also enable you to use the subject line, “Jane Smith, here’s how we can help you with your immigration problems.”
3. Add video to your emails.
Adding video to your emails can increase click-through rates by 300%.
But it’s easier said than done, requires coding, and not every email automation tool does it.
If you have any questions about how you can add personalized video (say, a 30-second clip of you introducing yourself to your prospective clients), we recommend you speak with a video marketing expert before trying it yourself.
4. Use proven email templates.
You don’t have to start from scratch. There are hundreds of resources out there that can help you write great emails that turn your leads into clients.
For example, here’s a template for an email that might be automatically sent after a consultation request:
Hi [First Name],
I wanted to introduce myself. My name is [Name] and I started [Law Firm Name] almost [X] years ago through a desire to help people like you find [common desired outcome of the cases you handle].
Choosing a lawyer to represent you can be a difficult decision, and it’s a decision better made face-to-face.
Would you have time this week to come into our office?
If not, we can get on a call on whenever you’re available.
My number is [phone number] and I look forward to speaking with you.
I’m at your disposal,
For a complete guide to email automation and creating a campaign which nurtures leads into sales, check out “4 Tips to Mastering Email Marketing in Your Law Firm.”
Helpful Email Marketing Tools:
The goal of this resource is to provide you with a foundation from which you can grow your business, but (as you well know) there’s far more to learn.
Nonetheless, using the strategies we’ve recommended here will get you on the right path:
- Use digital marketing instead of outdated advertising tools.
- Reconsider your business’s online sales funnel.
- Create social media posts and advertisements that incorporate video.
- Create lead magnets that turn website visitors into contacts.
- Add landing pages designed to turn visitors into leads.
- Segment your leads and personalize the emails you send them.
To learn how to effectively incorporate marketing into your firm’s business growth, connect with a Crisp Legal Marketing Strategist for a one-on-one strategy session today.