How Lawyers Can Get More ClientsMar 17, 2022
Lies Legal Marketing Companies and Legal Memberships Sell
I just got off the phone with an attorney who wants to pay me for my time. He wants to meet with me to wrap his head around marketing. He understands that he needs to get more clients, and he knows that the only way to do this is to market his services. However, he's overwhelmed, confused, lacking direction, and he was questioning if he should continue down the path he's on. It's sad to see, and it's all too common.
Of course, I won't take his money to "help" him because I know that a conversation isn't helpful without tools and a plan to execute. It has become common that lawyers are trying to learn all that they can about marketing and I give this lawyer props for caring and for understanding that the future success of his firm will be determined by how well he markets his legal services.
The problem lies in legal marketing companies and legal memberships or communities that have convinced lawyers that they need to "be in charge" of their marketing. Lawyers are being told the nine million and one ways they need to show up, how to create their brand, what they should say, where to post, and how often. They are being told that they need to be creating content like blogs or Reels, showing their faces on social media, going to in-person networking events, sending out newsletters... the list is endless. Lawyers are left so insanely overwhelmed that many of them do nothing at all.
Why Lawyers Should Not Worry About Becoming Marketing Experts
I'm here to tell you something different. I'm here to tell you that you should NOT be learning all about marketing and becoming the best marketer in your industry. Is marketing important? Yes! It's so important that I'm about to launch a membership for lawyers to help them get their marketing done every month. I'm afraid I have to disagree with all the legal marketing experts, though, and it's probably because I'm married to a trial lawyer and have been in it with him, running our firm together for seven years.
You went to law school to be a lawyer. You didn't go to business school to learn marketing, and you didn't major in art with an emphasis on graphic design. Not only that, but your clients don't pay you to market. They pay you to be their lawyer. Your time is valuable. You should ONLY be doing high-value work that can't be delegated out to other people. You get paid for your expertise in your practice area, not because you can drop it low in an Instagram Reel.
The reason legal marketing companies tell lawyers that they need to be the ones doing their marketing is that it's tough to create content for lawyers unless you are working directly alongside them day in and day out.
Lawyers ARE their brand. Their knowledge is their differentiating factor, and the lawyer must be the face of the firm. So, on the surface, it makes sense to tell lawyers they need to be the ones creating their marketing.
Too bad it's impossible. You know that, and I know that. You don't need to pay someone money every month to teach you marketing, and you don't need to pay a company thousands of dollars every month to do your SEO or land you in the Google Business 3-pack. None of this translates into actually landing more clients, which is the one and the only thing you should care about when it comes to your marketing.
These companies will take your money, but they aren't going to deliver what you need. I know because before I realized how terrible all these companies are, I hired many of them. At the time, I was busy building and scaling our firm and I didn't want to deal with marketing. It was only after dozens of failed attempts working with legal marketing agencies that I realized I needed to utilize my skill set which just so happens to be visual marketing and graphic design and just do our marketing myself. Once I created our firm's marketing systems I realized they could easily be shared with other lawyers and that I could provide a desperately needed service for our industry.
Legal marketing companies fail to tell attorneys, like the one I spoke to today, that it doesn't matter if you are in the top 3 of Google maps when your website doesn't convert the clients who land on it. They don't tell lawyers that marketing, especially legal marketing, is a long game. They don't tell you that there are certain places you need to focus on first and areas you need to build up organically before you should ever even consider doing something like paid advertising.
Legal marketing companies and memberships don't tell you that there are things you need to be doing every week to be successful and that there's a 99.99% chance that you don't have the time to do those things. So, they keep on teaching you about all the things you need to do, they don't help you do those things, and you are left feeling overwhelmed with no new clients to show for it.
Where Lawyers Should Focus Their Time and Energy When it Comes to Marketing Their Legal Services
Lawyer websites certainly deserve a blog post of their own, and I will cover them in more shortly. The short and sweet advice I would give you about your website is that its number one job should be to CONVERT. Legal marketing companies always focus on website content because it's how potential clients may find you in Google search results. The trouble begins there, though, because it doesn't matter how many people you successfully direct to your site if they don't hire you when they get there.
Showing up on page one of Google does nothing for you if people click on your page and leave without hiring you. How do you convert leads into paid clients? Make it easy for them to find what they need and focus on the most important factors people care about.
Do you think a potential client cares about reading stats on how many truck accidents happen in California in any given year or about the million-dollar verdict you got for someone who had a case similar to theirs? Showcasing your case results and client testimonials is far more critical than the content buried in sub-pages on your website.
You also need a way for potential clients to "get to know" you as soon as they land on your page. Ideally, it's a well-done video of you or a client you helped. It could also be using a service like Video Ask (which we are currently adding to our own website). Figure out how to let people feel what it would be like to work with you. Answer their questions on your website and provide the information they need instead of only focusing on ranking well with Google and other search engines. When the focus is only on SEO, you fall victim to creating content of little value to your ideal client, and you will lose them to an attorney who helped them out on their website.
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers
"Ok, so I need to post on social media? That's where I should focus my marketing?" The answer is yes. And it's no. Yes, you have to have a presence on social media. Not this is not the only place you should focus your marketing. Social Media is one crucial piece of the legal marketing pie. Social Media is a long-term marketing strategy. It's not likely that your ideal client is hopping on social media and searching the hashtags to find their attorney. No, no, no. This is not how to use social media.
Social media, when done right, helps you establish that well-known marketing concept of "know, like, trust". It helps your network feel like they know you. Once they know you and see that you're an expert who provides value to them through your content, they begin to like you. When you share case results and client testimonials, they begin to trust you. Finally, when you show up in their lives consistently over the long run, it's you who they will call when they need legal help.
You have to realize that most people don't need your services right this second, and you never know when they will need your help (this is especially true for personal injury and criminal defense attorneys). This is why it's critical to stay in front of them.
We all assume that our network will remember us and call us when they need help, but this isn't the case. People are busy. They are inundated with marketing messages online, and we are sold to 24/7. They aren't paying attention to you until they need you. It's your job to make it easy for them to hire you when the time comes and they need an attorney. You need to pop up on their feed at that exact time. They already know you. They like you, and they trust you. They feel like they know exactly how you can help them, and the "sale" is made before they even make a call to your office.
THIS is the power of social media. An ideal following on social media includes a mix of friends, family, acquaintances like people you went to college or high school with, parents of the kids who you coach in Little League, legal industry vendors, attorneys in other practice areas who could refer you cases, attorneys in your practice area who may look up to you as a mentor (and may also refer you cases) and your employees.
Your network is not just your network. Think about it. If you create a following of people who would refer a friend or family member to you because they know, like, and trust you, your network is YOUR follower list PLUS their network. For example, a friend you went to high school with has a friend whose grandchild got in a car accident. Your acquaintance shoots you a DM asking if you can help, you're connected to the potential client, and they retain you. Now you are tapping into THEIR network and growing your reach and influence. This is how it all works. Make that client happy, and they will directly send more clients your way.
You can see why social media marketing takes time to be effective, and that's it's not a fast track to riches. However, it can be one of the most effective forms of marketing you can do as a lawyer when utilized the right way. Most people hire a lawyer they were referred to, not one they found on Google. Your best clients will be the ones referred to you, not those who came through filling out a form on your website.
Real-Life Human Interaction
Notice that I don't call this networking because that's not what this is. I'm talking about leveraging your everyday life to grow your practice. Look, some people love going to networking events. They like being a part of a membership that hosts fun hangouts, and they enjoy that sense of community and being surrounded by other attorneys doing the same thing as them. I get it, and in a past life, one before I had kids, was running two companies and building a second home in a foreign country; I also would have loved being social. However, for every lawyer that loves in-person networking, I would dare to guess there are even more who hate the idea of chit-chatting with a room full of people to try to drum up more business.
If this is you, I have good news. Your day-to-day relationships are much much much more potent than any networking event you could go to. The people you see at carpool and on the sports field or the neighbors you have wine night with already know like and trust you. It's your job to let them know what you do and how you can help them. I don't suggest ever trying to sell to them, which is why it's best if you can get your real-life connections to follow you on social media.
We also send a printed newsletter to our network. It goes out primarily to friends, family, and past and present clients. The newsletter is not full of legal talk. We share our travel adventures, and my husband shares tidbits from books he's reading. We share recent case results or client testimonials, so people know how to help them, but the newsletter, just like social media, is about showing up in people's inboxes until they need our help. Plus, it's fun for us to create each month.
You should be adding content to your website weekly via a blog. No, you should not be the one writing these blogs. Unless you love writing, hire someone to do this for you. Find a legal content creation company or go on Upwork.com and find a writer. They typically charge around .20 cents per word and are very affordable. Find a writer who knows how to optimize your blog for SEO and then hand it over to your assistant, who also schedules your social media posts for you.
Blogs are great for many reasons, the main one being that they drive organic traffic to your website. Your goal is to answer questions that your potential clients have in each blog post. Give truthful and valuable information, not surface-level keyword stuffing, to rank well in search engines. When you consistently provide helpful content, the search engine Gods smile kindly upon you, and your ranking improves.
Blogs are also powerful because they can be re-purposed into multiple pieces of content. You can create dozens of social media posts from one blog. You can send the blog out as an email blast to your list. You can offer it as a free lead magnet and ask your followers to enter their email addresses in exchange for your helpful article.
Content Creation for Lawyers
Your goal should be to hire an assistant for 2-4 hours each week to handle your marketing for you. For your content to be valuable, genuine, and non-generic, your assistant will need to have what I call "source files" to pull from. An ideal marketing situation looks like this:
- You have a freelancer create a minimum of 1 blog each week for you
- You are consistently receiving client reviews on Google and Yelp
- You can share recent case results with your assistant either by dictating them, entering them into a Google Doc, or adding them to your website in written form.
- Your website has well-written bios on you and your team
- Your website has a solid list of FAQs for your practice area
- You've notified your assistant of where they can find resources to pull from (like any books you've written, articles you've had published, podcasts you've done, press, etc.)
- You know your ideal client and their fears and struggles, so your assistant can create inspirational quote graphics for them on social media.
- You know how you can help your ideal client and what your process is, and you've shared these things on your website.
- You've defined your core values and made them available to your assistant as a company.
- You've created a blog or blurb on your website about any charities you work with or any exciting hobbies you have that are relevant to your ideal client.
- Your website offers up multiple ways to contact your firm
- Your website has value-packed content for each of your practice areas
How Can Lawyers Spend Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week on Their Marketing?
If you're in private practice, you have a website. If your website is operating the way it should be, you have all of this in place already. The ONLY thing you should need to be doing once a month is sharing recent case results with your assistant, telling them about anything interesting or fun going on at the firm, and letting them know if there are any holidays or seasonal posts you want them to schedule. That's it. You should spend 30 minutes or less a MONTH on your content.
Of course, your assistant will need graphics and a place to be trained, and this is why I created our monthly marketing membership. This exists, so you can talk to your assistant for a few minutes each month and then have them log in to your member's portal and get to work. That's it.
How Can Lawyers Get More Clients
You can imagine my excitement when I was able to have my phone call with the overwhelmed attorney today. This is why I created Law Prophet, and it's my number one passion besides my family and drinking vino tinto in Spain. It's exciting because I KNOW you need this. You and every other lawyer in private practice face a monumental task when it comes to marketing, and it's not something you should or can take on on your own.
When I told my attorney friend about what I'm creating, his exact words were: "When does it launch, how much does it cost, and can you just take my money now?" My answer was; our tentative launch date is June 6th. My team and I are currently loading the first six months of content into the membership portal for you and recording your assistant's training. My number one goal is to make this as simple as possible for you, and that requires refining the portal repeatedly until it's perfect.
So, how can lawyers get more clients? Find the RIGHT person to help you with your marketing. In the eight years we've had our firm, I have yet to find a company that provides a done-for-you solution that helps attorneys. Please don't hire these companies.
If you don't have the items listed in the bullet points above, start there. No one can help you with your marketing if they don't have those things. Plus, it's what you absolutely must have on your website anyway, so you may as well start now.
Done for you and delivered monthly.
Join our marketing membership and never worry about coming up with social media content ever again. Every month you'll get the following:
30 Days of done-for-you social media templates made to grow your following, land more clients, and generate more referrals.
Caption starters for each template, so you never have to wonder what to post again. Plus, #hashtags to help new followers find you.
Seasonal, holiday and themed posts to keep your feed fresh, current and trending.
Facebook and Instagram Story templates to match each feed post. Show up consistently and stay in front of your followers.
Access to a growing white label content library. Done-for-you articles in your practice area with a matching social media post graphic! Send them to your followers as an email blast, create free offers for potential clients, or repurpose them into dozens of pieces of content for your social media pages.
Stay connected with news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.