Updated: Aug 24, 2020
In preparing for our previous webinar with Professor Patrick Parkinson AM on the client intake process (more on that here) I spent a bit of time working on using our Legal Bot for marketing purposes.
I was also thinking about quick simple things that lawyers do not do when they are marketing their own business. So I thought I would share those five quick tips here, things that you can get started on or even complete quickly, today.
It sounds silly or vain but it is actually a crucial part of your marketing plan. You should Google your name, if your name is common then your name followed by your profession, and your business name.
If somebody is going to engage your services then you can almost guarantee that they will look you up online before they meet with you. Do you know what they will find?
You are looking for positive things, like a blog post that you didn't realise was popular (and can now revisit , update and make sure it has a clear call to action), or an Instagram account that you should probably post to more often.
You are also looking for negative things. I did this recently and found a phishing site, that is, a site that was coming up on my Google search and would only let me remove it if I gave them sufficient information to identify me (or perform identity theft on me). I have reported that page to Google for phishing (you can Google how to do that). I previously have had to report pages to Google because their cache is old.
I had a colleague last year struggling with a page that said negative things about him, his son contacted the page owner directly and they simply agreed to take it down. The content was old, it was no longer generating hits for them, so they were happy to comply.
You won't know that you should report a page, or update some content you own, if you don't know what people find when they Google you. If you own and run a business you should really also Google key employees, your customers are so you should too.
Facebook or Instagram Insights
If you have a business Facebook Page or Instagram Page then you should be regularly checking insights. Both of these pages only keep information for a limited amount of time so you need to be regularly checking to get a feeling for what is working, and what is not.
A lot of this is not an exact science which is why you should check it regularly.
Sure I keep statistics on the pages that I manage, but I also need to get a feeling for it, to quote an often quoted line for lawyers, it really is the vibe of the thing. It is far more important that you know what works for your business, than knowing what works generally or for your competitor or for people selling SEO or any of that.
If you know anything about marketing then you know that you have to emphasise your point of difference. Your existing customers and followers are a really good measure of what is working now, they have chosen you, and how to find more customers like them. Everyone needs to spend more time collecting data from their customers and getting feedback but actually the Insights give you a really quick way of doing that.
What did they like? Which posts are most popular? How was that different to other things you have shared on that platform?
When you are looking at a particular post or a particularly good week of posting ask yourself:
when did I post (day and time)
what type of post (photo, graphic, link)
what did I say (was it 'salesy' or personal or a blog post or customer feedback)
did I post other content like that around that same time, was it part of a series or a theme? (engagement drives engagement, previous similar posts might have helped the really popular post)
Again there is no exact science to some of this, that is why it is something that is great to do quickly but frequently so that you become familiar with the 'vibe' of your popular content.
Update your Linked in profile
If you have already updated your Linked in profile, have you posted there recently?
There are two key reasons that you should touch base with your Linked in Profile more regularly. Firstly, your potential new clients are checking you out there. Secondly, Linked in has a really high PageRank.
Going back to the first point, it is the easiest way (that they know of) to check how experienced you are because your CV is right there. I say that they know of because you can of course check when a lawyer was admitted for free, but most potential clients don't realise that. Most potential clients who are worried about checking on your experience will look at your website, and if you do not say there how many years you have been practicing (or if you do but they want more information) then they are heading over to Linked in.
For the second point, if you don't know what a PageRank is you can read about that here. Linked in has a really high PageRank or domain authority.
Ask yourself why do you use Google? You use Google because it gives you accurate, trustworthy and authoritative content. If it didn't do those things you would stop using Google and they would lose money. While the actual algorithms are closely guarded secrets (so that spammers can't abuse them) you can assume that Google wants to make money. Therefore, trustworthy and relevant websites like Linked in are always going to rank highly in searched for professional services no matter what they do with the algorithm.
Have you done point one yet, did you Google yourself? Were you surprised by how highly the Linked in profile was ranked? If you are generating content for your business, are you sharing it on Linked in?
Here is a blog from Stevie Says Social (an ex lawyer turned marketer) on why you should be spending more time on your Linked in profile. If you don't have time to do all of that though please, please, make sure that your details on Linked in are actually up to date (in particular your head line and current position, and the Experience and About sections).
Do you have an email marketing list?
If you have one, do you have a list somewhere of email ideas, or are you just trusting that you will remember it when you sit down to do it? If you don't have a list then start one now and brain dump some ideas.
What do you do when you find an article relevant to one of your ideas (or that gives you a new idea?) You need to create somewhere to save those two. So your immediate action plan is create somewhere to save ideas, and create somewhere to save links.
For those of you who don't have an email list, why not? Returning business is a key part of running a legal practice or a mediation practice (think referrers and lawyers) so why aren't you using that? Now you cannot do this on the spot, set up a mailing list, but I am going to harass you about it anyway.
If you don't have an email list then how are you re-marketing or reminding your existing client base about your services? There are so many free providers for email lists and you own your email list, you are not at the mercy of a Facebook or other algorithm. I covered Mailchimp vs Mailerlite in a post in our Flexible Family Law group on Facebook. If you aren't in that group and you want to join it then click here.
If you have an email list then are you actively curating interesting content? How are you doing that? What is your system? If you system is oh, I should email everyone, what should I write, then that is not a system. Start with a physical, paper list somewhere, add ideas as they pop up. Alternatively, email ideas to yourself and then put them in a folder in your inbox, this can be great for when you see an article on line and think I could share that with my list, then you can email the link to yourself.
Don't panic, I am not going to tell you to take a photo of yourself. That is a legitimate use for social media, but also there are other ways that you can take photos of 'yourself' without actually being in the photo.
In order to prove the point and do my own homework I looked around on my desk for something that I could usefully photograph. I saw this list, put it on my keyboard with the pen I used to write the list (as it is obviously a similar colour and therefore helps the look of the photo) and I took a photo. I then shared it on Instagram with a quick line about our weekly newsletter. Done.
The trick is to be actively looking for opportunities like this to photograph what you are doing, and this doesn't have to be just photos of you.
Did you know that our users get a free Legal Bot with the product that they can use for marketing? You can have a look at this blog for more information about how to use the Legal Bot for marketing.
If you are interested in more content to help with your family law business then you could join our Flexible Family Law group on Facebook. This blog post was created for that group. You don't have to be a lawyer to join, it is for people working in all parts of the family law ecosystem. You can join by clicking here.