Legal marketing used to consist of hanging a sign outside your door, putting an ad in the Yellow Pages, and spreading the news through word-of-mouth. Today, the internet provides seemingly limitless marketing options. However, it is easy to interpret that to mean marketing is now easy–right at one’s fingertips and anyone who has a device and an internet connection can do it.
In theory, that is correct. In reality, though, while the digital world presents a reach as broad as you choose, it also means that competition is increased exponentially beyond what was ever possible or imaginable back in the brick and mortar days when traditional marketing was the only marketing.
With digital marketing novices, there can also exist a dangerous preconceived notion that, if you build it, they will come. Just as hanging your sign outside your new office doesn’t automatically bring people to the door, neither does digital marketing. And once someone is at the door, what will persuade that individual to walk through the door? Once inside, what will ultimately determine if that person hires you or not?
While the landscape of legal marketing has changed, it is still hard work and requires expertise, dedication, and ongoing cultivation. Perhaps even more importantly, one of the most misunderstood factors of digital marketing is the time investment involved to exercise that expertise, dedication, and ongoing cultivation. And if anyone can understand the value of time, it is the legal industry.
Today, the sign outside your door needs to be accompanied by a secure and responsive website. Your website is your virtual office, and visitors need to be able to feel safe, comfortable, and find what they need quickly and efficiently. The website look and feel need to be appealing as well. Make sure the first impression is a lasting one, and not a last one. Without the proper considerations for what the prospective client wants and needs, you’ll be looking at that prospect walking away and never looking back.
While the Yellow Pages fade away, Google My Business (GMB) local listings are critical. Often, it is there where users will be accessing your phone number, address, hours of operation, and even photos of your team and office. But, GMB doesn’t magically or automatically appear, and once established, it isn’t a set-and-forget platform; it, like all digital marketing, needs to be managed on an ongoing basis.
Word of mouth still exists but is now largely part of viral marketing through social media channels. Having a presence on social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is no longer a novelty, but a must. Authentic reviews, testimonials, and ratings are the lifeblood of modern-day word-of-mouth, and your target market will read and trust what others have to say about you and your business.
Digital marketing is not a hobby; it is a science. And just like science is a very big umbrella under which physics, biology, chemistry, etc. stand, digital marketing is a very large umbrella under which web development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, etc. stand. Each is its own unique curriculum, but each must work in tandem with the others to successfully provide synergy for a smoothly running system that can weather the storms.
Then, layer in traditional marketing, as no, it is not dead, but needs to be part of a comprehensive multi-channel marketing plan. Budget allocations are unique, and need to be tailored to your types of legal services, lifetime value of your clients, competition, time of year, business life cycle, and numerous other factors that a marketing expert is best suited to analyze and oversee.
When you think about your marketing budget, think about your own fee schedules. “You get what you pay for,” right? Cutting corners means you are cutting quality, reducing the potential for success, and affecting long-term results. It’s what you would tell your own clients.
If you are indeed prepared to invest in marketing, be prepared for scalability. Too much business is the best problem to have, or so we may think. Well, if you don’t proactively implement the proper resources to keep up with demand and growth, your business will implode faster than the case of the layman who decided to represent himself in court. Know when and where to ask for help. ENX2 Marketing is ready to take your call.