A common frustration in marketing your law practice – particularly in consumer areas of the law like bankruptcy, personal injury, and criminal law – is limiting the number of “tire kickers”. People who need what you have to offer but just aren’t ready to make the necessary move of hiring you to handle their case.
As someone who practices in the area of bankruptcy law I understand this difficulty well. I know that I typically have a very small window to make an impression on a potential client and if I miss it, I have likely missed my opportunity for new business with that client.
Traditional forms of lawyer advertising such as yellow pages, print advertising, radio, and TV all do a really poor job of showcasing your expertise and who you really are as a person. These forms of marketing all have built-in restrictions – space and cost. With any type of print advertising you are restricted by the size of the page and the cost (usually outrageous cost) of re-producing the ad.
With radio and TV you have 15-30 seconds to get your message across. Not adequate time to build the relationship of trust you need for a potential client to feel comfortable to hire you.
With these limitations you are left to slogans and large fonts to try and grasp for people’s attention.
There is a better way.
Here are three ways you can use content marketing so that your clients are ready to hire you before they even step foot in your office!
Become the Authority
When we buy things most will go for the highest quality item that we can afford. This is also true when it comes to legal services. Often when hiring a lawyer something has gone seriously wrong in a person’s life and they need relief. They want to feel comfortable that the lawyer they have hired is very good at what they do- they want the best!
You can become the authority in your practice area by sharing what you know online. Your blog is your platform to tell potential clients why they should hire you in and demonstrate that you know your stuff.
The key here is that you have to actually know your stuff. There is no better Continuing Legal Education course than a blog. Writing a blog on bankruptcy law has forced me to research and learn some of the more far-reaching areas of my chosen field simply so I have something to write about week in and week out. The more you blog, the more you will research, the more you will know and can help people.
And when clients see what you have to offer, see how generous you have been with your knowledge, you will become the authority on this subject to them. That way, when they walk in your office, the decision has already been made that they are going to hire you. Why would they want anyone else?
And all of this occurred before you uttered a single word to them.
Get in their Head
Podcasting. This is still a new medium for legal marketing but it is a very powerful one. A podcast is a very intimate form of communication – it is just you and them. Your voice in their ear buds, sharing information that is vitally important to them at that point in their life.
Through a podcast people can get to know you through the way you express ideas, the way you share information, and even get insight into your personality and if you are someone they would want to work with.
Creating a podcast takes some effort for sure, but I have found that the return on that effort is ongoing. Once an episode has been put online you will have people continually returning to it and sharing it with family and friends who may be facing a similar situation.
I used to wonder who in the world would actually listen to a legal podcast. But after launching my Consumer Warrior Podcast I was surprised at the number of people that not only listened but reached out to me to hire me and tell me how much they appreciated legal information in that format.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Video. Admittedly this is a new area that I am just starting to dive into. A while back I interviewed New York attorney Gerry Oginski on the JDBlogger Podcast about his Herculean effort in marketing his law practice through video (he has 700+ videos online and counting…). His interview got me thinking more and more about using video to market my practice.
These don’t need to be feature length films. Simple 2 minute videos of you addressing common questions you get from potential clients. Video is more accessible than ever before. Your clients can access video from their phones, tablets, computers, TVs, etc.
Like a podcast, video gives you an opportunity to engage your client before they ever meet with you. They can get to know you and understand what you know from the comfort of their home – free from the intimidating experience many people feel during an initial consultation at a law office.
Whether your platform is a blog, a podcast, videos, or all of the above, content marketing is going to allow you into the lives of your potential clients long before you ever actually meet them. The better you are at delivering consistent valuable content the more trust you will build and the greater the authority you will have.
Then, when the client makes the decision to actually call a lawyer the hiring decision has already been made. They feel that they already know a lawyer who can help them with their legal problem. They want you.