If you are standing still, you are going backwards
The legal sector continues to evolve at a rapid pace. New entrants to market, regulatory changes and the increasingly varied needs of clients means that if today your law firm is standing still, then most probably you are already going backwards. Below are our top tips on growing your law firm in the digital age.
In recent years, we have read about how the National Accident Helpline is moving into conveyancing, how a high street firm received £5 million in private equity funding after converting to an alternative business structure and how the SRA plan to “unlock” competition and innovation in legal market by rewriting the separate business rule.
Without a doubt, the forces that are driving change in the legal profession are wide and varied. The ability of law firms and individual solicitors to respond positively and innovatively to these challenges will determine who survives and prospers.
With our ‘Your Law Firm Success™’ product, we employ various ‘success drivers’ to help our clients gain and maintain online prominence and increase their turnover. These ‘success drivers’ that our trusted advisors implement for our clients include:-
Attract Clients +
We want your site to look great and be something you are proud of. Sure, it has to look great but we want it to generate business for you. Find out more about Law Firm Website Design.
Content is king. Without high quality, unique, legally perfect and personalised content, your site won't bring in business. Trust us on that. Find out more about Content Marketing for Law Firms.
Search Engine Optimisation
If you're not ranking you won't be found. If you go with a company who make 'too good to be true' promises you could end up in trouble. We have a track record of success. Find out more about Search Engine Optimisation for Law Firms.
Pay Per Click/AdWords
Quick ranking, immediate results and only pay when somebody visits your site. Best coupled with a great organic campaign, we always aim for maximum conversion, minimum spend. Find out more about PPC & Adwords for Law Firms.
Market Your Firm +
An online lead-generating platform is the engine of growth for the modern law firm. If your site isn't bringing in business, it's probably costing you business too. Find out about Online Marketing for Law Firms.
Email Marketing for Law Firms
Connect with more people more often. Drive awareness, trust and engagement by keeping clients and prospects up to date with the law and your firm. Find out more about Email Marketing for Law Firms.
PR for Law Firms
Look after your reputation and your reputation will look after you. Get your message out there, build your image and put yourself in the spotlight. Find out more about PR for Law Firms.
Legal Directory Submissions
Validation is best when it comes from a reputable source. Being listed in a major legal directory showcases your credentials and builds trust. Find out more about Legal Directory Submissions.
Sell More +
Sales Training for Law Firms
To lawyers, sales is still a dirty word and yet, it's vital to ANY business. Handling objections, closing deals and winning clients is something everyone in your business can do. Let us show you how. Find out more about Sales Training for Law Firms.
Business Development for Law Firms
Growing your business isn't easy. We'll handle the business development while you handle the legal work. Deal? Find out more about Business Development for Law Firms
Call Handling for Law Firms
There's a lot that goes into making your phone ring. Are you answering every call - including out of hours? Are you sure your staff are handling leads properly? If not, having a third party call handler might be the right solution for you. Find out more about Call Handling for Law Firms
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) for Law Firms
Turbo charge your online sales funnel. Site built? Content drafted and optimised? Campaigns in place? Let's sit back and relax? Let's not. Find out more about Conversion Rate Optimisation for Law Firms.
Build your Brand +
Branding & Design
“I need a new logo”. We hear this often from clients. But is it a logo that you require? Or do you require something more? Find out more about Law Firm Branding.
Print & Offline Advertising
We're all about online, but offline marketing has its place too. You'll need flyers, banner stands, advertisements, business cards and more. Make sure these are aligned with your online presence. Find out more about Print & Offline Advertising for Law Firms.
If a picture says a thousand words, then a video says so much more. Speak directly to potential clients using video. Find out more about Video Marketing for Law Firms.
Retain Clients +
You've done the hard part. You've taken on a new client and delivered for them. Don't let that feeling fade - keep yourself at the front of their mind with regular updates. Find out more about Email Newsletters for Law Firms.
"Blogging" doesn't have to be a dirty word. Relevant, timely legal news updates keeps your clients up to date, showcases your expertise and feeds your pipeline. Find out more about Blogging for Law Firms.
Measure & Improve +
Visitors to websites are anywhere from 4-20 times more likely to call than they are to fill out an online form and understanding what happens to these callers and their sources of finding you is essential. Find out more about Call Tracking.
Reporting & Analytics
What gets measured gets managed. We'll help you make better, data-driven decisions. Drive the business forward by truly understanding where business comes from. Find out more Reporting & Analytics for Law Firms.
Can't see what you need? Get in touch with us on 03333 442 722 and we'll have a chat about what we can do to help you.
Using the Internet to Grow your Firm
Your knowledge of the law, and abilities as a solicitor, are beyond reproach. However, are you as devoted to the business side of law as you are to the law itself? In an increasingly competitive market, your business, your law firm, must set out to compete. And to win.
There are many people more qualified than me to give you advice about running a successful law firm and how to provide a great service to your clients (indeed, we would be happy to point you in the direction of a couple of individuals who specialise in helping law firms revive their flagging fortunes).
Where I can offer qualified, proven, professional advice though is in the area of business development and law firm online business generation in particular. I’m still astounded by how many law firms don’t take online online business generation seriously. It doesn’t matter if you are a high-street firm or a full-service firm with national reach, during this time of unprecedented change in the legal sector you need to be more visible, instantly appealing, and shouting from the rooftops about how you deliver a better service than your competitors.
Growing your law firm through exceptional online strategies
So here are our top ten tips for growing your law firm in the digital age:-
1. Increase the visibility of your law firm online
Law firms have, in general, been slow to adopt a more aggressive approach to online online business generation. The new legal paradigm we find ourselves in has led to the development of new, modern firms, backed up by online online business generation expertise imported from other sectors. How do you compete with that? One way to start is to get some expert help! In our experience, most lawyers are not great at helping law firms grow, just like growth consultants generally won’t be experts when it comes to the law.
Given that Moore Legal Technology specialises in generating business online in the legal sector, I’m going to focus the rest of this article on how your law firm can stay competitive in a constricting market by leveraging the internet to gain and maintain online prominence. No matter what size your firm is or what areas of practice you specialise in, by adopting a strategic approach to your digital presence you can dominate the online space relevant to your areas of practice and increase your share of the online pie to help your business grow. For smaller firms in particular, you can also read our top practical tips for small law firm growth here.
Your clients have been empowered by the internet. They have a wealth of information and choice as never before. In 2011 Google coined the term ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ (ZMOT) which refers to the point in the buying cycle when the prospective buyer researches a product/service. You won’t be surprised to hear that the majority of this research takes place online as internet and mobile usage continues to advance. Although ZMOT isn’t a new concept, in our experience it is still fundamental and underutilised within the legal sector.
The principles of ZMOT present your law firm with a significant opportunity to build trust and establish a level of expertise in your chosen field that will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors, putting you in pole position come decision time by answering the questions your prospective clients are asking at the very beginning of the buying process.
2. Make a great first impression
We recently spoke with a client who had almost lost a sale due to the fact that one of the bulbs in the sign outside their office had blown, leading the prospect to think that they were a “tin pot outfit”.
That first impression is equally important, if not more so, when it comes to your online platform, which very often will be a prospect’s first contact with you or your firm, whether they have found you through organic search (‘Googling’ to you and I) or through branded search (typing in your name or the name of your firm) off the back of a referral, for example.
Have a look at your online platform now (or at least when you have finished reading this article) and ask yourself this very important question:
Or, minus the marketing speak:
Is the outside world viewing our firm the way we wish to be viewed? Is our website an accurate reflection of who we are, of our value proposition?
Unfortunately, more often than not, the answer is no.
3. Increase the business generating potential of your law firm’s online platform
If your online platform is going to become your best performing salesperson it needs to be in a position to be found. If anybody ever tells you that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is dead, don’t believe them. SEO will always be an important tool for law online firm business generation. SEO best practice may change, and it’s important to have somebody on board that has an awareness of the shifting sands of search, but if your site isn’t effectively presented to search from a technical SEO perspective, it will never make you money. Of course, your site needs lots of authoritative, unique content to present to Search in the first place, but we will come on to that in more detail shortly.
4. Don’t settle for any old website
If you think any old website will do for your law firm, think again. A recent study showed that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for somebody visiting a website to form a first opinion once they've landed on your site. It takes another 2.6 seconds for that first impression to be reinforced once their eyes have concentrated on the page in front of them.
Given that tight timeframe, making a great first impression should be among your first orders of business.If you turn up to an initial meeting with a prospect wearing a velour tracksuit, you probably have less chance of winning their business than you would if you turned up in a smart suit. It’s the same with your website. If it looks as if it belongs in 1998, you’re unlikely to leave a positive first impression.
So ask yourself again, would you describe your website as contemporary, professional and aligned with what people expect from a website?
5. Make your online platform responsive (ie optimised for mobile)
Also, a third of traffic to our clients’ online online business generation platform is delivered by mobile devices. That is a significant amount of visitors to risk turning away if your site isn’t mobile optimised.
And if you do have a relatively old online platform that’s not optimised for mobile, it shouldn’t break the bank to convert it into a responsive site while keeping the elements of the design that you like.
For further information on what makes a great law firm online channel check out our guide on the subject.
6. Be convincing – a robust quantity of unique content is crucial
Once you have brought the visitor to your site you need to convince them that you are absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt the firm or individual solicitor that they need to speak to and make it easy for them to do so.
Content is crucial to the success of your online business activities. A robust quantity of relevant unique content will help you to be competitive in Search. It will also transform your site from online brochure to an easily accessible portal of thought leadership and opinion and will help convince the visitor that they need search no further.
7. Implement prominent calls to action
It’s also vital that your online platform contains prominent calls to action throughout – ‘don’t make me think’ is a vital philosophy for a high converting online platform (or indeed any law firm growth project). Once the visitor has read your informative, engaging content and is convinced that they need to speak to you, ensure that they know what you want them to do – pick up the phone, fill out an online enquiry form, download a whitepaper, sign up for an event etc. and make it easy for them to do so.
For more information on to attract more visitors to your online platform and convert them into clients, click here
8. Turn your law firm’s online performance up to 11
In our experience, to consistently generate business from the internet, you need to view your online presence as a work in progress that requires ongoing care and attention. Once your online platform is working harder for you in terms generating traffic and enquiries, and you are converting a good percentage of those enquiries into new business, it’s worth considering reinvesting some of that profit back into your online growth project.
9. Develop a social media strategy
The number of law firms, solicitors and barristers who see the potential of social media to expand their online presence is growing. Yet using social media to simply share information about you, through your latest updates and links back to your online platform isn’t going to help you stand out from the crowd (although it is important for traffic and social signals).
By designing, implementing and sticking to a social media strategy that is aligned to your overarching business goals, you will:
- reach more potential clients
- develop new relationships and strengthen existing ones
- demonstrate your industry expertise and experience establish a position of thought leadership
- gain insight into what your competitors are doing
- generate more business online
10. Set up a PPC campaign for your law firm
Not really sure what pay per click advertising is or how it could benefit your law firm? Targeted PPC activity is a great way to support the organic performance of your online platform, particularly in more competitive areas of practice online such as Personal Injury or Immigration.
Together with a well optimised, content-rich online platform, a supportive and targeted PPC campaign can help you to dominate SERPs (search engine result pages), guaranteeing new conversion focused traffic, and increasing click through rates and improved ROI.
Bringing the Legal Sector into the Digital Age
Other sectors have been completely overhauled by new technology. Other sectors have embraced technology as an opportunity, realising its potential rather than seeing it as a threat. To date, only a small percentage of the legal sector in the UK has embraced technology in the same way.
Your clients are online. Their clients are online. It’s important that you are putting your best foot forward online too.
Reviewing your law firm's online marketing activity? Contact us
For further information on how we can help you grow, call Chris on 03333 442 722 or fill in our enquiry form.