Legal Marketing Tips & Trends Archives

3 Tips to Get More Clients in 2018

Posted on February 12, 2018

It’s a challenging time for marketing small businesses

Staying competitive as a sole practitioner and small to mid-sized personal injury firm is an increasingly difficult task as marketing technologies and best practices evolve. This is no longer a marketplace where people simply rely on friends and family for recommendations.

Modern marketing technologies have enabled all total lawyers to improve their effectiveness in online marketing.

Your potential clients are searching for information online and being informed by your competitors. Modern marketing technologies have enabled all total lawyers to improve their effectiveness in online marketing, and have especially enabled large firms to have a competitive edge. Their larger budget of marketing spend enables them to continually utilize these technologies to advertise to your prospects across a variety of channels, such as internet search, social media, and retargeting ads.

When trying to attract new clients online, personal injury lawyers are struggling amid increasing levels of competition. A typical PPC Campaign is expensive, complex and time-consuming to execute.

How can you stand out when faced with one of the most competitive online marketing landscapes in the world? Here are three tips on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive environment:

1. Build a Strategy

Failing to develop a consistent marketing strategy, no matter how basic, will severely limit your ability to develop your practice. Define your goals, marketing mix, and spending plan before you put a single dollar towards your own online marketing campaign. A misdirected PPC campaign can be incredibly costly in just a few days.

For more information on how to build your strategy, view our previous post on this topic: Marketing for Personal Injury Attorneys: the Importance of Strategy

2. Unite on Tactics

Once you have a strategy, you must execute it to reap the rewards. It’s best to utilize proven marketing tactics so that you don’t quickly burn through your budget on experimentation. One very effective method of doing this is to take advantage of an advertising model that provides your firm a steady flow of visibility while not requiring an enormous investment, especially one that utilizes internet search.

For more information on how this model works with PPC campaigns, view our previous post on this topic: How to thrive in the Era of Google Search

3. Be Worthy

Your prospects and clients will search for and visit your website. Have something on your website that they find valuable. A couple methods are to provide information that helps them deal with difficulty in life or better understand their rights. You can also direct them to other relevant resources on the internet. If visitors leave your website feeling more informed or positive, they are more likely feel positive about your brand, overall. Helping prospects through content, prior to speaking with them, can facilitate a better client-relationship from the very start. This is also an effective method for dealing with poor reviews on the internet.

People are more likely to write a review about your business if they had a bad experience with your firm than if they had a good experience. These bad reviews can destroy small businesses. If a reviewer is at fault for their own negative experience, or if they never transacted business with you, it can still mislead prospects and active clients. Rather than engaging in online debate, you may find that content development is a more effective strategy. Remember, the best brands have lots of bad reviews, so don’t feel like a few bad reviews are the “end-of-the-world.” Show that you are worthy of new business by demonstrating your integrity, sharing results and testimonials, and continually providing value to your clients and prospects. Building an “army” of happy clients should be your main focus.

For more information on how you can create content that delivers value, view our previous post on this topic: Marketing for Personal Injury Attorneys: Content Marketing for Law Firms

 

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What is your New Year’s Resolution?

Posted on January 4, 2018

2018 New Year's Resolution

It’s Time to set Goals for 2018

Why limit your New Year’s resolutions to a series of personal goals such as losing weight or getting more exercise? Consider setting your professional goals as well and start improving your legal career today.

We’ve identified three critical goal-setting areas for lawyers to focus on:

  • Time Management
  • Marketing and Business Development
  • Work-Life Balance

Tackle your Time Management

2018 New Year's Resolution: Tackle your Time Management Clio’s 2017 Legal Trend report states that lawyers spend only 2.3 hours (29% of an 8-hour workday) on billable tasks. Almost 50% of their remaining time is devoted to administrative tasks. Sound familiar? If admin tasks are sucking up all your time, set clear goals to free up your time and become more productive.

Follow these 5 time management principles:

  • Move away from “putting out fires”: Plan and prioritize tasks at the start of each day.
  • De-clutter your brain and your office: Consider using time management software to track tasks and set reminders. Set up a system to organize your physical and electronic documents. Clean up your desk.
  • Minimize distractions: Avoid social media, emails or phone calls while you work. Focus on getting things done without procrastinating.
  • Set clear goals for your team: delegate tasks and avoid micro-managing.
  • Automate or outsource tasks: Automate your appointment scheduling, invest in a document automation system or purchase bookkeeping automation technology. Outsource accounting, IT or even marketing functions.

For further reading on time management techniques, consult the ABA’s extensive list of time management self-help books.

Rework your Marketing Strategy

2018 New Year's Resolution: Rework your Marketing Strategy Building a successful law business starts with setting ambitious, but achievable marketing goals that support your revenue targets each year. Even if your marketing efforts failed last year, there’s still time time to develop a new, more competitive marketing strategy for 2018. Answering the following questions may help:

  • Goals and Strategy: Where and how should my marketing team focus their efforts?
  • Budget: How much of my company’s revenue should be spent on marketing?
  • Marketing Tactics: What tactics should I spend the majority of my marketing dollars on?

Keep in mind that legal marketing is a rapidly evolving, so be sure to research the latest marketing trends instead of just continuing with last year’s lackluster tactics. We’d like to highlight 3 important trends for 2018:

  • The Era of Video Marketing is here: According to Cisco video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021.  Streaming video is particularly popular and already accounts for two thirds of all internet traffic.
  • Native Advertising is gaining Importance: According to Business Insider, Native Advertising will drive 74% of all ad revenue by 2021. We’ll also see the rise of “smart content” for native ads, which will allow advertisers to adapt ads to audiences in real time.
  • Local Search is growing exponentially: Local searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall.  To find out more about the State of Local Search in 2018 consider registering for the upcoming BrightLocal webinar.

Embrace the Concept of Work-Life Balance

2018 New Year's Resolution: Work-Life BalanceDo you feel overworked and burned out, even though the year has just started? You’re not alone. Lawyers across the United States struggle with stress and work-life balance issues. In February 2016, the Journal of Addiction Medicine published the results of a study showing that lawyers have a significantly higher rate of problematic drinking than the general population. Mental health problems among attorneys were also found to be significant, with 28%, 19%, and 23% experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. These problems have enormous impact not only on the struggling attorneys themselves but on their firms and communities as well.

Here’s the good news: Goal-setting can help you lead a more balanced professional life in 2018.

If you are the managing partner of a law firm, put the following measures in place:

  • Change the firm culture: Place less importance on billable hours and more emphasis on the purpose and meaning of the legal work done. Individuals with a purpose naturally perform better.
  • Show flexibility: Allow vacation time, remote work or other flex-time arrangements to prevent employee burnout. You will see an increase in motivation and productivity that will likely more than compensate any loss of billable hours.

If you are an employee at a law firm we already discussed how you can improve your time management to free up time. If all else fails and you’re still working every weekend, consider making a move to a firm with a better work-life balance. As a personal injury attorney you know this better than anyone: Life is short.

Happy New Year 2018 from the RW Lynch Team.

 

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Leverage your existing Customers to grow your Firm

Retention Marketing is based on building relationshipsMany personal injury attorneys tell us that honing their litigation skills and winning cases for their clients is the easy part of growing their practice. The hard part is business development!

Building a steady pipeline of new personal injury leads is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. And sometimes, you just don’t manage to get enough clients.

Retention marketing can help you grow your firm by leveraging your existing customers to generate more business. This blog post provides ideas on how to encourage your old clients to come back and hire your firm again.

Why Retention Marketing is crucial

It costs considerably more to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one. That’s why it makes sense to focus on building long-term relationships with every client, from the moment your sign them to the moment you settle their case. A satisfied client is a loyal client. He may come back to give you repeat business or he may refer you this friends and family.

The key to Client Retention: Relationship Building

The common assumption is that doing a great job as an attorney and securing a large settlement is all it takes to prompt repeat business and referrals from happy customers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Providing exceptional service and winning cases is of course very important, but it often fails to be effective on its own if the client does not perceive that he is important to the firm. Service, client appreciation and that personal touch can make all the difference in ensuring that your client will remember you for years to come. In a world where there is less and less time and opportunity for supportive social relationships, building a connection can be crucial to keeping a stable customer base from which to draw repeat business.

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Social Media Marketing for Personal Injury Law Firms – is it worth it?

Social Media Marketing for Personal Injury Law Firms - is it worth it?Personal injury is an extremely competitive field and one of the most difficult niches to run social media campaigns for. Is it even worth spending time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest? Or does Social Media amount to nothing more than a time sink, taking away from billable hours?

This is a controversial topic in legal marketing. Some legal marketing experts believe that social media marketing is at best a secondary marketing tool. Other legal marketing gurus are advertising that they know of a social media strategy than can significantly impact lead generation. Who is right?

We believe that social media can be an effective tool to support your marketing efforts, but only when used in combination with other marketing channels. What follows is a guide that will help you define an effective Social Media Strategy for your law firm.

Define your Social Media Marketing Goals

Your first step towards success in social media lies in defining your social media marketing goals. In other words, ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish by being on social media?

We recently published an article titled Content Marketing for Personal Injury Attorneys, which explains how to formulate a content strategy for your law firm. Social Media is but one of many distribution channels that you can use to share your content. So be mindful of aligning your social media marketing goals with your overall content strategy.

Here are some possible social media marketing goals to consider:

  • Personal Branding and Career Development: I want to develop my professional identity and show the world my legal expertise.
  • Corporate Branding: I want my community to be aware of my law firm’s brand and the firm’s area of expertise.
  • Community Engagement: I’d like to engage my local community on legal topics of interest.
  • Peer Engagement and Networking: I want to network with other lawyers who may send referrals my way. I want to establish myself as a thought leader amongst my peers.
  • Content Distribution: I’m looking for more avenues to publish my content, so that more people read my blog entries and watch my videos.
  • Client Acquisition: I want to drive more traffic to my website, where I can convert prospective clients into paying customers.
  • Recruiting: I want to find top talent for my law firm.

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Getting new personal injury clients is becoming difficult

When trying to attract new clients online, personal injury lawyers are struggling amid increasing levels of competition. A typical PPC Campaign is expensive, complex and time-consuming to execute.

How can sole practitioners and small to mid-sized personal injury firms stand out when faced with one of the most competitive online marketing landscapes in the world? We offer a fresh perspective on how to survive and thrive in the Era of Google Search.

How to thrive in the Era of Google Search

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The rising importance of content marketing in the legal industry

Many law firms struggle to differentiate themselves in the fiercely competitive legal services industry. One way many law firms are trying to set themselves apart is content marketing.

According to the 2015 Digital Content Survey, “Five years ago, only about 250 blogs existed among the Am Law 200. Today, there are nearly a thousand, according to LexBlog’s 2015 “Am Law 200 Blog Benchmark Report”. It appears that many legal firms are jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.

Content Marketing for Personal Injury Attorneys

But is it enough to produce just any content? We don’t think so. In a world of increasing marketing noise, producing content for content’s sake won’t have your audience automatically flocking to your latest blog post.

You need a well-thought-out targeted content marketing strategy to ensure that your content truly supports the business and marketing goals of your personal injury law firm. Our blog post will clarify how you can develop a sound content marketing strategy for your legal practice.

What is content marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”. What this means is that we should not create content in a vacuum. Instead, content should be targeted to a specific audience with equally specific goals.

Who is my target audience and what do they want?

The first step in formulating a sound content strategy is to ask: Who am I trying to reach? Who is my target audience? There is no use in producing content if we do not know who we are producing it for. For personal injury law firms the target audience consists of prospective clients (injury victims), current clients, other attorneys and strategic partners.

According to the definition of content marketing we’ve outlined above, our target audience will only respond to content that is:

  • Valuable
  • Relevant
  • Consistent

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Marketing for Personal Injury Attorneys: Is Outsourcing an option?Personal injury attorneys are increasingly dealing with diminishing returns on their marketing investment, despite a considerable amount of time and resources spend on marketing efforts. If your marketing falls flat, it can become a significant roadblock to growing your business. A marketing plan that considers outsourcing as an option can successfully address this problem.

Outsource your marketing weaknesses

In our last post we explained how the key to optimally allocating your resources starts with analyzing your marketing strengths and weaknesses. Once that is done and you have determined your potential to close potential gaps with in-house resources it is time to make decisions. We recommend that your marketing plan focus on your marketing strengths, while outsourcing your marketing weaknesses. This will ensure healthy growth for your personal injury firm.

A word of caution: Your obvious strength lies outside of the realm of marketing – it’s your knowledge of the law. Being the best lawyer you can be will speak for itself and generate both repeat business as well as referrals from satisfied clients. So, no matter how you decide to structure your marketing efforts, make sure that you have enough time to practice law and help your clients be successful.

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Lead generation: the result of a sound marketing strategy

Personal injury attorneys need a well-thought out legal marketing strategyAs any business owner knows, it’s not sufficient to have enough clients this month. You need to ensure that you have a steady flow of new customers coming through the door every month in order to make payroll. Hoping for referrals or recommendations from past clients is hardly ever enough to sustain or grow a law firm. Personal injury attorneys will need a sound legal marketing strategy in place so that their legal practice is capable of delivering a predictable stream of revenue.

Failing to develop a consistent marketing strategy, no matter how basic, will severely limit your ability to develop your practice. According to the Institute of Legal Reform the personal injury legal services market is becoming increasingly competitive. Broadcast advertising alone grew by 68% from $531 million in 2008 to $892 million in 2015. It is therefore more important than ever to think strategically about how to market your firm to gain visibility in the marketplace.

The task seems daunting, particularly considering that large firms such as Morgan & Morgan or Pulaski & Middleman are spending way over $20 million just on TV advertising alone! It does not help that many lawyers consider marketing to be an entirely foreign language – particularly when it comes to digital or online marketing.

What follows is a step-by-step guide which we hope will help you devise the best marketing strategy for your law firm.

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Exclusivity is becoming attorney’s best kept secret of 2017!

Personal Injury Advertising is one of the most competitive and expensive fields among all advertising categories. As a matter of fact, the latest statistics from Google AdWords show that the top 5 most expensive keywords are personal injury related, with the #1 keyword – “best mesothelioma lawyer” going for $935.71 per click. The next 4 are “dallas truck accident lawyer” ($425.70), “truck accident lawyer Houston” ($411.04), “louisville car accident lawyer” ($393.79) and “houston 18 wheeler accident lawyer” ($388.79). The list goes on with another 15 personal injury keywords in the top 25.

So, what does Exclusivity mean in advertising?

Exclusive lead distribution models are based on generating new case leads in a particular market area for 1 attorney; which means there is no direct competition when an attorney receives a new case lead. Contrary, in the non-exclusive model, as the name suggests, one lead is passed on to multiple attorneys at the same time. This minimizes any opportunity the attorney has to get the person on the phone or even worse to develop a good attorney-client rapport and retain the claimant.

Why is Exclusivity an attorney’s best chance at a bigger bottom line?

In today’s market and with the level of competitiveness among advertisers (which Google and other mediums have created), it has become harder and harder to find firms that will offer exclusive lead advertising.  Most advertising firms cannot withstand the high cost of doing business in the personal injury field, while still maintaining a competitive Cost per Call for attorneys. More and more advertisers have therefore turned to the non-exclusive model, which keeps the attorney’s Cost per Call lower while still ultimately paying the same to the advertiser. The downsides to the attorney, however are insurmountable. What initially seems like a “better cost” for the attorney ends up costing the firm way more in call intake, time spend competing for every call and lower conversion rates from call to case. Here is a quick example of how the two models work.

Exclusive Calls, Better Quality = Higher Return on your Investment!

Exclusive leads (avg rates per lead)

10 x $300 = $3000 x 20% (avg conversion) => 2 new cases

– no competition, more time spent on the larger cases


 Non-exclusive leads (avg rates per lead)

10 x $100 = $1000 x 5% (20% / 4 attorneys taking the call at the same time) => NO new cases

40 x $100 = $4000 x 5% => 2 new cases

In some ways, the legal profession as a whole was latecomers to the business website party.   What this means, is that a significant number of legal websites remain essentially electronic brochures, whose goal is little more than to complement face-to-face networking and business development. Little by little, however, some firms are about to make an evolutionary leap, which will transform their website into an exciting partner which generates new business leads. This new website will go from being an electronic brochure to being a group of marketing tools which work seamlessly together to grow a law firm. How will your law firm website secure and convert those leads?

Questions Your Legal Website Must Answer to Convert More Leads

The most important thing to keep in mind is how little time you actually have to engage a prospect on your legal website. Most people spend less than ten seconds evaluating your website or your legal blog. If they find nothing immediately relevant to their specific problem, they are gone, usually for good. The questions you must answer for those prospects—almost immediately—include:

  • Are you the kind of attorney I need? It should be almost painfully obvious what type of law you practice, even to the most casual observer.
  • Do you have experience in my specific problem? Keep the legalese to a minimum, even using a term like “truck accident attorney” in place of “personal injury attorney,” when possible.
  • Will I “click” with this lawyer? Of course your legal education and experience are important, but equally important is whether the prospect can immediately see you as someone they could discuss their problem with. Including some personal information on your site, or perhaps even a video, lets your personality shine through, making you more human, therefore more approachable.
  • Why should I hire you? Try to avoid the overused “Our firm has 25 years’ experience,” and really delve into the benefits you can bring to your clients, any especially creative solutions you have used to benefit a client, or even consider using client testimonials to better tell others why they should hire you.

6 Expert Tips to Follow

With the giant leaps in technology, we now live in a world where a client could potentially hire an attorney who is not located in their immediate vicinity, so long as that attorney brings highly specialized expertise to the table. In addition to answering the above questions for your prospective clients, you will also want to consider the following important elements for your legal website:

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