The start of a new year is a good time for lawyers to look at marketing and catch up with marketing trends. Diana Lauritson, president-elect of the Southwest Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, discusses legal marketing in this report.
Lauritson explains that the Legal Marketing Association includes not just law firm marketers, but also people who provide services to lawyers and people who want to learn more about law firm marketing. The association provides networking and learning opportunities.
Content marketing has become a hot term in the legal marketing field. It has become very easy to produce and to share content quickly. The social media provide a wealth of marketing opportunities. The problem, Lauritson suggests, is to get lawyers to think in the long term about the results of blogs and social media posts. The point is not to get one client immediately but to establish a marketing presence.
Having a “digital footprint” is important for lawyers because it will help to get them noticed when people do Google searches and don’t want to go past the first page looking for results. Using keywords and making those keywords visible is important in making content visible both to search engines and to prospective clients. The point is to make it easy for clients to find you. Lawyers who are consistent and persistent will discover that clients find them.
Lauritson notes that referrals are a classic way of getting new clients, but prospective referral clients will probably check the Internet first to see what they can find out about a lawyer or law firm. Lauritson’s group, the Southwest Chapter of the LMA, hosts a panel each year with in-house corporate counsel to explain what they look for in choosing outside counsel. This helps bring home to lawyers the importance of having credible content online.
Google has changed its search algorithm and is now rewarding original content. Facebook has begun to limit overly-promotional posts. Lauritson notes that these changes are occurring before some law firms have even developed Facebook pages. She notes that video content has become a very important part of marketing especially since Google owns YouTube. “We encourage our attorneys to record videos to help them be found by the public.” Videos give clients a great opportunity to view a lawyer and decide if the lawyer would be a good fit. [Note: tax attorney Rob Wood has worked with LBN to develop a prominent video presence.]
Lauritson says that it is extremely important for a lawyer to be perceived as “the expert” in his or her field of practice. A lot of lawyers are active on social media outside of their law firms. It gives lawyers a chance to establish a larger digital presence.
The best way to advertise will depend on a lawyer’s type of practice. A personal injury lawyer will use a different approach from a corporate lawyer, for example. But however it is done, marketing is very important. “Everyone is a brand ambassador.” However a lawyer does the marketing, it is important to market.
Diana Lauritson is the Marketing Manager of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon P.L.C., Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to joining the firm, she served as the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Arizona Myeloma Network, and previously served as the Government Relations and Public Affairs Liaison for the Border Trade Alliance. Her background in marketing and community relations encompasses a variety of industries including local, state and federal governments, international trade associations, non-profits, and higher education. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.