Ever since Bates v. State Bar of Arizona made it legal for lawyers to market themselves, they have been doing so, with varying results. Many lawyers dislike marketing but see it as a necessary part of practicing law successfully. Marketing expert Larry Bodine explains how lawyers can succeed at marketing in this report.
Bodine says that he has detected three trends in legal marketing that lawyers need to be aware of. First, there is the rise of review sites, such as Avvo, Google+,and Personalinjury.com, where clients can go online and leave reviews of a law firm or lawyer. Increasingly, clients will search online for lawyers, and having positive reviews is something lawyers need to be aware of. Second, there is legal blogging, a continuing trend. “Research has shown that the more often you blog, the more clients you will get.” Blogging is an effective use of content marketing, and content is very important. The third trend Bodine points out is mobile marketing. Google has implemented a policy of ranking mobile-friendly websites higher in its search results than other traditional sites.
Search relevancy is important, but it may not be worthwhile for a law firm to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant to tweak the firm’s website. Bodine says that a firm considering SEO should only go with someone they know or someone for whom they’ve gotten a referral. Bodine says he has never used an SEO consultant, but in any search on “law firm marketing,” his name appears on the first page. He does it by “publishing regularly and putting up original material.”
As to how to use the social media, Bodine suggests two approaches: One is to be a “news feed” for potential clients. He also makes an effort to engage with the people who pay attention to his posts. Bodine suggests that a lawyer who wants to get into the game should “pick one social medium and go deep.” For example, a law firm with businesses as clients should go to LinkedIn. That service offers several approaches, including joining a group in which you have some interest and working your way in with existing members.
Another approach to content marketing is the use of video on a law firm’s website. Bodine advises that lawyers who post videos should avoid talking about themselves. Instead, videos should tell a story about a client as the protagonist, and the firm comes along and saves the day.
In law firm marketing, says Bodine, “the biggest mistake is to do nothing.” Bodine says that, in preparing a webinar for some law firms and accounting firms, his research disclosed that the accounting firms had the best marketing materials. Many of the law firms were doing the same things they had done ten years ago.
Larry Bodine of Tucson, Arizona, is the Editor-in-Chief of The National Trial Lawyers website and of Personalinjury.com. He is a marketer, journalist and attorney who knows how to turn website visitors into clients for trial law firms. His team has drafted law firm blog posts for many websites including The National Trial Lawyers, PesonalInjury.com, Martindale-Hubbell, Lawyers.com and LexisNexis. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.