It's hard to believe, but many law firm partners don't want to acquire new clients through the use of internet marketing strategies. Why is that?
Yesterday I had an interesting chat with a buddy of mine who is an advanced student of law at university. He told me that many in his industry – particularly at the academic level such as professors – are turning a blind eye towards the possibilities of using the digital technology in their practice. Are they scared? Are they so fanatic about protecting their knowledge from spreading too far into society because if it did, they would lose the foundation of their business model? After all, laywers sell their time and their knowledge about very complicated systems that the general mass has no understanding of, right?
The fear of the unknown – is Artificial Intelligence eating away your job?
Take podcasts for example. It’s the modern 21st century radio station all over again – with the barriers to entry so low pretty much any professor, much more any student, could ramp up his own radio station through a podcast and teach the lay population what he is learning in a nutshell. That would prepare especially young people to avoid many costly mistakes later in their lives.
My friend is particularly sensitive to the technological disruptions occurring in his field through machine learning. (Check out one of his remarks about how we should teach our children in school if we want them to master the computer – and not the other way around.) At some point in the future, intelligent software will solve law cases much better and faster than humans. How do you prepare for such a disruption as a student?
The conversation with my friend continued. And I was thinking that probably many lawyers treat the internet as a scary, dark “something” when it comes to actively managing their business in the marketplace.
Why would a law firm ever consider Facebook ads?
Maybe we should first ask the other way around: Why would a law firm never consider spending money on a person managing their appearance online?
- “It won’t work”
- “We don’t do this kind of kinky internet marketing, we are a law firm”
- “I don’t want to get in trouble”
But let’s consider why your firm would want to establish a reputation online for being the best at whatever specialty you have acquired:
- Your competitors will start their own online marketing campaigns at some point.
- They will sell to your potential clients their services and you will be left behind
- At the end, their business will profit and grow while your business will be forgotten as your clients sign off, retire, go out of business or move over to your competition
Here is a great way how to expose your brand online
First, always remember: Great marketing and great online selling must be considered as a campaign. You are like a general during war times who must plan and execute an entire campaign and not just focus on one tiny little aspect of the myriad of actions that must be taken in order for your army to defeat the enemy.
Now we are not at war so pardon the analogy, but it still holds true.
Getting clients through online brand exposure requires constant effort and planning and execution.
If you want people to spend lots of money on your services, you have to build trust with them. And nowadays there is no faster, cheaper and easier way to build trust than using the internet as a mediator and bridge.
Consider this great advice from Dan Lok. For every $1’000 you want your clients to spend on you and your services, let them consume 1 hour of your content online.
I will say this in different words: If you want your client to spend $5’000 with you, you should prepare 5 hours worth of content for your prospects to consume.
The idea is to educate your consumer, qualify him and start the sales process long before you actually ever hear from your prospect.
Ideally, when your prospect is contacting you, he or she is already convinced that you are the right partner for them and they do want to give you their money!
So start putting out that content. Produce Youtube videos. Write blog posts. Establish your authority in your domain.
And of course, do it in a smart way.
I see this marketing crime committed every day by hundreds of companies
I don’t consider it magic or wisdom or anything grandios. But I can see that many “trained” marketing and PR communication experts and design specialists don’t ever really consider this, but when you come from both sales and marketing – like I do – then you are aware of these subtle psychological nuances that you need to consider when building out your sales material and sales process.
What am I talking about?
Well, you have to segment your market into customer groups that you each treat much differently from each other.
Use some analytics to define your most profitable customer base. Then design marketing materials that highlight the benefits of your services to this special group of people.
Build out a sales process that feels like a great journey to your prospect, much as if they would go and hang out for a day at a spa resort. Make it enjoyable for them. And quick.
Don’t be like everyone else, using some generic printed or online material that is targeting everybody – and therefore nobody.
Should you spend advertising money for online marketing services?
Well, as everything in life: it depends. If you are an established firm, you have a track record and an expertise, by all means, get into the online marketing game now.
If you are just starting out and have little to show for, you could use the power of the internet to build leverage for your new company. However, it comes at a cost. You have to hire someone and outsource the work to a specialist agency.
Online Marketing is time consuming and the tricks of Google, Facebook and Co. change frequently, so you need someone who is up to date with those changes.
However, if you get greater exposure online you will reach more potential customers. You will stay in their minds. And when they need a law firm they will be more likely to consider you as their trusted partner. Because you have their trust, you are the authority. They will choose you.