16 Nov The 7 Lethal Internet Marketing Mistakes Law Firms Make
There are a total of 205 ABA law schools in the United States. Each one takes time, money, and commitment, and passing the bar exam is no piece of cake. Even then, getting hired by a law firm takes some doing, unless you’re lucky or have a family practice in your pocket already. Along the way there is little time to study marketing. Maybe that’s why law firms are sometimes slow to catch on to what constitutes good marketing practice.
Some law firms are not yet using basic marketing elements like digital marketing or social media. Here are a few blunders that law firms make when it comes to marketing. Check to see if your firm fits any of these descriptions:
1. Thinking You Don’t Need an Online Presence
Khalil Saman, a Galveston attorney notes, “It is not only important for a law firm to have an online presence in today’s world, it is imperative to the firm’s success. The proliferation of internet use has made it so that virtually everyone looking for an attorney searches online as their main tool for research. A firm that doesn’t have a strong online presence is failing to reach a great cross section of potential clients and just giving up those potential clients to their competitors.”
2. Advertising Your Rates
Running a law firm takes a lot of money. So you charge as many billable hours as you can. Everyone knows that. However, don’t make the mistake of advertising your billable hour rates, or giving rates on your website. If you do, you may get stuck with a rate that will break you. Remember, circumstances alter cases and fees. Even some things that sound simple and straightforward like writing wills for your clients can end up taking a lot more time and effort than you originally planned on.
3. Letting Membership Lapse in the American Bar Association
Who wants to pay dues and read the dull newsletter anyways? The money is better spent on a holiday office party, right? Wrong! An important part of marketing is networking, and you’ll do some of your best networking at state and national ABA meetings. If you have to, have a cash bar at your next holiday office party — just keep your membership current in ABA! Also, make sure that your membership is noted on all your social media.
4. Ignoring Pro Bono Work
If you’re fortunate enough to work for a firm that is making good money off of hot legal issues like labor law, you might think there’s no time for pro bono work. Think again. Pro bono work is not only good marketing, but good public relations. Make sure it’s mentioned on your social media.
5. Staying Stupid About SEO and Keywords
If your firm has no time or inclination to get SEO and keyword strategy right, then outsource it. But get it done. SEO and search algorithms are constantly evolving, but they are not going away. Keywords are getting much more specific and sophisticated. If you think “attorney” is the only keyword you need, you’re not doing your business any favors.
6. Not Dressing to Impress in Pictures
Even if your firm has adopted a casual dress code, always dress up. This will always impress clients, judges, and others. Especially if you are a woman. The photos on your Facebook page of the staff need to look more professional than an ad for Goodwill. Find out where the most successful attorneys get their clothes from, and start shopping there.
7. No Video on Your Website
“The last time we tried videotaping our attorneys they looked like idiots.” Who said you’re supposed to make an amateur video and post it on YouTube? What you need is a professional video service that provides the actors, the script, and the smooth camera work. It will increase traffic to your website, no problem.
Author: Steve Olenski (Forbes Magazine)
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