Whether you are setting up a solo practice or trying to expand your niche within a law firm, it can be challenging to get new clients. You are probably busy enough with the clients you have, so how do you carve out time to obtain new ones? With a limited budget, where can you spend money to make more money?
Some attorneys resist the concept of advertising: it was considered unseemly and even unethical to aggressively market in the legal profession for many years. But now people expect to be able to find professionals at the click of a mouse, including lawyers.
If you are wondering how to get clients as a lawyer, you have to market your services the way you would market anything else, from soap to carpentry. You need a digital presence and you need to get your name out there.
Here are eight ways to market your law practice in order to get new clients to pick up the phone.
1. Design a Good Website
If you want to grow your practice, you need to establish a presence online. Customers on all markets expect to be able to Google a search term and find what they are looking for.
Your website should include easy-to-find information on how to reach you: phone number, address, and email. It should also include your credentials: where you went to law school and belong to the Bar.
In very competitive markets, a well-designed website can make all the difference. It can establish your brand and appeal to the exact target audience you want to reach.
2. Choose a Memorable URL
If you practice law in a specific area, try to obtain a website address that is memorable and will attract the type of clients you seek. If you practice divorce law in Middletown, you may want to see if www.divorceinmiddletown.com is available.
This website is another example of a legal service that is marketing itself as exactly what it is.
If you live in a small community where your family name is well known in a particular area, your name or your firm name may be enough to be recognizable. If not, think about the kind of questions your potential clients are asking online. For example, if I am wondering how to get out of a traffic ticket, I may Google trafficticketlawyer.com.
3. Create New Content Frequently
One frequently cited way to drive traffic to your law firm website is to host a blog online and update it frequently. Close to 60% of professionals state that blog content is their top priority for getting inbound traffic.
Write about your area of practice and provide tips that your potential clients may need to know. If you are a real estate lawyer, blog about how to avoid potential pitfalls in closings. If you are a criminal lawyer, blog about changes to the criminal code and ways to negotiate plea deals.
You will establish yourself as an expert in your field and improve the SEO for your website.
4. Position Yourself as an Expert
Blogs are only one proven marketing tactic which can establish you as an expert in your field. And a client who needs a lawyer almost always wants the best in the field to defend their interests!
In addition to publishing online, seek out ways to share your knowledge to a wide audience. You may offer articles on legal subjects to local publications. Reach out to reporters who are covering your subject area and offer yourself as a resource. If they are doing a story, they may quote you as an expert.
You can also give speeches and presentations to associations and groups. Do not forget your fellow lawyers! By making speeches at local Bar Associations, other lawyers will get to know you and what you do and refer you to clients when the need arises in your niche.
Trade associations and other groups are excellent ways to get to know people who may eventually need you to represent them or recommend people to you. Join groups where you can meet others in your field and in ancillary areas. For example, if you are a tax lawyer, join groups where you can meet accountants who may need your service and advice.
Volunteer to lead community groups or run for public office. This will also raise your profile and establish your reputation.
6. Public Relations and Advertising
Writing articles or being mentioned in them increase your public profile, as does making presentations. You may even consider hiring a public relations expert who can expand your reach and get your name known in wider circles.
Depending on where you live and what you practice, judiciously placed ads can also enhance business. Although advertising can be expensive, they can reach audiences like seniors who may not always be online.
7. Rankings and Awards
There are many local and national awards for which you can submit yourself as a way to raise your profile. Chambers of Commerce and local Bar Associations frequently recognize lawyers who have made significant contributions to the community.
You may also want to look into SuperLawyers and other legal ranking directories. Some rankings have more prestige than others, so make sure that the organization seeking to sell you a plaque has a good reputation among other attorneys.
8. Social Media
You may not believe that Facebook is an appropriate tool for promoting your law practice, but many law firms now incorporate plenty of social media platforms into their marketing strategies. Twitter is an effective way to engage with others on subjects related to your work and make connections.
LinkedIn is also a fruitful way to network with others in your field and to be found by people seeking someone with your credentials and expertise.
How to Get Clients as a Lawyer: Many Ways to Raise your Profile
If you are wondering how to get clients as a lawyer, do not limit yourself to one approach. Integrating tactics to include traditional networking and PR and more up-date modern outreach through websites, blogs and SEO will expand your audience greatly. The combination of digital and in-person techniques will help make you known to people who need your help, and help you grow your law firm practice.
For more tips on building a successful small business or practice, check out our blog.