If I were opening a law practice today, my “marketing plan” would be very different than it was when I opened my office thirty-plus years ago.
The Internet changes everything.
So. . . here’s what I would do:
I would start by setting up a web site to showcase what I do. It would be my online brochure as well as a mechanism for networking and lead generation. It would be an information hub, the center of all of my marketing activities.
My web site would be a self-hosted WordPress blog so I could update it without depending on anyone else. I would spend less than $10/yr. for a domain, and less than $10/mo. for hosting.
I would keep things simple, with a clean, professional look. I would favor quality content over bells and whistles. The look would say, “competent, confident, accomplished and approachable,” because that’s what I would want if I was looking for an attorney.
I would add articles and other content to the site, to provide value to visitors and generate search engine traffic. I would continue to add content, seeking to make my site the most comprehensive in my practice area. When someone needed an answer, everyone would point them to my site.
I would make it easy for visitors to contact me through the site and I would encourage this. I want people to ask questions. My answers bring me one step closer to an appointment and a new client. Their questions and my answers would also give me fodder for new content.
I would add testminonials and success stories to the site, providing social proof of my capabilities and add a dramatic aspect to otherwise dry material.
I would set up a lead capture system, using an autoresponder to deliver an online newsletter. I would encourage visitors to subscribe so I could stay in touch with them. Over time, I know they will become clients, provide referrals, and generate even more traffic to my site through their social media channels.
Once my hub was set up, my focus would be to drive traffic to the site and grow my list. I would start by leveraging my existing contacts, telling them about my site and the benefits of visiting. I would ask them to spread the word to the people they know.
Every piece of printed collateral, including my business cards, would include a link to my web site. Every email I sent would link to the site. Every article I wrote would include a resource box and a link to my site.
I would become active in forums and on social media. I would do some networking and speaking to meet new contacts and to stay up to date with the news in my target market.
I would look for other professionals who target my market and propose writing for each other’s blogs and newsletters. If they were physically near me, I would meet them for coffee and explore other ways we could help each other.
I would regularly email to my list, notifying them of new content on the site and sending them other content I found that I thought they might like to see. I would stay in touch with them so that I would be “in their minds and their mailboxes” when they needed my services or encountered someone who did.
I would let people know I appreciate their referrals and thank those who have provided them in the past. I would suggest other ways they could help me, i.e., forwarding my emails to their friends and contacts, promoting my seminar or other event, or introducing me to people they know that I should meet.
I would look for ways to provide added value to my list and even more so to my clients. I would give them information and advice, but not necessarily in my practice area or even anything legal.
I would smother my clients with attention, exceeding their expectations in every way possible, because I know the best way to build a law practice is with referrals from satisfied clients and other people who know, like, and trust me.
Wait. . . the Internet doesn’t change everything. Marketing is the same today as it was thirty years ago. The Internet just makes it easier, quicker, and less expensive.