Marketing legal services: minimal effort for maximum return

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Would you do any marketing if you didn’t have to?

I’m not talking about “internal” marketing–treating clients well, staying in touch with them, creating an environment that is conducive to referrals–I’m talking about external marketing–ads, social media, speaking, writing, videos, networking, and all the other things everyone says you need to do to bring in new clients.

I wouldn’t.

Why spend the time or money if you don’t have to?

If you didn’t have to do any external marketing, imagine how that would feel. No guilt about what you’re not doing, no forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do.

If you don’t like social media, guess what? You’re off the hook. Go spend the time cranking out more billable work. Or take up a hobby. If you do like social media, you can do it for fun, not because you need to bring in business.

The same goes for speaking and networking. Do them if you enjoy them, stay home if you don’t.

If your internal marketing is working, you’re getting repeat business and referrals without any additional effort.

The phone rings and people want to hire you. You don’t have to find them, convince them, or cross your fingers and hope they have the money. When they call, they’re pretty much ready to go.

Nice.

On the other hand. . . (yeah, the fine print). . . I can’t promise you that internal marketing will always bring you enough new business. Your clients may want to send you referrals, for example, but not know anyone who needs you right now.

And. . . even if your internal marketing bring you plenty of new business, there’s nothing wrong with bringing in more.

So. . . in order to hedge your bets, you might want to do some external marketing.

What do I suggest? What is the best use of your limited time? What has the biggest potential return for your effort?

A content-rich website.

Because when someone is referred to you, the first thing they do is go online to check you out. No website and you scare them off. And, if your website is nothing more than a listing of your practice areas and contact information, it’s not enough to show anyone why they should choose you instead of any other attorney.

“Content” means information, not about you but about the prospective client. He’s searching for answers. He’s looking for proof. Your content provides those answers and that proof.

And it’s so easy to do.

Start by writing down ten or twenty questions clients and prospects typically ask you about your area of expertise. Then, answer those questions. Talk about the law and procedure. Describe the risks and the options. Point them towards the available solutions. Include some stories of cases or clients you’ve had, to illustrate your points. Post these online on a website or blog.

Now, when someone goes online to check you out, they will see that you know what you are talking about and that you have helped other clients to solve these problems. You haven’t just told them what you do, you’ve shown them.

In addition, when people go to a search engine, looking for information about their legal issue, your content brings them to your website. The same thing happens when people share your content with their social media contacts.

Marketing legal services (externally) really can be this simple.

If you have a website, add content. A single article you post today could bring you new business three years from now. If you don’t have a website, start one. Add some content to get it started and once a week or so, add more.

While it’s not quite “set it and forget it” marketing, it’s about as close as you can get.

If you need help starting or growing a website or blog, this is what I recommend.

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