By Linda Cheung

The Guide: Digital Marketing for Lawyers

Are you a lawyer looking to use digital marketing to promote your law firm?

Perhaps you work in law firm marketing and have been tasked with creating a digital marketing plan for your law firm?

This article provides a step-by-step approach for law firm digital marketing to enable you to grow your practice… quicker than you might think!

Digital Marketing for Law Firms:
Win New Business Online

What’s the purpose of your law firm’s website?

This may sound like a foolish question… but one you may not have asked yourself before.

Let me help you out here… The purpose of a law firm website is to convince visitors that they should become clients of your firm. This has typically been done by positioning the firm as a dependable, trustworthy and an experienced provider of legal services in the target market.

Your prospects will hop from site to site attempting to pre-screen potential lawyers and law firms by reviewing their websites before they make contact. During this process, they are trying to find the best fit for their specific needs. They are trying to ascertain the expertise level of your lawyers, the quality of the work they deliver, and whether your law firm has a good reputation.

The goal of a digital marketing plan is to get prospects to STOP and pay attention to you and you alone… because you are the only law firm uniquely positioned to solve their specific problem quickly and effectively.

Many law firms attempt to position themselves by providing visitors with information and articles that demonstrate their knowledge, possibly with a portfolio of your work, videos, customer testimonials and so on.

But with so many law firms using this approach nowadays, this one-size-fits-all, brochure style website no longer works like it once did.

 

Digital marketing platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram provide a cheap and highly targeted way to reach out to prospects and draw them to you, rather than have you chase them.

Many smart lawyers are using digital platforms and social media to gain exposure for their law firms, keep and eye on competitors and keep up to date on industry trends.  BUT, even today, very few law firms have a structured and systematic approach to digital marketing.

A good law firm digital marketing strategy should take prospects on a very deliberate, structured customer journey from awareness and engagement, through consideration to purchase.

In this guide to digital marketing for law firms we’ll set out the proven, step-by-step approach that we use with all our clients and show how you can build a modern and effective digital marketing plan for your law firm.

The Digital Marketing Plan for Law Firms

The following 7 steps outline what you need to do to develop a digital marketing plan for your law firm.

1. Define your Ideal Client

The first step is to select ONE product your law firm offers… preferably your CORE product and then define your ideal client for that product.  This step is vitally important in digital marketing and is a crucial step that many law firms miss. The key thing is this: In the online marketing world potential clients can and are being targeting very specifically with highly relevant messages that speak to them deeply at an emotional level. To achieve this for your law firm, the first step is to understand your ideal client’s needs and their transformational journey.  What problem does your ideal client have and what outcome are they trying to achieve? Map out their before and after state… what they have, how they feel, and what they experience.

What most people do with their marketing is assume they know what their ideal client wants instead of asking them. You want to take out all of the guesswork so that you can get your ideal client to stop and pay attention to you.

2. CRAFT YOUR MESSAGE

The second step is to craft your message… a message based on the transformational journey you defined in step 1.

I’m sure you know this as well as I do… in the professional services world, people buy solutions not products. Your headline message… your hook, needs to specifically call out your ideal client and spell out the transformational journey they will make. Most people spend too little time on this step, which is why their digital marketing efforts often fail.

3. THE PERFECT OFFER

Once you have a remarkable message you can move to step 3 where you’ll create the perfect offer that will drive your prospect to engage with you to find out more.

The key thing to do here is craft an offer, based on everything we have understood about your ideal client so far, that will lead them to seek you out instead of you seeking them out.

4. FEE EARNER BRANDING

Your ideal client has been hooked by your message, and your offer looks appealing.  What’s the very next question they ask themselves?  They want to know more about you… they ask: Can I trust this person?  Is this lawyer someone I can spend time with and do business with?

In step 4, we want to establish each of your lawyers as a leading authority in their niche. A micro-celebrity in your location if you like.

We often talk about B2B and B2C in business. But in reality, it’s always H2H – human to human.  Regardless of whether you’re selling to businesses or individuals, people buy from people – people they know, like and trust. 

This step is about building your lawyers’ personal brand… distinct to them… and based on their own expertise and style so that they stand out and are uniquely positioned as the one person that can solve the prospect’s problem.

5. THE LEAD MAGNET

In step 5 we want build on your brand and your offer and create the ultimate lead magnet. Now this should be something that the lead can consume in 5-10 minutes. It must be useful and it must address their problem. It could be in the form of a template, a checklist or a video but the most important aspect of this lead magnet is that we want it to be easily consumable. Your ideal client is going to be busy and we want them to consume this content easily so that we can continue to move them further down the digital marketing funnel.

6. TARGETTED ADS

Now we get to the step that most people think digital marketing is all about… online ads.

In step 6 you want to target your ideal client online with pinpoint accuracy. No longer will you go with the shotgun approach and blast your message out to everyone.  You can make use of the very narrow targeting techniques that online advertising offers to present your message ONLY to those people who are going to be interested in your law firm and your services.  You are able to do this because you took the time to understand who your ideal client was in step 1.

You should create an ad that will speak your ideal client’s language.

While your competitors are busy using legal jargon to make themselves look smart, you’ll create an ad that sounds and looks like something your ideal client would have written or said themselves.  Why is this important? It’s important because this will make you more relevant and appeal to them on the level that no one else has ever done before.

7. CUSTOMER JOURNEY

In step seven we want to put everything that we learned in steps one through six into a law firm digital marketing funnel so that we can collect prospects contact details. Hopefully now you can see how all of this comes together for you.

When it’s time to pick a digital marketing platform as a traffic source (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.) you’ll know how to target prospects online because you figured this out when you did the research to understand who your ideal client is in step one. The message and offer for your website landing page will come from steps two and three and this will get your ideal client to stop and pay attention to you.

When the prospect has downloaded your lead magnet, your Thank You page is where you will start to build some trust with your ideal client and educate them on how you are the perfect lawyer for them, and how your firm can help them with your products or services.

Your Thank You page and lead magnet will encourage your prospect to book an initial consultation with you… and of course by this point you have collected their contact details, so with permission you can follow-up with them directly if you wish too.

With an appointment now set you can have a call or face-to-face meeting – and then close them as a new client.

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BONUS! 8. Rinse and Repeat

You now have the complete process to develop a law firm digital marketing funnel for one product and one ideal client. The next step is to repeat the whole process… first for other client personas who may be interested in the same product. Then for other products, that may be of interest to the ideal client persona you have already defined.  By doing this you can re-use much of the work you have already put in to designing and building your first law firm marketing funnel.

 

Discover The Power of Digital Marketing For Client Businesses

CubeSocial CEO Linda Cheung talks to an audience of business owners at Connected Business and shows how trailblazing law firms are using digital platforms to network with experts, promote their business and win new clients.

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Partner, Baker McKenzie

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