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Up until now, the retail-focused law firms have led the way in terms of their online marketing, with commercial law firms much slower to the party. Here, Stephen Moore explains why that has been the case and why, as a result, there are many million pounds worth of opportunities out there.
We’ve heard this so many times but the fact of the matter is that this statement is true if you want it to be. On each occasion we’ve been surprised at the lack of interest and engagement on the opportunities the internet provides. Here’s why we think it is:
And, as a result, the statement remains true.
If you market your firm properly online, you’ll make money from the internet. I recently found myself looking for a commercial law firm to assist with a logistics credit application – an area in which no one in my network specialised. As such, my first port of call was to go online.
Coming across a firm’s site with a reasonable piece of content around logistics agreements, I contacted and instructed them. For this firm, the net gain from writing this content was £3k in fees and a new client.
My instruction could also result in the following for the law firm:
If you multiply this one piece of content by 50 and, as long as the content remains helpful and relevant to a likely situation, traffic will arrive and convert.
REMEMBER: People don’t search for legal services unless they need them.
Start small and work from the basis that ‘At the moment, this part of the website generates us zero pounds in income’. Then ask your team to ensure that new clients are asked ‘How did you find us?’. Even if they have been referred by X, it’s worthwhile asking, ‘Did you have a look at our website? Do you know what I do?’.
If, over the course of a one month period, you receive no enquiries from the internet, then the next stage is to understand why. You need answers to questions like:
If you already generate some business from the internet but haven’t, as far as you’re aware, really tried, then that’s a good sign! It means that without a huge amount of effort or time, you could be generating a healthy amount of new enquiries online. We are here to make that happen for your firm.
Legal services are normally a distress purchase – so put yourself in the frame!
If you work with an established, commercial practice, the likelihood is that your domain (www.lawfirmx.com) will be strong.
The net result from that is that when you add useful content to your website that has been optimised for search engines, it will bounce to the top of the results page. This means that when people are searching for answers to their issues, they will find you.
If you’re looking for some targeted legal content to grow your firm’s online presence, we can help.
Suggested reading: ‘Guide to content marketing’.
You want to make sure that your content is written in such a way that it both informs and qualifies at the same time. What I mean by this is:
Your content should cover a real-life situation that has either arisen, or is likely to arise, details the legal issues involved, and includes a useful opinion that would allow the reader to discern that you are somebody who knows what they are talking about
Your content should also provide information on feeling, value and an approach to legal advice that will qualify out timewasters
This content (written/audio/video) should be displayed in a visually attractive way with clear calls to action and ways in which someone can get in touch.
There are various ways in which you can begin tracking what pages are delivering what enquiries, ranging from the extremely analogue to the super sophisticated. If you’re just getting started it’s as simple as maintaining a record of where new clients found you and how.
Commercial solicitors would be right to point out that the bigger commercial legal work does increasingly come from tenders and from the instruction of in-house counsel, but does that mean the internet won’t play a part?
An effective online strategy that includes informative online platforms allows you to be top of mind with tender panels and establish a position of thought leadership and opinion.
By applying conversion rate optimisation best practices to your online channels, it won’t just help you convert more new visitors from search results, it will also help you convert any decision makers in businesses who have heard of you before (whether through recommendation, tender submission or otherwise).
Much in the same way as you wouldn’t hire a new lawyer for your firm without doing background research, any finalists in an invitation to tender will often be subject to scrutiny online and their websites and social media profiles will often be the first thing that gets checked.
Do you and your lawyers connect and network with many in-house lawyers on LinkedIn? If you don’t, you won’t be amplifying your message through word-of-mouth as much as you could.
In addition, you won’t be building as many valuable relationships through effective online networking at an early stage, even before that person’s business needs you. Social media marketing can be an extremely effective tool to build trust and brand awareness for your firm.
Not having an online strategy could cause you to miss serious opportunities. These opportunities could end up going to your competitors, whether or not they would provide a better service.
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