How Lawyers Can Get More Leads with Marketing in 2021

July 15, 2021

Join our Legal Explorers mailing list to stay on the leading edge of legal innovation.

I Want In!

Lawyers, I know you’re busy, and I know you don’t often have the time to spend on marketing. This is exactly why I've tailor-made these 32 strategies and tactics that you can use to double (dare I say, triple) your the results you're getting from your marketing endeavours.

I’ve had the opportunity to work and speak with tons of lawyers and find that many are facing similar road-blocks and opportunities in their marketing.

Given that many of our clients have found us through digital advertising, I'm often asked about our marketing process. As a result, I've found myself in more marketing discussions than I would have expected.

Oftentimes the same questions and concerns come up, like: "Where do I start?", "How can I improve my campaigns?", "What are strategies that a lawyer can use?"

Which had me thinking, if I wrote something based on these conversations and shared it widely I could help a large group of law firms promote themselves better.

So, here we are.

This short playbook contains many of the tips and tricks I've been sharing with lawyers. They include plays we’ve seen lawyers use successfully, solutions to common mistakes and oversights, and our my own strategies from my experience of advertising, growing brands, and building lead lists.

I hope they can help make a difference for your practice.

Digital advertising strategies for law firms who want more leads

1. Digital advertising works for law firms *mic drop*. Find the right channel for your practice area. This may be social media, traditional media, search engines, paid ads, question and answer platforms, or something else.

  • Pick the advertising channel that makes the most sense for your business. Are your clients Baby Boomers? Try Facebook. Gen X? Twitter. Experiment with new avenues to find your sweet spot.
  • If a channel is working—double down—become the best law firm in your practice area advertising on your chosen channel. Being the best in one channel is better than mediocre in many. There's a lot of noise in the marketplace, most businesses spread themselves thin between all platforms, without mastering one. That's your opportunity.
  • Keep an open mind. Channels that you may not think will work can be your best performers. And 'obvious' channels may not work. Experiment with everything.

2. People do business with who they know, like, and trust. They know you through advertising, they like you through the valuable information you share, and they trust you through credentials and conversations.

3. Use people in your marketing. People are interested in people, Nike is the brand, athletes are the messengers. Use your team to share or write about news at your firm, put people in your adverts, and have clients success stories front and centre in your marketing materials.

4. Get strategic about your advertising. Treating this like a business venture helps keep things clear. At the end of the day the purpose of marketing is to drive results.

  • Create goals, make your objectives crystal clear.
  • Uncover what the average Lifetime Value (LTV) is for a new sale. This will be the full amount you can expect to bill an average client throughout the lifetime of their engagement.
  • Create a monthly marketing budget. Split it into two buckets: An 'experimental' bucket for new channels and ads and a 'tried and true' bucket for methods that are working reliably. You can usually test a channel quickly given an adequate budget. Be comfortable having losers, the winners will make up for them.
  • Track the results to discover your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) from a given channel. Your CAC is the cost of acquiring a new customer through a given channel.
  • Steer your marketing ship. Review the costs to acquire a new customer versus the payout. If your channel works, double down on it. If not, set sail and continue exploring.
  • A winning advertising channel could look something like this: Say an ad brings in leads at $100 each and it takes 10 leads to get a paying customer. Your cost to acquire a customer (CAC) is $1,000. You know that you give clients a fantastic experience and they typically stick around for a few years, requesting more services from you. Their Lifetime Value (LTV) is $5,000. Thus, their revenue over costs is 5:1, this is attractive as this ratio usually provides enough revenue to cover costs and generate profit.

5. Get serious about tracking attribution. Attribution is the art of crediting advertising channels with leads generated. This is rarely perfect but will give you an idea of what’s working. You can track attribution manually or with software. This is key to growing an advertising channel.

  • Many digital advertising platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, have native pixels that will show which of your ads perform and at what costs per lead.
  • Two attribution tracking apps that we like are Ruler Analytics and CallRail.

6. Use bullet points. People love them because they simplify things. Use them wherever you promote your business, when possible.

Rally's ebook for lawyers who want to offer subscription legal services at their firm

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 101 — Here are 3 steps to improve your search rankings.

  • Technical — Find and use the right keywords for your business. Write in these keywords for your main headlines (H1) and secondary headlines (H2) on pages, title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tag on photos.
  • Unsure what these are? This article from WordStream explains in more detail.
  • Design — Make sure your site is well laid out and your visitors get what they're looking for. Google prioritizes websites that satisfy user needs. Make sure there is a clear call-to-action, promote your team, have an easy way to contact, show which services you provide, and tell your story. To see an example of a legal website we love, check out Rusing, Lopez & Lizardi.
  • Content — More written material will push your site higher in search results. Think blog posts or case studies. By telling your story and clearly explaining what you do and where you do it, you'll be able to push up your rankings in search results for your area. You'll want to balance including as much information as possible while also keeping it easy to digest for users.

8. Experiment, experiment, experiment. In the digital age you can quickly test ads. Most people find that what works for them is not what they initially thought. Try different images, copy, and offers to see what works best for your firm.

9. Build Hype. Have a launch, new product, or event coming up? Tell people it's coming. Building hype gives you more to share—without needing to do much work—and let's people know something interesting is coming.

  • Example: Promote an upcoming event with a series of social media posts, emails to your customers/subscribers, write about it on your website, and run a couple ads promoting it.

10. Write powerful headlines. Legendary advertisers claim 80% of results from advertising come from the headlines (who are we to argue?). Specific and on-topic is better than vague and baiting; touching on pain-points and solutions produces results. If you walk away with only one idea from this list, I’ll be happy if it’s this one.

There are far too many firms using vague headlines in their websites and ads. Headlines like "Professional experience for your legal matters". The problem with these is that they don’t mean much to the end-user. 

Think about the last time you purchased a pizza. Was it because the ad said, “Your trusted pizza professionals since 1990”? Sure, it may have been once or twice. 

But if you’re anything like a Domino’s million daily pizza buyers, it was probably something like “Unlimited medium 2-topping pizzas for $7.99”. Why is this relevant in a guide for legal marketing? Because Domino's makes irresistible offers (and they have the market cap to prove it). You end up doing the mental math and realize it’s (nearly) cheaper than cooking. So you order it.

The takeaway for lawyers is to write specific headlines that make your audience feel like they can’t afford not to do business with you.

11. Inject 'interesting' into your marketing. Think of your favourite brands, they're likely not Xerox or Oldsmobile. You can create legitimacy while also being appealing to your audience.

12. Test variations of your ads. You don't need to make the “perfect” ad, you can try multiple approaches. Make 10-20 different ads, with variable messages, copy, and images—then see which is the winner for you based on real-time results.

13. Simple copy is king. Every word you remove while maintaining the message increases your impact.

Email marketing strategies for lawyers

14. Get email to work for you. Firms send thousands of emails a week, translated into the advertising world that's thousands of dollars worth of views per month. Do you have a polished signature? Can you add a link to valuable information? How about a legal tip of the week?

15. Use a creative P.S. in your promotional emails. People read these. Keep it interesting. It helps squeeze out more results from an email campaign.

16. Build an email list with the emails you already have. Go digging, you likely have more than you think you do. If your website has a form on it, you've likely collected emails. If you've ever run a webinar or offered any kind of content (like a guide) then, again, you've collected emails. You can compile them and market to them with email marketing software like MailChimp or ConvertKit.

This doesn't have to be a formal newsletter; you can compile a list of clients on Excel and list them based on their interests. Then, when you have a reason to reach out to them (like a new piece of content you know they'll love), you can send them a personal note. It's a bit of grunt work, but million-dollar businesses have been built on the back of personalized emails.

17. Reach out to your email list when you have valuable information to share. Keep it light and interesting. New blog post? Promote it to your list. This takes a bit of work but offers lucrative results. Segregate your list if you can. For example, if you offer various legal services, and you have email lists of clients who you know are interested in corporate legal information, send them that kind of information. Your open and conversion rates will be far higher.

Social media strategies lawyers can use to advertise their legal practice

18. This is a pure freebie. Invite connections to like your Facebook and LinkedIn page. After you've done that, ask your team to do the same. You can triple your page’s followers overnight.

19. If you're on Instagram find and use the 10 best hashtags for your business. Start there and grow to 30.

20. The Gentle Jackhammer Strategy: promote every important social media post internally, whether through Slack or Teams. Ask your team to like, comment, or share. Make it easy for them by providing a link. This helps kickstart things.

21. Growing your page on LinkedIn? Small pages need sweat equity, here's how to start:

  • 'Notify Employees' of a post, which will ping your team of a new post you've made. You'll find this button when you click on the ellipses button on the top right of a post on LinkedIn.
  • Comment on posts under hashtags that are relevant to your business. This gives you a ton of free awareness. Try 10 a day and see what happens.
  • Be friends with LinkedIn's algorithm and be aware of what's affecting it. For example, put your links in the comments, foster engagement on posts, and use hashtags.

22. Give more than you receive on social media. Don't be that person who’s always asking for business or you'll quickly be ignored. Build a more meaningful relationship with your audience by giving value rather than always promoting your service.

The power of social media is that you have the potential to build relationships with large groups of people. You do this through what you share and contribute, which could be anything from full blog posts, short and digestible social posts, videos, or valuable comments on other people's content.

When your audience then needs legal advice they’ll first go to where they know and trust, if you’ve done social media well and built credibility you’ll be high up on that list.

Website tactics that lawyers can use at their law firm

23. Record your users and be blown away. There are website tools that you can use to record your visitor’s sessions to see how they are interacting with your website. This helps you discover what users actually care about. I can tell you from first-hand experience, you'll be surprised at what you find out.

24. The top section where users land on your website is called the 'above the fold' section, this has the largest impact on your site’s results.

This is a critical, make-or-break, point where users decide if they want to continue through your site. Experiment and optimize, make sure you're directing your audience to the right place. Create a goal for users on each page, then help them achieve it.

25. Optimize your page around a specific goal. Each page should have a specific job to do. A general page's goal may be to book a consultation, for a blog page it may be to download a piece of content. Make sure to clearly identify what your goal is and formulate a strategy around getting there. You want to get users to the end goal as seamlessly as possible without coming across too desperate.

Say a certain page’s main goal is to book a 15 minute consultation, you’ll want to hook people in above-the-fold with an impactful headline and concise body copy (the opening paragraph), with a clear and pronounced button or link to bring them to this 'book a meeting' page or form. The rest of the page (if the user decides they aren't convinced and keeps scrolling) should provide more reasons why they should book a meeting, like testimonials, case studies, benefits of working with your firm, etc.

26. Testimonials are golden. Few things build trust like the recommendations of peers. If you have testimonials, promote them. If you don't have any reach out to your ten best customers and ask, they will be happy to help.

  • Put these anywhere you promote yourself, i.e. your website, brochures, or ads.

27. Drop shadows under text rarely work. Many use them, however they rarely add impact to the message. Usually, they make things harder to read, which will ultimately do more harm than good. This is a small point, but I see this often.

28. Landing pages drive results. Create a stand-alone page focused on driving one action.

By definition a landing page is the first page a user "lands" on your site. Say you want to promote a new service, by directing users to a dedicated page you’ll have far better results than simply including a section on your main page.

Content strategies for lawyers who want to reach more clients

Content is a term that gets thrown around a lot while rarely being explained. Basically, content is the ‘thing(s)’ you make, including social media posts, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and video. Good content is a staple every marketer’s playbook

29. Find and cover topics people aren't ranking for on search engines, these can be untapped goldmines in bringing new users to your site. Double down where you find results.

When covering new subjects, there will be less competition, making it easier to rank, and then if the topic grows in popularity you’ll benefit from being first to that market.

  • Example  “Own a driver-less car? Make sure you aren't liable for..."

30. Lawyers are content machines: you eat, sleep, and breathe legal information. Give out free samples without sharing the secret sauce, you'll be creating meaningful content and building an audience.

  • Having trouble figuring out what to make? Address real problems faced by your audience.
  • You wouldn’t buy a suit without trying it on (or being measured), show your audience what they’re getting and you’ll reap the rewards. For a real world example, look at the content Gary Vaynerchuk produces on social media, he provides a ton of value for his audience and is rewarded handsomely for it.

31. Create your Content Distribution Model. You may already have a good source of content, or, you’re in the process of building more. Great. Now, how is your audience going to find it?

  • Sharing – You've built something, get it out there! Share your post/blog/e-book on social media (use hashtags), ping your internal team to 'share' or 'like' (see Hack #20), fire off an email to your list, if it's something big—like an event—make a hype post(s) (see Hack #9), and make sure to include relevant keywords for SEO (if applicable)
  • Testing – Review the results, does it work well? If yes, move to Step 3. If no, go back to the drawing board (see Hack #30 for inspiration).
  • Recycling – Spawn successful items into a similar posts, run as ads, turn into a series, or work on making it into a larger item (like a blog or e-book). Turn larger items, like a blog or an e-book, into bite sized pieces and then go back to Step 1. Recycling is a great way to scale up your content. It takes less effort than creating something new and will yield good results as it’s already proven.
The last of the marketing tips and tricks for lawyers

32. Find a marketing mentor.

Though we have experience in a variety of marketing affairs, we’ll connect with an expert on projects to make sure we’re aware of common pitfalls, get feedback so we can make improvement, and to hear about the latest tools or trends related to that project.

Start your next marketing campaign now, with what you have at your disposal. There’s no point getting advice on something that doesn’t end up being launched. But once you have something started, get feedback so you can improve and optimize.

This has been our secret weapon to increasing the yield on our campaigns. Getting fresh eyes on projects has helped uncover opportunities we had overlooked and helped us reevaluate assumptions.

You can even trade legal advice for marketing expertise. Win-win!

  • Example: Early on in our marketing journey, when we were looking to expand into new channels online, we connected with an advisor who had an exceptional track record with digital advertising.
  • They challenged various assumptions we had and offered insights from their own experiences. In one specific case, they suggested that our original thoughts about a particular channel were incorrect. They turned out to be correct, and the course correction we made accounted for 25% of our results from the campaign. The value they added to the overall project likely doubled our results and dramatically shortened our learning curve.

Ready to take your firm to the next level?

It would appear that lawyers have been late-comers to digital advertising, however many are now tapping into this channel and discovering a gold mine. Who knew showing up in people’s newsfeed, search results, or banners on websites was welcomed rather than scorned.

Many of our clients now find themselves bottle-necked, they have too many clients and not enough time. They also find that flat-fee work is being requested far more, which works in the opposite direction of the hourly billing model.

So they come to us looking for a better, faster, way to work. They want to streamline how they‘re building their documents and they want an easier way to share files with clients (that isn’t, you know, Google Drive).

This has been our sweet spot. Our document automation cuts down on up to 90% of drafting time. Our white-labeled client portal looks like you have an internal software team. Our Menu of Services lets you sell directly from your website, connecting to an automated client intake flow. It's an encompassing tool for lawyers and their clients.

Book a demo with us to see how Rally can work for your firm.

Join our Legal Explorers mailing list to stay on the leading edge of legal innovation.

I Want In!
Subscribe

Get New Posts in Your Inbox

Stay on the leading edge of legal innovation and legal client experience.

Subscription successful! Thank you!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Close symbol