Failing to plan is planning to fail. Rapid changes in technology are generating a multitude of new marketing opportunities – which also makes marketing more complicated, and planning more important. Here are tips for growing your business in 2021 and beyond.
By Martha Chan, Family Lawyer Marketing Expert
Twenty years ago, when we first told family lawyers they needed websites, they looked at us as if we were from Mars. Twelve years ago, when we told them they needed to be on social media, many family lawyers told us that they would not be caught dead on Facebook. Ten years ago, when we started doing podcasts and shooting videos for clients, most family lawyers didn’t see the need. Family lawyers who embraced those new marketing ideas have continued to reap the benefits of being an early adopter.
Marketing Has Changed. Have You?
Technology has accelerated change. In 2020, there were 2 billion websites, although “only” 400 million of them were active; there are currently 43 million podcast episodes; Youtube, the second-most-visited website in the world, has 2 billion monthly active users (that’s about one-third of the entire Internet!); and Facebook, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020, is the biggest social network worldwide. Guess what? This matters more now to your prospective clients than ever – particularly during and post-COVID.
Today, if you don’t have a great website or a social media presence, you are pretty much viewed as a dinosaur. If you have podcasts and videos, then you are seen as progressive and relevant. But it is no longer enough to only have these. While technology has created more options, it has also made marketing more confusing and complicated for family lawyers who do not have the skills, inclination, or time to devote to promoting their practice.
Marketing Under Pressure
At Divorce Marketing Group, many of our clients come to us for websites because their competitors have better websites than they do. Others need to have their existing websites redesigned because they are terribly outdated in looks, user friendliness, and technology. Many do not realize their content desperately needs updating as well. Some dip their toes into marketing because their business is not doing well, or they fear they are not getting their share of the growth in divorce since COVID. They now want a Facebook page, or to place some advertising on our consumer websites (DivorceMag.com or DivorcedMoms.com), or to have us create a Google advertising program for them.
Ad Hoc Marketing
Many family law firms practice “ad hoc marketing”: they try out different things once or twice sporadically. These efforts include PPC advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), writing blog posts, directory advertising, etc. Mostly, they try something because a salesperson contacted them or they received a seemingly irresistible email offer from an unknown person (normally from India or the Philippines) telling them they could be on page one of Google search results within two weeks.
When there is no game plan, no strategy, and no business goals, success is unlikely.
Poor Choice of Service Providers
Some lawyers discover from their consultation with us that they have been paying far too much for far too long to have their website hosted or updated. Sometimes lawyers have poured their marketing dollars down the drain because they don’t know how to screen for legitimate and effective providers. We have a client who paid $100 for a click on Google; we brought it down to $3. Unfortunately, their former provider did not know how to market family lawyers.
So You Have a Website…
Many family law firms think that once they have a website, their work is done and they do not have to worry about it anymore. There is no strategy for growing traffic to the website or updating the content on a regular basis. Google does not like websites with stagnant content, and visitors will leave websites that offer no resources or are difficult to navigate, especially on a cell phone. If you have a website, you need a plan to add new content to it frequently – and these days, consumers often choose easily consumable content, such as videos and podcasts, over text articles.
How’s That Facebook Post Coming Along?
Many of our clients ask us to build them company social media pages but do not invest in continuous posts on their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts. They believe they can handle it in-house – but 95% of the time, no posts will be added until they ask us to take over posting for them.
Invest in Creating an Impactful Marketing Plan for Your Law Firm Annually
You have probably heard the saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
When you create a marketing plan, you need to:
- Define the prospective clients and cases you.
- Compose your marketing positioning statement to clearly identify the top three reasons why your desired clients should hire you vs some other.
- Develop your strategy and business.
- Define and implement your action.
More and more of our clients have taken our advice to create and implement two-year marketing plans. Why? So they can focus on their practice knowing they have allocated their marketing budget effectively and that their marketing is being taken care of.
We highly recommend you work with a marketing agency that can help you differentiate yourself from other family lawyers, create a marketing strategy and plan based on your business goals, and execute the plan by utilizing the latest techniques and technologies.
Martha Chan is a marketing expert for family lawyers. She is a co-owner and vice president of marketing for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine, DivorcedMoms.com, and Divorce Marketing Group – a one-stop marketing agency dedicated to promoting family lawyers and divorce professionals. www.DivorceMarketingGroup.com
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