Why Use Legal Marketing?
The use of traditional marketing methods in the digital age is often cited as a cause of the decline in brick and mortar businesses. Marketing through paid ads on social media, email marketing, and other platforms is significantly cheaper than traditional methods of marketing, making it more accessible to smaller businesses. Traditional advertising in newspapers and magazines is also more susceptible to fraud. As a result, many business owners and marketers have turned to alternative methods of marketing, including legal marketing.
What is Legal Marketing?
Legal marketing, or commercial law marketing as it is sometimes called, is defined as “planned, organized, and systematic approaches to engaging with regulators, members of the judiciary, and other stakeholders in the legal system.” The practice was initially developed to help businesses understand the legal requirements and procedures surrounding their industry. However, legal marketers must also be able to effectively convey the right message to the right audience. Otherwise, they may undermine all the planning that went into their strategy and find themselves in a situation where they have to undo all the good they’ve done. This makes legal marketing a bit of a double-edged sword.
Lawyers who specialize in legal marketing should have extensive knowledge of the legal system and the ability to convey this knowledge in a digestible format. In some cases, this may mean developing a lexicon of industry-specific terms, or creating visuals to help clients better understand the concepts. A successful legal marketer should also be skilled at using tools like PowerPoint, marketing automation platforms, and social media. Most importantly, they must have the drive and determination to succeed in a field that is constantly evolving.
How to Market Online with Legal Marketing
With legal marketing, it is essential to develop an audience of prospective clients who have an interest in your area of expertise. The first step is to define your target audience. This can be challenging, as there are many different types of lawyers out there. However, you can narrow it down by taking into consideration your previous experience, the areas of law you enjoy most, your educational background, and any specialties you have. From here, you can start to build a buyer persona and flesh out the details of your ideal client. This will help you craft an effective message that speaks directly to their needs. It is also advisable to look at how you can bring value to the table. For instance, if you are a health lawyer, you might want to consider focusing on physical therapy clinics, rather than hospitals or pharmaceutical manufacturers. Creating a value proposition that is easy to grasp will help you craft the perfect pitch.
Clients come in all shapes and sizes, and most businesses will try to cater to as many of them as possible. For example, a personal injury lawyer might want to focus on an aging population, while a labor and employment lawyer might want to concentrate on labor unions. However, in order to have effective marketing, you need to have a common factor that binds together your target audience. In the example above, the personal injury lawyer and the labor and employment lawyer both have a shared interest in the working environment. This common factor gives you a platform from which to launch a campaign. It also means you can build a relationship with the lawyer by providing them with valuable information on a regular basis. Doing this will help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain credibility with the legal community.
The pitch is the most important part of the legal marketing process, as it will form the basis of everything else you do. Your pitch should be concise yet comprehensive, setting out what you offer and how you can provide value to the listener. As mentioned, clients come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to have a pitch that will resonate with a variety of audiences. It is often helpful to write out your pitch in the third person, as it will allow you to consider new ways of speaking to your audience. Consider using a story to grab attention and hold on to it. For example, one attorney who specialized in health law pitched a story about how he helped a patient get access to a costly medication, describing in detail what happened and how the case was resolved. This story was effective, as it showcased the benefits of his service while also holding the attention of the audience. It was brief, but comprehensive enough to pique the interest of the audience while still leaving them with more questions than answers.
Your pitch should not be longer than two or three minutes, as shorter bursts of attention are more effective in this day and age. If you are on the phone, you will lose the attention of the listener if you go over three minutes, so keep your speeches short and sweet.
Create a Media List
Now that you have a clear idea of your target audience, you can start to create a media list. This is a collection of all the different platforms and online magazines where you can potentially reach this audience. It is often helpful to look at your target audience and create a shortlist of platforms that you know they are using. To create a media list, you will want to head to any one of your social media platforms, as these will be the places your target audience is going to be spending their time. From here, you can either scroll down to the ‘edit’ button, which will bring up a list of all the different platforms, or you can click on the ‘add’ button and search for specific magazines that relate to your area of expertise. Either way, you will want to keep your eye on the analytics and track the different platforms where your target audience may be found.
Having a content library is essential for any large law firm. It will not only allow you to draw on previous case studies and know-hows, but it will also provide you with a steady stream of content to draw on. The more content you have, the more avenues you will have to draw on for topics, examples, and case studies. Publishing content on a regular basis will also help establish yourself as an expert in the field and generate leads and business.
Build a Brand
The brand is the promise that you make to the audience. Once you have a decent amount of content that is proven to be effective, it’s time to build a brand. First, look at the areas of law you practice in and see if these can be grouped into identifiable clusters. For example, if you are a labor lawyer, you might want to consider focusing on employees who are trying to bring a class action suit against their employer, as opposed to individual employee cases. Similarly, if you are a personal injury lawyer, you could specialize in cases where a patient was injured by a medical professional, or mass tort cases involving lots of plaintiffs. The important thing to keep in mind is to focus on the areas you are an expert in, as this will form the basis of your brand. Once you have these clusters of topics, it’s time to start creating a brand identity and name for yourself. You should pick a name that is distinctive and easy to spell. In the example above, the lawyer has chosen to call themselves Fit Small Business, as their practice is focused on helping small businesses navigate the legal process. This is a simple yet effective name that allows them to target potential clients who might be searching for this service online. From here, you can start to develop a logo and other brand-related materials to help get the word out about your service.
The use of legal marketing is on the rise, as more businesses are realizing the importance of anticipating and reacting to legal changes. The best thing about this trend is that it is providing more choice to the marketer, as there are more platforms and online magazines where they can potentially reach the lawyer or law firm consumer. As a result, marketers are able to choose the channels and the content that is most effective in reaching their audience.