Is your law firm making these 5 digital marketing mistakes?

February 4, 2015

Social Media AdsBelieve it or not, but it wasn’t that long ago when solo and small law firms primarily relied on taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages to build their practices.

Today, digital marketing (marketing that applies to technologies or platforms such as websites, social networks, apps and email) makes it possible for solo or small firm attorneys to manage their own robust marketing campaigns from their desks in just a few minutes a day.

Of course, this isn’t to say that marketing comes naturally to most attorneys. In fact, there are several common mistakes that lawyers make that can derail a law firm’s marketing plan. Today we will take a look at five of these mistakes and how to avoid them:

Mistake No. 1: Placing too much focus on your firm and not enough focus on your audience.

A firm’s natural instinct is to talk about themselves in digital marketing copy, stating how accomplished the firm is and how many years of experience the attorneys offer.

Sure, you may win some potential clients over because of your alma mater or your volunteer experience, but a majority of potential clients only care about what you can do for them.

That’s why your efforts are better spent directly addressing your potential clients, empathizing with their situation (more on that later) and explaining how you can help.

Mistake No. 2: Using too much legal jargon that your audience doesn’t understand.

Many attorneys end up writing digital marketing content that only other attorneys can understand.

Since the vast majority of your audience probably doesn’t have any legal training, it’s best to use legal terminology sparingly, and when you do use it, provide an explanation in layman’s terms so you aren’t adding to the reader’s anxiety and confusion.

Mistake No. 3: Being inactive on social media.

We have officially reached the point where not using social media as part of your firm’s marketing strategy is not okay. There are just too many opportunities for connecting with potential clients and building your firm’s brand using social networks.

The good news is that even if you are completely lost when it comes to social media marketing, there are plenty of resources out there to help get you up to speed. For example, you can see my previous posts for lawyers on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mistake No. 4: Not seizing the opportunity to interact with your audience.

If you are ready to start using social networks to market your solo practice or small firm, then you also have to be ready to interact with your audience.

Social media is all about two-way communication, and even the biggest brands in the world (e.g. Apple and Nike) are expected to interact with their followers. Responding to people who comment on your posts in a timely manner shows that the firm is truly engaged.

Mistake No. 5: Not empathizing with your potential clients.

The key to communicating effectively with potential clients through digital marketing is all about understanding what your target audience needs to hear.

That often means taking a very different approach to content depending on the client pool you are trying to reach.

For example, when trying to get through to potential bankruptcy clients, you might take the approach that help and security are available. However, when recruiting potential first-time DUI defense clients, you may highlight the risks of not calling an attorney.

As you can see, digital marketing takes a lot more thought than simply taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages. But it also means the sky is the limit for solo and small firm attorneys who are willing to explore this brave new world of lawyer marketing.