Almost every law firm we speak to – from the smallest to the largest – all want more client work. Seems like a ridiculously obvious thing to say. Yet finding more work seems to be a very weak spot for most firms. Most will either tap into their existing clients to drive more work, or hammer their marketing databases hard to find new clients.
Here’s a thought: the biggest potential for more work may well come from people who don’t even know you can help them. According to an Australia-wide survey from the Law Foundation, Legal Need in Australia 2012, around 49% of Australians who experience a legal issue don’t even seek out a lawyer.
Here’s what the survey said happens when people have a legal problem:
51 per cent sought advice for their legal problems
31 per cent handled their legal problems without advice
18 per cent took no action for their legal problems.
You read correctly: Almost HALF of people in Australia who had legal problems either did nothing or handled their issues themselves rather than seek advice!
If you’re looking for more work, how about try using digital marketing to reach the 49% of people who aren’t otherwise likely to contact you. It sounds daunting, but it’s actually not as difficult as it appears.
Here are six quick tips to get you started on the road to tapping into the market for unrecognised legal problems.
1. Understanding your potential client’s digital journey
Anyone who has a problem these days goes online to find a solution. A quick Google search is often the first thing (and sometimes the only thing) someone does when they encounter a problem or have an issue. The biggest challenge in tapping into this market is simple: people just need to recognise when a particular problem has a legal remedy. Lawyers need to build awareness that they can help with more than people realise.
2. Building awareness with content
Anyone can publish great content on legal topics easily. Good articles will get shared. If you think you can help people with a particular legal problem, they’ll never know you can help if they’ve never heard of you. But how do people find your content online? Being visible on Google matters, and getting into the world of search engine optimization (SEO) is not nearly as scary as it seems. A few simple pointers will have you being found easily on Google in quick time.
3. Using SEO so clients can find you online
Search engine optimisation for your firm’s website is critical if you want your firm to appear in search results. SEO is especially important if your practice deals directly with the public on issues like personal injury, family law or wills. When a potential client searches for a lawyer you want your law firm at the top of the first page of search results. There are no prizes if you end up on page 2 or page 22 of the search results. Moz provides a useful Guide on the basics of SEO you can check out here.
4. Getting your message out with social media
Even if you have the best content you still need to make sure that as many people read it as possible. That’s where social media comes into it’s own. Make sure you share your content to your target market on the major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at a minimum. With paid promotion you can promote your posts to potential clients using the targeting available. For example with Facebook you can target users by location, gender, age, topics liked, interests and more. LinkedIn and Twitter also have paid promotion options as well.
5. Search Engine Marketing: Are you competing for ad space?
When it comes to advertising on Google, it should come as no surprise that the fiercest competition for ad space appearing next to the search results for specific keywords in Australia are law-related, along with keywords relating to insurance, superannuation, real estate and finance. So, how much are you spending on Google ad space? And how much do you think your competitors are spending?
6. Retargetting: A gentle reminder online
You may not know what retargeting is, but if you’ve ever searched for something online then you no doubt have experienced it. Retargeting works by tracking people who visit your site and then shows your ads to them as they visit other websites. Those ads that seem to follow you wherever you go on the Internet? Retargeting. It’s a tried and true way to convert tyre kickers into buyers and it can be cheaper to run a retargeting campaign than you may think.
If all you’re doing is competing in the market of people who know and use lawyers, you’re swimming in the shallow end of the pool. And there’s plenty of sharks in there. There’s so much opportunity to tap into a market that doesn’t even know you exist. Go after them and you’ve got a great chance to win the new work you’re craving.
Orange Line is a digital marketing agency that understands lawyers. We combine digital marketing excellence with legal content expertise to help grow your legal practice. See more about our work with lawyers here.
By Jonathan Seifman, David Klein and David Einstein