Editor’s Note: We dug deep into our archive for this post, pulling it from the Winter 2014 edition of our members’ only publication, the PILMMA Insiders’ Journal. While this topic is always vital, it’s especially important to think about as we transition from one calendar year to the next. Enjoy!
I must admit it’s hard to start thinking about next year before this year is even up, but it is time! So, I decided that the best way to prepare was to offer a few tips that might help you jump start your law firm’s marketing efforts. The fortunate things about these tips is that you can start implementing them now, or like many of us, you can procrastinate and start them in the New Year! Either way, start them and I promise they will give your firm great results.
Build a Real Email List
You’ve heard us say it before: Don’t buy email lists. Don’t go borrowing them from social media sites either. No excuses. It’s bad news in the marketing world. Grow a list the old-fashioned way: Give something away or host a contest. Give potential clients a reason to opt in and BOOM – your email list can multiply overnight and make YOU the big winner.
Who do you want on your list? First, you need to be clear on what your website message needs to say about your firm and what type of potential clients you will want to target. Just having a random list of email addresses of people with no indication of what their interests are will not bring you any results.
What will you give away? To encourage somebody to join your email list, you need to give them something. This may be a free report or video series. This is an important part of your email list building process because it’s doubtful that somebody will provide their email address without getting something in return.
How will you collect their email addresses? To capture the email details of your prospective clients, you are going to need a squeeze page or lead capture page. This is a single webpage created solely to obtain opt-in email addresses. The page will briefly explain the benefits of your firm and inform prospective clients that they can get more valuable information for free when they enter their email details into the form located on the page.
How will you send emails to people on your list? As your list grows, you will need to automate the process as it will become impossible to manually send emails to everybody on it. An auto-responder will automatically send emails to your list with a series of pre-written messages to all the people that are on your list.
Here’s a bit more on auto-responders: Email Marketing for Lawyers and the Importance of Auto-Responders
How will people find you in the first place? To drive visitor traffic to your squeeze page you can use paid and free traffic methods. Both free and paid traffic are important for email list building. Paid traffic includes pay-per-click advertising, banner ads, solo and classified ads. Free traffic comes from techniques like blogging, article marketing, forum marketing and search engine optimization.
Remember that every online law firm started without a list. However, if you know how to encourage potential clients to join your list, what to give them and what to send them in your emails, then you will start to notice your list growing and in turn, your website leads growing. When building website lead development there can seem to be a mountain of obstacles to climb – from understanding list building to search engine optimization, from pay per click advertising to social media marketing, from finding the right products to sell to finding potential clients to target and the list goes on.
Be Seen AND Heard
The word on the street is that content is king. But let’s face it – you’re busy. And writing content may be too time-consuming. Mix it up by adding podcasts to your repertoire. Varying your media can appeal to different types of clients and you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field. So loosen up your vocal cords and let’s hear what you’ve got!
Don’t Keep Your Law Firm Website Visitors Waiting
Is your website the tortoise or the hare? Because in this scenario, it’s not the slow turtle that wins in the end – it’s the speedy bunny. How fast your web pages load is critical. A mere one-second delay can cost your site as much as a 7% decrease in its conversion rate. Yikes! Optimize page speeds, make sure you have enough bandwidth and take the lead in client satisfaction.
I wish you much success, many new clients and the loyalty of many old ones as you look toward the New Year!
If you’re still looking for help transitioning into the New Year, check out Ken Hardison’s webinar replay on Seven Ways to Make the Next Year Your Best Year Yet. This replay will only be available until Dec. 7th (replays are usually located inside our Members’ Vault) so make sure you watch it ASAP if you’re not a member!