The Perfect Marketing Plan For Setting Up A Law Firm/Solicitors Practice In 12 Months?
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If I was going to be setting up a Law Firm/Solicitors Practice, I know that I could put in place systems in the first 12 months to make sure that I was kept busy with all of the clients that I needed year after year. This is what I would do.
THE most important aspect of a well marketed solicitors practice (or any business) is lead capture and a client database. If you spend any money at all generating new client enquiries it is vital that from day one you have a system in place to capture the names and addresses of your prospects and clients.
If you think about your prospects, whilst many of them will have an instant need for your services, there are countless others who will be thinking about instructing a solicitor in the near future and researching which one to choose. Whether they are doing this online or offline, if you offer them some free information to help them find out more about their subject matter of interest, you can capture their name, address or email address and then keep communicating with them. This will increase your chances of turning your prospect into a paying client manifold than if you just have only one phone call with them.
My recommendation for a simple start is contained in my free marketing report (8 Ways To Win New Clients) which you can (and should) download at the foot of this article.
Now that you have a lead generation system in place I would start to drum up some new prospects for your practice. Now if I assume that you are starting from scratch you will not yet have a website in place. Therefore, I would rely on the proven, traditional method of newspaper advertising. It still works, in some cases incredibly effectively.
Once again, I would offer something free to your prospects in return for their contact details so that you can communicate with them more than once, giving you many opportunities to extoll the virtues of your services. ‘Download this free report on Home Information Packs’, ‘Wills – Your Comprehensive Free Guide’, ‘Small Business Start Up Guide’ etc. More and more information is given away free by many businesses. This allows you to prove your expertise before your clients invest in your services. One you have added them to your database you can use a system like the email marketing software I refer to in my free guide to deliver several emails at regular intervals about their chosen subject matter.
It is time to ensure your website is live now. Even if your clients hear about you by recommendation, the first thing the majority of them will do is to look at your website to find out more about you.
Your website must be client focused and explain how you are going to help your clients with their legal problems/matters better than the competition. It needs to talk about features and not benefits, i.e. explain how your expertise will benefit your clients. The content on your website has to be all about your clients. Most Solicitors’ Practices do not understand this and will explain how they have been “In Private Practice since 1853”. Who cares? If you review a page or statement on your website and can repeat those two words after you have done so, you need to go back to the drawing board and start again. Your copy has to be all about your clients, their needs, their concerns and their pain and how you are the right firm to help them.
The other point to remember is that you should only have OPPP – One Purpose Per Page. For each page try and achieve only one objective, this could be to obtain your clients name and email address, or to impart more information by clicking a link at the end of the page, or to complete your enquiry form. Too many websites try and achieve too many results.
If you want to get a really quick start and a cheap start, opt for a WordPress Blog and source your provider from an outsourcing provider (I can recommend one for you – just email me once you have downloaded the free guide below). You can be up and running for under £500 with a completely bespoke website that you can amend and add pages to yourself without any additional expenses. This is how I would start. Google loves WordPress blogs so it means you are more likely to get traffic quickly (often when you have a new website it takes up to six months for Google to pay your website domain any attention. A WordPress Blog will speed this up for you).
Now that you have a client focused website you need to generate some visitors to your website as quickly as possible. This is where our friends at Google can help your business.
Pay Per Click advertising sends targeted visitors looking for your services to your website at the exact time that they are ready to buy.
…sends targeted visitors looking for your services to your website at the exact time that they are ready to buy.
I put that in twice because it is so powerful. Read that again and again, as it summarises why Pay Per Click (PPC) is incredibly effective and should be an important part of your marketing communications.
PPC advertisements appear either in the top three positions of Google’s search engine, or on the right hand side. You can tell they are PPC advertisements because they have “Sponsored Links” written beside them.
If you doubt whether they really work, please do not. They work very well, if you spend the time fine tuning them. They are the main reason why Google is now so profitable which tells you a lot.
So set up a PPC campaign promoting your services and send visitors to your website to download your free reports or request instant quotations.
Once you have a website that is now attracting visitors you need to ensure that the content remains fresh. This works for your human visitors but it also works for Google. Both groups like to see that your website is a living, breathing and growing legal resource.
Make a plan to add at least one artice a month (preferably more but start with one). You will find that once you make this a habit it becomes easier and easier. The days when you could have a static website that never changes are well and truly gone. You need to confirm your expertise by writing articles about your subject, about you and about your practice.
Now that you are adding these articles regularly, you need to make more use of them. Turn each of them into Press Releases for your local papers or for your ‘Niche’ publications. Entice the paper by giving them most of the story but leaving some questions unanswered. Your objective is to make the reporter pick up the telephone to speak with you about the Press Release.
Free press coverage is an excellent way of generating leads for your practice.
Another use of these articles on your website is to rewrite them and submit them to other websites which will help you with free search engine traffic. There are a variety or article websites, and I explain how to use them in my free report at the foot of this article. These article sites will provide you with much broader coverage online and drive more traffic to your website.
You should now have a large number of clients and prospects on your website. How often are you communicating with them? You have content from all of your articles above and they have a general interest in the law, particularly if you insert your personality and own styling into your communications.
You can provide an email only newsletter, or an email and printed format. Whichever one you choose (or even a combination of both) make sure you regularly contact your clients about non matter related legal topics. If you have not yet started using it now is the time to get your email newsletter software up and running!
You need to have a full range of promotional materials to ensure that all of your clients know the many different ways that you can help them. One brochure is a bare minimum starting point. In addition to this you should also have postcards, client welcome packs, postcards and mini legal guides.
When your clients enter your premises, or receive written communications from you, they should be sent other information about your range of services. After all, you are paying for the postage already so you really should make the most of it.
You should map out seasonal campaigns for the year for your clients and prospects and build direct mail campaigns around your targeted campaigns. For example, house purchases increase at certain times of the year, Easter and the end of year rush to move in before Christmas. More businesses start up in the New Year. What happens in your areas of law at certain times of the year that you can comment on and at the same time promote your services to your clients?
Use video to communicate with new and existing clients. Solicitors are still often viewed as difficult to approach. Show that you are not by making short, simple, friendly videos about different areas of law. Post these on your website, on YouTube and email links out to your clients to welcome them to your practice.
Google purchased YouTube because it understands the huge power of video media. It is putting more and more video search results in its main search engine. Are you making the most of this opportunity before your competitors do?
Use other forms of new media to reach out to more prospects and clients. Blogs are excellent for driving more targeted traffic to your website. They also make you seem much more approachable as they are more personal.
Twitter should be softly tested, remembering that your main approach or desire should be to ‘serve not sell’. Twitter is not for blatant promotion of your services but more for assisting, educating and forming partnerships.
Solicitors always used to promote their services and prove their expertise by seminars. Now that people have less time you should be using Teleseminars. These have a much broader reach and are cheaper to host.
Other things to consider include Facebook, banner advertising and Google Placement advertisements.
When You Set Up Your Law Firm Use Leverage!
Notice how a lot of what I say allows you to do one marketing activity once and use it several times (marketing leverage – I love it). For instance, adding content to your website, turning that content into an article, placing that article on article websites and then using it for PR. Leverage should be applied to all of your marketing activities. Do it once, use it as many times as possible. In a small practice it is vital that you do this as you only have so much time to spend on marketing.
Why not make the next 12 months the year that you start your law firm, implement these strategies and thereby make your Practice provide all of the new clients that you need to keep you busy every month of the year, whoever your competitors are and whatever the size of their budget.
Download my free guide now for more detailed checklist about how to start your law firm up and running! Also, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, thank you.
Author: Nick Jervis