Why you don’t need to break the bank with an expensive website to be successful

“…the law firms that provide the clearest path to how to do business with them and why people should choose them over others are the likeliest to grow and to increase their profits.”

The expenses involved with running a law firm can quickly add up. Your firm likely has many ongoing costs, including your office and equipment costs, professional subscriptions, professional licenses, business licenses, malpractice insurance, employee salaries, employee benefits, legal software, and much more. Adding the cost of an expensive website of $10,000 or more is likely unnecessary.

At the same time, the days when law firms and attorneys could rely on word of mouth to bring clients to their doors are gone. To grow your practice, you must market yourself and your firm in an effective and cost-efficient manner. While a website can result in conversions of your site visitors to clients, you do not need to invest thousands of dollars in your law firm’s website.

It is no longer necessary to hand code websites, and platforms such as WordPress have the coding done for you. By using a few plugins, you can have a high-performing, professional website that can do nearly any function that you want. As long as you have a website that is clean, mobile friendly, and fast-loading, you will have everything that you need to start a strong marketing plan for your firm. You might wonder how you can bring in quality clients and grow your practice without having an expensive website.

Here are five tips that you can implement to build your firm and increase your profits without breaking the bank.

1. Capitalize on your other talents

When you are preparing to market yourself and your firm, start by thinking about the qualities other than being a great lawyer that you possess. Think about whether you are talented at public speaking, writing, social media communication, or on-camera appearances. Once you have identified the areas in which you excel, concentrate your marketing efforts on them. It is possible to develop a highly effective marketing strategy based on one talent.

For example, if you are a great writer, writing and regularly updating a legal blog about issues in your practice area that appeal to the types of clients that you want to attract can help to bring them in. If you are a great public speaker and feel comfortable on camera, being an available resource to local news media for legal analyses can help you to build your reputation.

If you are great at communicating on social media, go to where your clients are and interact with them in an effective way by using a content calendar to release prescient posts on your law firm’s Facebook and other social media pages. If you are uncertain where to start with your marketing strategy, finding an agency that is great at legal marketing might be a good idea so that you can receive some guidance.

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2. Provide clarity to potential clients

Having a $10,000 website, 5,000 followers on social media and ranking in the top three listings on Google’s search rankings do not necessarily make a law firm successful. Law firms that clearly explain the benefits of their services and why people might want to do business with them are the firms that grow. Avoid making errors such as talking in legalese in an effort to impress your visitors.

Your website and other marketing materials should not be designed with an eye toward impressing other attorneys. Only lawyers enjoy reading longwinded renditions of the law. Potential clients are unlikely to remain on your site if the content that you provide is peppered with legal terms that are difficult for them to understand. You should instead focus on the clients who you want to attract.

When people visit your website, they are looking for answers to legal issues that are important to them. Think about the services that you provide from the clients’ perspectives and provide content that lets them understand how your firm might help them to avoid legal pitfalls and to improve their lives. Another part of this is that you need to identify the ideal clients that you want to attract and build your content with their needs and issues in mind.

3. Develop a short marketing message

Which sounds better;

“I help create business partnerships among medical and dental practices” or, “I’m a contract lawyer”?

It is common for lawyers to struggle with the taglines that they use. For example, taglines such as “success matters!” do little to tell people why they should choose your firm. Instead, these types of taglines are simply weak platitudes that make lawyers feel good about themselves but that do not instill confidence in potential clients. Spend some time thinking about the message that you want your firm to be identified with, and once you have a memorable tagline, trademark it. Use it in all of your marketing materials, including the following:

  • Your website
  • Your LinkedIn page
  • Your business cards
  • Your brochures

An excellent marketing message can help potential clients to associate your firm with the tagline you choose and make them think of your firm first when they are trying to find good legal representation.

4. Use a consistent call to action

Like your tagline, you should also use a consistent call to action in all of your marketing materials. For example, if you offer bilingual legal services in personal injury law and offer free consultations, you might end all of your marketing materials with a statement such as “Schedule your free consultation now. Hablamos Español!” Use your call to action consistently to help reinforce the importance of clients contacting your firm for help with their legal issues.

5. Make the transaction smoother and simpler

As an attorney, you are doubtless aware of the many ethics rules that govern your firm’s fee structure and how you charge clients. Law firms are required to present their potential clients with clear information about how fees will be assessed and the work that will be performed for the fees. Some law firms have dense, multi-page contracts that are filled with legal terminology that potential clients have trouble understanding.

While having written fee agreements in place is mandatory, they do not have to be difficult for your clients to understand. The key is to make it as easy as possible for clients to hire you to represent them.

Have a clearly defined fee structure written in simple language that you can present to clients. For example, if you work on a contingent fee basis, a simple written explanation that lets clients know that they will not have to pay your legal fees until and unless you successfully negotiate a settlement or win a verdict is important. The explanation should also clearly state the percentage that you will earn so that the clients are not surprised. If you are an attorney who offers some services on a flat-fee basis such as a simple will preparation, state that. Be able to communicate your fees clearly both in oral and written communication.

Bonus tip #6. Selling yourself

On your website, you will likely include a contact form that allows site visitors to leave their contact information so that they can consult with you. Your firm will also receive incoming calls from potential clients about their legal issues. Returning phone calls and following up with online contact requests quickly is important. You should aim to return phone calls or follow up with potential clients within 24 hours. When you do, ask some basic evaluative questions to let you know whether or not a consultation is in order.

If you believe that the person has a potentially legitimate legal claim, schedule a consultation and let them know what documents that they should bring. Be prepared to answer any questions that the clients might have for you and to give them an honest assessment of their potential claims. If you want to take the cases, you can then explain your fee structure and sell yourself and your firm to them.

Remember that most clients work during the week during the hours that your firm is likely open for business. You can make hiring you and your firm easier by offering after-hours and weekend consultations by appointment.

In closing

When you implement these six strategies, you may be able to circumvent your website entirely. There are innumerable ways to reach your target audience of potential clients. You no longer have to sit back and wait for someone to find your firm in the Yellow Pages or on Google. Be creative and proactive in your marketing approach and use multiple mediums.

Consider posting videos on Youtube, creating pithy, insightful posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, host webinars and workshops, and attend networking events. The possibilities are limited only by your local market and your imagination. Just remember that the law firms that provide the clearest path to how to do business with them and why people should choose them over others are the likeliest to grow and to increase their profits.

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Author: Phil Fisk
Founder – MarqetLaw.com