How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

Effective Practice Growth Strategies For Intellectual Property Lawyers, By Eria Odhuba

Social Media For Law Firms: The Rise, And Rise…Of Blogs

Have you heard comments from other lawyers suggesting that blogging is not an effective strategy for attracting clients to your law firm? Some believe that a website combined, perhaps, with effective (or expensive) SEO tactics is all they need to succeed  together with their current networking and referral strategies.

This post will highlight why this view is not necessarily true, and how lawyers can make blogs work brilliantly for them as part of an effective and comprehensive social media strategy.

First, why are some blogs totally ineffective?

I’ll suggest a few reasons, though there may be loads more:

  1. There is no real strategy for having a blog in the first place – which is to develop a position of authority within a target niche and differentiate yourself from competitors;
  2. Not enough time is set aside to develop a good content strategy for blogs, which means they are not updated regularly or don’t provide information that prospects and clients are actually interested in;
  3. Very little use of other social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to direct followers to the content provided on the blog;
  4. Very little use of offline marketing  strategies to point target readers to the information provided on the blog;
  5. No irresistable offers provided via the blog (e.g. free reports, invitations to seminars/webinars/lunches) to deepen relationships with readers;
  6. No lead capture systems in place to collect names and communicate new information or offers.

A blog that stands by itself with no connection to other marketing tactics and channels is a waste of time.  A blog that simply talks about the services on offer or which is used to make comments in a language that readers might not understand is no good either.

Blogging is not passed its sale by date, and serious lawyers should not view it as irrelevant to their marketing strategies. If you address each of the five points above, then you are on your way to having a blog that succesfully attracts leads to your legal practice.

Blogs are also a fantastic channel for engaging with prospects and clients. Whatever methods you use to get feedback, whether it be direct questionaires or via crowdsourcing platforms, you have an opportunity to produce content that you know people are actively looking for. This is a fundamental prerequisite for success.

The other thing to note is that SEO does not have to be expensive if you want good search rankings either for your blog. If you make sure you analyse the search terms people are using to look for information (e.g. using Google analytics or StatCounter), you can start off by tailoring your headers and content accordingly. This will help with rankings and, more importantly, more people will link back to your blog, comment on what you write or share the content via other social media channels.

I am not the first person to comment on the value of blogs for law firms, or on the use of various social media tools to attract clients. However, recent discussions I have had combined with commentary on the use of blogs has highlighted the fact that there is still a lot of resistance by lawyers to creating blogs.

I think the main reason is because many feel they don’t have the time or skill needed to set one up and connect it to various other elements of their web marketing strategy.

Many lawyers start off with “what will I blog about?” instead of asking “what information do people want updates on that I can easily comment on or give freely, and which can help them solve their problems?”

So, find out what information people are looking for. Ask clients, prospects or peers. Once you have a clear idea of their information needs, think about the target market for your blog. It is better to be relevant to a few who will actively follow you instead of being a generalist and simply get lost in the vast crowd that already exists on the Internet. For example, many lawyers will find that a localisation strategy is key to their success.

Setting 15 – 30 minutes aside twice a week should not be too difficult for lawyers. If it is, then delegating or outsourcing the creation of content is an option that should be considered. Either way, you need regular updates to keep yourself top of peoples’ minds.

I will be running a FREE webinar that shows how to successfully use blogs as part of a wider social media marketing strategy to attract more clients and grow your legal servces practices.

In the meantime, if you want to know how to put a new online business model in place to prepare your law firm for more effective social media, online and offline web marketing strategies that help you attract an endless stream of clients or prospects to you, please sign up for the FREE 7 day video series.

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