Affordable Marketing For Law Firms
THE EASIEST WEBSITE SOLUTION FOR YOUR LAW FIRM
We have a very active sales department. Which means we look at hundreds of websites every single week. Most of them are bad … and some are downright awful.
Many lawyers find themselves stuck in a weird space. They can’t afford to pay, or don’t want to pay, thousands of dollars per month. They end up with a DIY or low-grade website that doesn’t accurately reflect their abilities. The site then goes stale because it never gets updated, even if staff leaves, because the firm doesn’t know how. It just isn’t a good look.
Up until now, the options for lawyers were on two extremes. There is the race car of a website that costs a ton of money, and then there’s the bargain hooptie. What we offer is the luxury sedan for lawyers who care about their image but don’t want to break the bank.
IRN = IMAGE, REPUTATION, & NETWORK
You can’t build a castle without a solid foundation. Crafting this foundation isn’t just what we do — it is who we are. Every business needs to manage their image, reputation, and network.
· Image – How does your business make people feel?
· Reputation – Do people trust you?
· Network – Do people remember you?
BUILDING THE APPROPRIATE IMAGE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Step 1 – Create a Customer Profile
Understanding your customer is obviously an important first step. This can largely be broken down into who they are and what they expect.
· Demographics – Age, location, gender, income…
· Interests – Brands, publications, hobbies, life views…
· What do they expect from you?
o Time – How soon are they going to buy? How soon are they going to want what they buy?
o Budget – What do they expect and are willing to pay?
o End Product – What will make them happy?
Step 2 – Stay Focused
Most businesses get into trouble when they try to be everything to everyone. This typically results in being nothing special to anyone. Picking a niche is a good thing. It allows you to stand out to the crowd you are most interested in and who are most likely to convert.
Step 3 – Define Your Image
The first key here is that you should be able to define it in a single sentence. If it takes more than that, your image has become over-complicated. The need for this simplicity should make sense when you consider how fast people form first impressions, especially when that impression is made from looking at your website. In some cases, we are talking about seconds. Your image should scream who you are.
The second key is that it should be crafted to meet your customer’s expectations. Your image should tell people who you are, how you help them, and why they should trust you.
GO ON THE OFFENSIVE WITH YOUR REPUTATION
In today’s world, reputation is all about online reviews. A referral source can put you on a pedestal when recommending you and it won’t matter to the person who goes online and sees numerous bad reviews (or no reviews.) The key to having a good online reputation is consistently asking your customers to review you online. It is estimated that less than 1% of people will leave a review if you don’t ask. That number goes up to 10% if you do ask. You should be asking everyone that you are reasonably confident will leave a positive review to go online and do so.
Most bad reviews we see on our clients are illegitimate for some reason. We frequently find that bad reviews for our clients come from competitors, illogical customers, people reviewing the wrong company, or sometimes just plain trolls. Unless the review violates posting guidelines, the review will not be removed, no matter how much you complain. Thus, the best strategy to deal with bad reviews is to get as many good reviews as possible to drown out the inevitable bad ones.
In addition to taking the offensive to ask for reviews, you need to be responding to all reviews. Responding to good reviews show that you treat your customers well and appreciate their feedback. Responding to bad reviews shows that you don’t hide from complaints and you care about resolving issues.
TAKE AN ACTIVE APPROACH TO YOUR NETWORK
For most attorneys, referrals are the primary driver of quality leads. This is because someone who already trusts you has qualified that lead for you. To build this trust, you likely had a relationship with that referral at some point. As your network grows, so does your referral potential. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your network cannot decline. It can, and it will if you don’t manage it.
Let’s look at each of those key components to your network:
· Building Your Network
· Managing Your Network
BUILDING YOUR NETWORK
There are zero shortcuts when it comes to building your network. This is done over time, relationship by relationship. When attorneys try to circumvent the laborious process, they do more harm than good. Do not spam people when asking for referrals — this just annoys people and does the opposite of what you are hoping for. We can categorize network building into three areas:
· Community Involvement
· Business Partnerships.
We will start with the easiest first. Your clients are a significant source for referrals. The first step in generating great referrals from your clients is to do a good job. There is no substitute to being good at what you do. Once you have performed well, the hard part is over … you have won their trust. You have grown your network. See the next section on managing your network.
There are two main components to generating awareness through general community involvement:
· People need to know who you are.
· People need to know what you do.
Community involvement has a wide scope. It includes everyone that you are frequently around, like parents at your kid’s school or people with whom you attend religious events. How do you ensure that they know who you are and what you do? The most obvious answer is to be social and make friends; but, even then, there is no guarantee they will remember.
The better answer is volunteering, guest speaking, and sponsoring. This not only provides a constant reminder to people you already know, but it exposes you to people you haven’t had the opportunity to meet. This works best when you belong to the organization, but that is not a requirement. These techniques are non-intrusive and allow you the opportunity to offer something of value to the community. If you volunteer, you are giving your time. If you are a guest speaker, you are giving your expert knowledge. If you sponsor an event, you are giving a monetary contribution. People of the communities you help will appreciate that and try to help you out in return.
Business partnerships take a concerted effort on a consistent basis. The key to building these business relationships is to put yourself in a position to meet new people frequently. Join the local Chamber of Commerce or other networking organizations. These relationships are not going to come to you. It is also unlikely that you will be able to attend only a single event and make things happen. Relationships take time to build.
MANAGING YOUR NETWORK
When an attorney tells me their referrals are down, my first question is “When was the last time you did something for the people who send referrals?” My next question is “When did you last spend time with them?” These partnerships require mutual benefits, and that can’t just be a thank you card or referral fee. It isn’t enough. You need to build that relationship in order to truly safeguard it. The second they make a friend who also does what you do, they are going to start to referring people to them. You must care about them as people and care about the relationship you have with them, not just what they give you.
With that said, you can’t possibly spend time with all of your past clients, your social circle, and all of your business relationships. You need to figure out what the appropriate level of involvement is. Here are some ideas of things you can do. The key is to find things that come across as natural and aren’t considered spammy.
· Send birthday cards.
· Send holiday cards.
· Send newsletters. (Limit these if the recipient is unlikely to enjoy your content.)
· Send your top business relationships quality personal gifts. (Example: electric coffee mug)
· Run awareness ads online. (These at least ensure that people don’t forget you.)
· Comment on their social profiles. (If you can’t engage in person, engage online.)
What you don’t want to do is be a nuisance. Don’t send an email asking for a referral to a bunch of business professionals you have never met or those you haven’t seen in five years. Don’t put people on an email list when you know they won’t be interested in what you have to say after you have fixed their problem. People can see through you when you aren’t being genuine.
THE IRN SOLUTION
After decades of working with small businesses on their marketing, it has become abundantly clear that there is a void in the market. Those willing to spend thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, per month are rewarded with top-of-the-line service. The small businesses with budgets of less than $1,000 are forced to partner with sub-par agencies or are left to fend for themselves.
IRN was created to provide the same level of service that top brands receive, but at a fraction of the price. We do this by eliminating all the unnecessary components that go into larger campaigns and focus on the basic building blocks of your business: Image, Reputation, and Network.
Ready for a partially managed solution? Contact us today to get started.