Simran Singh, Owner of LegalStudio highlights the importance of having a digital footprint and the future of marketing for lawyers and migration agents, ahead of her upcoming presentation at the Migration Law Symposium where she will take a deeper dive into the topic.
The legal industry has changed. The days of being thought of as stuffy, old school and traditional are gone. We have moved into a new phase. We are dynamic, we embrace change, we are tech-savvy, and we move into this new phase with fresh eyes.
For lawyers, priorities are changing. Gone are the days of striving to work in a top tier firm and becoming partner. Instead, more lawyers are seeking a freedom-based lifestyle where they have more control, so they are escaping the corporate 9-5 and transitioning from employee to business owner.
And, clients today are very different to what they were. Clients aren’t as loyal as they used to be, and they know what they want. The power is with the client. When your ideal client shops for a lawyer, they won’t rely on referrals. Instead, they will head online.
Your ideal client will look for a strong online presence, and they want to feel a vibe before they hire you. Reputation isn’t enough. Expertise isn’t enough. They want a lawyer who has authority and credibility, has an online presence, is human, and they can feel a vibe with. They want it all.
There are lawyers who have embraced the change, and adapted and evolved their practices as a result. They are realistic about this new climate, so they are dynamic. These lawyers are willing to change their methods and approach when it comes to attracting clients. These lawyers ask questions, have curiosity, and think differently.
Then there are others who remain steadfast in their traditional ways. They are unwilling to move with the times and rely on old school ways to gain clients.
Whether we like it or not, the digital world is here. So, we can either embrace it or be kept behind.
Today, having an online presence is key.
Building an online presence means having solid foundations in place. Here are the essential steps to setting your law firm up online. These steps will help you build strong foundations and systems to attract your ideal clients, will allow you to grow a profitable law firm in today’s climate, and set your firm up for long term growth.
Build the business structure
This involves being clear about the vision for your business, why you are doing what you are doing, who you are selling to, your values, and your core offers.
This is when you are shaping the body of your business.
Be clear about your purpose and vision – this is about defining the vision and purpose for your business, that is more than making sales. Write down your purpose and vision and stick it up so that you can easily see it. Your actions, strategies, and big picture should always go back to this.
Know your clients – be clear about who your ideal client is, niche down, and know what their pain points and struggles are. This will help you concentrate your efforts and where you should be spending your time online. It will also help in your messaging to build your credibility, and attract, connect and build trust with your ideal client.
Know your competitors – do an audit of your competitors’ online presence. Find out their social habits, what’s working, and what’s not. Then define how you are different. Knowing your competitors will help you carve out your own space.
Know your values and message – be clear about your values and your message, as this will help with your content, and build trust and connection with your ideal client.
Know your product suite – this comes down to knowing your ideal client and their pain points, and then building offers that will provide solutions to their problems. Not everyone will buy from you straight away, so have content that addresses and speaks to your ideal client, and meets their needs at that time. This means having a product suite that offers free content, and low, medium, and high cost offers. By having a product suite at varied price ranges, you are setting up a sales funnel that will move your ideal client along the customer journey as they build the know, like and trust factor.
Have a conversional website
There will be multiple ways your ideal clients will find you online, so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Have a conversional website that will make you sales and give your ideal client all of the information they need to convert. According to the stats, you have around 15 seconds to capture the attention of viewers to your website before they click off.
In that time you want your viewer to know what you do, what problem you solve, and how you will solve it.
A conversional website has:
- an About you page that makes an impact
- Call to actions that tell people what you want them to do
- Opt ins such as pop ups and a static bar that sits at the top of your page that is easy to see
- Clear contact details
- SEO so that you are found on Google and other search engines.
You want to be found online, be clear about the key words your ideal client is searching for online to find you, and have information and clear call to actions to direct traffic once they land on your website.
Build a marketing roadmap
In order to focus your marketing efforts, you need to know your ideal client and your product suite, and define your brand personality to establish your online presence.
Questions to ask about your client:
- What types of content does your ideal client like to consume?
- Where are your ideal clients hanging out online?
- What are your ideal clients’ struggles and problems so that you can create content around those topics?
Every piece of content that you put out should speak to your ideal client. Whether it’s written, video, audio or image-based, your content should provide value.
Whether your ideal client is first discovering you, they know you, or they are well aware of you and the trust has formed, provide content that resonates, makes an impact, and creates mini transformations.
Now, there is a lot of legal content that is addressing the needs of ideal clients when they need a lawyer, but not before. So, a tip is to create content at the stages before your client realises they need you.
For example, if you are a family lawyer, you want to have content that resonates with your ideal client in the stages before divorce. Get into the minds of your ideal clients in the space a few steps before divorce. What they are feeling, what are their emotions, and what are they going through right now? This is what will get your ideal client to stop scrolling, view your content, resonate, and it will demonstrate your understanding.
Once you know your ideal client and you are clear about your offerings, you want to create a marketing strategy to gain visibility online, build brand awareness, and deepen your digital footprint.
Here are some ways to gain visibility online and expand your reach, to be able to build credibility, and connect and form trust with your ideal clients:
Defining your brand personality will create connection and vibe, form trust, and show to your ideal client that you are human and understand their pain points.
Building your social media presence will allow people to discover you online and get to know you. A social media strategy is key to provide clarity and focus.
Collaborating with other brands to expand your network and reach.
Checking out what other industries are doing and model methods that work for you.
Investing in paid ads will expand your reach.
Investing in public relations will build credibility.
Build traffic directors
Unlike your social media profiles, you own your email list. So, you want to direct people to your email list, a space you own, and that is where you will convert. Your email list is a sales tool. Use it to grow and stay connected with your ideal client.
There is a belief that growing an email list is a waste of time. Perhaps they think their ideal clients won’t read their emails or their clients are non-repeat.
But, have a think about this – if your social media profile was shut down today, your business is on solid footing because you still have your email list. It’s about setting strong foundations.
Plus, social media isn’t the place to sell and it isn’t the place for your traffic to sit and stay. Social media is the place your ideal client may first find out about you and will get to know you. You then want to be directing traffic further along, to your email list.
And, the same applies to your website. A conversional website means directing traffic, and not having them sit there idly. This is where having opt ins and call to actions on your website are important. When people find you online and head to your website to see what you do, perhaps they have read your blog, you don’t want them to click away so you lose them. You want to invite your viewers to do something such as sign up to your mailing list or download a content upgrade so that you can have their email address to continue providing targeted content that leads to sales.
The last thing you want is for someone to look at your website and then leave and be lost in the ether. They will forget about you and move on.
Directing your traffic means you are moving them deeper along the customer journey, and the sales funnel. Your goal is to build credibility and trust, and as you do that move them along the funnel so that they will buy from you.
Directing your traffic and having sales funnels is what will lead to a sustainable and profitable business.
Build your team
Working solo can only get you so far. To go next level, it’s time to have support, community and a team around you.
Always remember your vision and purpose. You don’t want to get bogged down in day-to-day tasks. You want to keep your focus on business growth.
So, that’s when hiring a team and building support is important.
Write a list of all of your tasks and then divide them into tasks that you like doing and do not like doing. Then free up time by outsourcing tasks that are taking up your time and taking you away from the big picture vision and growth.
Have a cash flow system
As a business owner, you want to be productive, be clear about your vision and purpose, and think about long term sustainability and profitability.
As a business owner, you should be looking at the long term, and where your cash flow is coming in today so you can continue nourishing what’s working, and cut out what’s not working.
Look at analytics to see where people are finding out about you, what offers are bringing in sales, and marketing that’s bringing in clients.
Create revenue goals and projected income targets. Always look ahead and create a schedule to stay on top of your priorities.
When it comes to building an online presence, establishing authority in your niche, attracting and connecting with your target audience, and making sales today and into the future, be consistent, be intentional, add value, show up, and have a strategy.
And, remember, marketing isn’t a magic quick fix. It is a long term strategy, and it involves consistent and persistent efforts. Your ideal client won’t see you online and immediately buy from you. Your ideal client wants to get to know you, see that you are an authority, that you are understand them and their problems, and see that you are human. Your ideal client will need multiple touch points before hiring you for your services.
Navigating in this digital climate involves asking questions, taking action, being diverse in your thinking, challenging yourself and your industry, causing disruption, being flexible, and standing out. That is the new school way to attract and form trust with your ideal client, and to build a business that is set up for long term growth.
Simran Singh is the owner of LegalStudio. Simran is a marketing coach and strategist, helping lawyers escape the corporate 9-5 and build a business that suits the freedom-based lifestyle they’ve been dreaming about for years. She is an ex-lawyer turned marketer, having worked in the legal industry for over 15 years. Get in touch or connect with Simran on LinkedIn or Instagram .