Every area has that one law firm that seems to eat up all of the clients in a certain area. You know the one- they have commercials that seem to run constantly during afternoon TV shows, the lead partner smiles from local billboards, and they have a slick legal website that seems to snap up clients long before you can even reach them.
Marketing your law practice in the face of this kind of competition can be a frustrating proposition, but thanks to the internet, there are ways to reach out to customers long before the giant firm even knows that they exist.
If your firm is facing this kind of competition, the following are a few tips that may just help you take on the big guy- and win.
The first thing you need to do is become an expert in whatever field you work in. Your website, specifically, your blog, will provide the tool for doing this. Focus on creating relevant, keyword rich legal content that focuses specifically and narrowly on your field of law and your geographic area.
Before they ever pick up the phone, your clients are searching online for information about their case, and providing that information is the best way to build your reputation as an expert in their field. Spend lots of blog space focusing on the common problems that your clients face, and give them realistic advice on how to solve those problems.
You may even want to hint at the fact that big firms simply want to sell them on an expensive one-size-fits-all solution that won’t help them get what they really need. Show them that you are not only an expert, but also someone who is willing to help people who are in a tricky situation.
The next step is to go to where your customers are. There are many forums that focus on legal issues, and there are many active members on these sites that post legal questions and conundrums that they need help solving. Your goal should be to spend time in these forums reaching out to people who have the problem that you want to help them solve.
For example, try searching for a specific legal area and the word forum (divorce forum, bankruptcy forum, estate law forum, etc). Sign up to become a member of the site, but be careful about how you post. Don’t promote yourself (although you can and should mention that you are an attorney), don’t talk badly about other firms, and keep posts professional.
Before your first post, be sure to fill out your profile on the site fully- including a link to your website and/or your email, to make it easy for potential clients to find you.
Then, post advice in areas where you will be useful, and use the questions asked by users as a way to come up with blog posts.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of creating reading material for your potential clients, but be smart in where you place information. While writing for legal journals is great for your reputation, customers aren’t reading legal journals. Write articles for local magazines, offer helpful advice that can be placed in newsletters or on sites that aren’t necessarily legal in nature but which will be read by your clients.
The bottom line is that when you are a smaller firm, you need to be creative to bring in clients, but it is possible to take on the giant firms and win if you are willing to find your customers before they know they need you.