When it comes to marketing their law firm, most legal practices never start with a strategy. Invariably it’s the case that the managing partner, the practice manager or someone else in the firm becomes convinced that their website is tired or other marketing touch-points are no longer synergistic with the revised focus of the firm, then scurry to make it better. What follows is a series of phone calls to engage a range of service providers to re-design the website and dress the print collateral without ever nailing a strategy to underpin it all.
An inbound marketing framework can provide law firms both a useful starting point to start framing their strategy, regardless of the marketing touch-point and moving forward, anchor them to key objectives defined in the plan.
What is Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing methodology emerges from the premise of aligning the content you publish with your client’s interests, which consequently results in the attraction of inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
What are the steps to designing an Inbound Marketing Framework?
Over the next 4 articles (published weekly), I will guide you through the design and integration of an inbound marketing approach to both drive qualified traffic to your law firm’s website and significantly enhance your conversion rates. We will cover:
1. How to Attract Targeted Traffic;
2. How to Convert Visitors to Leads;
3. How to Close Leads;
4. How to Turn Clients into Raving Fans.
Week 1: How to Attract Targeted TrafficIf you’re like most law firms, at the end of each month you scratch your head wondering what happened to the 2,361 people who visited your website, because they surely did not become all clients.
Defining the type of traffic you want to come to your website is a good place to start, because you start to pivot both content and design aesthetics towards it.
The starting point to designing your inbound marketing strategy is to understand who your law firm’s perfect client is. If your law firm has diverse practice areas, then it will be the perfect client for each. This task in itself can have a profound impact on a law firm, because after they do it, they come to an acute awareness that their marketing to date has been predicated on a “everything to everyone” approach, just like all their competitors.
Let me give you an example. If your law firm is primarily built around personal injury law, more specifically workers’ compensation matters, than it’s likely that in your own mind there will be a particular trend of clients that are both profitable for the firm and easy to deal with. For example, it may be a cohort of people who work in the building construction industry. It follows that in crafting your marketing, you always ensure that it’s framed for this “perfect client.”
In ensuring that your marketing is staying true to this client, the next step is to create a persona for this cohort of client.
Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole law firm is built.
Your client persona in the context of the building and construction employee may look like this:
“My name is Mark Davies and I work at Turner Construction in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am 34 years of age and I am a Laborer and I perform tasks involving physical labor at building construction projects. More specifically, I operate hand and power tools of all types, clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble and debris.
I have a limited education and have worked in the construction industry since I was sixteen years of age.
I live in Charlotte with my wife Wendy and have three young children aged between 7 and 12 years of age.”
This is a good start in developing your firm’s perfect client persona. Ideally you would add to this so it becomes a fully developed reflection. However, you can see that even with this superficial example, when it comes to consider your current marketing approach, how off-track you may be in creating content and design elements that both relate and engage with your perfect client.
In the context of our example, the questions needing to be answered are:
1. How well have we created an online experience that matches the needs, expectations and desires of Mark Davies;
2. How well does our content attract what Mark Davies would be looking for via Google search;
3. How well does our content relate and engage with Mark Davies.
Nailing who your firm’s perfect client is, is the single most important thing you can do to start recalibrating your law firm’s marketing approach. I’ve seen some firms, as they should, once they have the persona nailed-down, to continuously ask whether what they’re doing means anything to Mark Davies (their client persona). One firm that I know actually has an empty seat at all meetings that they mark as their persona’s and in the course of discussions will regularly consider what the impact of their decisions will be on their clients, via their persona.
Next week, where the rubber hits the road,taking qualified traffic to the next level.