7 Mistakes Lawyers Must Avoid Making Before Doing Any Web Marketing To Attract More Clients

by Eria

If you are a lawyer who wonders why all the web marketing efforts you have made did not get you the clients you wanted, I want you to think back and reflect on the mistakes you may have made and what you can do to rectify them.

Many lawyers are extremely enthusiastic and passionate about delivering great legal services, but marketing is something else as they do not know how to do it effectively. Part of this problem comes from viewing marketing, and web marketing in particular, as a specific activity that has to be added on to the core legal services work, or squeezed in when time allows. This is far away from the ideal scenario in which lawyers would view themselves as marketers of legal services first, and then as legal specialists who deal with specific  issues for clients.

Given this, there are 7 key mistakes many lawyers make that seriously undermine any web marketing campaigns undertaken. How many of these have you made?

  1. No marketing metrics set in place BEFORE doing any marketing campaigns.
    • You can not measure the effectiveness of any marketing you do it you don’t have any marketing key performance indicators or benchmarks in place to start off with. How else can you measure success?
    • Please see previous post here on the need for marketing metrics.
  2. Inadequate customer and competitor research
    • Making assumptions about the value you provide customers is a key mistake many lawyers make. You need a proper feedback system in place to continually improve your services and address any niggling issues that may arise.
    • Competitor research is just as important, and not simply to copy what everybody else is doing. Remember, the lawyer that communicates the most value relevant to a target market will attract more prospects. You need a system and templates in place to compare leaders in the field with what you do, and make sure you then deploy marketing assets (please see 6 below) that get your prospects’ attention despite your competition.
    • There are various online tools and strategies available to find out the major search terms legal services prospects and clients are using to get information. Make sure you learn these as there is nothing worse than trying to create a message on a topic that nobody is interested in.
  3. Target market/niche not properly defined
    • You need to be realistic about how far your marketing spend will reach. Identify your target market / niche. Make sure it is one that has lots of potential clients that not only have the money to pay for your legal services, but also has people that are actively looking for information and resources to help them solve problems.
  4. Legal services not packaged properly
    • Unlike products that people can touch and feel, legal services are intangible. This make them harder to value and means lawyers have to convince prospects about the value they actually provide.
    • Simply saying you provide legal services and naming a price does not work. I suggest packaging your legal services so that clients are clear about what they will get in specific terms, what it will cost, and the benefits they realise. You should think about how you explain the uniqueness of the service you provide (see UPB in 6 below), build your service around the UPB and present that as a step-by-step roadmap that clients can then take with them.
  5. Lack of awareness regarding customer lifecycles and how this affects purchasing patterns
    • Customer lifecycle refers to the experience prospects have with you from the time they first found out about you to the purchase of your high-priced legal services over many years (read more here). Within that, there are many steps that customers may take. You need to map these out so that you can proactively manage each step and know how far down the line prospects are in the lifecycle.
    • A very basic map for prospects would be to create a blog to generate interest, have free reports that are valuable which people will want to download, organise a seminar which prospects will pay to attend, and finally provide upsell opportunities to a range of legal services or information products (e.g. reports, books, webinars) which can be purchased repeatedly. It is all about building stronger relationships with prospects before they buy from you.
  6. No or poor deployment of marketing assets in media pieces, sales letters, etc.
    • Marketing assets are the various elements that make up the message you send out in all your collateral and advertising. These can only be developed effectively if steps 2 and 3 have been done well. Marketing assets include:
      • Unique Perceived Benefit – this is a statement that differentiates your legal services practice from your competition, and will make a huge difference to your success.
      • Benefits – nobody ever purchased your legal service for what it does, but because of the benefits that result from the service on offer.
      • Irresistable offers – what will prospects get if they respond to your media piece, and what do they have to do to get it. Your prospects and clients are VERY busy, and the irresistable offers you provide should differentiate your media pieces from your competitors, and stop the readers in their tracks so that they can learn more about what you have offered.
      • Headlines – These are vital if you want to seperate your adverts and sales collateral from most of your competitors. Simply listing your (firm) name at the top is not enough – you have to give readers a compelling reason to read what you have sent them, and the headline is key for success.
      • Guarantees/Risk reversal – This lowers the risk that would-be customers have if they buy your services. If you are really good at what you do, you should provide a guarantee for the service on offer and state the penalty YOU are willing to pay if your services do not match up to expectations. If you have educated your clients on the various steps you will take and what their obligations are right at the start, then you will have less to worry about in terms of unnecessary client complaints. You will actually attract more clients because your prospects will value your business a lot more, especially as there are very few IP legal lawyers out there willing to provide service guarantees.
      • Testimonials and case studies – you need these to make it easier for prospects to buy your services, and these will make them feel more comfortable about your ability to solve their legal services problems.
      • Call to action – you want every media piece you send out to have an immediate, hopefully positive, response. Limiting the time readers have to respond to take advantage of certain offers stops procrastination and compels the reader to respond quicker to your media pieces.
  7. Poor selection of the media to use to reach out to your target market.
    • You need to make sure you select the media your prospects and clients use to get information and make decisions, and the channels via which they get the information. While the Internet is increasingly becoming key for this, don’t forget offline channels ones such as direct mail which are very effective.

While the list above may seem quite daunting for some lawyers, it certainly is not unreasonable and should act as a basic preparation template BEFORE any web marketing is planned. Given the fiercely competitive landscape many of you are in, you owe it to yourselves to prepare yourself adequately and then position yourself as the lawyer of choice within your target niche.

Disclaimer: This article first appeared on http://eriaodhuba.com.

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