A key problem many lawyers have with their social media marketing campaigns is the expectation that they will get instant results – new leads, new clients or lost clients coming back to the fold.
Don’t get me wrong – that would be the ideal scenario, but life doesn’t work like that. In a previous post, I said effective social media marketing takes time to be effective.
Lawyers, like all other business professionals, have to understand one thing – not everyone you target is ready for your services at that monent in time. One reason why many lawyers might be reluctant to do any marketing is because they feel they have tried to do so in the past but got poor results (i.e. they did not get the instant leads or new clients they were hoping for within a short time frame).
Effective marketing should aim to get people to register their interest in following or learning from you even if they are not ready to buy your services immediately, and for you to nurture these prospects until they are then ready to buy.
It is all about relationships – developing trust and positioning yourself as an authoritative figure within the minds of prospects. This can’t be done immediately. In fact, lawyers looking to develop effective authority marketing campaigns have to plan 6 to 12 months down the line for this to work.
When thinking about authority marketing campaigns, lawyers have to focus on the following:
- Specialism, and by this, I don’t mean the specific field you practice in. Specialism refers to the end result that clients get if they buy your legal services. Using an example from a different industry – someone who introduces themselves as an accountant that specialises in helping clients reduce their tax bills will be more attractive to prospects than one who simply says he will do their accounts.
- Niche market – it is much more cost effective for lawyers to target specific niches as opposed to marketing to everyone.
- Promise to the market – what message do you have that matches what your target market is looking for, and what promise / guarantee can you provide if somebody asked for a meeting or legal services?
Social media then comes to the fore to streamline the development of relationships with prospects. Whether you use LinkedIn, a blog or Twitter, think of social media as a channel through which you point people to information that demonstrates your authority.
If you have used client feedback or online search tools to find out what information people are actively looking for, and the desired end results they want to get from various legal services, then it is much easier to create content that resonates with those you are looking to influence.
Your authority develops as a result of both the content you provide and your ability to have two-way conversations with people (subject to information disclosure regulations). Blogs or YouTube videos that invite feedback which you have to respond to are a big step up from websites that simply list your qualifications and services.
LinkedIn should be used to participate in group discussions. If there is a niche you are targeting, there is almost certainly a group that has been created which you can contribute to. From time to time, you can point members of the group to content you have which would be valuable to them, or to webinars / seminars you might have that offer a lower-cost opportunity for prospects to find out more about you.
And Twitter – this is a great way to drive people to the content you have or to really valuable information (such as the regulatory impact on the niche they operate in and what this means in terms of legal services they require).
Lawyers who develop effective authority marketing programmes, using social media as a channel, systemise their communications with prospects so that there is an effective nurturing programme wherever they might be in their sales funnel.
Any prospect that is not ready now will consider you if they feel you are worth following for the good advice and value that you provide.
Final comment: Authority marketing needs at least 6 months to work, and you have to think about the systems or processes you use to add value to prospects that are not ready to buy from you now. Social media, when used correctly, can help do this more effectively.