While the so-called “digital era” has created many fresh and contemporary opportunities to attract and retain new clientele, if you're firm isn't 100% prepared to be creative and consistent in maintaining its online presence, it will become increasingly difficult to squeeze maximum impact from the medium.
The impending approach of the new financial year is the perfect impetus to really ramp up your firm's online presence, and conjure some extra creativity and enthusiasm towards the pursuit of new business.
New York-based Guy Alvarez, an expert in legal marketing, explains that when it comes to digital marketing, 2016 promises to be an exciting year “for anybody who stays up on modern legal marketing trends”.
“Each year, new hardware, new software, new vendors, and new client preferences dictate a host of sweeping changes that either get adopted or ignored by law firms across the world,” he writes on the GOOD2BSOCIAL website.
“Early adopters get a leg up on the competition, appealing to emerging markets or cementing their thought leadership reputations in their areas of practice, while those lagging behind miss out on key opportunities to grow their practices and their positions.”
Author and lawyer Keith Lee says if, in fact, you’re going to take the time to be online, “then take the time to do it right”.
“So much of what lawyers do online is lame,” he says in an article on the ABOVE THE LAW website.
“(For example), a lawyer will friend or follow me online and then immediately spam me with requests to like their firm page. There is often a constant push of “sell sell sell” among many lawyers online.”
Ultimately, according to Lee, digital channels such as blogs and social media should be exploited by lawyers to do two things: display expertise and build relationships.
“Neither of which are advertising in the sense that you’re forcing them in front of people’s faces,” he says. “But relationships are slow. They take time. You can’t force relationships online, anymore than you can in real life.”
“Be yourself, meet people, have conversations. It’s a slow burn, but it’s one that actually works.”
A recent article on the Australasian Lawyer website points to search engine optimisation and “understanding your potential client’s digital journey” as another surefire way to obtain new work.
“Anyone who has a problem these days goes online to find a solution,” the article says. “A quick Google search is often the first thing someone does when they encounter a problem or have an issue.”
“Lawyers need to build awareness that they can help with more than people realise.”
“Search engine optimisation for your firm’s website is critical if you want your firm to appear in search results.”
According to the article, “When a potential client searches for a lawyer you want your law firm at the top of the first page of search results. There are no prizes if you end up on page 2 or page 22...”