Hosting Webinars can be a powerful way to market a law firm. This 6-step system will help you get started.
Webinars may be a great way for lawyers to market a law firm. Many lawyers are already doing public speaking to market their law practice. Webinars can be an easy way to get content they’ve already created in front of a new, and bigger audience. And the beauty is, it can be done from the comfort of your office or home.
What is a Webinar?
For the uninitiated, a Webinar is similar to an in-person seminar, except the host and all participants dial into a conference call line (or connect online and listen via their computer speakers). Participants view a PowerPoint style slideshow while listening to the participant. It’s uncommon to video of the presenter, but possible.
A third party service, like GoToWebinar, Meeting Burner or AccuConference is used to facilitate the conference call facility and slideshow. Participants can ask questions through an instant messenger type utility, and the Webinar can be recorded (audio and video) for playback at a later date.
In one year, a firm generated 2/3 of its leads through Webinars.
At Law Firm Suites, we pay close attention to the marketing content published by Unbounce, a cloud-based service that sells a web landing page service (i.e., like the registration page for a Webinar). Coincidentally, we became aware of Unbounce through a Webinar that was hosted by one of our Web analytics vendors.
According to Unbounce, since it started hosting marketing Webinars in early 2013, it now generates 2/3 of its leads from this marketing channel alone – more than its blogging and social media efforts combined.
No, Unbounce is not a law firm, but you can’t ignore those numbers, and there is no reason a law firm couldn’t replicate them.
We recently watched an Unbounce Webinar on, you guessed it, how to host a Webinar. They recommended this 6-step system to hosting your very own:
1. Pick a Topic and Guest
Think about your typical client, and pick a topic that the community needs help with. The problem doesn’t even have to directly relate to the law (in fact, it may be better if it does not). For example, a corporate attorney may give a Webinar about different ways to finance a start-up company. A personal injury attorney can give a Webinar on latest developments in child safety devices in cars. These are issues that are of significant interest to target clients, but can also tie in legal issues as part of the solution
You can be the speaker at your Webinar, but you don’t always need to be. Host a guest speaker instead. This is especially effective in cases where you want to provide information to your community where you do not have complete expertise.
Try to find guest speakers who your community will look up to (an author, industry leader or key vendor).
2. Set-Up Registration Tools
Participants will register via the Web, so you’ll need to set up a page (called a landing page) that provides marketing copy about the Webinar and a place to register. This is not as difficult as it sounds, there are template forms out there that you can use for this purpose. GoToWebinar offers them as part of their package.
Your landing page should have a Webinar title, a short description of what will be discussed, info about the speakers, and most importantly, tell attendees what’s in it for them if they attend and mechanism to register.
It may be more efficient to write the copy for this page and hire a Web designer to design a page for you. You could easily get the page built for under $200 – less than one billable hour of time for most attorneys.
3. Invite Attendees
Prepare an email inviting attendees. Keep the subject pithy but compelling. Same goes for the body copy. Include a link or button to your registration landing page. Also, include a Post Script (P.S.). According to Unbounce, links included in the PS are often the most clicked of any link in an email.
Also broadcast your offers across your social media platforms and groups.
What if you don’t have a huge list to draw from??
If you’re just getting started with Webinars, creating a list of potential attendees may be your biggest hurdle. There are many ways to build a list, but the two most effective are:
(1) Speaking as a guest in someone else’s webinar.
Offer to give a Webinar (or in person seminar) to a group or organization where your community of potential clients congregates. It could be a trade group, bar association, church or community center. Make arrangements in advance to get a list of the attendees. You then have a list of people who are not only interested in your information, but who actually attend seminars and webinars.
(2) Leverage your existing contacts.
Invite your existing clients and contacts to attend, and offer an incentive for them if they get a friend to register (i.e., a discount on future service or some other item of value).
4. Give the Webinar.
Unbounce has found that the most effective Webinars have a team of 3 to 5 people. At a minimum, there’s the host, the guest and a sidekick. Think of the team like a late night talk show. The guest is the feature, they provide bulk of the content. The host asks pertinent questions and keeps the presentation moving along. The sidekick monitors and responds questions posted on the Webinar tool or on social media.
In Webinars, good audio is important. Try using a decent quality microphone connected to your computer as opposed to dialing in with a phone. The visuals should be good too. Consider having your PowerPoint professionally designed with graphics. This can be done for a few hundred dollars with a freelance designer found on oDesk.
Finally, banter it up. A steady back-and-forth exchange between the host and guest tends to keep the audience’s interest longer than a one person oration.
5. Do the Follow-Up
Once the Webinar is over, the hard part begins. If you want to preserve the possibility of turning participants into clients, you must have a follow-up strategy. First, convert your registration landing page into a “Watch the Recording” landing page. This way, anyone who got the email invite who later wants to see the Webinar can watch the recording just by going to the same link.
Send a Follow-Up email to registrants. Offer a recap of the program. Give any follow up information or links promised in the Webinar. Offer a link to your practice for a consultation or some other item of value from your firm.
6. Repurpose & Reuse
Add the recording of the Webinar the resources area of your firm’s website. The recording should be kept behind a registration landing page (i.e., to listen to the recording, you have to fill in a form). This way you continually build your list for future Webinars.
A note about consistency.
From experience, Webinars are most effective as a marketing tool when done consistently. A one-off webinar may produce some results, but probably not enough to justify the effort it takes to set it up. Shoot for a series of webinars over the course of your year.
Each successive Webinar will be easier to produce and fill. You will build brand loyalty and trust that participant’s time will not be wasted by attending.
It will also give you more frequent contact with prospective clients. Not everyone will be ready to retain your services right away. By keeping in touch over time to promote new Webinars, it’s more likely you will be in front of prospective clients when they are ready to buy.
In 2013, Unbounce hosted a Webinar every month, but 4 to 6 throughout the year would suffice.
Interested in learning more about using Webinars to market a law firm? Check out this Unbounce’s blog article that flushes out these 6 steps in greater detail. You will also find a link to the recording of Unbounce’s Webinar on Giving Webinars.
About Marketing Mondays
Marketing Mondays is a weekly blog series aimed at helping solo and small firm attorneys attract and retain new clients. It will focus on real-world marketing strategies that have been executed successfully by small firm attorneys, particularly those with offices in shared office space New York, including Law Firm Suites.