In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, solo attorney, Joleena Louis, discusses what lawyers can do to become more authentic in their law firm marketing.
It’s a well-known fact that today’s legal market is saturated with lawyers and the Internet provides potential clients access to a seemingly unlimited choice of legal professionals. To get new clients, simply putting your name out there is no longer enough.
That is why the key to success in online marketing is authenticity. You have to be able to show who you are and what you can do in an authentic way to rise above the noise.The key to success in online marketing is authenticity Click To Tweet
Authentic law firm marketing means speaking, writing and behaving in a way that is honest and genuine. It means building respect, trust and credibility by repeatedly showing your audience who you are, what you stand for and what makes your firm unique.
Prospects now have an unlimited access to information, which means they can easily find out if you are not being authentic. The best case scenario is they don’t hire you, but the worst case scenario is they share it on review sites or social media, which can cause extreme damage to your brand.
I’ve learned to use these tips to embrace the power of authentic marketing:
Authenticity works because it gives your law firm an identity and makes you relatable to potential clients. Essentially, people respond to people. As a solo, you are your business. Let your personality shine through in your marketing.
For example, I love coffee and wine so I often post about it on social media. I get a lot of engagement from other coffee and wine lovers and it’s a great icebreaker for potential referral sources and clients.
Don’t be afraid to share who you are and what drives you in your law practice. Telling people about your passions and your mission will ultimately win you more admiration and respect than self-promotion. People will want to give you their case because they like what you stand for.
Remember to always be transparent and never make claims you can’t prove, promises you can’t follow through on, or post any misleading or dishonest information about your practice.
Instead of always trying to sound perfect, which we all know no one is, show vulnerability in your online marketing. For example, write a LinkedIn Pulse article about a mistake you made in your law practice and how you corrected it.
People relate to you when you show them you are human. This helps them feel like they know you, which will make them more comfortable with reaching out to you.People relate to you when you show them you are human Click To Tweet
While it’s important to customize your messaging to various marketing platforms, your fundamental values and identity should be always be the same. Determine your brand voice and make sure that it is consistent throughout all of your content. Otherwise, you risk confusing your prospects or losing their trust.
More importantly, make sure your messaging is reflected in your everyday client interactions. For example, you look won’t look very honest if you say you are responsive, but you never return phone calls.
Create and share valuable content
Instead of artificial self-promotion, try to offer information and thoughtful answers to questions. In the end, this is the best way to get noticed.
For example, don’t have a blog for the sake of having one if you are not going to post useful content. Nothing is more disappointing than reading a headline that promises information and discovering the post is actually two paragraphs of nothing.
Often, this is a sign of a firm that has hired a non-lawyer to ghostwrite their blog posts and they end up filling it with keywords and fluff. This is inauthentic and potential clients can easily see through it.
Additionally, social media is not for self-promotional updates. The biggest mistake I see lawyers make on Instagram is posting about their firm, their practice area or cases they’ve won, but never anything that interests potential clients or referral sources. Your time would be better spent posting useful content you created or sharing the content of others that would be relevant to your audience.
Engage with your audience
One of the best ways to achieve authentic law firm marketing is to engage with your audience, which is ultimately the best way to turn your audience into advocates for your firm.
Get to know your followers and let them get to know you through personal interaction, videos and social media posts. That means responding to comments and commenting on the content of others.
Be sure your contact information is clear and make an effort to respond as soon as possible. I often get contacted on Instagram by people who need a lawyer in a different practice area or even a different state. Even though I can’t personally help them, I try my best to refer them to someone who can. By simply being responsive I get more shares and more connections to people who can actually hire me.
Even though word-of-mouth referrals continue to be the best source of new business for my practice, I know those referrals are checking me out online before they reach out. So, my internet presence plays a big role in my getting hired by those clients. Having an authentic online presence boosts my credibility and leads to more business.