Once you become fully licensed and ready to practice, you might think that your client’s book is suddenly going to fill up overnight. The truth is that many people already have a lawyer they trust, and new entrants into the market have a tendency to seek out experience. If you want to get your career off to a fast start you’re going to need to learn how to market and promote yourself. Not sure how to do it? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why do you need to promote yourself?
Because you’re a novice. This isn’t to say you don’t know your profession inside out — you’re clearly highly capable if you’ve embarked on such a challenging career. What it does mean, however, is that most people won’t have heard of you. That’s understandable given how much longer your peers have been practicing, but you can soon raise your profile with some savvy online self-promotion.
What is SMM?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is any practice that’s designed to advertise and introduce your services on social networking sites. It could be sharing relevant content, commenting in relevant groups and message threads, or even running paid ads. The whole world is checking its Facebook dozens of times a day, so if you’re not using it to sell yourself, you can be your competitors already are.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about taking steps to move your website up the Google rankings. The higher up you are, the more leads and hits you’re going to get, and the faster your career will really start to take off. It involves predicting what browsers are going to search and embedding it in your text in the form of keywords, optimizing your content for flow and readability, and dong more technical things like reducing loading times and adding meta descriptions.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, and hopefully sold you on the need to start promoting yourself, let’s take a look at 5 simple ways you can get your promotional efforts up and running.
Use dedicated landing pages for each of your services
Take a look at a company like Subjecto. Rather than having a single homepage that has endless links and tabs shooting off it to highlight their individual services, they take a more strategic approach.
By creating dedicated landing pages for each of your individual services, you can increase your digital footprint almost overnight. Your content should be niche and highly specific, which gives you plenty of scopes to weave in the long-tail keywords your target audience will be using to try to find you. Taking the time to find the ideal length of the landing page is what really matters here. If you want to be impactful, go for something short and direct like 300 words. That way you can showcase the features and benefits of your service, but without boring the reader with thousands of words of waffle and filler.
Post video content to build trust with prospective clients
Law is all about building relationships on trust. If you were looking to hire someone to take care of something crucially important, even life-changing, for you, you’d want to know a little bit more about them before signing on the dotted line.
This is where video content comes in. It allows your audience to put a name to your face. It’s all about putting yourself out there, showing your human side, and giving the impression of someone who’s approachable and easy to do business with.
The key is going to be keeping the technical details and legalese to a minimum here, and instead focusing on how you can help, and the assistance you can provide to the viewer. You want to talk from the heart but without coming across as unprofessional or overfamiliar. Take your time, fine-tune your message on paper first, and then speak naturally rather than reading straight off of a script.
Paid ads are a great way to build email lists
Email marketing is alive and well despite what some industry insiders will tell you, and it’s actually helped by social media marketing, not hindered by it. Now that everyone is checking their Facebook what seems like every waking hour, you can capitalize on this captive audience by running paid ad campaigns.
Introduce yourself, write an eye-catching headline that connects with the reader’s hopes and desires, and then add an opt-in at the bottom. These types of ads are known as lead generation ads, and their purpose is to build a list of potential prospects you can target later on.
Very few people are likely to hire a lawyer on the spot — it’s an important decision that could have far-reaching consequences. By allowing interested parties to give you their email address, you can get in touch with them at a time of their convenience to schedule a call or consultation.
Localized SEO keywords help sharpen your focus
If you want to reach out and build relationships with businesses in your local area, localized keywords are the way to do it. In the digital age many people forget the amount of business that can be done in their own backyard, so why not make that your first port of call?
Focus on gaining the trust of the local community by offering a specialist service they’ll soon be recommending to their friends and family. The great thing about this approach is you’ll find customers who meet with you in person are more likely to keep coming back year after year. It helps you build that personal rapport which promotes trust between both parties.
Add value with explainers and blogs that simplify things
Last but not least, you need to make an effort to add value. Adding value is all about giving away something of value for nothing so that you can reap the rewards further down the line.
Writing blogs and posting explainers of key legal concepts and changes people need to be aware of is a great way to do this. As with some of the earlier advice on this list, make an effort to keep the legalese at bay. What you want is easy-to-understand text that people can take in on their phones during an idle couple of minutes. When they need an expert in the future, the chances are they’ll remember you’re the lawyer who took the time to bring them up to speed with something they were wondering about.
By covering the basic motivation for promoting yourself online, we’ve aimed to inspire you to take action. Just because you’re highly qualified and undoubtedly very skilled, doesn’t mean you’re going to get hired straightaway. Law is a profession where reputation counts for more than qualifications, and promoting yourself is a great way to create the right image. All you have to do is start putting the tips above into practice, and you’ll soon find your career is heading in an exciting new direction.