Ask most successful lawyers how they built up their client base, and you’re likely to hear three little words, again and again: Word. Of. Mouth. Naturally, the best way you can attract and retain clients in the long term is to satisfy your current clients, so they rave about you to their friends and family. For long-term marketing, there’s still no way to beat the word-of-mouth effect.
Jump-Start Your Business Online
In the shorter term, though, sometimes extra measures are needed to really “jump-start” a business’s growth. Some of the most powerful tools you can look to are all found right at your keyboard. With a laptop and an internet connection, you can build a dynamic and engaging online presence, which will rapidly and accurately target your potential clients – and get them in the door.
Getting yourself “found” online is a persistent question for any entrepreneur, but it needn’t be difficult. Naturally, a principal aim for anyone raising their online presence is Google. Taking concrete steps (like SEO optimization) to raise your Google ranking is crucial to getting found. Depending on the competition in your local area, engaging the services of a professional is often advisable.
At a simpler level, you can focus your energies around Google+ Local, where people right in your area go to find local services. Listing your business is quite straightforward. Plus, instead of battling against myriad other websites in the general Google search, your users will already narrow down the playing field to your own community. Instead of optimizing to showcase your location, you can simply make the case for why your services stand out.
For newcomers to the game, using social media for your firm can sound overwhelming. In reality, though, it’s one of the most intuitive and potentially useful aspects of online marketing. For example, take an immigration lawyer who is looking to build a client base. By creating a blog or news section (Hunt Migration is a shining example) that’s integrated with Facebook and/or Twitter feeds, the firm can quickly attract new clients to their website.
The key to this kind of online marketing is to create useful content, and give it away. Create posts that contain helpful information. Naturally, there are some restrictions on what a lawyer can post, to avoid it being misconstrued as “free legal counsel”. However, by attending responsibly to how you present information, you can tailor each post into a helpful “teaser,” that gives useful tips while directing readers to come to you for more in-depth information.
The other main point to remember is that social media is called “social” for a reason. Above all, it’s a way to connect with other individuals and businesses. Instead of setting up your feeds with automated posts, let your social media presence take on your own (professional) voice. Interact helpfully and supportively with the individuals in your professional sphere. Again, let’s take the example of the immigration lawyer. Connecting with immigration agents within a professional, online context is a great way of networking. If you can create content or regularly post links to interesting industry-specific information, you can gradually build up a huge matrix of connections. And remember, any one of those connections can lead to new clients. It goes right back to “word of mouth” – the most reliable tool in the box.
Building up your online presence will take some learning (or outsourcing) to raise your ranks in the search engines. Most of all, though, building up a dynamic online presence come down to old-fashioned people skills. Work through your online social media feeds to project generosity, diligence and genuine thoughtfulness; then watch the online “friends” and real-life clients stream in.