Most attorneys today know that specialization is the watchword when it comes to practice areas. But did you know that specialization can be just as important when it comes to your marketing plan? Figuring out who you want to be online and where you want to focus your marketing dollars will decide what kind of plan your law firm should develop. In this guide, we'll explore different ways for your marketing to become specialized and work better for your firm. Remember that doing one type of marketing really well will almost always give you better results than trying to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
#1: The Social Butterfly
Social networking websites have exploded onto the internet scene in recent years, and with good reason. They allow people to connect with friends, relatives, and business networking connections. What's more, they're an incredible platform for targeted marketing and advertising.
If you decide to be a Social Butterfly, you should be active on several different social networking websites. While it's a good idea to use paid advertising on a number of these sites (and many offer very specific and selective targeting options), it's an even better idea to take advantage of what they offer for free. Rather than advertising, consider social media channels to be a place where you can show your brand personality and build customer relationships. The Social Butterfly doesn't need to talk him or herself up all the time directly—instead, by being friendly and building relationships online, they make it easier to get referrals and new business.
#2: The Vocal Local
Vocal Locals know that most of their clients aren't just searching for “employment lawyer” or “bankruptcy attorney.” They're searching for “employment lawyer in Richmond” or “bankruptcy attorney in Seattle.” What's more, the Vocal Local knows that search engines today are smarter than ever: they actually check to see whether you've got backlinks from just generic websites, or actual local websites that are important to your community.
The Vocal Local doesn't just advertise and market his or her services online. Instead, they know that they need to get out into the world and get involved, and view their online marketing as an extension of their real world presence in their local community. Becoming a Vocal Local means looking for local websites where you can build backlinks, and making sure that you're getting press coverage in local media. These things will all help you to build your search rank and become more easily visible to potential clients.
#3: The Big Bad Blogger
Some of the most successful attorney marketing strategies in the last several years have come when lawyers have a truly great idea for a blog. If you want to be a Big Bad Blogger, you need to make sure that you're not just copying an idea for a blog from someone else. You'll want to say something that's actually unique and interesting.
Big Bad Bloggers don't just blog on their own website. They take guest blogging opportunities (and make guest blogging opportunities on their blog for other people), and they make real comments on other people's blogs, not just link spam. A Big Bad Blogger can end up getting media appearances and incredibly good publicity, all with a free blogging website. This is one of the best forms of legal marketing, but it's not for everyone: if you don't have a good idea, or you don't think you'll be able to consistently update a blog with fresh, interesting content that keeps people coming back, you should probably try a different marketing specialization strategy.
#4: The Backlinks Broker
Backlinks Brokers know that the best way to move ahead in search rankings is to have quality backlinks. Backlinks Brokers may have used low quality backlinks in the past, when those still worked to generate good results in searches, but they know that times have changed. With Google Penguin and Google Panda killing off most search results from websites that used easy to get, contextless backlinks, today's Backlink Broker is prepared to make their backlinks contextual and high quality.
Today, the Backlinks Broker can be found actively creating relationships with people who run other websites, trying to get backlinks on various sites. The Backlinks Broker may comment on some blogs and social media postings. However, a good Backlinks Broker will make sure that their comments never appear to be spam or direct advertising. Instead, keep it subtle, and make sure you're providing good information and a real reason for people to want to follow the backlinks that you're creating.
#5: The Storyteller
Attorneys are often talented storytellers, especially trial attorneys. This is one reason that as a lawyer, you might want to consider making your marketing personality The Storyteller. Storytellers use their powerful storytelling primarily on their website, and then use that storytelling to captivate potential clients. By telling stories on your website of how you have worked for your clients, and showing your audience a narrative point of view, you'll make them substantially more likely to see you as a human being—easier to call, easier to schedule a consultation with.
Storytellers may need to use paid advertising and marketing to get people to notice their website. Contextual, targeted advertising can be one great way to make sure that you're only getting your ad in front of the people who are most likely to want to see it.
#6: The Vigilant Analyst
Another way to market your services is to start with your existing marketing plan, then work on analyzing it. The Vigilant Analyst is constantly checking where people are clicking from and thinking about how to make sure that those strengths are catered to.
Vigilant Analysts tend to be the types of attorneys who are more quantitatively based—the ones who don't mind crunching numbers and dealing with large sets of data. Typically, Storytellers and Vigilant Analysts are not the same people, although when an analyst can also tell amazing stories, it's a recipe for an unbeatable website that will garner conversions consistently.