Four-part harmony: An integrated digital legal marketing plan for solos

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Many solo attorneys are entrepreneurs with an “I can do it all” mentality — because they have to be with their limited resources. They manage cases, handle administrative tasks, and attend to clients all while keeping a small business running. Far too often, that leaves solo attorneys with little time and energy to devote to the lifeblood of their business — marketing their firm to draw in new work.

For many an overworked solo attorney, an integrated digital legal marketing is just what the doctor ordered. When they’re used properly, integrated digital legal marketing tools can help any solo law firm effectively speak directly to prospective customers and put you in a position to compete with your larger competitors. That can make all the difference between just getting by and thriving.

What is integrated digital legal marketing?

Essentially, “integrated digital legal marketing” means using the power of multiple online marketing tactics to connect with prospects. It’s also ensuring you are communicating a cohesive message through all those channels to create a more impactful online presence. For example, if your website’s tone and style don’t match that of your paid social ads, an opportunity to build your brand is lost. Your firm becomes recognizable through consistency, and it’s through being recognizable that you make a connection with a consumer with a legal need.

To determine whether your firm’s digital marketing strategy is integrated, ask yourself these four questions.

  • Does the tone and style of your website copy match that of your other marketing initiatives?
  • Are you regularly shining a spotlight on your firm’s unique attributes in a way regular consumers can understand?
  • Are you considering legal consumer behavior and calibrating your strategy accordingly?
  • Do your online tools work in harmony with and support your website?

If you were able to answer yes to all of the above, you’re on the right path. But to make sure your bases are covered, keep the following top four traits of a successful integrated marketing approach in mind.

Speak through your website design

Have you ever come across a website so poorly designed that it gave you a feeling of distrust or prompted you to question the company’s integrity? Even if it didn’t occur to you that you were doing this, you probably thought less of the business behind the website and moved on.

A website is the 21st century equivalent of a storefront. Imagine a shop where the signage is inconsistent, the shelves are scattered with unrelated products, and the decor is a mish-mash of clashing colors and styles. Would you even want to spend your money there, or would you prefer to go somewhere where it seemed like there was some thought and effort put into the experience?

Your website’s design can have a substantial impact on a user’s impression of your firm. The colors, fonts, and images you choose can either attract or deter potential legal clients, so make sure they align with your firm’s unique identity and resonate with your target audience.

And on the topic of websites, there is no excuse for a website to be anything less than mobile-friendly. Desktop devices still account for the lion’s share of searches, but use of devices like smartphones and tablets grows year after year. At minimum, a website has to automatically scale to a smaller screen, have design elements that work regardless of screen dimensions, and have features like a click-to-call function. While these were once nice-to-haves, they are now must-haves (much like websites themselves).

Stake your claim on a legal directory spot

Think of online legal directories as souped-up digital phone books. They offer potential clients the ability to quickly and easily find your firm when it matters most—when the consumer has a legal need and wants information for making a hiring decision. For your listing to be effective, make sure the directory you choose is reputable and correctly set up. It should include your contact information, practice areas, and links to client reviews. When done properly, establishing a presence on a legal directory is one of the best steps you can take to grow your online presence. FindLaw has four different legal directories, each developed for a specific audience and finely tuned to help them (and you) when it matters most.

Take advantage of pay-per-click (PPC) ads

PPC ads are a popular option for law firms that want to start small before making a bigger digital legal marketing commitment. They afford you high placement on SERPs (search engine results pages) for a greater chance of being found by potential clients, and you only pay for the times when someone clicks on the ad, not for the times someone views it but takes no action. PPC ads are not the fanciest or most sophisticated of digital legal marketing techniques, but they are excellent at what they do. Like many digital marketing tools, PPC ads were once fairly simple to create, but today, it often makes more sense to hire a PPC advertising professional who is familiar with the medium and can ensure steady leads and the best return on investment.

Employ chat and call-answering services

There are few things more frustrating than leaving a message that doesn’t yield a response. It can especially be true for potential clients who are distressed due to unexpected legal trouble. A lack of a response from you will likely prompt them to move on another attorney. If you are pressed for time and unable to respond in a timely manner, consider employing chat and call-answering services. They allow around-the-clock availability so that those critical calls won’t go unanswered. They also help potential clients feel acknowledged, giving them peace of mind that their issues will be addressed, and preventing them from seeking help elsewhere.

Surviving in a sea of fierce competition can be a challenge for any solo firm. If you’re interested in what we’ve shared here, continue your education with learning the difference between marketing and business development and why you are better off with both.

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