There are many reasons why lawyers are leaving big firms to start their own legal practice: layoffs, stress, lack of freedom and opportunities for promotion. There are many responsibilities that come with starting your own firm and it is important to realize that you are now responsible for your own marketing.
Your Law Firm Marketing Checklist: Pick a Firm Name: Picking the right name for your legal practice is essential to the success of your firm. For the purposes of SEO (search engine optimization), try to pick a keyword from your practice area in the business name. For example: Smith Injury Lawyers, Baker & Smith Divorce Mediation.
Pick the Right Domain Name for Your Website: Determine what your main practice area will be and search for a domain that has those keywords in it with the local city. You can have one domain for your firm name and another domain for SEO purposes. The correct way to implement this is to build the website on the SEO domain and redirect the firm name domain into that site. This process will be seamless to anyone who goes to your website; however, it makes a big difference when it comes to SEO. Make sure you ask the company designing your website to make it mobile responsive – in line with Google’s newest algorithm update. Also, make sure there are no hidden fees (monthly upkeep, ownership, cancellation, etc.).
Short-Term and Long-Term Marketing Strategy: It is important to determine your short-term goals as well as long-term goals. A short-term strategy may consist of: launching your website, setting up your local listings, sending out a press release or launching a PPC campaign (pay-perclick). A PPC campaign is the quickest way to generate leads as it shows your ad on page one of the search engines when potential clients search for relevant keywords. A long-term strategy may consist of posting SEO optimized blogs on topics that are relevant to your practice area. Publishing blog posts is a strategic way to set you up as the expert in your practice area. Blog posts also add value to your website because every blog post counts as an additional page (thus making your website more powerful and authoritative). The purpose of the blog posts is to provide valuable content to your current and potential clients and rank higher on search engines.
Follow the Strategy That Google Uses: Google’s main focus is to create a great user experience. When you are designing your website, it is important to keep the end user in mind (your clients). It is important to have a website that answers the most commonly asked questions that clients have, enough content to clearly explain each practice area, having a call to action (for example: Call Us Today For A Free Case Evaluation), ensure that your phone number is prominently placed, and to make sure that the navigation tab is clear and easy to navigate through.
Convey Credibility and Show a Bit of Your Personality: Potential clients have many options when it comes to retaining a lawyer so ask yourself why they should hire you? The answer to this question must be portrayed via your website. If you have received any awards and affiliations, make sure you list them on your website. If you are involved within your community on committees or volunteer your time to specific organizations make sure you list that on your bio page. Utilize videos to showcase your personality and build trust and rapport.
Join Legal Industry Networking Groups: and start attending educational seminars in the legal industry. It is important to have a strong network of attorneys to consult and collaborate with as you are working on cases and for cultivating referrals.
Start Asking for Recommendations from Colleagues for Your LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to request a recommendation from any of your connections.
It Is Also a Good Idea to Try to Get Some Client Testimonials: Videos are best as they yield more credibility (a client can speak to your skills and character without giving away any confidential information regarding the case). If videos are set up strategically, they can also rank on page one of Google (and other search engine) results.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, it is best to start planning at least three-six months in advance. Make a timeline for the most important or difficult tasks and tackle them first. It is human nature to put the most difficult tasks until the end, however, do the exact opposite and you will be set up for success. Starting your own legal firm can be a rewarding experience if you create a strategic marketing plan that you implement on an ongoing basis. Dimple Dang