The article gives an insight into how law firms can grow in the digital universe by establishing a strong online presence and tapping into the potential of social media.
About 40 years back, the American population of attorneys crossed the 450,000 marks. At that time, about 34,000 new lawyers graduated annually. By 2011, these numbers tripled and reached a finale of 1.22 million lawyers in the US.
If there is anything that these figures tell us, it’s that the number of lawyers has drastically increased. This has multiplied the competition in the legal field. Fortunately, however, digital transformation has changed the landscape and opened doors to various opportunities not only for lawyers but throughout the business sphere.
While the significance of digital transformation speaks for itself, the real question is – how can law firms tap into the potential of the world of the internet? Here’s an in-depth look at how your law firm can grow in the digital age:
Understanding the need for online visibility
A vast majority of people take to the internet if they have a query or are looking for an answer to their problem. This includes searching for lawyers on search engines.
It may be hard to swallow, but more than 40,000 searches are conducted on Google every second. These add up to make 3.5 million searches in a day. The grand total stands at 1.2 trillion searches annually.
These statistics put forth an important question for offline law firms: why aren’t you online yet? You are missing a substantial chunk of clients if you are not developing an online presence and establishing yourself as an authority in the e-zone.
If you are still not convinced, then know that research confirms that folks in the age bracket of 18-24 years rely on the internet to find legal counsel. Below is a graphical summary of what the survey learned:
Get started by establishing your online presence
Building an online presence is crucial for thriving in the digital age. Two channels for helping you develop your firm’s online presence are the web and social media.
-Setting up your presence with a well-designed website
To tap into the potential of the web, you need to get started by having a website. Several professional services can help you with this (website development) and along with the steps that we will cover in this article further.
Remember that your website is an online representation of your firm. Therefore, ensure that your branding values reflect on it. Also, make sure that your law firm’s website is updated with accurate contact details and information regarding what you do, who you are and your services.
A clear and concise description of all these aspects will help your potential clients understand who you are and how you can help them. A case in point here is the website of Abdelhadi & Associates – Dallas Lawyers.
-Growing your online presence by engaging on social media
Besides a website, start nurturing your social media presence. American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey made some interesting findings in this context. The survey learned that 81% of the survey lawyers revealed that they used social media for professional reasons.
Moreover, 77% of respondents agreed that their firms also maintained a presence on social media. The key here is to engage with clients and prospects because erecting an inactive social page for your law firm does not yield anything.
Besides, you can employ social media for various purposes. As per the survey, 67% of the law firms and advocates surveyed used social media for career development. On top of that, 67% and 56% of the respondents used social media for networking and client development, respectively.
Taking care of the basics
Growing your firm online can be challenging. Taking care of these factors can help you though:
-Understanding your audience
As a law firm, you may already know who your target audience is. However, this pointer is only to emphasize that knowing your ideal market is applicable in digital marketing as well.
Furthermore, you need to establish an area of focus. Not only does this clarify who you work with but it also helps your audience understand the services you provide. As a result, you will end up engaging with potential clients instead of a general audience.
-Employing SEO for greater visibility
Setting up a website and social media channel is the first step in your firm’s online progress. The next step is increased visibility. In the case of social media, your road to becoming prominent is by engaging with your audience.
In the case of a website, you need to employ the right search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to rank higher on the browser. SEO is also the tool that ensures that your law firm’s site pulls up in the search engine when someone searches for it. In this regard, you need to conduct keyword research.
-Positioning yourself as an authority
Lastly, you need to position yourself as an authority in your field. This means you need to produce quality content in your line of work. For instance, blogging allows you to create content on legal matters that help educate your audience and demonstrate your knowledge.
Law firms, regardless of their sizes, are now running blogs. 71% of the law firms with 500 or more attorneys manage at least one blog. This number has upped from 60% in 2016. Similarly, 71% of the law firms with 100-499 attorneys also manage a blog.
Taking into account reputation management
In addition to these crucial factors, there is another critical way to improving your firm’s growth in the digital universe. This is reputation management. It revolves around what people say about your firm online.
This could be in the form of their reviews for your services on review sites or your website. Or, it could also be about how people talk about you on social networks. To begin with, ask your existing clients to write reviews for you. Or share case studies with your prospects. About 97% of the people read online reviews, so you need to showcase reviews, testimonials, and other forms of social proof to your audience.
However, you need to make sure that whatever people are saying about you is positive. Negative reviews can repel potential clients, which is bad for your law firm. In case you get a negative review, your firm needs to adopt a proactive approach to solve the reviewer’s problems. This is the reason you need online reputation management for your law firm.
Growing your law firm in the digital sphere may be challenging, but it is not impossible. Start with establishing and strengthening your firm’s online position. Use social media, SEO, and blogging to enhance your visibility further. Don’t forget to pay attention to your firm’s branding and managing its reputation. All these factors can help your firm grow significantly.