There are still many legal professionals and firms who successfully win instructions and gravitate through their career from reputation alone. However, the changing landscape of the legal sector is seeing more and more legal professionals harnessing digital marketing for themselves. For both winning more work and more instructions, but also for raising their profile and status and thus, their career too.
If you take an active and intelligent approach, developing a strong digital marketing plan, it’s highly likely that you’ll generate a significant number of leads. Through the smart use of search engine optimisation, social media and carefully crafted online profiles, you can extend your reach, increase your visibility and build trust in order to break into a whole new marketplace.
But the questions are: how can you raise a legal professional’s profile online? Why is it so vital to invest your time in this method? And how will this aid in the progression of a legal person’s career?
Why should you raise your online profile as a legal professional?
More and more people are turning to the internet to research and make contact with legal professionals, and legal experts are tapping into this pool of potential contacts in order to win more instructions and work. To avoid being overtaken by rivals, you need to be able to play them at their own game.
Generating leads should be the main focus of digital marketing for legal. However, an added benefit of being more active online is the potential to grow your pool of connections and partnerships. Offering advice to other professionals and interacting via a low-cost, highly public platform will not only improve your image, but it will help to improve your network too.
In order for your legal firm’s marketing to reach its full potential, it’s important to learn the tricks of the trade and commit to a well-formed plan. Doing so will see you climb the search rankings, gain followers on social media and see more visitors to your site – who, if they see high-quality content when they get there, will be more likely to engage your services.
This, and also it’s good to have a reputation that really illustrates your potential. As you advance through your career, you’ll want to build a profile of yourself that makes yours a known name in your industry. This can not only help in winning you more work, but in the long run it can also make you more visible in the legal space too. As your career develops, both your online and offline presence should develop too.
How can you raise your legal profile and develop your career with digital marketing?
1. Invest Your Time In Digital PR
You can choose to use paid search (PPC) or invest financially in social media promotion, but there’s a great deal that you can achieve through spending no money at all. Of all of the approaches you could take to digital marketing, digital PR is one of the most effective. Taking the time to optimise the content of your website and share engaging information via blog posts and social media can revolutionise your image; and then sharing your profile with the world through digital PR by appearing in relevant publications and newspapers.
2. Build relationships with journalists
Engaging with high profile correspondents who specialise in your area of practice can help to bolster your image as an expert in your field. Forging relationships with journalists may lead to you being approached and asked to comment on breaking news stories. Those comments may then be featured in online articles and studies, getting your name known and building public trust.
Encouraging the creators of external articles, blog posts and journals to link back to your website is hugely beneficial in terms of SEO too. This is known as link building, and will serve to significantly increase your online visibility – allowing people interested in relevant topics to more easily access your information. Whether a publication includes a linked mention of your name or not, it’s still your name that is visible and connected back to your area of practice. This works well in raising both your online and offline profile, and in helping you progress through your career as a professional too.
3. Make use of free digital marketing tools
Free online tools available through Google, Wordstream and many other platforms allow you to access top relevant keywords to use in your content. All major social media platforms are currently free to join. Google My Business lets you edit and adjust your profile and information with no payment required.
Take full advantage of all of the opportunities presented by digital marketing and digital PR by
- Keeping your website and blog posts regularly updated and optimised by organically inserting as many relevant keywords as possible
- Regularly sharing current, relevant content on all of your social media platforms
- Making full use of trending hashtags and engaging with the content of other users
- Carefully selecting who you interact with and follow online
- Keeping all of your information on Google My Business up to date and interesting. Remember, you can include pictures, event details and testimonials
- Sharing your contact information and links to your website as regularly and visibly as possible
4. Become a guest author
Creating free content for the websites and blogs of other organisations is another smart way of improving your network and developing through your career. As you become more advanced in your profession, it’s good to become a source of knowledge as well as a legal professional. This sharing of information will cement your position as a senior professional and also expand the reach of your online & offline profile. Becoming a guest author will increase your levels of exposure and allow you to spread links to your services (otherwise known as backlinks) further across the internet. Link building in this way will improve your search engine rankings, as explored above. Inviting others to create guest content for you will also direct more traffic to your site, as they are likely to promote the work they have done – plus, it creates new content to share via social media with little time-consuming input.
5. Engage with social media
For legal firms and solicitors, Twitter and LinkedIn are usually the most effective platforms to use when it comes to a social media presence that in turn will help support your career as you progress through it. You may also decide to create a Facebook account depending on the nature of your practice.
Twitter – Many people use Twitter to make contact with professionals, seek advice and leave feedback. As a result, having a presence on this fast-moving platform opens you up to quick and productive exchanges with potential clients and other connections.
According to Hootsuite, 85% of SMBs say that providing Twitter-based customer service is important. 65% of B2C companies undertake marketing on the platform, and 75% of B2B companies use it for the same reason. 71% of Twitter users follow the news and current affairs there, and 40% have made a purchase based on a recommendation they’ve seen there.
It’s a good idea to post regularly on this platform, sharing a wide variety of content and making the most of different techniques to render yourself as visible as possible. Use popular and relevant hashtags to make your posts searchable, and add the @ symbol to the beginning of a user’s Twitter handle to notify them that you wish to interact with them and to make your tweet visible to their followers. You can also quote or share others’ tweets, or simply “like” them to show that you are interested in their content
The information in your profile should always contain your web address and contact details.
LinkedIn – Designed specifically for the world of business, LinkedIn allows individual practitioners and organisations to display an extensive profile that includes awards they have won, testimonials they have received and publications to which they have contributed.
You can link your profile to your website and to the activity on your other social media platforms, plus you can join networking groups and increase your connections and visibility.
According to Foundation Inc, LinkedIn is very powerful when it comes to B2B marketing, with 94% of companies using it to distribute content and 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites and blogs comes from this platform.
Facebook – While it’s slightly rarer for legal persons to promote themselves heavily on Facebook, the size of its user base alone may be enough to persuade many to join. 1.56 billion people use it each day, after all, and sharing regular, engaging updates to this audience is more likely to increase your visibility through the sheer volume of the people accessing the platform alone.
Like Twitter, trending topics on Facebook should be preceded by a hashtag in order to make them searchable, and you can tag companies and individuals in posts through the use of the @symbol. You can also share and like others’ posts.
Other platforms – You might consider using YouTube if you wish to share vlog (video blog) posts or video guides, while infographics and other visual information may perform well on Instagram.
So, in order to generate plenty of brand new leads and improve your performance, add the following approaches to your new digital marketing plan:
- Regularly consider your approach and plan your content thoroughly
- Take time to optimise everything and ensure you are visible across as many platforms as possible by remaining active and optimising your content – making the most of free online tools
- Regularly engage with journalists and share your expertise
- Network to build a valuable list of contacts with whom you can collaborate in order to build your reputation and distribute links to your services
- Take every opportunity to engage with social media and post regular, high-quality content on all of your platforms
AJ Mussell is Tecmark’s (a Manchester based agency who specialise in lead generation and digital marketing for legal professionals) head Account Manager. His focus is delivering strong organic search results that help legal professionals – including barristers, solicitors and legal firms – achieve their business objectives and maintaining a proactive relationship with them and their business.