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Our law firms rank #1 #2 #3...it's as simple as that! Google Ads
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Our content writing team are qualified and experienced journalists who get the legal industry Video
From head to camera to full production TV ads Online Appointments
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Formerly Hubspot partners, we integrate all types of CRMs for all types of law firms, including our own custom CRM Automations
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Our custom software gives your clients 24/7 access to their files Lots of Other Things
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Law Firm Marketing
Invariably there is a myriad of reasons why law firms choose to co-create with Fast Firms. Typically, here are the most common reasons that we hear from law firms who migrate to us from bad experiences working with generalist agencies or one-man bands who simply cannot provide the reach necessary to grow law firms day after day.
The Methodology of Marketing for Lawyers and Law Firms
Our unique, distinctive and proven legal marketing methodology!
It all starts and ends with strategy! We kick off with a deep-dive into your law firm. We’re looking at things like positioning, brand archetypes, client personas among numerous other things.
The client experience matters the most! We’re different from most other agencies who are often one-dimensionally focused on marketing tactics. At this stage, we’re focused on the continuum from strategy through to the creation of exceptional client experience.
With a strategy done, it’s all about building a diverse range of assets to fulfil the strategy. This sees our team traversing everything design and technology.
At this stage, our focus shifts to lead generation, lead nurture and conversion. At the outset, we’re ensuring we have the technology to underpin lead flow. Following this, it’s all about traffic, generating leads through a comprehensive approach including paid and organic search and social.
This stage is all about conversion rate optimisation. Ensuring that month after month we’re seeing improvement on every front.
The Methodology of Marketing for Lawyers and Law Firms
Our unique, distinctive and proven legal marketing methodology!
The 2021 Law Firm Marketing Guide
We’ve been working with law firms of all sizes for close to 15 years. Over that time, we’ve learnt what works for law firms and what doesn’t when it comes to law firm marketing. In this guide, we will explain in detail the attributes of effective law firm marketing in 2021.
The Fundamentals You Need to Know
Why is marketing only part of the challenge that law firms face in this dynamically changing environment? Because over the years, we’ve been led to believe that the problem that marketing seeks to solve is the only problem facing law firms.
This is a little contrarian probably because you may think that simply throwing money at a new website, SEO and ads will change everything. It doesn’t. Over the years we’ve worked with a number of legal practices who had big pockets and despite pummeling their cash into aggressive campaigns, revenues didn’t increase to the extent that they had hoped. Why, because marketing is subservient to a number of things that your law firm needs to work through first.
At this juncture, if you’re a law firm that is adamant that lead acquisition and retention is just a question of money, please don’t read on and go and be entertained by another agency who will happily take your money.
Let’s for a moment add some context.
In Australia, the United States and the Asia Pacific there are hundreds of thousands of law firms. As lawyers we’re quick to demarcate the numbers into practice areas, followed by geographical reach. This makes the extent of competition a little more, not by much though, palpable. At this point, notoriously law firms will break the numbers down further, possibly to suburbs and add another layer by drawing a yardstick as to who they believe are better lawyers than them. After doing this excavation, the far majority of law firms will now consider marketing simply as an activity that seeks to re-orientate the masses of people looking for legal help to their firm and not their competitors, despite not having a clue as to why they deserve those clients.
The legal industry is undergoing a tectonic shift that has now gone into overdrive because of COVID-19. Law firms who once would never have considered a more agile business model and emerging technology within a very short period of time, possibly days, became a legal practice that they could never before imagined. Consequently where we’re at is likely to be the “new” normal. Sure, there are short-sighted law firms who won’t leverage the opportunities that COVID-19 has given and will eagerly return to what they once were, but it will prove perilous.
Let’s get practical for a moment. Prior to COVID-19, the legal industry was alive with changing business models and the convergence of a massive amount of technology seeking to change every aspect of how legal practice works. Anecdotally, 5 years ago there were approximately 250 legal start-ups, now conservatively there is in excess of 5,000. On top of this has been an exponential increase in the number of legal practices emerging across all practice areas and geographical regions.
Enter COVID-19 and it’s been like throwing fuel on a fire.
In this context, it’s not difficult to see that the real work of a law firm at this very moment in time is less about marketing and more about positioning. The latter is a massive topic in of itself and doesn’t warrant being entertained amid this content, but it is saved to say, that if your law firm jumps to marketing tactics without considering it, everything you do from this point on will be undermined.
As mentioned at the outset, there are of course plenty of law firms out there who want the “magic bullet” and for them, there are plenty of agencies who claim they have it. It goes without saying, that if this is your law firm, we’re not your agency, nor do we want to be!
You see, for well over 10 years, we’ve seen consistently great results for law firms who are acutely aware of the changing landscape and consider marketing as a derivative of nailing brand positioning, among other things.
If you’re on the same page, and you haven’t read Verne Harnish, you should. Harnish’s recommendations on strategy derive from a deep analysis of the “forces driving change.” Layer this work with Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” and what you’ll clearly understand is that what got you here, will not get you there!
The Fast Firms Story
Fast Firms was founded by multi-award-winning lawyer Dan Toombs. A creative at heart, Dan changed laws, and practices within the Queensland criminal justice system. Later after working in New York with a legal innovation hub while on a Winston Churchill Fellowship, he founded the Queensland Criminal Justice Centre (QCJC) that was then the only technology-driven platform that educated Judicial officers, lawyers and allied professionals on the idiosyncrasies of working with marginalised people caught in the system. It consequently won numerous awards.
Later, Dan founded Queensland’s first community access points in Magistrates Courts throughout Queensland. Soon after he and his team of technologists designed and developed possibly Australia’s first online will kit. In its first 12 months, it provided 7000 free wills to people. Dan was later appointed to the board of Legal Aid Queensland assisting in the formation of their digital strategy.
Emanating from this accumulative work, law firms sought the assistance of Dan and his team to help in their digital transformation and consequently, Fast Firms came to fruition. Fast Firms started working with a diverse range of legal organisations in Australia and the United States. Dan and the Fast Firms team later worked with Erin Brockovich on the digital strategy and deployment of mass tort campaigns which evolved into significant class actions, one of which brought to its knees a major pharmaceutical company. The team also worked with Erin on the formation of her environmental issue-reporting platform, the Community Health Book.
Responding to the ever-changing legal industry Fast Firms today has become a full brand, design, marketing, and technology company
The name Fast Firms was influenced by “Fast Company,” the publication in the United States for forward-thinking, progressive businesses who are on the front foot in growing market share through innovation.
What’s Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy?
Ask any law firm what their current marketing strategy is and it’s likely they haven’t an answer or if they do, it’s not articulate.
We see time and time again that law firms with a clearly defined law firm marketing strategies outcompete those who don’t have one or have one but can’t stick to it.
The best law firm marketing is predicated on a strategy that is anchored in an understanding of how your firm’s brand is currently positioned in the dynamically changing legal industry, whether or not it’s still relevant and if so, what the brand represents to both potential and existing clients of your legal practice.
To this end, at Fast Firms, the starting point in our work with law firms who want to take the law firm marketing seriously is to consider your firm through the lens of Brand Archetypes. This work illuminates numerous beneficial things for law firms, most notably whether or not their current positioning matches their future positioning.
Typically, this work is done concurrently with the broader law firm marketing strategy and we focus our attention on:
- Considering your law firm’s business strategy
- Identifying who your clients are across practice areas
- We map client personas for each practice area cohort
- We develop the brand positioning to match those personas
- We develop the messaging for each cohort
- We reconsider any brand anchors, like tag lines, etc that need further reflection in light of the above work
- We develop the content marketing strategy and its rhythm
- We design and develop every piece of marketing collateral to ensure synergy across the whole brand and to ensure consistency with the law firm’s brand positioning and key messaging
- We design and hold you to your Brand Style Guide, which is the Bible of how your firm is to be represented visually across every medium.
- We consider other possibilities, not overtly apparent that may extend the brand’s value to existing or new clients, referral sources etc.
- We consider new technology in better nurturing and growing client loyalty.
If your firm is interested in learning more about how we can assist in working with your firm on a law firm marketing strategies, reach out for a free, initial consultation. Read more about Law Firm Brand Strategy.
Check Your Law Firm’s Culture
You’re probably asking, why talk “culture” in the context of marketing. In growing law firms for over 10 years in Australia and the United States, nothing derails a great strategy and law firm marketing plan than bad culture.
We recently retired one of our clients for this very reason. The people in the firm were toxic and it all emanated from very poor, antiquated leadership. Consequently, we were approached by one of their competitors, who we soon started working with. We weren’t surprised to learn that the biggest source of work for this legal practice was disgruntled clients from the other legal practice, including a steady stream of people who sensed the toxicity of the culture during their first consultation. It gave us some tangible insight into the reason why despite growing traffic by 245% to this law firm through a comprehensive marketing strategy, file opens fell significantly short and the firm was always in a state of chaos.
In this context, even if your law firm believes that it has a great culture, see the instigation of a brand and marketing strategy as an opportunity to be introspective about your firm’s culture and do a litmus test.
We work with a number of organisational culture experts and encourage their involvement following brand strategy work to determine if in fact the strategy will be compromised by culture. In other words, once you know where the bus is going, you’re able to better understand who needs to be on it and who doesn’t.
What’s the “Why” Behind Your Law Firm
It’s likely you’ve heard of Simon Sinek and the importance of discovering your law firm’s “why.” If you haven’t, read Sinik, now’s a great time to do it, because once you have, everything that follows will be connected. Law firms who have a strong sense of their “why,” put simply, have a significant edge when it comes to marketing because marketing itself is a derivative of brand positioning. What’s also worth reading if you’re on a roll, is Al Ries ground-breaking text, “Positioning.” Sure it’s a little dated, but still, to this day it’s touted as being one of the most important brand statements ever written.
Have You Got the Right People in the Room
After 10 years of growing law firms, invariably the journey will begin by presenting to a partnership team who are never united with the direction of the firm, it’s brand and consequently marketing strategy. Often there are those within the room looking to exit the firm in the next few years and have very differing views from the newly appointed partner who sees the opportunities amid the dynamically changing landscape. At times, we acknowledge that the brand and law marketing strategy will be compromised by the flux of where people are at, but getting 70% of the way there is better than nothing. The remaining 30% is often held in abeyance or slowly chipped away incrementally over time.
In this context, it’s also worthwhile to consider if the people in the room are the right people to be in the room. Sure, inviting everybody and anybody into a brand and marketing strategy is like herding cats, but in the same vein, having the wrong people in the room can significantly stunt a potent strategy.
If your law firm is open-minded, and you’re considering a “blue ocean strategy,” then doing all you can to execute it should be paramount. This is particularly the case if your blue ocean strategy also involves a significant technology adoption. Getting the right people in the room by categorisation of their strengths is worth considering.
If this makes sense to your law firm, then do consider doing some team profiling. We recommend Belben Team Roles and are accredited specialists in the facilitation of this profiling tool.
Colloquially speaking, if your law firm has ever experienced go around in circles year after year when it comes to innovation, it’s likely you could benefit tremendously by doing this introspective work before entertaining an ambitious brand and marketing strategy.
The Law Firm Marketing Plan
Many law firms can make the mistake of believing that once the broader law firm marketing strategy work has been done, it’s all over. That couldn’t be more further from the truth.
The Law Firm Marketing Plan in essence is the strategy operationalised. More specifically, the Law Firm Marketing Plan sets out in sufficient detail all the things that need to happen to fulfil the wider strategy.
It’s fundamentally important that the firm has all that it requires to fulfil the strategy and of course in doing so, be able to operationalise that plan.
Practically speaking, it makes little sense for your firm to be considering an ambitious marketing strategy if you do not have the capacity in-house or you intend not to work with an agency that has the stretch and agility to assist your firm to bring the strategy to fruition.
Many law firms that we have inherited had succumbed to this practice. Put bluntly, big ideas but no ability to execute. This often manifested in either the firm going it alone and trying to do it all in-house or alternatively working with a one-man-band or an agency that just didn’t get law firms.
The most important aspects of your law firm marketing plan are both the clear relationship between it and the broader law firm marketing strategy, as well as clearly identified tasks, the delegation of those tasks if there requires in-house involvement and of course due dates.
Law Marketing Collateral
Doing great law firm marketing is an excellent opportunity to do some house cleaning within your law firm and drive synergy across every touchpoint. If you’re like most law firms we work with, often key brand collateral is spread from pillar to post and lacks consistency. Worse still, is when good meaning employees take it upon themselves to instigate some modest changes to a few things. Then, before too long, it’s out of control and there is little or no consistency with anything your law firm is doing.
In this context, consider any well-known brand and you will see that successful brands never deviate aesthetically or from their key brand essence. and messaging. We recently started work with a very successful mid-sized legal practice and despite dialling in every piece of brand collateral and nailing together a solid brand style guide, there was a member of the admin team who couldn’t help herself doing a few tweaks. This simply is how brand erosion can occur, often innocently but with major consequences. We also see this occur when law firms work with general marketing agencies or solo players who either don’t understand the industry and/or can only deliver certain parts of the puzzle. Consequently, this always invites trouble.
At Fast Firms, following the brand and marketing strategy, we design every brand and marketing touchpoint and are sticklers to ensure your law firm is always on-brand. On your very own support portal that we provide your law firm, we have every piece of marketing collateral required and of course, the bible, the “style guide” to ensure no reason for a deviation.
Practically speaking, when it comes to the roll-out of your law firm’s marketing collateral, we design and supply:
- corporate collateral (business cards, letterheads etc)
- brochures, flyers etc
- client onboarding documents
- corporate uniform design requirements
- promotional materials (banners etc)
- signage, including outdoor advertising etc
- all digital assets (website, client portals, social media banners, email signatures etc)
and everything else
At Fast Firms, we save your firm the headache of dealing with multiple services providers. We can assist your law firm with all facets of marketing collateral. You can find out more here.
Law Firm Website Design that Converts
Aesthetics are really important, but when it comes to effectively marketing law firms, it plays second fiddle to conversions or in your language, file opens and all that is subservient to ensuring your website is an incarnation of your strategy.
Great looking websites that draw little or no traffic are a waste of time unless your firm has a lead source that doesn’t require broader traffic. For example, we recently worked with a high-end commercial practice that was fed all its files from a national commercial practice who simply “outsourced” the work to this law firm. Consequently, the scope of works was all about seamless referral aided by smart technology from the national firm to the small referral source.
Conversely, the far majority of our clients through our education concede that they want:
- Mobile-First Website Design
- Lightning-Fast Speed
- Content that Educates But Converts
- Strong Calls to Action
- Conversion Tracking
- Online Appointments
- Online Payments
- Online Automations
- Secure and Safe Website Hosting
- SEO (Search Engine Optimised)
- CRM Technology
- Landing Pages for Ads
In consideration of these key characteristics, there is also an awareness by our clients that all design is an assumption and great design derives from incremental improvement based on user data.
To this extent, in considering your law firm’s website design you need to bake into it a dashboard of metrics that will assist future iterations that will be necessary.
In the same vein, do consider the technology you want your law firm’s website to be built upon. WordPress, for example, is a ubiquitous platform and we’re experts in this technology, but similarly, we have clients who have idiosyncrasies exposed in the strategy work of which a different type of technology may be more advantageous. In this regard, we have developed law firm websites on Headless CMS and Laravel frameworks.
The other key consideration is the growing convergence between the front of house and back of house. In other words, does consideration need to be given to facilitating data entry by way of forms, chatbots or automation on the website at “front of house” that then instigate, streamline and optimise a workflow at the “back of house” that starts the “client work?”
These are just some of the many factors that your law firm needs to consider in instigating a website that fulfils your strategy.
Law Firm Website Hosting
We’re probably one of the very few agencies that seek to underline the importance of website hosting. In the very early days, we experienced first-hand what happens when law firms don’t take website hosting seriously.
Regularly we brunt up against website hosting companies who were prone to hacks, server outages, poor speed and a complete lack of responsiveness. We cannot overstate the importance of when these things occur (and they simply shouldn’t) they need to be responded to fast. We recall occasions when a law firm’s website was hacked in the morning and waiting 48 hours for a response from the hosting company to acknowledge our request to fix it. This has a catastrophic impact on business.
At Fast Firms we host all our law firm’s websites on servers located in the location of which the law firm operates, using the very latest VPS technology. In the event that something does go wrong, we’re able to respond within minutes.
Accordingly, the message here is to do ensure that you consider high-quality website hosting.
Law Firm SEO
It’s likely that your law firm has heard of the term, “search engine optimisation,” (SEO).
SEO is a practice, like everything else that derives from your law firm marketing strategy. It begins with an identification of the primary keywords that you want your firm to rank for in search engines, most notably Google and Bing.
For example, let’s say your law firm is a personal injury law firm in Sydney, then keyword phrases like “personal injury lawyers Sydney” will be fundamentally important. (Shameless plug, this is possibly the hardest keyword phrase in Australia to rank for and our client ranks consistently between positions #1and #2).
SEO is an extraordinarily complex and time-consuming practice, but the benefits ae immense. For law firms that need traffic for specific search phrases they only have 2 options available to them, SEO or Google or Bing ads. The latter works, but you’ll always be at the whim of what the auction price is for your keywords, in other words, your CPC (cost per click). In personal injury law, expect upwards of $45 per click.
Conversely, through SEO, you may be able to garner a great position for highly competitive keywords and therefore not have to join the growing masses of law firms forced to play in the auction.
All our law firms through our SEO work rank exceptionally well, the far majority in positions #1, #2 or #3 for their chosen keywords.
In this context, you may be asking what actually is the work of SEO. SEO is a specialist skillset that traverses across multiple facets of a holistic law firm marketing agency. Good luck trying to achieve great SEO results if you’re working with a one-man-band or generalist agency that doesn’t understand the legal industry. Simply put, you’ll spend big dollars and achieve no results.
The successful steps to great SEO are:
- Excellent crawl accessibility so engines can read your law firm’s website
- Compelling content that answers the potential or existing client’s query
- A website that is keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
- A website that fosters great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
- Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, reach and amplification
- Strong consideration and use of title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
- Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs
- Quality backlinks that signal to Google the value of your law firm’s website to traffic.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of SEO objectives, but these are most certainly those that are front and centre in building out a strong SEO position for your law firm.
At Fast Firms, we have a very strong history of ranking law firms #1, #2 and #3. Find out more about Law Firm SEO.
Law Firm Google Ads
Where most growth-focused law firms increasingly play is in the realm of paid search. A core tenet of how we effectively grow law firms is through a holistic law firm marketing approach that traverses multiple lead generation opportunities of which paid is fundamentally important.
Though in the context of Google Ads, effective strategy derives from a key understanding of not only legal practice but what works and what doesn’t. Put simply, we manage the Google Ads accounts of over 50 law firms who collectively spend well into the 6 figures each month and collectively the data tells us an enormous amount. We have unprecedented insight into the “money terms” the types of Ad structures that work and of course, the bidding strategy. For those that have an understanding of Google Ads, at Fast Firms, we do not adopt a smart bidding strategy deployed by Google, but rather we manually manage all the accounts manually for our clients.
Over and above this, in recent times, we work with a third-party team of Google Ad experts who regularly undertake an audit of our client’s accounts. This provides at times insights from fresh eyes that keep our Google;e Ad accounts well-optimised and delivering benefits for our clients. Think of this approach like having a colleague of yours review an active file.
Google Ads like every other facet of law firm marketing emanates from your broader law firm marketing strategy. The messaging of your Ads and the corresponding landing pages all are a part of the tapestry of how you are positioning your firm in the marketplace.
Importantly, success with Google Ads, once they’re aligned to your strategy, is the choice of keywords that your firm will target, following which the crafting of ads, landing pages and bidding approach and structure to enhance your chance of success.
Underpinning this of course, and just as important is the conversion tracking that your agency will deploy to prove ROI.
At Fast Firms, we use a diverse range of tracking methods, including Google products and third-party platforms like call tracking software etc to provide further depth of analysis.
Get help now with your Law Firm Google Ads
Facebook, Instagram & Linkedin Ads for Law Firms
Brand awareness is vital to the longevity of every law firm. Once, brand awareness meant that you simply ran billboards and paid extra for a prime position in the yellow pages, but now the opportunities are endless.
In this regard, law firms can get very smart with the deployment of awareness campaigns across social channels and then, deepening engagement through very sophisticated remarketing campaigns.
At Fast Firms, we consider social marketing as an essential mix of what we do, for in the most part, a modest spend.
Find out more about Law Firm Social Media Marketing
Law Firm Content Writing
Everything dries up for a law firm when content stops. With no content, email campaigns cease, SEO internal link-building opportunities are impacted, socials stop and more broadly and generally speaking, lead generation is hampered.
Content was and always will be “King and Queen” and your content strategy like everything else derives from your broader marketing strategy.
Law firms often struggle with what type of content they should write. In this context, it’s important to understand what the key objective is for each piece of content. For example, if the content is primarily to rank for a specific group of keywords, then long-form content (over 2,500 words) may be the recommendation. Alternatively, if there is a new legislative update this afternoon, then it’s far better to get content out quickly to drive engagement. In this context, a short article, or better still a podcast or video.
When it comes to the choice of topic, competitors are often a good place to start. At Fast Firms, our Legal Watch platform aggregates the content of hundreds of law firms, linking you to the relevant specific article.
Talk to us today about how your law firm can get exclusive access to Legal Watch.
At Fast Firms, we understand that busy law firms can struggle to generate content. For this reason, our content marketing team write content for law firms and of course, we can podcast and video your lawyers!
The bottom line is that these days your firm has no other choice other than to generate content, preferably across multiple channels using multiple mediums.
Get Help with Law Firm Content Writing
OmniChannel Law Firm Marketing
You have probably heard of the adage that when it comes to effectively marketing your law firm, you need to be everywhere. As little as 2 years ago we would have said that’s not necessary and your far better focusing on one channel only. We now say that it may be the case that one channel converts for your firm at a higher rate, but your far better to be across a myriad of them to potentially varying degrees.
In this context, the term “mass marketing” that had great prominence in the seventies and eighties but was dislodged substantially in the 2000s by “targeted or segmented marketing” is making a resurgence. In fact, if you’re into this stuff, Byron Sharp’s Brand Strategy based on a plethora of research found that “mass marketing” is exactly the practice that fast-growing companies are using to garner market share.
So what does this mean for your law firm? It means that effectively growing market share for your law firm will require a multi-dimensional approach. But as we have stated repetitiously throughout this guide, always start with a strategy and let the requisite marketing works derive from that strategy.
At Fast Firms, we can assist your law firm with the strategy and every piece of marketing that is necessary.
Law Firm Marketing & Multi-Media
Having conceded that omnichannel marketing is the right approach for your law firm and it fits within your broader strategy, you will inevitably be thinking of content creation and syndication.
One of the great benefits of legal practice is that there is always something happening in the context of recent case law, legislative updates and media. A great way to start thinking about content creation is from the perspective of your potential or existing clients. In this context, we recently worked with a large legal practice and in every marketing meeting, we reserve a seat for the client. Of course, the client isn’t in the room, but during the course of our conversations, reference is frequently pointed to the chair with the question, “what does it mean for Tracy?” This often provides great grounding and returns discussion to where it always should be, “client-focused.”
Once you start to think of content generation through this lens, it follows that you ask what is the best medium to disseminate the message. For example, if it’s 3.30 pm in the afternoon and the government have just announced its intent to overhaul insolvency laws, then a video recorded promptly by your litigation lawyer, with an email campaign out to your business clients that day will see phenomenal cut-through.
At Fast Firms, we do video production, podcasting and webinars for numerous law firms who see the value in a sophisticated, smarter approach to content generation and syndication.
Content for Clients
When content dries up in a law firm, so does everything else from a marketing perspective. It’s not unusual for our work with law firms on every facet of marketing, to begin with, great gusto and then find it wanes significantly over time. Consequently, that’s the very reason that we have our own content team of professionally qualified and experienced journalists to write client-focussed content. We also find ourselves writing content simply because lawyers being lawyers, they can find it difficult to simplify their language.
A great method to consider your law firm’s content is through our methodology of early, mid or late-stage content. This type of approach allows our marketing team to align objectives from both disciplines.
Early Stage Content
We consider early-stage content to be “top of the funnel.” In other words, it’s content focussed towards a potential client and it’s general and all-encompassing in nature. For example, for a potential family law client it may be, “7 Things You Need to Know Before Separation.”
Content like this is largely broad-brush and doesn’t go into detail about specifics. It’s early-stage content to encourage a journey to go deeper.
Using the same approach, mid-stage content is a deeper analysis of a key topic. Using the same example as above, it may be that one of your 7 things to consider before separation, is to start considering their full asset pool and ways they should do this.
Late Stage Content
Considering the funnel methodology, late-stage content is primarily focussed on conversion. To this extent, again using the same example above, a further deepening of the lead journey maybe now to offer an online solution that can assist in the building of a property pool report and answer other related questions. Tools like Settify and Family Property are great examples of pointing late-stage content towards.
Content Creation for Clients
Invariably in our work with law firms, the content creation focus is nearly always on lead generation. In other words, all about getting new business rather than enhancing the experience of your current clients.
At Fast Firms, through the many years of doing this work, we know that one happy client can draw in 10 other potential clients. Accordingly, intercepting the client journey with what we call “wow” moments can have an extraordinary impact on the client experience generally.
For a large personal injury practice, with the firm, we created a whole subset of content (articles, guides, podcasts and videos) to enrich the client experience. For example, 2 weeks from a client attending a medical review examination, the client receives a video from the relevant lawyer giving a heads up on what to expect and how to prepare. Similarly, for a family law practice, we’ve intercepted the journey with content focused on key moments, like mediation. In this case, the managing partner of the firm did a stellar informative video about what’s about to happen.
In the same vein, we have designed countless matter road maps for clients who during their first consultation want to contextualise their legal problem in the broader picture. Road maps are also excellent for exposing the client to other practice areas they may traverse during the lifecycle of their matter and affirm to them, that related practice areas may come into play and the fact that the firm can offer holistic service in this regard. It’s likely that your diverse practice law firm has lost a client to another legal practice because the client did not realise that you could assist in that area of law.
At Fast Firms, we adopt a thorough approach to our marketing, uncovering multiple facets that simply put, agencies that do not understand the industry will miss or agencies without the coverage will not be able to deliver.
Email Marketing for Law Firms
Yes, we know what you’re going to say and that is, “does email marketing really work for law firms?”
Unequivocally, the answer is “yes.” However, it is dependent upon a number of factors. The most important being ensuring that your choice of third-party email campaign software is a good one. As you’re aware, increasingly emails are being blocked or re-categorised into promotional or junk folders by email platforms. Consequently, to improve your open rates you have to be sure that your firm has a delivery rate of 100% or close enough to it. Despite at times using a recommended third-party email campaign software, delivery rates can fall short because the agencies typically use the default settings.
In addition to ensuring your law firm’s choice of technology is a sound one, you should always segment your email database into practice areas and/or industry groups. Law firms that have one email database invariably have low open rates and high-unsubscribes purely because they’re not on the message to the relevant recipient.
Practically speaking, your recent estate planning clients do not need to know about the importance of testamentary trusts, unless of course, you’re trying to upsell. Similarly, your family law clients will not appreciate an email campaign illuminating the issues that derive from separation.
Over and above this, encourage a culture within your law firm that is client and referral source focused and get into a practice of having your lawyers spontaneously send emails to key people, pointing them to content that may be of interest to them and not necessarily content manufactured by your law firm. In this regard, you can guarantee a 100% open rate if you send an email like:
“Hi Julie, was thinking of you when I came across this article by Emily Baxter in Bloomberg. Great article. I hope you find it useful.
Hope you and John are well.”
Like every other facet of marketing, consider email campaigns to the same extent. Don’t pray and spray, ask questions focused on the broader content strategy and of course, “does this content matter to this person?”
At Fast Firms, we literally execute multiple campaigns for our clients day after day.
Talk to us today about Law Firm Email Marketing
Lead Generation & Management for Law Firms
Without a doubt, effective lead generation and management is a science and should be treated that way. Notwithstanding the fact that if your law firm ios ambitious growth-minded, you will be spending significant money on lead channels and you need to not only ensure you’re not missing any, but also that there is a dialled in approach to nurturing and managing those leads.
In this context, consider our previous mention of early, mid and late-stage content. If you have lead magnets at each juncture, you will want to manoeuvre your potential client through the lead funnel towards a file open, if of course, they meet your criteria. In executing this approach effectively you will likely need to consider CRM Technology. Simply put, a good CRM will take away all the heavy lifting in assisting your firm to graduate leads to file opens with a well-considered approach, underpinned by a series of automations that can deepen the journey with key content.
At Fast Firms, we understand CRMs thoroughly and have had experience in the integration and use of many of them, including Hubspot, Active Campaign and more recently, Microsoft Dynamics. Akin to practice management software platforms, work with us in identifying the objectives and we can assist you in the successful deployment of the technology.
Talk to Us Today About Law Firm CRM Technology
Lead Dashboards for Law Firms
At Fast Firms, we work with numerous law firms in which a CRM may be overkill. Practically speaking, for a small legal practice that is generating leads from a range of channels, having one, definitive dashboard to assess marketing ROI is essential.
We recently have deployed our own customised dashboards, porting data from a diverse range of data sets, including organic and paid search, LiveChat and phone calls.
Find out more about what we’re doing with Lead Dashboards for Law Firms.
Call Tracking for Law Firms
Successful law firms have a good measure on what marketing channel is driving leads and file opens. One often overlooked source of understanding lead acquisition are phone calls.
At Fast Firms, we’re premier partners of the best call-tracking technology on the market. We also use this technology to provide insight into how leads are being managed by key personnel within the legal practice. You wouldn’t believe what we’ve uncovered that was oblivious to the law firm.
We can help with all facets of Call Tracking for Law Firms.
Google Ads for Law Firms
Simply put, there are only two ways to drive traffic to your law firm’s website or landing pages, it’s SEO or paid search.
Smart firms do both because purely basing a growth strategy on paid search puts your legal practice at the whim of paying for leads by way of CPC (cost per click) campaigns. Take for example a compensation practice that has never entertained SEO, as more law firms are forced towards paid search, the CPC will invariably increase and the leads that you once received for $65 are now $135. We’ve been doing Google Ads for law firms for over 10 years and we remember the halcyon days when you literally could pull a compensation lead for $20 from paid search. Law firms then made literally tens of thousands of dollars weekly.
More recently we worked with a law firm who uncovered a growing niche and capitalised on it and within a very short time went from being a practice in a regional location to a national law firm.
With all this being said, Google Ads work, but they only work when you work with an agency who understands legal practice. Agencies that do not understand legal practice will spend your money on chasing irrelevant search terms and/or search terms that do not deliver paying clients. We know this sounds self-serving, but we inherit an increasing number of law firms who suffered very badly at the hands of ad agencies that did not get “legal practice.”
The other very important consideration of Google Ads is to understand that an effective strategy will pull from multiple directions. In our execution of Google ads campaigns, we can find ourselves redesigning key pages, crafting key content, recording videos, producing guides and seamlessly integrating a suite of automations via the carefully chosen CRM. When all this has been done for you with one agency, it negates the absolute nightmare of trying to facilitate discussions between your Ads agency, your web design agency, your IT agency and your graphic design agency.
Talk to us today about how we can help your law firm grow with Google Ads or if you are currently running a campaign, we can do a free assessment.
Conversion Optimisation for Law Firms
We hate to break the bad news to you, but design and marketing are based on assumptions and we know that assumptions can be wrong.
If your law firm has ever experienced working with a set and forget marketing agency, you know what we mean. In other words, you asked the agency to do a new website for your firm and a few other things, you pay them the money, then you find out that things aren’t going as planned.
At Fast Firms, we like every other agency get things wrong. But we come to every project with the view acknowledging that everything is an assumption until it’s tested. Consequently, on every website we build, for example, we run heat mapping and mouse tracking technology under it, as well as the usual data sets, primarily Google Analytics. Time and time again such data tells a different story to what was envisaged during the design and build phase and we return to the website repetitiously correcting and optimising certain design or development characteristics.
By and large, every agency your law firm may consider working with will not provide this degree of service, often because they use templated websites that they roll out from one client to the next. At Fast Firms, every website is designed pixel by pixel and we build on the best technology that will fulfil the firm’s broader strategy.
In this regard, we can find ourselves using a diverse range of platforms, from WordPress through to Headless CMS technology to data-rich websites built on platforms like Laravel.
Talk to us today about Law Firm Website Design
Appointment Scheduling Software for Law Firms
Your typical law firm client is changing. They’re increasingly becoming used to interacting and engaging with diverse industries, including banking, insurance and eCommerce who all collectively are on the front-foot with smart marketing and technology.
In this regard, there is an abundance of things your legal practice can do to match the user-experience prevalent in other industries.
At Fast Firms, we have our own appointment scheduling technology being used by a number of our clients. In partnership with a leading video-conferencing technology company based in the United States, we can assist your firm with your full video-conferencing technology needs, including payment gateways.
Law firms wanting to grow market share will soon realise they’ll need to have their technology talking with each other. Whilst practice management software platforms have been notoriously difficult in not sharing access with other technology (like CRMs), the market is changing.
Law firms that want to get on the front foot seek our expertise in determining API access before they integrate technology, it’s as simple as that. There could be no worse thing your law firm can do in 2020, then integrate and deploy technology that has a closed API and hampers your ability to connect the dots with key pieces of technology that you may wish to instigate now or in the future.
We can assist your law firm in all facets of API integration.
In the last 6 months, we have designed and deployed a number of portals with the objective of keeping clients and referral sources very close. We think of these portals as ecosystems and in our view are possibly the most important thing your law firm can do to engender client and referral source loyalty.
Talk to us today about how we can help your law firm with the design and development of an ecosystem strategy and client portals.
Event Planning & Marketing for Law Firms
Without a doubt, a key objective of any marketing strategy worth its salt is to cultivate existing referral networks and to this extent, events can be tremendously valuable.
The perennial issue for law firms in this respect is the difficulty in treating the opportunity holistically from a marketing perspective.
Consider an employment law practice for employers. The firm wants to engage its current business clients and encourage other business owners to attend that aren’t yet clients.
A well-developed event planning and marketing strategy will traverse topics like:
- how can we partner with allied professionals to widen our net and expose our practice to their clients?;
- what is the key messaging that will attract these clients?
- what marketing collateral do we require to drive engagement pre and post the event?
- what assistance do we require to ensure our slide deck is synergistic with our brand?
- what audio-visual equipment do we require to record the presentation to open up other content creation and syndication possibilities?
- what are those possibilities and who will execute them fully?
- is there a blue ocean strategy that could be entertained in the staging of this event that will grow market share?
These are some of the aspects law firms should be considered in the context of event planning and marketing.
At Fast Firms, we can assist your law firm with every aspect of the foregoing.
Video Production and Marketing
Video has now become commonplace for most progressive law firms. Moreover, COVID19 has made spontaneous video much more acceptable given the significant rise in client consultation being facilitated through video-conferencing equipment.
At Fast Firms, video is somewhat of an essential feature if you’re firm believes both in content engagement and omnichannel marketing.
The former begins with a content planning strategy of which key content topics are identified and planned accordingly. During the delegation, consideration needs to be focussed on the best medium to deliver the message. If the content is early-stage and lengthy, video may not be the answer. Conversely, if late-stage, with a strong call to action from good talent within your legal practice, you can’t beat it.
Law firms in our experience spend too much time considering the technology as opposed to delivering the message. That said, despite COVID19 making video much more acceptable, be very conscious of your brand and also the fact that you will be judged by your video. If your lawyer is inarticulate and a little incoherent and the video has been done on an iPhone without professional audio, it’s likely you’ll lose more client than you will win. Just because everyone is using their iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean that your law firm should.
At Fast Firms, we provide full production and editing of video using the very best audio and lighting equipment. We also encourage firms to use their iPhones when coupled with recommended audio and lighting equipment.
Talk to us today about Law Firm Video Production & Marketing.
Photography for Law Firms
If you’re a law firm that doesn’t care too much about how you’re presented to a competitive market than you’re hunting for a cheap and cheerful photographer will be perfect.
Photography is a key brand and marketing touchpoint and its importance is underpinned by the fact that if you’re like every law firm we work with, the most sought after page on a law firm’s website are the bio pages.
In conjunction with bio photography, do consider if on brand, the opportunity of having candid, in-action shots done as well. This will allow your firm to have plenty of scope if you desire to build out marketing collateral, particularly on-boarding documents and capability statements. Over and above this, they’re just great for inclusion in targeted social campaigns as well.
At Fast Firms, we have a panel of photographers that we use exclusively and are very reluctant to utilise others.
Talk to us today about Law Firm Photography.
Outdoor Advertising for Law Firms
Inexperienced agencies will often poke fun at the lunacy of the value of outdoor advertising, particularly billboards. But again, dependent upon your strategy, outdoor advertising can and does augment well with targeted brand awareness campaigns. The issue in our experience is less about the medium, but more about ascertaining the return on investment of outdoor advertising.
There are sophisticated ways of measuring ROI to an extent and this involves either running board only phone numbers (preferably 6 digits easy to recall) and working with outdoor signage companies that have the capacity to embed digital marketing campaigns in association with their digital boards. The technology these days is such that a static or digital billboard, a train or bus campaign, has the capacity to re-engage and retarget your specific billboard audience and increase brand interaction.
At Fast Firms, we design all your outdoor advertising needs and work seamlessly with the big players like oOH, Bishop and others in every state of Australia.
Talk to us today about Law Firm Billboards & Outdoor Advertising.
Google Reviews for Law Firms
Google Reviews for law firms have become increasingly important, not only from a client acquisition perspective but we have seen a clear relationship between ranking results and positive reviews.
It goes without saying that if your law firm does not have Google reviews in your law firm marketing strategy, you need to. That said, one of the big issues for law firms is how they request such a review, followed by instructing a happy client how to do it.
We have literally increased Google reviews for law firms a hundredfold with a set methodology.
This emanates from getting granular on the client journey for each specific practice area and knowing at which point a request for a review will garner the best results. Sure, at most times it’s at the close of a matter with a trigger activating an automation in the CRM that not only requests a review but makes it very easy for the client to give such a review.
At Fast Firms, we spent ages trying to find a piece of technology that would make the latter easy. Consequently, we couldn’t find one, so we built one ourselves. Our technology has literally helped law firms go from zero reviews to 50 within the space of weeks.
Long story short, if you haven’t considered the importance of Google reviews amid your marketing mix, you need to as a matter of priority.
Emerging Technology for Law Firms
Your law firm has to have an active radar when it comes to emerging technology. In this context, we’re not talking AI or blockchain (though we can), we’re simply talking about technology that does two things. Firstly, in streamlines the nexus between the front and back of house and secondly and most importantly, it enhances the client-journey. If your law firm isn’t worried about these things you should be.
Typically when working with law firms on technology adoption we phrase it through a lens of horizons. We learnt this through former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski who allegedly contextualised strategy through a series of horizons.
Practically speaking, in our work with a very successful diverse practice law firm who have always been on the front-foot of technology adoption, it helped step-change the consideration of technology adoption and integration by delineating between horizon one, two and three. For this firm, horizon one was the adoption of technology that helped them understand the data the firm sat on and what it said about the nurture of key referral relationships. Horizon two is about building out technology ecosystems to further deepen those relationships and Horizon three is marked as the execution of technology that streamlines the provision of legal services that may leverage productised services and automations.
The bottom line is your law firm needs to be thinking of these things. At Fast Firms, we can not only assist your firm in acting as your radar but of course both the strategic work and the subsequent choice and integration of the technology.
Talk to us today about Technology Integrations.
Analytics & Data for Law Firms
It goes without saying that without sophisticated analytics and data set under your law firm’s key digital assets and marketing campaigns, you’re flying blind.
The flagship product for digital, of course, is Google Analytics (GA) and it’s free. That’s the good news, but setting the dashboard up to make better sense of the effect of your law firm marketing isn’t for the faint-hearted. It will require your law firm, preferably during the strategy and design phase to be considering with your agency the key goals and conversion points that need to punctuate your assets and campaigns that are feeding data into GA. In this context, you will also need to integrate Google Tag manager and set up triggers.
Now what you’ll find once this work is done, is that the data set may fall short, particularly if you’re wanting to run a thorough and comprehensive data analysis, you will need to consider a suite of third-party dashboards. This is very important if your law firm has multiple lead channels like LiveChat, Chatbots, Phone Calls, Website Forms etc because you will want to assess the data holistically. Sure, there is a good degree of time spent doing this at the outset, but once done, your law firm will have the luxury of having data for every lead channel which will make it considerably easier to assess it.
On-Demand Law Firm Marketing
We’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when it comes to law firm marketing and technology, things do go wrong. Now, this may sound a little contrarian, but ensuring things keep rolling doesn’t work with a set and forget web design, marketing agency. Sure, it may be attractive to not be contracted over a period of time, but in our experience, you will likely regret it. For example, if your website is running off WordPress, the repetitious updates to the technology can have a major impact on your website design and functionality.
With that said, we’re excited to announce Fast Firms On-Demand, which will allow your law firm to get a wide array of work done when you need it, without being on a contract or in fact, even if you have never been a client of Fast Firms.
Here are some examples of work you can access via Fast Firms On-Demand:
- website updates;
- fix broken website pages;
- add new website pages or remove them;
- add or remove team members from your website;
- design new websites;
- do any graphic design work you need;
- do any marketing work you require;
- run Google Ads and/or Facebook Ad campaigns;
- design, build and deploy chatbots;
- design, build and deploy automated documents;
- and many other services
The list literally goes on and on. You can access Fast Firms On-Demand here.
Phone On-Hold Messaging
Looking at every marketing touchpoint holistically is one of the most important things you can do for your law firm. One that is often missed is that period of time when a potential or existing client is on-hold. This time is valuable and allows law firms to engage and illuminate practice areas that your existing or potential client is oblivious to.
In considering the script, we recommend a blend of informative content relating to practice areas but inject attributes of your brand personality as well.
At Fast Firms, we take care of the script, the production and working with your phone system provider on the integration.
Law Firm Intranets
At Fast Firms, we designed and built our own Intranet technology close to 10 years ago and have recently updated the platform significantly. The reason why law firms of 10 lawyers upwards should be considering an intranet is because important things get lost. In this context, we’re just not talking about just documents, but we’re talking more so about the key assets that keep your lawyers and other staff up to date on internal practices, events etc as well as internal comms generally.
If your law firm is looking to overlay the objectives of an Intranet with a robust internal comms tool, slack works great.
Important Things to Consider
It goes without saying that if you have read this guide from front to back, it’s likely you have come to the realisation that effective law firm marketing traverses multiple facets of brand, design, marketing and technology. Most importantly, in making a decision of your next steps you need to be informed by a strategy that derives from your law firm’s current or intended brand positioning. This is fundamentally the most important piece of work because everything else emanates from it. If you gloss over this work, after growing law firms for over 10 years, we can guarantee that you will flounder, wasting time and money, only to return to this point in the future because all has failed.
The success of your law firm marketing will not pull from one singular activity or function, but rather multiple. For this reason, your choice of agency is very important because you will need one that has a copious amount of experience working in the legal industry across the full continuum of brand, design, marketing and technology.
At Fast Firms, we work with law firms of all sizes in all locations throughout the World.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s probably likely that you may already know the answer. We’re very big proponents of always starting with a strategy. The legal industry is undergoing a tectonic shift and that was pre-COVID19. In today’s current climate, competition is tough, law firms are experimenting with agile business models, different pricing options, smart technology and have also learnt that clients will readily utilise their services via online mediums. The latter opens up massive opportunities for law firms who wish to be location independent.
Amid all these changes are of course all those that occur within the realm of brand, design, marketing and technology.
We have been growing law firms for over 10 years and during that time there was only one that didn’t have a key objective of driving more leads from online sources. For that particular firm, they were fed their leads from a national practice who when they were too busy, which was often, they’d simply turn on the lead-flow to this practice.
Apart from that one example, every other law firm has had to strongly weigh into online marketing and of course, smart growth and cultivation of referral sources.
All this starts with an excavation into the forces driving change within your legal market, the positioning of your firm’s brand, the marketing strategy and then, every touchpoint that is required to fulfil the strategy.
At Fast Firms, we take care of the whole continuum. Why? Because in our experience working with every law firm it proved an absolute nightmare for them trying to pull together all this work with multiple agencies.
We always start with a strategy. We frame our work around our proven methodology of strategy, experience, build, reach and optimise.
Strategy is all about understanding the forces driving change in your market and how your law firm will leverage those changes to grow.
Experience is focussed on the client journey. Every law firm we have worked with despite working with a number of agencies through the years have never done this work. It’s a huge surprise to us. Why? Because it all starts and ends with client experience.
Mapping the client journey from lead generation through to file close lets your law firm focus on the whole continuum and creating key junctures along the way that improves the experience. It isn’t always digital. For example, at the initial consult in a family law practice, a triage approach with allied professionals or a tangible family law road map are great examples of value-adding to the client experience.
Quite apart from these types of things, if your law firm hasn’t got its strategy wrapped around client experience, your firm will be compromised in any growth strategy.
The next is “build.” The build is focused on building every asset that is required to fulfil the strategy and of course, the client experience. It’s not just digital and law firms that make the decision to work with a “digital” only agency find themselves with only 30% of the job done. Think of every touchpoint in this context (corporate collateral, client onboarding docs, capability statements, brochures, flyers, email signatures through to the website, Google Ads etc etc).
The “reach” phase is next and this is all about lead generation, all of which will drive from the broader strategy. This is primarily focussed on SEO, email and social, Google, Facebook and Linkedin Ads.
The last stage is “optimise.” This is where we’re focused on the learnings to date drawn from a robust data set across multiple channels to further iterate design and/or functionality to improve conversions and ultimately, file opens.
Because of the breadth of what we do, we can easily respond to any shifts in focus that your law firm may have. We see this often when growth brings both opportunities and challenges. Often, the challenges will need a revised approach that may or may not require additional services.
Either way, the genius of Fast Firms is that we can help your law firm with additional services and most recently through our on-demand services.
What is Fast Firms On-Demand?
We’re regularly approached by law firms who aren’t clients and aren’t ready for a broader strategic approach to their brand, design, marketing and technology but need urgent or prompt help with things.
We’re now able to respond to those requests through our new on-demand service. In this regard, we are the only law firm marketing agency offering this unique service to the market.
Fast Firms On-Demand offers a plethora of services that we offer to every law firm regardless of their location in the World.
To date, we have successfully responded to requests from law firms in Australia, United States, UK and Hong Kong.
Over many years in deploying holistic brand, design, marketing and technology solutions to law firms, we typically are working in unison with allied professionals. Conversely, if we’re not working with allied professionals, but we think our law firm client could benefit from specific expertise, we’re very well-suited to make the recommendation.
The benefit to the law firm is tremendous because quite often we’re able to interface with the relevant professional providing a heightened degree of expertise.
Yes we do. We have worked with numerous legal practices internationally, from Erin Brockovich in the United States to a small, regional practice in the UK.
We’re happy to consider these types of options. For example, at the moment we’re working with a legal technology start-up where Fast Firms will potentially take care of all the marketing for a share in the business.
We typically do not. The only exception is if the business is an allied professional practice that works with law firms or is a business that works within the legal industry.