Creating an Online Strategy that Speaks to Clients
If you’re like most law firms, at the end of the month, you thumb through the latest Google Analytics reports and try and reconcile the fact that the 947 visitors to your site are a far cry from the 2 or 3 that actually converted into clients. It’s a common conundrum for a majority of legal practices, big, small and in between and it usually results in analysis paralysis with often the real picture being displaced while trying to understand the data.
The real picture is this! Every person who is looking at your law firm to help them to do the wash up after a legal spill isn’t necessarily ready to sign a client agreement today. In other words, they’re often at varying stages in the “purchase” cycle and no matter how much your firm is pressing the fact that you’re the “specialist”, the “largest” the “best,” for the person who is in the “assessment” phase, you’re probably ticking all the wrong boxes.
If you consider your firm’s online marketing strategy, it’s likely that you’re not geared for drawing the red and orange prospects, but rather only the green. In other words, if we mark those prospects that are red as being people with potentially a legal problem and looking for resources to contextualise their issue, the orange as those who know they’ve got a problem but are prospecting all options and green, as those ready to engage, it can help in developing both a design and content strategy to capture the interests of all three cohorts.
Look at your firm’s website today and ascertain what information you’re providing that will not only assist a potential client in better understanding their problem, but will also assist you in developing a relationship with them. We call this “top of funnel,” and the methodology is to provide sufficient information to encourage the prospect to actually give you their email address or contact details in exchange for something that you will give them something that is both of value and free. Typically this is a downloadable guide, a pre-recorded webinar or a series of podcasts. You then use this information in your lead management strategy or for further follow up. Remember these leads won’t typically come through your home page but rather a long tail search, so ensure that no matter what page or post they’re on, your website is geared to take them to the next level.
With orange prospects, they understand they have a legal problem and are looking for information that will persuade them that your firm’s the best choice. This is “mid funnel.” These are typically the prospects that enter your homepage, transition to the about, then to the individual team profiles. Depending upon your practice area, it’s here that you want to be able to convey likeability, trust and experience. Invest in ensuring your firm’s bio pages convey these characteristics with great photography and the build out of relevant resources that assist the prospect get a broader sense of who you are and encourage them to take it to “green.” In this case, podcasts, video and content that targets these three areas and are positioned on each bio can work a treat.
Get out of the way, these prospects are ready to sign a client agreement. Are their any design impediments that are frustrating this person, risking abandonment or conversely, catalysts that fast track this person’s ability to engage this very second? In relation to the former, phone numbers in the header of each web page and forms that facilitate rapid response are a pre-requisite. In relation to the latter, LIVE Chat is becoming a powerful engagement medium with plenty of US law firms and worth considering, also having a completely dedicated “free call” 1800 number for new web prospects that you quickly divert off the line to another, so you don’t hold up the line.
Identifying your firm’s prospects in this manner is a great start to thinking broadly about how your firm is pitching to clients. In your next marketing chat, divide the white board up into the three categories and start marking down what you’re doing for each. It’s likely you may be stunned at the end of it.