If you’re a family lawyer, it’s a constant challenge to demonstrate what sets you apart from the competition. This is especially true where law firm marketing efforts are concerned.
Legal marketing for family law firms usually is more formulaic than creative. But strategic legal marketing is instrumental in helping you realize your full potential as a family law attorney: building your brand recognition, growing your business, and solidifying your reputation with new clients.
Coming up with an effective marketing strategy for family law practice areas can be a challenge for even the most experienced marketing professionals. However, a viable marketing plan is the foundation for successful outreach to new clients.
Whether your firm is well known or just starting out, it’s important to consider what marketing tools to include in your next legal marketing campaign. In this post, we’ll outline key family law marketing ideas that will help you breathe new life into your internet marketing strategies.
Before assessing what marketing services will work best for your law firm, let’s consider how marketing for family law firms differs from marketing for law firms with more general legal services.
As a family law lawyer, you’ll often assist people through some of the most challenging moments of their lives. So, your marketing needs to be tailored to show that your firm is a go-to resource for individuals with family law legal issues or questions. And your marketing has to be human: clients in these delicate situations need more than just a lawyer at times. They need someone in their corner they can trust.
Marketing for other legal practices usually emphasizes a firm’s accomplishments or seeks to attract potential clients based on a lawyer’s recent successes. For example, with personal injury law firms, potential clients want to know about how many cases a lawyer has handled and how much money they’ve helped plaintiffs recover. While these cases can be emotional, they’re often not tied up in relationships; they often involve a company or person your client doesn’t know on the other side of the case.
But family law marketing differs from other legal marketing because it’s so personal. So, when hiring a lawyer, it’s important for clients to make an authentic, empathetic connection with their lawyer. Showcasing that your firm is willing to build trust with its clients communicates your intent to help your clients in their time of need.
To build a connection before you ever meet a client, focus on pinpointing your firm’s personality and culture. Your messaging should explain to prospective clients how they’ll feel when they walk into your office and meet you for the first time. What is your approach to family law disputes? Do you want to be known as an aggressive divorce lawyer? Or do you want to be seen as a more approachable lawyer focused on bringing families together after a dispute? As they say, different strokes will resonate with different folks, depending on their feelings about their case and spouse or partner.
Successful family law marketing also depends on how well you’ve structured the information on your website. When prospective clients are looking for a law firm, they’re likely to gravitate to a website that answers their most pressing questions about topics including divorce and child custody and support. The better and clearer your answers to those questions, the more likely you are to get hired.
That also means that your website needs to be primed for its spot on the web. Here are eight marketing tactics that can help.
It’s critical to market your firm in an honest, transparent way given the level of emotional investment often present in family law cases. Following these six family law marketing strategies can pay dividends when advertising your practice.
When prospective clients come to your website, it’s important to grab their attention. But you have to attract clients in the right way.
That means you need to have a simple, clear website that’s not cluttered and that immediately makes it clear who you are and what you do. The most important content should appear “above the fold,” meaning that a visitor can see it without having to scroll. Use high-quality photographs, an appealing color scheme, a simple font, and enough white space to entice visitors to linger on your page.
It’s also important to include a call to action (CTA) at the bottom of the page. Your CTA should encourage visitors to take action, whether that’s reading more of your site or giving your firm a call for a free consultation. Prominently place your contact information, including your phone number, in several places on your website.
Above all else, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Many clients will be scrolling through your website from their phones. Consider whether to minimize some elements or menus to make it easier for visitors to scan your site on a small screen.
With so many law firms in the market and so many potential clients starting their search for a lawyer online, a strong digital presence is more important now than ever before. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one way to help drive your target audience to your website. When SEO is done well, a family law website will appear toward the top of Google search rankings.
Table stakes for on-page SEO are using the right keywords in the right places, such as in your page title, meta description, headings, image alt tags, and more. And there’s an art to content-related SEO as well as a science. You want your content to sound like it was written by and for humans, not as if you stuffed a keyword in every other sentence. Save the stuffing for teddy bears and turduckens.
Another key for family law practices is to make the most of local SEO efforts. That means you’re optimizing search for potential clients in your area. Typically, clients will search for “family law lawyer” plus a city, such as Chicago or Dallas. Make sure you include local identifiers and other important keywords that clients will be searching for in the content you add to your site.
Google My Business is also an important part of your local marketing toolkit. When you update your Google My Business listing, you’ll show up in search results with a map to your practice along with details about your firm, including its website and online reviews. Make sure you choose the right category for your law firm (e.g., family law attorney), and then start seeking Google reviews (more on this below).
Your content is what will attract new clients to your firm. The content on your website will influence clients’ first impression of your family law practice and give prospects the confidence that you are their ideal legal resource.
Today, law firms create and share high-quality content in a variety of ways. Whether your content takes the form of blogs, articles, ebooks, interviews, podcasts, videos, interviews, or another format, it’s critical to select content that will resonate with your audience. Think about the questions family law clients might have if they’re struggling with a divorce, separation, or child support. Use those questions to structure the content on your family law firm website.
Speaking of structure, organize your content in a way that’s intuitive for first-time visitors. In addition to pages that describe the family law services that you offer, include resource pages that explain complicated legal concepts, such as alimony and support calculations. Use your site navigation to pull people through your website.
And keep your clients at the center of your content: it should always be about how you can help them, not promoting you and your firm. That means you must remember that you’re writing for humans going through a personal struggle — and not to impress other lawyers. Include definitions for legal terminology and write in simple language that doesn’t scare off prospects.
When searching online for a family law lawyer, people often consider lawyers listed in law firm directories, such as Avvo, Martindale, Lawyers.com, and more. Many of these directories include free as well as paid listings.
As with every online presence for your firm, it’s essential to optimize your profile. Stronger profiles get more attention. So fill out your profile with your name, practice area, location, years of practice, contact information, and a brief overview that explains your experience and services.
In your profile, write about how you can help rather than about your experience on law review or your GPA. Because the first few lines of your profile are the ones that prospects will see and skim first, they have to be packed with meaningful information that grabs the reader’s attention. They should tell a prospective client enough to get them to click on your profile to read more.
To cement your first impression, always include a professional headshot. A casual crop of yourself on the beach or in another informal setting could make clients believe you won’t take their case seriously.
Many legal directories also include client reviews. Profiles with more reviews and higher ratings from former clients build trust in future clients. So be sure to ask clients to add a review to your profile.
Because of the personal nature of family law, your firm absolutely must have a social presence. Social media channels can help prospective clients get to know and trust you and your firm.
You can use your account to share important law firm information, including updates about your firm and profiles of your staff. You might highlight important decisions or legal developments that will affect your future clients’ cases. You might also answer frequently asked questions. Whatever the approach, the focus with social, as with content generally, is on the needs of clients seeking legal advice, not on you and your accomplishments.
You’ll also want to consider which channels to invest in. You’ll need to maintain a presence on LinkedIn to encourage referrals from other lawyers and professional groups. To reach prospective clients, however, you should spend time where they are, and that’s on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Remember that you’ll need to have patience when engaging prospects on social media. Their decision-making tends to be more painstaking than other clients, and they’re likely to test the waters with several law firms before they choose a lawyer.
Email marketing can help keep your family law firm top of mind with your target audience. Not only does email marketing help you create personalized messaging for your clients, but it’s also instrumental in solidifying the relationships you may already have in place.
The advantage of email marketing lies in its capacity to help a family law practice maintain its professional legal network. By sending out mass emails, your firm can stay engaged with a vast number of clients and prospects. You can also segment your list into smaller groups, such as prospective clients and potential referral sources.
When conducting email marketing campaigns, communicate in an articulate, direct way. Having a clear message before writing the email helps focus your marketing. For example, your email could answer a common question or share a video. Or you might explain a recent decision of interest to your clients. You can also repurpose content from your website, including blogs. And you can make your content even more personal if you include video. Regardless of which vehicle you choose, the key is to deliver value to your recipients.
If organic traffic to your firm’s website isn’t generating the results your marketing team had hoped for, it may be time to consider paid search advertisements, including Google ads or other pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, to jump-start your firm’s web presence.
When people find themselves requiring family law services, they most likely turn to the internet to search for a lawyer who will address their concerns. PPC can bring your law firm right to the top of the search engine results. (Of course, some people skip over ads, so your best long-term bet for online visibility is to up your content game and invest in SEO).
Running a paid ad campaign will require you to think about the keywords that your clients are searching for and the zip codes where your clients are located. You’ll also need to set up a landing page where clients who click on your ad can get more information about your firm. If you spend time thinking through these elements of your advertising, you’re likely to pull in more qualified leads.
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing technique for family law firms. Firsthand accounts from clients who have worked with you in the past can have a remarkable impact. The voice of past clients has a level of authenticity that you often can’t capture in other forms of advertising. People trust the word of other people like them. Testimonials offer a firsthand perspective into what your firm does and how it operates.
You can also share client testimonials on your firm’s website and social media. Clients sitting on the fence about whether to work with your firm will consider these reviews, and they can be a powerful tipping point in your favor if your reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
It’s important to get reviews on lawyer directories like Avvo. But you should also ask clients to post reviews on Google, Facebook, and even Yelp. Given their prominence in search engine rankings, these sites are the first places that prospective clients will see reviews and look for referrals. So be sure to solicit positive reviews from your clients; ask your top clients to give you five stars and say a few words about how you helped them.
If you implement any (or all!) of the digital marketing tools highlighted above, your family law firm will start building a stronger presence. Online marketing strategies, including a well-designed website using SEO techniques, content marketing, social media, paid search, email marketing, reviews, and directories, are the tactics your law firm needs to implement to meet — and exceed — your marketing goals.