The most important part of legal advertising is building trust. If you’re not using your promotional strategy to build strong relationships with your audience, you’re not going to see any success with your strategies and tactics.
When working with a client, they need to be able to trust you and you need to be able to trust them. If you have a tense or forced relationship with your client, it can appear in your case and in court. But building a strong relationship with your client can begin before ever talking to them. It all starts with your advertising.
Building trust through advertising can be extremely difficult for law firms. Because the majority of people don’t trust advertising or lawyers, it seems that all the odds are stacked against you. But if you take the right approach to legal marketing, you can actually attract new clients.
Here are a few tactics you should apply to your law firm advertising.
Know Your Client
Before you can build a relationship with your client, you need to know who your client is. Understanding exactly who you’re targeting will help you create better content and establish a stronger foundation of trust.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, you can begin by looking at who your past clients have been. If they all tend to have the same characteristics or are in similar situations, this can help you determine who you should be targeting with your advertising.
Think about characteristics of your ideal client. How old are they? What is their financial standing? How educated are they? Answering questions like these will help you determine what language you should use in your advertising.
Look for Ways You Can Help Your Client
Many individuals aren’t entirely sure whether or not they really need a lawyer for their situation. Depending on the area of law you’re in, you may get a number of phone calls wanting advice on whether or not an attorney is necessary. This can be intimidating for the individual and time consuming for you, but if you’re able to provide the confused client with helpful advice, they’ll come to you for legal help if they actually need it.
But with so much information available online, many individuals find their answer without ever talking to an attorney. By the time they actually pick up the phone and make a call, they’ve collected information about the case, their situation and what the firm can provide. If you’re not competing, you may not get any phone calls.
Your advertising strategy needs to focus on building trust with your potential client before you ever speak to them. This means you need to have informative blog posts, articles, guides, videos and more that can provide your audience with the information they need before they contact you.
If a potential client browses your resources and decides they need to contact you for additional information, they already believe you’re capable of helping them through their problem. By the time they dial your number, they already trust you to help them.
Come up with blog posts, guides or videos that you believe may be helpful to your audience. Not only will this free up your phone lines and save your team more time, it will also work as an inbound tool for attracting new customers and bringing them to your firm.
Take Advantage of Different Communication Pathways
Depending on your target audience, they’re probably hanging out in a variety of places online. If you’re only using one communication pathway, you’re probably going to miss out on securing as many clients as you could be.
Take advantage of different online communication pathways to efficiently spread your message. On the surface, this means using social media to share your blog posts, articles, videos and other forms of helpful content. It also means encouraging shares throughout your online community. If past clients can share information with their friends and family, it can bring you an already trusted new client.
Email correspondence is another popular form of communication for attorneys. While repeat clients are not always common in the legal world, staying in touch with past clients can remind them that you’re around and encourage them to use you as a recommendation if a friend or family member is ever in need.
Always look for new ways to spread your promotion messaging, but do so in a helpful way. When you’re trying to attract new customers, you want to appear as a legal guide to help them out of a sticky situation, not a salesman trying to take their money. Try not to sound too promotional or pushy when sharing content online.
Create a Plan
If you want to build trust and long lasting relationships with potential and past clients online, you need to be consistent about uploading content and sharing on social media. For busy professionals, this can be difficult to do. Once you forget just one item, you may be thrown off for weeks.
An editorial calendar is a great way to stay on track. Through developing an editorial calendar, you can outline when you would like to post each blog or share each note on social media. When the day comes, you can simply refer to your calendar to see what you should share that day.
To create your editorial calendar, you’ll want to look at least three months ahead. While nothing needs to be set in stone, having a few months planned can save you some stress. If you have the time and the information, you can create an editorial calendar for six or even twelve months ahead. If you choose to go longer than three months, keep in mind that changes may be necessary in the future.
Select a few topics that you believe will truly be useful for your audience. When creating content to share online, more is not always better. You’ll have more success creating fewer strong articles than many weak articles, so focus your time on coming up with useful information – not creating content just for the sake of it.
Your editorial calendar should also share when and how you will share your content. For example, if you have that you will upload a new blog post on Tuesday, you will also want to detail what day it will be sent in an email and what times it will be shared on social media. While these may seem like small details, setting them in a calendar can hold you responsible for getting it done.
Listen to Your Clients
While it is important to plan your content and be as helpful as possible, you also need to listen to what your audience is trying to tell you. You may think you’re providing them with the information they need, but if they’re constantly asking questions you’re not answering, you could be losing them to your competition.
If you want to build strong relationships with your clients and develop trust with potential clients, always keep your eye out for what they’re truly looking for. Pay attention to comments and responses on social media and be sure to step in and provide advice whenever you can. If you gain a reputation for going out of your way to help confused individuals, clients will be more likely to come to you for help when they need it.
Building trust and fostering relationships is incredibly important for law firms. Without trust, your case will be even more challenging than it already is. If you have additional questions, contact TrustedWord – the trusted source for lawyer and law firm marketing.