Whether you work for a large law firm, or you are an independent lawyer in the process of setting up shop, there are three things you must do in order to acquire the right kind of clients to ensure your growth and success in this hyper-competitive industry:
- Connect with your consumer audience
- Create the appearance that you identify with potential clients
- Give prospective clients multiple reasons to trust you
Whether you hire an in-house SEO team or you work with a Google partner digital marketing agency, blogging is going to be a key component to your content marketing strategy, and to your brand development. But here’s the cold, hard truth: blogging is not as easy a thing to do as most think. It is a hybrid art and science that has multiple components pulling together in perfect symmetry to produce a buttoned-up strategy that will help you connect with consumers while making them feel as if you identify with their pains while conveying trust. If blogging was easy, you could pay your cousin’s out-of-work son who just got his philosophy degree to do it. Instead, an accomplished blogger suitable for content marketing within the legal sector should posses the following skills:
- Have an advanced degree in writing and or marketing
- Have an intermediate understanding of the legal arena
- Have an advanced grasp on SEO
- Be a creative writer capable of creating emotional experiences through the written word
- Have the time and dedication to consistently post quality content
Here are 7 blogging tips for law firms and lawyers that will help ensure a healthy client roster, and give you branding dominance that stands apart from your competition.
Pick Broad Popular Topics, Give them a Niche Spin
If you can write about topics that strike a balance between a niche area that will perk one’s attention and a subject that is popular with large audiences, you will demonstrate your knowledge and showcase your creativity (and let’s face it, creativity is a trait we all want in a lawyer). For example, writing about something broad like “when to sue after a car accident” is popular enough to grab tons of attention, but making it niche by focusing on your geographical location will make you memorable. For example, if you are a partner for a law firm in Beverly Hills, you can write about those careless drivers who try making daring left turns within short windows during rush hour who wind up causing a collision. Most people in need of legal representation work with local law firms, so by enhancing locality as a niche in your blog, readers will identify with you more, and with local emphasis and strong community roots comes trust.
Less Preaching and Teaching – Embrace Storytelling
Sure, when people talk to a lawyer they want to know what to do and they want to walk away with a greater understanding of the law. For these reasons, a little preaching and teaching in your blog is fine. But keep in mind that every single legal blog under the sun does this. You aren’t telling potential clients anything new or original. Also, keep in mind that people talk to lawyers when they are emotional; whether they are angry and want to sue, or they are scared and need representation to fight a lawsuit, their emotions are on fire. By embracing the narrative in your legal blog and telling a story that contains basic advice and educational takeaways, you are producing unique content, memorable material, and you are weaving emotional words that will resonate with equally emotional people.
Let’s take the example of a local law firm in Beverly Hills writing about vehicular injury. In painting a scenario for your readers that gives advice on when to sue, tell a story to illustrate the purpose. You can write about a young successful executive who just landed his dream job in Beverly Hills working for a top digital marketing agency. He is on the Vespa scooter his parents bought him for his MBA graduation gift. The light on Beverly Drive turns green, he accelerates, then he is suddenly hit by an individual driving a Lamborghini and goes flying across the street head-first through Sephora’s window. After three major surgeries he wakes up in Cedar Sinai Hospital, and his career future looks bleak. By telling a story like this in your blog you are creating emotion, familiarity (if you live and work in Beverly Hills you are all too familiar with those Bugattis and Lambos that speed around like it is open season for mayhem) and all locals know where Sephora is on Beverly Drive, as they are equally aware of Cedar Sinai’s sterling reputation. You are presenting familiarity within the context of promoting your legal services under the canopy of demonstrating empathy while tugging at your reader’s heart strings. This will translate into readers wanting to work with you.
Make Your Blog SEO Friendly
Most of your readers will find your blog through Google (if optimized correctly). There are free tools out there like Google Analytics, Google Trends, and keyword generators that can help you optimize your content so people can find it online. But if you aren’t well-versed in SEO Best Practices, you won’t be able to maximize these tools and truly make them work for you. SEO considerations for legal blogs include:
- Optimize titles and header tags with main keywords
- Use organic keywords more natural to voice searches in titles and headers
- Use popular questions as H2s and answer them in creative detail
- Blogs should be between 800 and 1000 words
- Use internal linking to strategic pages
- Use short, unique URLs
- Optimize images
- Write with RankBrain in mind
- Add rich snippets
- Define main keyword in SEO tools and ensure it is used throughout the content in a way that reads naturally
- Ensure all meta descriptions are accurate and optimized
- Engage in an offsite content marketing strategy with backlinks aimed towards your website, and make sure the sources are relevant to the legal industry, have a high domain authority, and aren’t spammy
- Fetch and index blogs in Google Search Console
These are only some of the basic steps needed to optimize your blog. Working with an award-winning SEO agency that specializes in content marketing will ensure you have the highest quality blogs in your industry while giving you and your staff an opportunity to learn along the way and prepare you for the path to producing your own successful content.
Don’t Post, Share Instead
What good is investing in a blog if few people read it? All too often law firms think they are engaging in social media marketing simply by posting their blogs on various social platforms. But in reality there are strategies that require research and time in order to truly run an effective social media marketing campaign. Some of these steps include:
- Note how your target audience engages with your competition in social media. What do the posts have in common that get lots of shares, comments and likes?
- Who are the people that engage with these posts? Note age, gender, socioeconomic status, and any other identifiers.
- Create a persona based on the profiles of people who frequently engage with legal blogs. This is a crucial part of growth hacking.
- Engage with other consumers under your social identity; comment on and share their posts to get more followers, and to get your blogs shared in return.
- Find niche legal groups, engage them regularly, and share your posts with their followers.
- Use the appropriate hashtags to increase your blog’s visibility.
Social media marketing, done correctly, requires a 9 to 5 commitment. Most law firms will hire an in-house social media marketing specialist, or a small team of experts. Marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms is a process that requires building a group of followers, establishing familiarity in the right groups, and learning who to target and how.
Law Firms that Blog Big Get Bigger Client Rosters
Investing in a blog is one of the best things you can do for your business. According to research performed by HubSpot:
- 81 percent of US consumers trust advice and information on blogs
- 91 percent of companies that blog throughout the day acquire customers from their efforts
- 78 percent of Chief Marketing Officers argue that custom content is the future of marketing
- 9 out of 10 enterprise level companies invest in blogging
When blogging the right way, your custom content can serve as the trusted face of your law firm, showcase your team’s skills, develop trust, and expand your consumer audience leading to new clients. Interview some of the top digital marketing agencies in the country, look for good local talent, and determine if your investment in blogging is best served by hiring an in-house team, or working with an experienced SEO company that has a winning record in the legal industry.