Ask any lawyer you can find and they’ll tell you that the legal business is not nearly as glamorous as it once was. With so many attorneys practicing the law, and more law students than actual lawyers, competition for new clients is fierce. That’s why savvy litigators are turning to Internet to drum up new business.
Internet marketing through search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing allows law offices of any size to be competitive in this brutal market. While learning these techniques isn’t necessarily as learning the law, it’s not exactly easy, either.
For this reason, you might want to hire a consultant over doing it yourself.
SEO vs SEM
The world of Internet marketing is rife with acronyms like SEO and SEM. Simply stated, SEO involves those techniques you’ll use on your own pages to help make them attractive to Google search bots. SEM, on the other hand, is all about paid techniques that, with any luck, will achieve the same results as SEO.
Whether you emphasize SEO or SME is more a matter of personal preference. If you’re more of the hand-on type, you might enjoy fiddling with SEO and digital content. Lawyers with a busy schedule or dont’ have the digital skill set to do SEO themselves, and should definitely hire an SEO consultant.
Social Media for Lawyers
Lawyers, more than almost any profession except doctors, have a special responsibility when it comes to social media. They need to be very careful about what they say, and how they say it online. Remember, when medical malpractice attorneys put up posting on sites like Twitter and Facebook can be easily construed as legal advice.
Of course attorneys will also want to keep their emotions in check when interacting online. No on is going to want to a hire an attorney who constantly get into run-ins with other loudmouths online.
Lawyers who post their own material on social media should take care to understand their audience before making posts. Every social network has its own personality and newcomers would do well to pay attention to them.
The good news is that there are plenty of professional social media sites, like LinkedIn, that allow lawyers to post blogs and other articles to their own blogs on the site. These postings can be circulated to everyone within the attorney’s network and are a great way of drumming up new business.
Internet marketing isn’t something that every attorney is interested in pursuing. If you’ve already got a well-established client base and aren’t all that interested chasing down more business, you might want to stick with your current plan.
If you’re a young attorney who is just getting started in the business, Internet marketing is something you’ll definitely want to be looking at. Not only can you find clients through your own social contacts, you’ll be able to find plenty of new ones, too.
Just remember, Internet marketing doesn’t actually offer overnight success. Show a little patience with it, however, and you’ll be very pleased with the results.