How To Leverage Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool

High Tech is​ High Touch

There are two components to​ this powerful marketing tool – the​ website itself,​ coupled with a​ well thought-out online strategy. Done right,​ here’s what a​ website and online strategy can do for you:

• Build relationships. Marketing your law firm is​ about creating and sustaining a​ trust-based relationship with your intended and current clients. a​ good website and online promotion strategy can do just that,​ without requiring more of​ you​ precious billable hours to​ be present in​ your clients’ and prospects lives.

• Tap new markets. Why do clients come to​ you​ in​ the​ first place? is​ it​ because they have a​ real problem,​ an​ immediate need,​ and no choice but to​ hire an​ attorney? What if​ you​ could tap a​ less crisis-driven,​ more pro-active market that provided you​ with more predictable and longer-term cash flow? Amazingly,​ an​ integrated online/offline marketing strategy,​ centered around your website can do that for you.

• Accelerate your sales cycle. By the​ time someone calls you,​ chances are they’ve already visited your website. With the​ right online approach,​ you​ can increase a​ prospect’s confidence that your firm is​ the​ right one to​ call,​ reduce the​ number of​ unqualified prospects,​ encourage a​ “call to​ action,​” and begin a​ long-term relationship.

• Stay in​ sight and top of​ mind. the​ adage,​ “out of​ sight is​ out of​ mind” is​ true,​ even in​ legal matters. There is​ simply no guarantee that an​ existing client will return to​ your firm the​ next time they need similar services. Too many variables and influences can intercede,​ particularly if​ a​ lot of​ time passes between needs. Your website and online strategy can painlessly bridge the​ gap between more time consuming,​ “off-line” keep-in-touch activities (i.e.,​ phone calls,​ direct mail,​ customer surveys) that are often hard to​ carve out time to​ do and expensive to​ implement.

• Turbocharge your business development efforts. a​ well-constructed website can be the​ “hub” of​ your firm’s presence in​ the​ marketplace. Ideally,​ your website is​ the​ first place prospects go when they learn about your firm through a​ referral,​ while networking,​ in​ the​ press,​ or​ perhaps a​ direct mail piece. Once they’re on​ your site,​ you​ can educate them,​ build their loyalty and confidence,​ demonstrate your results,​ and motivate them to​ take action…all for a​ fraction of​ the​ time,​ energy,​ and money these things require off-line.

• Manage your marketing dollars more wisely. Wouldn’t it​ be great if​ you​ could tell which off-line marketing activities pay off and which ones don’t? With the​ right approach,​ you​ can do just that,​ using your website – and underlying technology – as​ a​ tool for “measured marketing.” You’ll never have to​ wonder if​ the​ money you​ spend on​ direct mail,​ networking,​ or​ publicity is​ really worth it​ again – you’ll know for sure!

The Essentials

The money you​ spend on​ a​ website and promotional strategy is​ only as​ good as​ the​ work they do for you​ to​ turn “surfers” into real clients. For a​ website that works hard and gets results,​ here’s what to​ consider.

1. Function over form. There are plenty of​ visually appealing websites that fall far short of​ what clients and prospects are really looking for. When someone visits your site,​ they want it​ to…

• load quickly

• be easy to​ read

• provide a​ range of​ information (not everyone will read it​ all,​ but everyone is​ attracted and motivated by different things – so you’ve got to​ offer it​ all)

• make it​ easy to​ contact you

• not distract or​ waste their time with unnecessary effects

• be easy to​ print out

• perhaps teach them something they didn’t know. Graphic design is​ a​ very important element of​ any website,​ but it​ should not be what drives content,​ navigation,​ and usability. at​ most,​ it​ should weigh in​ equally with content and navigation.

2. Long,​ well-written copy sells. Believe it​ or​ not,​ if​ what you​ say speaks to​ your target audience in​ language that’s about them,​ their problems,​ their world,​ and their needs,​ they’ll read a​ lot more than you’d think. the​ key,​ though,​ is​ that what you​ say has got to​ be about them,​ not your firm – at​ least not initially.

This goes back to​ the​ laws of​ marketing discussed in​ the​ first article of​ this series,​ “How to​ Put Law & Order into Marketing Your Law Firm.” (on our website at​ under Free Resources: Articles). Most professional service firms break this rule…and end up sounding alike. Differentiate your firm by writing website content that speaks to​ your clients’ worldview,​ not yours. Educate them,​ motivate them,​ soothe them,​ convince them,​ inform them,​ and move them to​ action.

3. Load up on​ value. Give visitors to​ your site a​ reason to​ stick around and to​ “bookmark” your site because it’s so darned valuable. Increase their knowledge and help them feel competent every time they go to​ your site,​ and they’ll fall in​ love with your firm. Ironically,​ the​ more you​ share about what you​ know,​ the​ more people are drawn to​ your work and will trust that your services are highly valuable,​ not a​ necessary evil,​ and worth every penny they pay.

4. Integrate online with off-line. Think about how you​ get new clients now – word of​ mouth? Referrals? Networking? a​ letter of​ introduction? Quoted in​ the​ press? Usually it’s through off-line activities. While you’re at​ it,​ invite people to​ visit your website and let it​ do the​ initial relationship-building work for you. Follow up an​ initial introduction with an​ email link to​ your site and an​ invitation to​ subscribe to​ your firm’s free e-newsletter. Attach an​ article you’ve written that specifically addresses the​ concern they approached you​ about. Follow up with a​ phone call to​ see if​ they got the​ article and continue your conversation.

Maybe you​ get a​ new client right away,​ but if​ not,​ you​ keep in​ touch through your monthly e-newsletter that reminds them of​ how valuable you​ are,​ and drive them back to​ new content on​ your website. Before you​ know it,​ you​ do have a​ new client,​ and a​ lot of​ the​ heavy lifting was done by your great website.

Even if​ your firm has a​ website,​ take a​ look at​ how hard it​ works for you. Remember,​ marketing is​ about creating and sustaining a​ relationship with your target audience and current clients. Leverage the​ power of​ a​ well-crafted website and online strategy,​ and that process gets a​ lot easier!

TurningPointe™ Marketing,​ Inc. helps professional service firms attract more clients,​ stabilize their business,​ and take their practice to​ the​ next level.

To learn more about our website audit services,​ Marketing Your Professional Services Firm Clinic,​ market strategy coaching,​ 3-hour market strategy analysis,​ and one-day learning and strategy session,​ please visit our website

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