As a profession, solicitors are often the target of jokes. I'm not promising I will make it to the end of this blog post without a lawyer joke, but I will try. The aim of this article is to look at the skills that solicitors possess and consider why they are so well suited to the creation of useful, relevant, lead generating content.
Firstly, a Brief Explanation of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting potential customers and drawing them through the decision making journey at their own pace, by providing useful and relevant content to entice them to the next step, right through from initial awareness to becoming a lead and then a loyal customer.
In other words, you write stuff your target market is interested in, offer more good stuff in exchange for a few personal details and then send more stuff to them to convince them that you are the best people for the job. Your website is the main place where all this takes place, ably assisted by its good friends social media and email.
It is often referred to as Content Marketing, although technically inbound marketing goes a little further because it encompasses the conversion of visitors into leads and eventually into customers.
If you fancy a more detailed explanation, you can read What is Content Marketing? for the whole story.
Why Consider Inbound Marketing?
The main reason for looking into inbound marketing is to make your website work harder. A great-looking website is fine, but these days, a website is expected to work for a living, and be an investment, not a cost.
My apologies but now it appears to be time for a (relevant) lawyer joke:
Walking into a lawyers office, a man asked what his rates were. "Fifty dollars for three questions," the lawyer stated. "Isn't that awfully expensive?" the man asked?" "Yes," replied the lawyer. "What's your third question?"
So, perhaps it's time for your website to behave a bit more like that lawyer, and lead your audience towards parting with money. However, before you get too excited, the route to turning them into customers involves giving FREE advice!
Be Generous with your Advice
If you believe the lawyer jokes, you would hear a sharp intake of breath at this point. But, as half my family, several of my friends, many ex-colleagues and a few clients are all solicitors, I know that they are actually nice people (most of them anyway!) and will easily cope with parting with some top level words of wisdom in the interests of business development and establishing their authority in their market sector. By providing valuable advice, you gradually become known as an expert in a specific sector, giving you an edge over your competitors. The point is that content marketing doesn't work without content, and lots of it. Blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts, e-books, white papers, checklists, tweets, posts, newsletters, case studies - they are all hungry for valuable content, regularly.
It's Easy for Law Firms
In my opinion, solicitors should find this content malarkey very easy indeed, because:
They are good with words. Anyone who can write or even interpret some of the contracts I've come across recently definitely has a way with words. If you are comfortable putting pen to paper, then you can create an ebook or white paper.
They like to prove a point. The barristers/advocates among you can definitely get your message across. That's what you do best, so writing an article or even recording a video to explain something convincingly should be child's play.
They can see both sides. Solicitors are trained to craft an argument and anticipate both sides. A neutral review of an event or proposed legislation weighing up the pros and cons makes a great blog post.
They have authority. Jokes aside, lawyers still inspire respect from most people. In these days of Thought Leadership, they are one step ahead when trying to establish expertise in a specific subject area.
They are open to new ideas. Bearing in mind that The Law Society of Scotland has only allowed lawyers to advertise and promote their firms since 1985, the speed at which they have adopted a full range of marketing practices is quite impressive.
There is plenty of subject matter. The great thing about law is that it keeps changing. Even when legislation itself doesn't change there are cases which shed new light on the interpretation of existing laws. So, no shortage of topics.
They are already doing it. Or some of it, at least. Many law firms now have blogs and most are kept up to date. LinkedIn Pulse also provides an excellent platform for imparting knowledge and opinions. Take a look at these examples from different sized law firms in a range of sectors.
Ferguson Legal - a small commercial law firm with a distinctive voice, demonstrated in regular blog posts and an active social media presence.
The Law Practice - a private client firm of solicitors which adds the personal touch on its website and blog
Shoosmiths - The Law Firm of the Year 2015 keeps its audience informed with regular legal updates on the website and via email
The Next Steps
While the content part is easy and reasonably well under control in many law firms, the rest of the process probably needs more attention. What happens to the people who read your content and (hopefully) love it? What are you doing to encourage them to get in touch with you, give you their email address and embark on the next step of the buyer's journey. Nothing, that's what! An active lead generation and lead nurturing system will turn your website into a valuable member of your Business Development team. Then all that free advice will start to pay its way further down the line. All you need is some clever software and a little expert guidance to put it all together.
So your next step is to download and read our e-book which will help you look at the types of content you need for the process to work. After that, please get in touch. We'd be delighted to have a chat.