Online marketing can be a struggle, especially if you’re new at it. There are a million and one ways to market your law firm online, but in order to find what works for you, you’ll have to pay a price (in both time and money).
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get advice from a lawyer with decades of experience?
Alex Barthet of The Barthet Firm, a Miami-based construction law firm is not a web designer or an SEO wizard, but after over 10 years of marketing his law firm online, he has learned plenty about what works and what doesn’t.
Alex shared his experience in a discussion about marketing with other members of Clio’s Advocates community, and with his permission, we’ve reformatted and republished his thoughts here:
We have been on our online marketing journey for about 10 years. Knowing what I know now, if I were to start from scratch, here is what I would do—in this order:
1. Claim your online profiles
Claim and complete profiles on Google, Yelp, and Avvo. (All of these platforms have the potential to be highly visible when people search your firm.) Don’t forget the pictures.
2. Get online reviews
Work hard to get online reviews on all of these platforms from friends, clients, and colleagues. Having reviews will immediately separate you from 98% of your competition who probably have no reviews. Think about it, when you Google a service you need, which of the businesses that pop up are you going to use: the one with no reviews, or the one with good reviews?
The law firm with good reviews can be you. Check us out by Googling “miami construction lawyer”.
3. Do not move on before completing steps one and two
Only when you finish the above, work on the rest.
4. Start blogging
Either on your site or on a separate site, start blogging to your potential clients. Make sure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly. You don’t need anything complicated—simple is better.
You need to blog at least once a week to even be in the game. If you are not going to be consistent, don’t waste your time. We blog weekly at The Lien Zone.
5. Use video
You can get fancy by shooting videos that you then transcribe for blog posts. You can also use the audio for podcasts. That’s three uses for the same content—not bad.
We shoot videos with a camera, mic, lighting, and background setup that cost, in total, about $800 from Amazon. Your face and the content sells, not the fancy graphics in post-production that cost a fortune.
6. Focus on solving problems
No one wants to know about you, they want you to tell them about how to solve their problems. We emulate Rosen Law Firm, which does a great job.
7. Use pay-per-click (PPC) carefully
PPC is okay and we have used it. If you do use it, keep it hyper-focused on your area of law in your county. Use lots of negative keywords to exclude results you don’t want and avoid wasted clicks. For example, we don’t do anything with accidents or injuries, so we blocked those words. Our average spend when we did PPC was about $300/month for construction law in our local county.
8. Claim your social profiles
We don’t do much on Facebook or other platforms. Only use networks you are are going to check daily. Linking these networks to my phone has made them easier to keep track of.
Actively post on each network (we post three times a day) and engage folks online by calling them out by their profile names. We use a service called Buffer to make posting to multiple networks easier: We queue up about two or three weeks of posts and it drips them out on each network three times a day.
9. Be careful with paid profiles
In my opinion, paid profiles are a waste. Claim what they have that is free, but divert what you’d spend on paid profiles to PPC on Google.
10. Beware of sales pitches
Don’t fall for sales pitches from marketing companies that want to lock you into long-term contracts. They will pump out less-than-stellar content and generate seemingly impressive reports of “hits.” The only thing that matters is how much the phone rings and how many folks hire you.
There’s a whole lot more to marketing your law firm online. Get more tips in our free guide to online marketing for lawyers.
Alex Barthet is the Managing Principal at The Barthet Firm, a ten lawyer firm focused on construction law and based in Miami, Florida. Alex is a mechanical engineer and is Board Certified in Construction Law. He serves on the Miami-Dade Council of the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter. He frequently blogs about Florida construction law at The Lien Zone.