Gone are the days when lawyers could make a living by opening an office and hanging a sign with their name on the door. Clients used to walk in with their legal problems and write a check to pay the legal fees. The practice of law was a lot simpler back then.
Today, the informational blog posted by most lawyers is the modern equivalent of the building sign – a device to get people to walk in the door. A well-crafted, law-related blog post might cause a surge in the traffic to your law office’s website, but does it translate into fee-generating, money-paying clients for your firm? If you can’t answer yes, then keep reading.
Crowds don’t equate to increased profits
Successful attorneys learn early in their careers that clients who walk in off the street rarely come in with a legitimate legal problem that requires the time and efforts of a lawyer. In other words, walk-in visitors rarely become fee-generating clients. Most blog posts on legal websites generate traffic much like those walk-in visitors: Shoppers who probably don’t need legal services or need services but cannot afford, or do not wish to pay, the fees charged by the attorney.
Successful blogging is not measured by the number of people visiting your firm’s website. Instead, you measure the effectiveness of your blog posts by the number of clients who actually hire your law firm after reading the blog. You don’t want people hanging around your office door just popping their heads in to take a look around, or the few folks who want you to help rid them of aliens beaming signals at them through their television sets.
Forget about the aliens. You want your blog post to attract the attention of the select few people who, after reading one or two blog posts, can relate to what you wrote because they have a similar problem and need a lawyer.
Blogs filled with helpful information about broad practice areas, such as divorce or criminal law or personal injury, attract the shoppers – people looking for some free information. Most shoppers don’t become clients. They visit to get free information, but soon, they are on their way to the next blog.
Narrow the focus of your blogs to target a smaller audience
If your goal is to get new clients, your blog posts should be about your particular practice niche. What is it that you do that is going to make a reader want to hire you?
For example, instead of writing a blog about the grounds for divorce in your state, write about how a person who is suddenly unemployed might be able to get a judge to modify a child support order. Chances are your blog will attract the attention of people in need of your services to help them to modify a support order.
Focusing on narrower topics reduces the size of the target audience, but you’re interested in quality leads, not the crowd hanging around your office door. What would you rather have, a noisy hallway or a crowded waiting room?
Making a name for yourself – the art of branding without confusing
Another benefit of writing about a niche area of your practice is that people will soon begin to identify you as an expert. Again, the small size of the target audience is offset by the fact that potential clients are highly motivated to retain an attorney capable of assisting them with their problem – problems (and solutions) that can be easily addressed in blog posts.
The trick to branding is to be consistent in the blogs you write. You want to be associated with a narrow practice niche, so a blog post one week about child support modification followed by a blog post about sentencing in criminal cases the following week will probably confuse your audience. Be consistent when posting blogs.
Individual lawyers or law firms with several practice areas can avoid audience confusion by being selective in posting their blogs. Blogs on a firm’s website can be divided according to practice areas to allow people to access the subjects in which they have an interest.
Posting on a regular basis
Maintaining the interest of the audience you build with your blogs means posting on a regular schedule. If you think that posting on a weekly basis will cause you to run out of fresh ideas, try writing about recent court decisions or changes in the law affecting subjects you covered in previous blogs. People facing similar issues will be interested in what you have to say.
Getting the word out
Posting a blog on your firm’s website or as a guest blog on someone else’s site is just the beginning in marketing your law practice. Putting your blog out there and doing nothing to promote it is akin to opening an office without giving anyone your address or telling people how to find you.
A well-written and informative blog is a waste of time if no one gets to read it. Your blog can only generate client leads if people know where to find it. Head over to social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to get the word out about your blog.
Let us Help
If you don’t know how to use social media to promote your blog, you can take the advice of your texting teenage son or daughter. An easier way might be to call the experts at Black Fin. We’re more knowledgeable than your teenager, and we’re friendlier, too.
Blogging to attract fee-generating clients takes time and strategic planning, but it can be an effective way to drive business to your law practice. If you need help turning your blog post into a client-generating marketing tool, contact Black Fin by filling out our contact form. We can help you design a marketing strategy around your targeted blog posts. Call our CEO, Gerrid Smith, at 530-215-1159 to learn more.