By Brian Craig, CEO and founder of LegalScapes
The start of a new year is always an exciting time – new resolutions and plans, both personal and professional, new opportunities to help people that come to your firm, and more.
One thing we learned a long time ago is to hit an annual goal, you need to break it down into smaller, actionable chunks. With that in mind, we’ve put together some great quarterly goals for your 2020 marketing plan to help get you to the next level.
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Q1 Goal – Audit Your Intake Processes
The first thing you’ll want to make sure you have in place is a solid intake process. A recent experiment done by Clio across 500 firms showed that 39% of firms didn’t answer their phone live, and of those 39% where a voicemail was left, 57% didn’t return the voicemail within 72 hours. That’s a huge amount of potential lost business!
How do you handle it when a potential client emails you? Starts a chat through your website? Calls you? You need to have standards and processes around how you handle each of these intake venues, how you guide them through your process to become a client, and standards for response times.
If it’s just you, these processes will come in handy when you’re so busy that it’s time to hire staff to help – if you already have staff, this will help set expectations and make your firm run smoothly.
Q2 Goal – Redesign Your Website
Best practices for websites have come a long way in the past few years, and even if your site is only 3-5 years old, odds are it needs an overhaul. Marketing for law firms is a unique vertical, with specific best practices as well as rules set down by the Bar – you should select a marketing partner that specifically serves law firms, as opposed to a jack of all trades who may occasionally do a law firm’s website.
Every law firm’s website should:
- Be mobile-responsive, or even be designed mobile-first (over 50% of traffic across our client base comes from mobile devices).
- Focus on speed. For every second your site takes to load, you lose visitors, and it’s a ranking factor for Google.
- Have a clear call to action – what do you want the visitor to do on your site? Make it obvious for them.
In addition to making sure it’s fast, speaking to your target market, secure, and accessible on mobile devices, there are a myriad of different things that need to be in place from a technical SEO and accessibility standpoint.
A good marketing partner will handle all of this during the development of a new site, in addition to making sure Google Analytics and Search Console are set up to properly track your traffic and conversion goals.
Want to get even more metrics? Consider tracking phone calls, and tracking new consultation and case sources on a granular level to attribute spend to each part of your marketing plan. This will allow you to see what’s working and what’s not working, and optimize your spending based on that.
Q3 Goal – Put A Process In Place For Reviews
Ask your clients to review you. Make it easy by sending them a custom link for your Google My Business profile that goes directly to the dialog box to review your firm. If you aren’t sure how to create one, e-mail me, I’ll create one for your firm at no charge.
Since most of your clients are going to come through Google My Business on the local side of things, that is where we recommend you focus your efforts.
Q4 Goal – Start Generating Content
Ongoing content is a great way to stay in front of potential clients. You have lots of different options here – you can write quarterly, monthly, weekly, or whenever you want, as long as it’s on a consistent cadence.
You can also either do it in house, or have a trusted marketing partner write it for you. If you outsource it, make sure it’s to someone who knows how to write legal content and has all the content vetted by an attorney before it’s published.
The best thing about this content is you can reuse it in multiple places. Repost it occasionally on social. Change it slightly and repost it on a guest blog somewhere. Use them as content for your email newsletter. The possibilities are endless!
Get Started Now
Getting started towards your goals is often the hardest part, but now is the best time to start putting things in place. When you’re looking back on progress at the end of the year, you’ll be glad you put in the work to get your firm where you want it to be in 2020.
About the Author
Brian Craig is the founder and CEO of LegalScapes, a full-service digital marketing agency that works solely with law firms. With over 15 years of experience in online marketing, Brian helps lawyers across the United States get more clients through the Internet. When not working with clients, you’ll find him playing basketball, going to Carolina games, and planning the next adventure with his wife and two daughters. Drop Brian a line at email@example.com, call (919) 646-8707, or visit us on the web at www.legalscapes.com.