Technology has changed every aspect of practicing law, from communicating with clients to creating documents.
And in the past two years, with the industry-wide pivot to remote practice, technology has become essential for survival.
Here are your Marketing Practice Pointers for the fourth quarter of 2022, with a focus on technology.
2022 Law Firm Marketing Checklist
Q4 – Using Technology
- Know that technology competence is an ethical duty. Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1 says: “a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” If you’re still printing out emails, making photocopies, sending faxes, and using outdated computers, you’re not just behind the times – you’re running a risk of a malpractice claim or Bar grievance.
- Learn the basics of law office tech. Many state bars provide practice management assistance. The ABA Law Practice Division and its Law Technology Today publication are great resources. The ABA TechReport 2021 offers a wealth of information. Do your research. Ask other lawyers what systems they use.
- Have a great website. Surveys show that 75 percent of clients search online for a lawyer. Make sure they stop and take notice when they land on your website. These days it doesn’t take much time or money to create an attractive, user-friendly site. Spend time on your About Me page. That’s where clients go first. Present yourself as a capable attorney and caring person. Include a quality photo. Don’t be shy about sharing a bit of your personality: family, pets, hobbies. Clients hire lawyers they know, like and trust.
- Enhance your Search Engine Optimization. You can pay a service to boost your site’s SEO. Or you can do it yourself by posting lots of original, engaging content. This will increase traffic to your site. Pro tip: Use this free Google Ads Keyword Search to identify the words and phrases prospective clients most frequently use when searching for a lawyer.
- Start a blog. A blog will showcase your expertise, educate your clients, and attract new business. Be sure to post fresh content regularly. Get your staff to contribute articles.
- Use tech tools to improve the client experience. Software products automate and streamline tasks previously done by hand, saving you money and time while keeping your clients happy. Tools to consider: collaborative communication apps (Slack, Zapier); email marketing (Mailchimp, Constant Contact); social media management (Hootsuite); calendars and appointments (Calendly, LawTap); online review management (Birdeye); workflow automation systems; case management programs (Clio); cloud computing services for sharing files (Dropbox, MS OneDrive, Google Drive). But be careful with the latter. Choose only proven, reliable vendors and cyber-secure products for cloud data storage. Pro tip: use encryption for transferring sensitive data.
- Invest in cyber-security. Clients want to know that their personal information will be kept safe, secure and confidential. Boost your marketability by reassuring them this is a priority at your firm. Use secure passwords. Avoid suspicious emails. Schedule a cyber-audit, penetration test, or phishing detection test. Have a cyber-response plan if trouble occurs. Have an IT professional on standby if needed.
- Maximize your Calls to Action. Place dynamic CTAs on your website that encourage visitors to engage with you further by scheduling an appointment, requesting a consultation, downloading a free e-book, or subscribing to your newsletter. Homepage popups and chatbots can also boost engagement.
- Use videos to market your services. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 10,000. Add videos of you and your team to your website and LinkedIn profile. Include them in email newsletters. They don’t have to be slick or expensive. DIY is fine. Make them short, engaging, and tasteful. Pro tip: produce a client webinar (ex: “10 Traps to Avoid in Your Divorce Case”) and post it on YouTube.
- Be SMART. Your tech marketing strategy should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Use analytics to measure outcomes. How many people are visiting your website each week? What pages get the most views? Who is searching your LinkedIn profile? Which CTAs work best?
- Meet with clients on Zoom. Sixty percent of clients prefer to meet with their lawyer by way of video conference rather than in-person, according to the latest ABA survey.
- Offer online payment options. A majority of clients want to be able to pay their bills online, according to the ABA report.
- Train your team. Make sure they’re proficient in the tech tools your firm uses.
Bonus Marketing Practice Pointer: In your rush to embrace tech, don’t forget there’s no substitute for the personal touch.
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