At Muse Communications, we frequently partner with other specialists in the digital and legal marketing field. One of our favorites is Jeff LeBlanc of Luna Digital Studio. We asked Jeff to summarize his best advice for law firms looking to raise their online profile. (Full disclosure: we have not paid for this content, nor have we received any financial incentives for running it. We just really like Jeff.)
By Jeff LeBlanc
Luna Digital Studio
There’s more opportunity than ever before to expand your law firm’s presence in the digital landscape. Digital marketing can be an influence multiplier for your brand’s network, and can create new opportunities for your firm to take on more of the quality clients you want.
I’ve compiled the top three ways your law firm can move the dial on growth goals in 2021 and beyond.
Target New Sources of Referral Using LinkedIn Campaigns
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many DFW-based law firms and the good people that manage them. When I ask where they get their business from, there isn’t much pause before the usual answer: “word of mouth and referral.”
And why not that answer? Taking on and winning high quality cases and engagements is a sure-fire way to get people talking about and recommending your firm. If you want to hack your way to new sources of referral, ask yourself: what does your ideal referral source look like? Are they a CFO, in-house counsel, or past client? Maybe they’re a real estate or business development lead?
If you have a job type in mind, there’s a good chance LinkedIn is holding that data. Job functions, seniority, industry, groups membership, geography – all of these targeting options are available to you based on the data that LinkedIn holds. You can launch targeted LinkedIn ads that only show for certain future sources of referral, but be careful: a targeted approach is required to make sure your campaign is only being shown where it’s most fruitful.
Be Present in Google Search
But what if your firm doesn’t have a target job type in mind? You won’t be shocked to hear that one of the world’s most powerful companies might have the answer for your next round of intake growth. Your future clients are likely taking their legal questions to Google before they take them to your firm, and you want to make sure Google is sending those high-intent future clients to your firm, not others.
So how do you do that? The great thing about Google search is that when your future client searches there, Google’s search algorithm crawls the internet in search of the best answers and you can appear as one of those answers by either paid or organic placements.
Paid placements come from serving paid ads that align with the words the searcher used. So, if carefully managed, ads are only being shown when someone’s intent matches your offering. This can be a powerful way to drive new intake for your firm. On the other hand, organic placements come from strong SEO (search engine optimization) that results from a whole network of technical and content-driven advantages that Google thinks your website and business listing offers.
The practice of SEO is the long game, and requires technical expertise of your own website, along with regular publication of authoritative and keyword-rich content. So, ask yourself: how does the most powerful directory in the world view your law firm? Are you showing up on the first page of Google’s search results for the categories you want to rank for, or are you getting left behind?
This issue is less critical for law firms that get the bulk of their work from referrals and personal networking, but showing up high on Google searches is rarely a negative.
A Mathematical Approach to Intake
We’ve looked at how to drive more of the quality clients your firm needs to succeed, but what about after that traffic comes in? The emails, the phone calls, the admin work required — scaling your firm to meet the demand can be daunting.
That’s why you’ll want to set a very specific growth target at first: what is your new monthly revenue target, versus where you are currently? Then you’ll want to take a mathematical approach to determine how to meet that revenue target by asking questions such as:
- How many new clients can I engage on a weekly basis if I change nothing?
- Where do I want this number to be?
Now, work backwards from your target: if you have a specific monthly or annual revenue target in mind, then, based on average client value, how many new clients do you need to serve to meet that target? Continue working backwards: based on your own sales and intake drop-off rates, how many leads would you need to drive into the firm to achieve the target number of clients served?
Also, what kind of interactions do we want: do we process intake better in the form of phone calls, emails, or as web form submissions? By working backwards from a specific target and understanding your own firm’s efficiency rates based on historical data, you can make accurate projections of how much more intake you would need to process to match that new revenue target. What approach is your firm taking to scaling processes at the same time as revenue targets?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing: everything starts with having clear goals and a well-informed strategy that matches your business values and development goals.
Jeff LeBlanc is a digital strategist and co-founder of Luna Digital Studio. Since 2014 Jeff has practiced all things digital marketing, including ad campaign design & optimization, marketing analytics, website design & development, SEM, SEO, and conversion rate optimization. Jeff is a New Orleans native and LSU alumnus who moved to Dallas in 2017 to continue practicing these forms of marketing in industries such as education, private aviation, and law. In 2020, he co-founded Luna Digital Studio with his wife, Aubrie. Luna supports clients from coast to coast in branding and advertising. Jeff is a data geek, book lover, avid chess player, bilingual Spanish speaker, and, before the pandemic, would usually be found alternating between local coffee shops and taco shops whenever possible. Jeff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.