Should you start a law firm blog? To do it well is a significant time commitment, but may drive traffic to your law firm website and provide a real benefit for those potential clients who may be searching for a lawyer. Many potential clients turn to the internet to locate their lawyer. Even if they receive your name from a friend or family member, they will most likely go to your law firm website to do research before contacting you. In the past, law firm websites were much like a law firm’s office space - a way to boost our own ego by hanging diplomas and bar certificates on the walls. But, our websites are changing: Clients need them to understand more about your firm, its services, and its approach to cases. How better to do that than by sharing some basic information about the law?
There is a fine line between giving legal advice (not ok) and providing some basic introductory legal information that can help the potential client feel more comfortable approaching you (is ok!). For example, when Melissa wanted to market her practice to lawyers who may need to hire her to consult on an international family law case, she started a comprehensive blog where she summarized all of the most current trends in international family law. Lawyers were able to see that she stayed current, understood and could explain complex legal issues clearly, and was willing to share her knowledge - all attributes that a potential lawyer-client would want to see in someone they hire to consult on a case. When Melissa received a series of emails from a potential client asking about fees, and when it seemed that the back-and-forth was eating up a ton of her time to explain how lawyers billed, she wrote up a PDF informational brochure, and put it on her website. She can now send that link to a potential client that has this question, instead of investing a lot of her billable hours responding to emails. The end result is driving that person to her website, increasing its traffic. And, it makes Melissa’s life easier!
How does one start a blog? If you have several lawyers in your firm, divide up the work. Writing a blog entry is no more difficult than writing a short piece for your law firm’s old paper newsletter. In fact, with attention spans waning, blog posts should probably be even shorter and more concise. Aim for at least 300 words. Set deadlines for your lawyers to submit their blog posts, and have a handful of posts ready to go up on your blog at designated times. Have your web designer integrate the blog into your website, use flashy photos (that you can purchase from stock photos for cheap, or use www.canva.com to build up nice advertising spots). You can also input SEO metadata to help search engines find your blogs even better. If you want to get started for free, use WordPress or Blogger.com (or any other free blogging service). You can create several summaries of blog posts, and schedule them to post at specific intervals.
Finally, be creative. There are a ton of family law firms and many now have blogs. If you look at several family law firm blogs, they could be identical - 3 ways to help kids cope with divorce, who decides custody arrangements, or what is marital property? Find your marketing niche. Are you the family law firm, like Melissa’s, that caters to expats? Or, are you trying to get clients who are young hip social media influencers? Do you want clients who have high conflict parenting issues? Or, do you want to be the QDRO-queen? How about catering to families who may have ART issues? Find your marketing niche and use your blog to really show that you can shine when it comes to that perfect client.
Until next month’s Tech Talk Corner, you can find us at www.techtalklaw.com. Please reach out to us so we can have a dialogue about our changing profession.
Melissa is a family lawyer in Washington, D.C. and can be found at www.mkfamilylawfirm.com. Brian is a family lawyer in Southern Florida and can be found at www.ybkglaw.com.
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