Whether you are a sole practitioner or a member of a large law firm, online advertising is one of the best ways to attract new clients. According to the latest marketing statistics, at least one-third of all new legal clients found their lawyers through online sources, including social media advertising. What this means for your practice is that you will want to tap into the enormous power of web marketing to grow your client base.
However, the techniques for online advertising are somewhat different for sole practitioners and law firms. Understanding the difference will help you choose the right marketing streams for your particular situation.
Sole Practitioner vs. Law Firm–How Should I Advertise?
Sole practitioners are relying far more on individual brands than law firms, which tend to utilize their collective reputation. This distinction means that the sole practitioner usually focuses advertising efforts more on personal credibility, while a law firm focuses on collective experience. In many cases, sole practitioners are heavily relying on references from individual satisfied clients, while law firms can pick and choose their testimonials much more easily.
For single practitioners, the best practices usually include:
- Focusing on personal brand. Showing that you are trustworthy is an essential part of attracting clients as a sole practitioner. There is an unspoken assumption that large law firms would not hire or retain attorneys if they were not productive, so you have to convince clients that you can produce results similar to those of a lawyer in a bigger firm.
- Utilize legal directories. Online legal directories can be a great asset to a sole practitioner. These directories are where you can list your education, areas of focus, and more personal information such as your beliefs about the law and your approach to cases. Many potential clients scour legal directories to find attorneys, and they often focus on keyword searches related to their perceived needs.
- Use social media to your advantage. One of the most underutilized resources for attorney advertising is social media. While paid advertising can work, you can also capitalize on the wide range of free advertising available to you through many social media networks. Blogging and posting regularly will keep your name in front of a wide range of potential clients.
For law firms, online marketing should include:
- Focus on individual brands to support your firm’s brand. The focus on individual branding used by sole practitioners can be a good way to highlight your firm’s lawyers and lend overall support to your practice.
- Expand individual brands to create a firm brand. While individuals can and should be highlighted, however, it is important to develop a firm-wide brand that is consistent and recognizable. For example, your firm can work on becoming known for expertise in a specific area of the law, or alternatively for having a wide range of practitioners under a single roof.
- Utilize the power of your collective experience. One great advantage law firms have over individual attorneys is that they have a collective experience that often adds up to hundreds of years total! Be sure to highlight the fact that your firm has a great deal of cumulative knowledge and experience by blogging and posting in social media, listing all areas of practice on legal directories, and developing your firm’s website to include individual pages with specific practice areas.
At Caldiatech, we have been working with both sole practitioners and law firms for many years to offer help with online marketing strategies. Give us a call today to learn what we can do for your practice!