The traditional law firm model, which has served firms well for decades, is now largely broken apart because of new market realities, according to a report published by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. Today’s successful lawyers are leveraging technology and use smart marketing strategies to reach and attract clients, while embracing alternative ways of practicing law and providing more affordable legal services.
Sue Howard, digital marketing expert and founder of www.VocMarketing.co, thinks that “Whether you are a large law firm or a solo practitioner, there are business models of delivering legal services online that can easily increase your client base without having to bill more hours of your time. This allows for more flexibility and work-life balance in the legal profession.”
With more and more consumers turning to the Internet to buy everything from books to therapists and professional services, it makes sense for a solo lawyer to add an online component to their practice. This means selling educational content like e-books, seminars, webinars, templates or courses, which can be a great way to diversify revenue and improve profitability while building industry authority.
Although digital programs are not viable for every practice area or client type, lawyers can start taking advantage of this expanding market by leveraging the power of automation and offering more standardized, affordable solutions. Here are the required steps:
Choosing a niche and creating a digital program
Focusing on a specific problem within a legal niche, such as e-commerce or real estate planning, makes scaling up much easier because marketing will become laser-focused and avoid a lot of the existing competition. “Your digital programs must solve a very specific challenge within a niche and identifying the right problem to solve is one of the most challenging and important steps in the process. It needs to be common enough and painful enough so that you can consistently sell it to many clients,” says Howard.
The easiest way to create a digital program in the legal niche is by packaging a few simple services together, such as a set of templates and a video tutorial on how to customize it for a specific case or business.
Building a marketing funnel
When it comes to digital programs, online marketing is the best approach, due to its greater reach and high efficiency (much lower cost per result than traditional advertising). Howard explains that “The next step is setting up a landing page that explains the value proposition of your program. You will start driving traffic to this page and capture the email addresses of all those who are potentially interested.”
Promoting the program and start selling
There are many different strategies to drive traffic to a program, from content marketing to paid ads and social media. The best strategy depends on who is the specific targeted audience.
With its three billion users worldwide, Facebook has become more and more of a staple in almost any industry. Howard says that “With the ability to target your audience by city, age, life events and lots of interest, Facebook ads can help you put your programs in front of the exact people you want to reach. It is the most targeted and economical form of advertising today.”
Howard adds that “The world is moving online. By designing programs that can be marketed online and delivered with the help of technology, lawyers can tap into a new market and boost the bottom line without worrying about the number of billed hours.”
Sue Howard is a digital marketing consultant, making her mark online through her agency, VoC Marketing. Howard helps professional service providers ditch the day to day grind of trading hours for dollars by creating second income streams with digital products. Find more at www.VocMarketing.co