Marketing is something that attorneys often don’t have — or take — time to focus on. In the case of elder law attorneys, some assume they don’t need marketing or the associated expense, and that the business will come simply by virtue of the good and noble work they do. For others, marketing seems daunting and they feel they have no idea what they’re doing, or where to begin with their marketing efforts.
In reality, executing some very simple and cost-effective marketing tactics and strategies can have a positive snowball effect on your success as an elder law attorney. Small efforts can quickly turn into big results, helping you to spread the word and grow your elder law practice. Regardless of where your own marketing mindset is, the holiday season — when business is typically slower for most elder law attorneys — can be a good time to put some strategies into place.
Let’s explore five marketing tools that are fairly simple to manage for even very small elder law practices.
1. Blog and Solid Marketing Content
If you don’t already have content as part of your marketing strategy, you should. You should definitely have a blog that is not only related to your practice, but one which appeals to the elder law community at large. You need to have content available on your site that is informative and beneficial to clients and prospects. While marketing is the strategy behind your content, the bulk of it should be informative and not solely related to how competent you or your firm are. If you don’t have time to create the content yourself, consider tasking a qualified member of your staff to write some informative and educational content that will bring people to your site. If you don’t have a staff member that can do this, consider hiring a high-quality freelance writer to generate three to five pieces of informative content that you can post on your website. You can gradually add content from there.
2. Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The content you create will be the key to increasing your visibility in search engine results when potential clients are looking for information about matters related to the services you offer as an elder law attorney. SEO, which should certainly be a major part of your legal marketing plan, is all about making sure your elder law firm appears in those online search results. SEO is the process that search engines such as Google and Yahoo use to find you online, whether through your website content, social media channels, or outside content.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that allows you to gain insights about your audience and to better understand how your content and other online initiatives are working for your firm. It details the search terms that brought people to your site and tells you how much time they spent there. You can also use it to determine popular search terms, so you can use those terms on your website. When you have this information, you can better tailor your content and your overall marketing efforts online.
3. Email Newsletter
Just like your website content, a monthly email newsletter is an effective marketing tactic. You can use your newsletter to engage clients and prospects by sharing useful information. During the holiday season, your newsletter is a great way to stay top of mind with your clients by offering seasonally relevant information. Consider combining some legal strategies for estate planning in the New Year with a festive holiday recipe or tips on how to avoid exhaustion during the busy holiday season, for example. A printed holiday newsletter sent via U.S. Postal Service can be even more effective this time of year and is more likely to stand out among a sea of holiday emails that flood people’s inboxes during the holidays.
Remember that the content of your newsletter shouldn’t be overly promotional. Provide a mix of information so that your clients and prospects feel they’re getting something of value and not just a sales pitch.
4. Social Media
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your elderly clients and prospects aren’t using social media. Pew Research’s 2016 Social Media Update found that 62 percent of adults 65 and older now use Facebook, 20 percent of those over 65 use LinkedIn, and 10 percent of those over 65 use Twitter. Each of the different channels has its unique marketing benefits for lawyers.
Facebook allows you to share your personality with clients based on what you post and share. LinkedIn helps you maintain and expand your elder law community by networking, sharing articles, news and interests. Twitter allows you to share short news/updates and contains a powerful searching capability.
Your social networks play an important role in your marketing search results and SEO.
5. Client Database and Outreach Management
While there are plenty of new marketing tactics for your elder law practice, don’t overlook the importance of good old-fashioned follow up in your marketing efforts. When new leads come to you from your professional network or others in the elder law community, it’s important to do your due diligence in following up with these leads. Take some time during the slower holiday season to compile a good record of potential leads and reach out to these prospects with a letter, email or phone call to gauge their interest or needs. Sending them a link to an informative article on your website can help them to build rapport. Remind them that elder law planning is among the things that are important to look into in the new year.
The downtime offered in the months of December and January can be used to clean up your database of existing clients and update information as necessary. Keeping good records is essential to maximizing your marketing efforts and making sure that your messages reach their intended recipients rather than being sent to the wrong address or getting lost in cyberspace.
Employing marketing strategies to grow your elder law practice doesn’t have to be overly complex or costly. And the holiday season is the perfect time to begin implementing these small strategies that will quickly lead to big results in the year ahead. Marketing is like that proverbial snowball rolling downhill. Be patient, be consistent and it will gain steam and mass along the way — helping your elder law practice to grow and prosper.