How can firms stand out in a crowded online space and make meaningful connections with clients?
This is the question that drives Gyi Tsakalakis, President of AttorneySync, a legal marketing agency that helps leading lawyers grow their practices through digital marketing. Gyi shares how solo law firms should approach marketing, the client experience, and their digital footprint to gain a competitive advantage.
They Don’t Teach You This in Law School
When it comes to running a firm, most lawyers aren’t prepared for the marketing side of things.
“I’m a licensed lawyer, even though I’m not practicing. And I can tell you when I went to law school, they didn’t teach marketing and business stuff,” says Gyi. “Especially now with all the tools and technology and social networks and all this internet stuff—lawyers get overwhelmed,” he adds.
You went to law school to learn the history of law, not to learn how to create Facebook ads, right?!
“Unless they came from that background or had been an entrepreneur in another context, why would we expect them to know anything about running business marketing, especially when it comes to digital?”
Yet marketing can help attorneys establish a larger client base and grow sustainably…when done right. The key to marketing a solo firm, says Gyi, is looking at the big picture: client experience. This encompasses client engagement, client intake, and client service. If a firm has poor client experience, all the marketing in the world can’t help them grow.
Gyi particularly focuses on the importance of handling client intake, which sets the stage for the rest of the client experience.
An ineffective client intake process might look like this:
- A website visitor clicks on the chatbot and asks a question and never receives an answer.
- A referral emails the firm using the primary email and doesn’t receive a response for 2 weeks.
- A potential client finds the firm’s phone number online, calls, goes through an automated answering service, and gets frustrated when they can’t speak to a person.
- A potential client calls the firm and leaves a message, and does not get a call back until the next week.
Despite all of the work done to get clients through the door, this unpleasant client experience will cause drop-offs at an early stage of client intake. “You’ve got to fix that stuff first before you actually spend a single dollar on marketing,” Gyi explains.
How to Stop Wasting Marketing Dollars Through Client Experience
Get more bang for your buck by focusing on the client experience. This approach will help you retain the leads coming in, ensuring that your marketing is pulling in leads that convert rather than leads that drop off during intake.
How can a solo firm put this into practice? First, think about every experience that a potential or current client has with your firm.
Try asking these questions:
- What does a potential client see when they search your name online?
- What do they see when they arrive at your website?
- What happens when they call you?
- What happens when they email you?
- Where can they reach you?
Everything you set up has to be viewed from their perspective, not just what’s most convenient for you.
The answers to these questions can guide solo law firms in creating client-centric processes. Ultimately, the real goal is to answer client questions and help them identify if your firm is the right fit for them right away. That’s not always realistic, so the next best thing is to set their expectations and stop their search.
Establishing a solid client experience could mean the difference between keeping a lead in your funnel and a lead heading back to Google to find the next lawyer to work with.
The #1 Marketing Tool Every Lawyer Needs
If there’s anything that Gyi wants lawyers to take away from marketing it’s this: you absolutely must sign up for Google My Business.
This goes back to his approach to the client experience. “People are gonna go look for information about you online,” Gyi explains. “Google has the lion’s share of search traffic.”
How you appear in Google is going to make a big difference for those searches. If your firm doesn’t show up on Google, for instance, it’s likely the search will stop there. However, if your firm shows up with a website, reviews, and a phone number, they are more likely to get in touch.
Think of Google My Business as the website before your website…and it’s free! All you have to do is claim the profile and fill it out. This boosts your digital presence and legitimizes the firm for clients. You wouldn’t have a law office without a sign on the building, and you also shouldn’t have a law firm without a digital presence.
Enlist a Marketing Expert
Solo practitioners have a lot on their plate, and running a firm can mean learning on the go. You can’t master everything at once! Get the most out of your marketing with a strategy that maximizes marketing dollars spent by building a digital presence that brings in leads for your firm and turns them into paying clients.