I recently had a heartfelt and somewhat emotional discussion with a young lawyer seeking my marketing advice. This extremely intelligent and capable attorney had become disillusioned that his hard work toward marketing his newly established practice was not paying dividends.
Based upon all of the social media wisdom as to how to use internet marketing to land clients, this gentleman got an A for effort.
Pay per click campaigns in all internet search engines, Facebook, Google Plus, legal networking, blog postings, social media distribution, all boxes checked.
Unfortunately, for this gentleman and far too many other lawyers, the flaw behind their inability to achieve financial success is not their lack of energy, competence or drive to succeed. Rather, it is lawyers continued misdirected marketing efforts that both drain their monetary ability to sustain their practices and diminish their enthusiasm to engage in the legal profession.
I assert one basic premise that runs counter to nearly all of the unsuccessful marketing advice you may have heard; social media is almost always a worthless pursuit to capture the legal clients you need to sustain a law practice.
The fact of the matter is that when someone is in need of a criminal lawyer they do not turn to Facebook or Google plus to find one. The reasons for this are varied, however common sense is a good resource to help determine why social media is not a trusted forum with which to appeal to clients needing legal assistance.
Why do I believe social media efforts run counter to successful client acquisition goals? Because those in your social media circles, whether on Facebook or Google Plus know you! The last thing most people wish to do when arrested for a crime is to publicize their ordeal on social media for all of their social followers to see.
Ok the millennial lawyer says to his or herself, I will get on my big boy pants and target my marketing pursuits to the internet search engines to advertise my practice. If I can succeed there, I can succeed anywhere!
To many young lawyers educated in the age of social media and online resources, the internet is the be all and end all as to all thought processes related to legal marketing. To these lawyers, the thought that other more successful forms of legal marketing exist to land great clients is silly and runs counter to everything they observe around them.
Where prior generations of lawyers often knew of no other viable marketing resource than the phone book yellow pages, present day young lawyers are too often failing in the same ways that prior generations of lawyers did when seeking success through phone book advertising.
To the prior generation’s first full page lawyer phone book advertiser, as long as the phone book had a marketing monopoly on lawyer advertising life was great. Unfortunately, life was proportionately not as great for each respective lawyer phone book advertiser pages behind this one fortunate lawyer advertiser who existed within every geographic community irrespective of ability.
With no other viable means with which to advertise, lawyers aimlessly poured monthly marketing dollars into yellow page advertising, no matter that their costly advertisement would rarely be viewed twenty pages or more behind the lawyer phone book marketing leader. (In my case fifty pages back was not uncommon within my phone book)
For well intentioned and intelligent lawyers, unless willing to attempt equally unsuccessful billboard advertising or television commercials, there simply was no other way but the phone book to market a legal practice.
Turning our attention to today’s legal marketing environment, the challenges for the lawyer seeking more clients is now basically the same to that of the lawyer phone book generation.
Although in this new age of internet marketing yearly contractual commitments are no longer readily enforceable, the price it will take to capture the scarce marketing real estate atop Google is just as steep. Further, as a lawyer who markets at the top ranked search engine listing level, I can state with personal experience that top search engine organic listings is not the monopoly for landing clients that the phone book formerly was.
Why? Because unlike the age of lawyer phone book marketing, today’s lawyer marketer has access to one legal marketing avenue never before existing to prior generations of lawyers; direct mail marketing.
The allowance for lawyers to directly market themselves to potential clients who have been arrested destroyed the lawyer phone book advertiser. As a top ranked present day search engine marketer, direct mail advertising has done similar damage to the effectiveness of lawyer internet marketing.
No longer must aspiring lawyers take a leap of faith commitment to yearly phone book contracts that commit them to potentially putting their law practices under bankruptcy protection.
Similarly, in today’s internet world, lawyers who know to profit from direct mail advertising no longer need to concern themselves with wasteful spending on misdirected internet marketing.
Lawyers in the know now realize that it is simply imprudent to spend valuable financial resources to compete for online marketing real estate that may never be visited.
Although old school, the continued success for law firms nationwide is premised upon the power of direct marketing to potential clients who need your services right away.
To the law practice in need of clients, it is direct mail marketing that often provides the valuable edge to lawyers who can at long last take the time to understand the common sense behind why it is the most successful form of legal marketing to lawyers throughout America.