Most family lawyers can name a digital marketing outcome they want, such as being on the first page of Google search for chosen keywords and phone calls from qualified clients.
But the road to getting there requires you to learn about your clients and their psychology before you can effectively market to them and make the most of your time and resources.
Family law attorneys must know how to use customer research, positioning, messaging, and demand generation to capture and convert leads into clients.
1. Customer Research
As a family lawyer, you might focus broadly on many different family legal issues, or you might notice that most of your current clients come to you for one to two primary matters, such as divorce or adoption.
To stand out from your competition, start by determining your target customers.
This could be men, women, fathers, mothers, grandparents, or someone else.
While you can serve many different kinds of people, those family lawyers who niche down early on grow their firms faster.
Once you know who you serve, discover where they spend time online and offline.
Speak with your past clients to learn more about what your target audience cares about, and then use that information to start shaping your positioning and messaging.
For example, you might hear from multiple family law clients that they appreciated your honesty or how hard you fought for them to get child custody.
When you hear the same things more than once, those details can be used to differentiate you from your competitors.
2. Positioning & Messaging
If family law firms consistently make one mistake, it’s focusing too much on themselves and what they have to offer rather than the clients’ needs.
Your prospective clients care that you’re educated, well-respected in your community, and have years of experience in family law concerns, but they are far more interested in how you help clients achieve their goals.
Notice how Cordell Cordell positions their target client as the main focus of their site? They’re talking directly to fathers with their headline and using an image that coneys the same sentiment.
The is how you position your client as the hero of the story whereas you’re the guide helping them get their ideal outcome. Use your feedback from customer research to develop your positioning. Your positioning explains who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
Since your client is the hero, you must understand how they feel when they start their journey. What is their biggest fear? What is holding them back from taking action? How can you be the one to take them to the promised land?
April Dunford suggests that you start with positioning by thinking about the competition. Who would your clients choose if they didn’t choose you? Likewise, Andy Raskin says that starting off any marketing statement with a focus on you rather than your clients is a surefire way to lose someone’s interest from the getgo.
Lean into the urgency and stakes for your client instead. Make them the hero and they’re more likely to want to retain you.
3. Generate Demand
Rather than capturing demand alone, focus on generating demand in your legal marketing. Put your law firm out there as a leader in divorce topics so that if and when the time comes for a potential client, they are prepared to reach out to you.
When you know where your audience spends time, you can craft your marketing tactics and channels to align with that.
Some efforts won’t deliver ROI for a family lawyer, such as sending out an email newsletter. A prospective client still considering divorce is unlikely to sign up for your newsletter and read it each week while they think over their options.
That same person might do some research on topics important to their case (such as child support laws in the state or whether/how parenting coordinators are used in custody cases) that you can cover on your blog.
Create Content on a Flywheel
It takes a lot of work to get your marketing machine in motion, but you can build momentum quickly and forcefully by leveraging the right options.
Recognize that your audience might find your message in different places and resonate with it in different ways. Focus on your core story and tell that story repeatedly in a few ways.
For example, perhaps you discovered in customer research that your past clients appreciated how you honestly informed them of all their options at every stage of the case. You might use that to create a blog explaining how the divorce process works and a short video on the common pitfall points in a high-conflict divorce.
That material might be viewed by different potential clients but shares the same benefit of how you break down a complex and overwhelming subject into easy-to-understand steps.
With anything you create, focus on quality content. There’s no point in producing something if it doesn’t help the reader/viewer answer their question.
Find the Right Marketing Channel
Do not try to implement all marketing ideas at once, as this quickly gets exhausting and yields little in the way of results.
Instead, find the channel that works best for you.
If it’s social media, laser in on which platforms have sent you clients in the past. Try those platforms and determine which ones work best for your audience and your message.
LinkedIn might not be the place where someone goes searching for a divorce attorney, but a client might check out your Facebook page or Google reviews.
Generate demand by putting your content and expertise in the right place at the right time. Think carefully about the channels where you’re most likely to reach your target clients, such as organic SEO or Google My Business for local SEO or Facebook and Instagram for social media.
A useful way to reach your audience indirectly is to do what Cordell Cordell has done with DadsDivorce.com. They run it as a separate website, social media page, and podcast where they publish content relevant to their target audience at an arms-length distance from their firm’s direct brand.
Building a community like this isn’t easy but it yields outsized returns. If your firm doesn’t want to niche down like Cordell Cordell has done, you could spin off separate websites and social media groups that each target a particular audience and use them to funnel leads back to your main brand.
By putting your focus into making these work for you, you can liberate yourself from worrying about other marketing opportunities while still generating and capturing demand from qualified leads.
Content is king with marketing channels, but you must also choose something you can keep up with over time. If you hate making videos, cross marketing on TikTok off your list.
Start with one message, one audience, and one channel in the beginning. Once you master that, stack your growth by diving into others.
4. Capture Demand
You put a lot of effort into your marketing campaign, but you shouldn’t skip over the importance of making it easy for people to contact you once they find you.
Search Optimized Website
First, you need a website that is easy to find, navigate, and use. Your site should also load quickly on desktop and mobile. Remember to focus on your client as the hero throughout your content on your website.
Optimize your website for search with on-page SEO and keywords. A family law firm website should clearly explain who you are and who you help.
Don’t overcomplicate your website design, either. The site is for your clients, not you. And make sure it follows best practices when it comes to design. For example, this website puts its menu in the middle of the page instead of at the top, where people universally expect it to be.
A few other tips can maximize your law firm website:
Make sure your phone number is easy to find and is visible on each page
Provide landing pages with a focus on the core issues most people have questions about
Consider using live chat on your site for instant communication
Google My Business
Second, create and claim your Google Business Profile listing. This should include your firm name, phone number, contact details, opening hours, and photos.
Citations & Directories
Third, ensure your law firm has citations in directories all over the place. Directories provide backlinks to your website and enhance your online presence. Check out these legal directories for a full list.
Fourth, set up profiles on all major social media platforms, even those that won’t be a core focus of your marketing plan. You want to own profiles with the firm’s name on them. Add your firm logo and other relevant details, such as your phone number and a link back to your website, to make it easy for high-quality clients to find and follow you.
Paid Advertising (Google Ads)
Fifth, evaluate paid search like PPC/Google Ads as a demand capture channel. There are costs that go into this beyond your ad spend, such as creating ads and monitoring results. While you get results more quickly here than with search engine optimization, paid search doesn’t deliver a higher ROI over time for family lawyers.
Lead Intake Process
Finally, respond to inquiries quickly. When someone takes the step of reaching out to a family lawyer, they want a timely response. You run the risk of losing their case if another firm responds in the interim. Show that you’re a great communicator and easy to work with from the beginning.
5. Get Feedback and Referrals
Most potential family law clients will do their research before reaching out to schedule a free consultation. While your website is your opportunity to tell your story about who you are and how you serve, feedback from others is also crucial.
Once you’ve concluded a legal matter with a legal client, make it a practice to ask for feedback. Ask for feedback rather than reviews because this gives your clients a chance to provide their honest thoughts.
This feedback makes you look more authentic and relatable, but it can also be used to help you improve processes and relationships with clients.
While it’s good to ask for feedback from most of your clients, be aware that some of your cases might involve sensitive matters that your clients are not comfortable mentioning in a public forum.
Use your discretion in asking for their thoughts about these family law issues and respect their decision if they decide not to share because it feels too personal for them. If you have a client on the fence about sharing, you can suggest that they focus on the experience of working with you rather than the specifics of their case.
When requesting feedback:
Find out what clients did or didn’t like
Ask for details on what could have been better
Dig into what the client might have done if they had not come to you
Touch on any concerns the client had before deciding to work with you
Not only does this give you direct responses on how you can make better experiences for future clients, but you can use your client’s perspective in your marketing and positioning. This includes ads, email marketing, and any other messaging for your law firm in the future.
Leverage Your Family Law Marketing Resources by Outsourcing SEO
Getting started with family law marketing can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to when you’re working with a team of marketing experts.
At Rankings.io, we’ve focused on delivering marketing services to the legal industry for years, and we know what works. We’ll help you get results with SEO so you can continue to attract ideal clients for your firm without feeling that you’ve taken on too many marketing initiatives at once.
Contact us today for more information about how to go to the next level with your family law firm marketing and start seeing your firm’s name on the Google results page.
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