Bankruptcy lawyers provide critical counsel and support for their clients through a complicated process. But a bankruptcy attorney must generate consistent demand for their services by using the right marketing tactics.
Trying to balance the practice of law and the marketing work required to make the firm successful is challenging. That’s why the most successful bankruptcy lawyers turn to experienced marketing firms for help.
Define Your Target Audience
At first glance, you might think that anyone contemplating bankruptcy is your ideal client. However, there are ways to niche into smaller subgroups of clients, such as:
- Clients facing immediate judgments from creditors
- People able to repay some of their debts through Chapter 13
- Corporations exploring Chapter 11
While both clients might end up in the bankruptcy process, they have different concerns, needs, and questions when working with an attorney. Likewise, you need to consider your target audience and craft marketing messages aligned with them.
When you know what is most important to your target audience, it’s much easier to hit it out of the park with marketing. The most successful bankruptcy practices are tuned in to their target audience and speak clearly and effectively through that audience. To define that audience, clarify who you want to reach and the best places to reach those potential clients.
Who Will You Target?
Choosing who to target is important for making a distinct impression in a crowded marketplace. You might have a few subsets of prospective clients for bankruptcy services, but it’s likely that one or two kinds of cases make up the majority of your work.
You might have different clients who:
- Individuals who need assistance in determining if they qualify for Chapter 7 or not
- Individuals filing bankruptcy for the second time
- Companies who want help understanding the impact of business bankruptcy and reorganization (this can break down further into serving small businesses, midmarket organizations, or enterprise companies)
- Companies with physical assets or those with digital IP
- Regional, national, or global clients
As you think through these issues, answer a few key questions:
- What is your client’s biggest concern when they decide to hire a bankruptcy lawyer?
- What emotions does your potential new client experience in learning more about financial issues?
- Is it when they can’t keep up with any of their payments, go through a divorce, or lose their job?
In the example above, this law firm is leaning into their history of in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing experience. This would appeal to clients who care most about someone who has done this many times and will get their paperwork filed quickly.
In the example below, this law firm clearly targets a different audience. They take a more personal approach, appealing to those clients who want more support or handholding through the process.
Tapping into the answers to these questions gives you valuable information about the kind of information you need to share with that prospective client to turn them from a lead into a client. From there, you’ll determine the best place to connect with that bankruptcy client.
Where Do They Go for Answers to Their Problems?
Not every client seeking a lawyer finds answers to their questions in the same place. Learning more about your target audience empowers you to use data to see where your audience spends time.
If you discover, for example, that there is substantial traffic for bankruptcy-related questions in your local region, you can align your marketing tactics to include a heavy focus on SEO. You might uncover a few potential places where your clients spend time, but start with one and scale up to others later after you have mastered the first.
Many people filing bankruptcy only know about the process anecdotally. To determine if bankruptcy is the best choice for them, they’ll likely turn to search engines to gather more details about the bankruptcy process and its impacts.
Deciding which marketing channels to focus on with your bankruptcy law firm is crucial for connecting with your ideal clients. The best bankruptcy lawyers evaluate both organic and paid channels before deciding where to direct their attention.
There are a few different organic channels where you can reach target clients as a bankruptcy lawyer. These include social media, word of mouth, and search engines. You might use a combination of all of these to get the word out there about your firm. If your firm already has a good reputation in terms of getting referrals from current clients, you can augment that with an SEO campaign.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Over one-third of legal clients start their search online. SEO involves setting up each page of your website to properly communicate who you serve, where you do it, and the services you offer. The goal is to capture attention and traffic from search engine users.
Those users might be looking for answers to questions like how long does bankruptcy stay on my credit report or seek direct services by typing in something like best bankruptcy attorney in Albuquerque.
In either case, you want your website positioned to earn that traffic. Once the reader is on your website, it’s your job to convert them into a client. If you’re unsure where to start with SEO for law firms, choose to partner with dedicated marketing experts. Rankings.io has earned a reputation for providing top-tier SEO services specifically for law firms, taking the pressure off you while still delivering outstanding search engine results.
When it comes to getting calls scheduled or intake forms completed, you want to make sure the right clients contact you. In addition to narrowing down to your target audience as mentioned above, you want to narrow in on geographic areas, too, if you serve only local clients. If you’re looking at national clients, however, local SEO is not important for your marketing plan.
An online local search presence ensures that Google has received the best signals from your website about your location and areas served. From law firm directory listings to Avvo profiles to your Google My Business page, you can improve your standings with local SEO results pages.
Paid channels seem like an easy way to get some calls in the door, and they can be when used correctly. Paid channels involve options like social media advertising, pay-per-click ads, and pay-per-lead ads.
Be aware that not all perform equally well and that results from paid channels might taper off over time. If a competitor in your city starts investing in those same high-value keywords, the price of your bid could increase to the point where it doesn’t make sense financially to rely so heavily on paid ads.
Start with organic channels and lean into the expertise of your outside digital marketing partner to determine whether and when paid channels should be added.
Social Media Advertising
If you can get your law firm message in front of your target audience on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you might capture their attention and bring them over to your website. Instagram and Facebook are most appropriate for getting in front of individual prospective bankruptcy clients, whereas LinkedIn is better if you’re working mostly with corporations.
However, social media ads for bankruptcy lawyers cast a very wide net. Most people are private about their financial issues and won’t give good clues or demographic info to Facebook or other sites about their financial challenges. Some people might feel targeted or called out if your bankruptcy ad shows up on their social media feed. For that reason, look into other paid channels first.
Google Local Service Ads (Pay-Per-Lead Advertising)
With pay-per-lead advertising you can pay to have your law firm featured above pay-per-click ads and Google search results. There are only a few spots available, so working with a marketing agency to determine if this is the right fit for your budget and expectations is key.
Just like readers type in keywords and get a list of organic search results, you can pay to put your law firm’s name above even the attorneys with the highest SEO rankings.
Using pay-per-click, you place a bid on a specific set of keywords. If your bid is successful, your law firm shows up in a handful of listings above the organic search results page for those keywords.
While ppc advertising can work well to get qualified traffic to your website, they are a slippery slope because they require ongoing maintenance, payment, and regular tweaking.
If you bid too high on a keyword set, for example, but you’re not able to convert any of those clients, you could go over budget quickly. If you choose to proceed with PPC campaigns, hire an outside agency to help with setup, monitoring, and edits.
Other channels should be evaluated and tested before turning to email marketing. With email marketing, you usually start by providing some kind of valuable guide or download in exchange for someone’s email address. By providing their address, they’re giving you permission to market in their email inbox. They can unsubscribe at any time and may or may not turn into a paying client.
Email marketing for a bankruptcy lawyer might look something like this:
- An offer for a free PDF about debt consolidation vs. bankruptcy followed by
- A three-part video series on which debts can be eliminated in bankruptcy and how to handle debts you can’t afford to pay in the short term
- An invitation to a consultation call to go over the potential client’s personal situation
A lot of work goes into creating that content and providing the necessary follow-up. However, bankruptcy is a legal process most people want to know a little something about before hiring a lawyer. It might be worth testing if you’ve mastered other channels.
Determine Your Value Proposition, Messaging, and Positioning
Think of your unique value proposition as the personal angle that makes your law firm unique. It’s what helps you stand out from your competition. The best way to find these details is to speak to past clients.
Here are several different examples of value propositions for bankruptcy lawyers:
- We counsel you before, during, and after filing so you can get back on your feet financially
- We help business owners conduct a 21-point evaluation to decide if bankruptcy is right for them
- We’ll not only file for bankruptcy for you, but we’ll help sue the creditors who have violated your rights
- We created a custom Financial Rebuild program to help you repair your credit post-bankruptcy
Read through reviews and testimonials and ask past clients why they decided to work with you and what they were most pleased with at the end of the process.
Set a Budget
There’s plenty of inspiration for online marketing channels and tactics that get your creative juices flowing, but you must be selective in determining which efforts to pursue. That’s where your marketing budget comes in to help you choose the best options for your law firm.
Your budget will vary based on the size of your firm and the results you want to achieve. It might also grow over time as you get more clients from your marketing efforts. With a budget in place, you can avoid costly mistakes like marketing methods that don’t get good results.
Build a Fast, Modern Website
You need a website, no matter which mix of marketing methods you use.
Your website communicates your value, areas of specialty, and authority as a law firm. Your website should be designed by someone who is familiar with trends in legal web design to provide viewers with a great user experience.
Remember, a website is not designed for you. It’s designed for your potential clients.
Website Design Basics for Bankruptcy Attorneys
A few different elements of your bankruptcy law firm website must be in place if you want to achieve success. You need a mobile-first design, a search engine optimized site, live chat features, clear calls to action, and trust signals.
Using tools like Google Analytics is a great way to see what portion of your website visitors see your site on a computer versus a tablet or mobile phone. To cover the most ground, you need a website that looks professional on all devices.
Optimized for Search
We’ve already established the importance of organic traffic. Every page on your website, from the homepage to a blog post, should be optimized for the search engines.
There are numerous factors in the Google algorithm’s placement of websites on a search results page, so finding a knowledgeable SEO agency partner cuts through the confusion and gives you confidence that you’ve got a team keeping up to date with any changes and possible improvements onsite.
Live Chat Features
Your website content goes a long way in answering plenty of questions, but your potential clients might want more information at that very moment. That’s where live chat helps to form an immediate connection.
Live chat can be used to set up consultation calls or direct users to other information on the site. In some cases, this is a crucial way to form an instant connection with your target audience. You don’t want someone to feel unclear about their next step and head back to the search results page to find another lawyer.
Clear Calls to Action
Put yourself in the shoes of your website reader when developing calls to action. Prospective bankruptcy clients might be feeling overwhelmed, confused, or even ashamed.
If they’re seeking answers to common questions, they want to know that they’re in the hands of a true professional. On each page of your website, you should include a clear call to action that tells them what to do next. It should be a logical next step based on the content they’ve viewed.
For example, if you posted a blog titled, “10 Signs You Need to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,” a logical next step is to offer them a consultation call if they identified with most of those signs.
For someone reading a blog about what to do after being sued for the first time by a creditor, they might not yet be ready to file for bankruptcy. Instead, you might direct them to other articles on your site with related topics.
Throughout your website, include references to client feedback and case outcomes. This is powerful for converting readers into potential clients because it backs up the claims you’ve made about yourself throughout the site. You can easily repurpose information from client reviews.
Build Awareness & Generate Demand
Many of the channels and tactics discussed so far focus on capturing demand when a client knows they need your service. By stepping back several steps, you can generate demand for your law firm by building awareness.
This gives you a competitive edge because you put your law firm name front and center, leaving a memory for your prospective client if and when they need your services or can refer someone else to you.
There are a few different tactics to use in your bankruptcy law firm to generate demand, including content marketing, Google My Business reviews, and link building.
Tactic #1 Content Marketing
A content marketing plan helps put the most relevant information in front of your target audience at the right time. Every page on your website should be designed to help address a specific concern or area of interest for your client.
Your service pages break down the most common kinds of legal cases you take on in the realm of bankruptcy. This might include breakdowns of practice areas like Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
Local Service Pages
If you practice in specific geographic areas, local service pages help communicate who you help in a clear manner. You might build a local service page for a big city or highly-populated suburb.
You might even include references to how long you’ve practiced in that area, your familiarity with bankruptcy court, and how you’ve helped others in the local area with those services.
Blog posts are an excellent way to generate demand for a bankruptcy law firm. Blogs provide key information and answers to people’s pertinent questions when they’re facing a financial challenge.
Although clients who hire you expect you to be an expert on bankruptcy law, those same clients also want to have a general handle on the bankruptcy process. They might use blogs to help decide whether or not to file bankruptcy at all. In this way, you get your name and knowledge in front of them while they’re getting answers to pre-bankruptcy filing questions, building trust so that they remember you if and when that time comes for them to petition the court.
Conduct keyword research to determine the best topics to cover on your bankruptcy blog, but pay special attention to demand generation topics such as:
- What to do when a creditor sues you
- What to do with credit cards when you can’t make the minimum payments
- How to handle vehicle repossession threats
- How to know when a creditor has violated rights with phone calls or letters about debts
As you add new content to your blog, your website becomes a helpful resource hub of information relevant to your target audience. This increases the chances that they’ll stay on your site and keep reading, especially if you link to other related content within each post.
Tactic #3 Google My Business Reviews
When looking for the actual experiences of people who have used a law firm in the past, most potential clients for a bankruptcy lawyer will look at your Google My Business profile.
Your Google My Business profile contains pictures, hours of operation, your website, and your phone number, among other things. It also includes an average star rating and the number of reviews you’ve received from past clients.
Those reviews are crucial for determining how you show up in local search results since Google considers them a mark of your prominence in the local legal market. They are equally important for showcasing what you bring to the table for your past clients.
Remember that asking for reviews should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some people won’t feel comfortable with their public name tied to a review of their financial situation regardless of how much you helped them.
Tactic #4 Link Building
You already know how important it is to build a high-quality website that speaks to your ideal reader. But your work doesn’t stop there. To earn the best benefits from search engine marketing, you want other websites to send links back to your website, too.
There are some easy, one-time ways to do this, such as claiming social media profiles for the law firm and including a link to your website or getting your firm listed in legal directories. You can also undertake ongoing link-building efforts, such as guest posting for lawyers.
Capture Qualified Leads Through Selected Channels
Connect with people who reach out to you, visit your website, or comment on social media posts. Getting traffic to your site or channels is only one piece of the puzzle, and you’ve got to have a system in place to communicate with those clients about their next step.
In order to follow through on your digital marketing strategy, you need a plan to meet those clients where they’re at and build a bridge toward them working with you.
Measure Results and Adapt
Working on your law firm marketing requires regular check-ins and edits to your strategy. Over time, you’ll collect data you can turn back to and review.
For example, you might learn about conversion rates on your landing pages and use that to build future ones. This helps you adjust your marketing channels and tactics based on what’s performing well.
Set aside time monthly to review reports from things like Google Analytics, your email marketing software, or social media. Your goal is to get more quality leads, and your marketing tactics might need adjustments over time to meet that goal.
Finding a Partner for Bankruptcy Law Firm Marketing Services
You’re not in this alone and you shouldn’t have to be. When you find a marketing agency with in-depth knowledge of how to get your bankruptcy firm in front of the right clients, you get to continue serving clients and scaling your law firm with ease.
Rankings.io is known throughout the industry for building and implementing outstanding SEO strategies for lawyers. We know what it takes to leverage your time and marketing budget for optimal results. We’re here to serve you, and we can start with a consultation to understand your goals. Contact us now for more information about getting more bankruptcy clients.