If you’re a lawyer, you need to know your way around technology. It no longer matters what your specialty is – if you don’t have a significant web presence, clients won’t take you seriously. As a lawyer, appearing to be out of the loop or out of date can very well cost you, as leads will be unwilling to trust their case with you.
Consider this a primer for what you need to know to kickstart your online presence, convert more leads into clients, and prompt more referrals:
#1 Have A User Friendly Website
There is no excuse for not having a website, but that doesn’t mean it’s an uncommon problem. Whether you work in divorce law, or international commercial arbitration, not having a website is akin to not having a practice.
To get started building a website, first know that it does not have to be complicated – in fact, it’s better if you keep it simple and easy to navigate. You may decide to hire a professional web designer, which is a great idea if you’re ready to invest in growing your practice quickly. If you have more modest goals for the near future, however, there are many free tools you can use to get started.
I recommend WordPress or Squarespace, as they are both highly regarded by search engines – which is a major reason to have a site in the first place! They’re also both incredibly easy to use, and there are hundreds of great tutorials on YouTube for both, from getting started to doing more complicated customizations.
#2 Start A Social Media Presence
You don’t have to Tweet every hour, or even every day. You don’t need to post to Facebook every time you have an artistically plated lunch. What you do need to do is develop a consistent schedule for posting on social. Consider it a digital pulse that shows you’re alive, especially to younger leads (and by younger we mean under 40).
If you often look at criminal background checks, you may notice that much of the information comes from social media accounts. Learn from others’ mistakes – be cognizant of the fact that anything you put on the internet will stay there. However, social media accounts can be a great way to help leads and clients get to know you on a more personal level, which can make you more appealing. It’s about striking that balance between entertaining, informative and professional.
Don’t think you need to interrupt your day to day work either – tools like HootSuite exist, and they allow you to schedule posts up to a year in advance, post pictures, and collect basic analytics. There are plenty of ways to have a digital marketing strategy that doesn’t break the bank.
#3 Join The Cloud, Gain Some Freedom
Are you stuck in an office all day? Do you resent the rent that you have to pay for your team? Have you hit a plateau? If you have a smaller team, or if you have employees who would appreciate flexibility in where they work, consider investing in cloud practice management software.
Cloud practice management software is exactly that – everything you need to run your firm remotely. Pair it with the right professional legal team freelancers, and you could, conceivably, run a firm all by yourself without even putting pants on (until it’s time to go to court). The considerably valuable icing on the proverbial cake? Your data is actually more secure than if it was printed out in your office. Oh, and don’t forget the cherry – for most providers, you’ll also be able to offer secure client portals, which means your clients will feel that they’re having the luxury experience, while also being able to answer many of their more frequent questions on their own.
Over time, the label of “tech company” has become increasingly vague, as software works itself deeper into our everyday lives, both at home and at work. There is no industry left untouched in 2017 – don’t be left behind by ignoring the tools that are right in front of you.