Family law advertising back in the olden days
Family law advertising has changed a LOT since the olden days. When I say “olden” days, I mean 2010 and before. Back in the olden days, a really great family law marketing strategy was to do not much of anything. You just had to show up and do great work. If you were willing to work hard and do the hard stuff, that is take on challenging cases, word would spread and your reputation would improve. Former clients and other lawyers would start sending you work.
Most lawyers simply worked hard and relied on their smarts. Word would get around that they were good at their jobs. Then, the referrals would come.
Unfortunately, this family law marketing strategy (which is really no strategy at all) no longer works.
It is not only lawyers that make this “let me work hard and hope the work comes” mistake. Most people in business think that if they do great work and serve their clients and/or customers well, that they will get customers lining up at the door of their businesses.
So, let’s dive in.
The top 10 mistakes lawyers make in their family law advertising strategy
1. Not marketing your family law practice
I get it. There is a lot of information out there about digital marketing for law firms, seo for family law, online marketing for law firms, family law lawyer website design, etc. You name it. It's a lot to think about and you might even wonder where to begin.
The point is this. Do not not market. You gotta start somewhere. So many lawyers get so wrapped up in wanting to have a great family law advertising strategy that they completely miss by doing nothing at all.
2. Thinking you will get around to building your own family law website
Getting someone to build you a really nice, clean, fast, clickable website does not have to be expensive. Don’t make the colossal mistake of thinking you can build it yourself. First of all, it will probably suck. Secondly, and this is where the real rub is, you will probably NEVER get around to finalizing it, sprucing it up, taking care of it, and making sure that it has seo for family law so that potential clients can find you.
Focus on activities that leverage your time and expertise, like looking after your clients and growing your family law practice. Unless you have had a previous career as a web-designer, building your own website will not get you there.
3. Remember, nobody cares about you
Don’t make the mistake I made in my marketing when I thought I was very clever. Our team brainstormed and came up with a fun and great idea. We called ourselves on our tagline, “Not Your Ordinary Law Firm.” Then we thought we would improve it by taking the word “NOT” out of our tagline. We then called ourselves “More Than Your Ordinary Law Firm.”
The point is this. When people are looking for a divorce lawyer, they want what you are telling them to be about them, not you. What can you promise them? What can they expect to get from your firm’s services?
Our potential clients did not care about us being not ordinary or more than an ordinary law firm.
Our potential clients did not care at all about our firm. They cared about how we could help them.
Now, at my law firm, we tell people what they can expect from us. We tell them that Pathway Legal is their path to a better divorce. We tell them that we will resolve their matter in a non-confrontational way whenever we can and that we will only drag people through the court system when necessary. That kind of messaging is not about us but about what we deliver to our clients. Our kind of messaging attracts the kind of clients we want to help because they see what is in it for them.
Now, maybe you are not like Pathway Legal. Maybe you are the kind of high conflict divorce lawyer who is the answer to people who anticipate ending up in court, or who are already in court. Your messaging is going to be different than ours. However, you will want to tell them what you will be delivering to them as your clients, not talking all about you. The stuff that is all about you and your law firm, can go on the “About” page.
Clients want to know what is in it for them if they hire you.
4. Get with the program, digital marketing for law firms is a must
If you want to grow your family law practice, you cannot afford to ignore family law digital marketing. It is an absolute must-do.
Digital marketing is all about understanding the needs and concerns of your potential customers and positioning yourself as their trusted law firm. People look for things online, even more often than asking friends.
Don’t fall asleep at the wheel on this one. You have to get digital!
5. Don’t be polyamorous!
If you try to focus on too many relationships at once, everyone suffers. This Is certainly the case when it comes to your family law advertising strategy. I have made this same mistake. When I started putting my firm out there on social media, I was on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc. . . . It was very scattered.
Be monogamous with your social media strategy, at least to start with. Pick one social media platform, optimize it, and knock it out of the park. Only then move to a second platform. When it comes to social media, monogamy is key!
6. Don’t be a master of none!
I have shared this before and will share it again. When I first engaged in advertising I spent a lot on a yellow pages ad. I mean a lot. I advertised that I did pretty much everything, not just family law. I was so concerned about getting clients that I said I did family law, bankruptcy and insolvency, real estate, personal injury, wrongful dismissal, you name it! When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to nobody.
Hire Val And Start Growing Your Family Law Practice
7. Don’t hope and pray for great reviews, go get ‘em
There is nothing that takes the place of great work.
I remember, I used to look up my firm’s reviews every once in a while and I could not figure out why, despite the great work we did, there were so few reviews. I looked at some other newer lawyers who had great reviews (and they all happened to read very similarly to each other, hmmmmm), and the penny dropped. Clearly these newer lawyers had a strategy for obtaining reviews.
When you do great work, why not make it really easy for your clients to rave about your great work. When previous clients say good things about your work, other potential clients will see that and BOOM you will get more clients who you will be pleased with your work who will then leave great reviews and so on.
As one very clever guy I know of, named Stu McLaren says, “It is a circle of awesomeness!”
Here is a sample script we use at my firm:
It has been such a pleasure working with you and an honour to get to know more about you and your family.
As you know, we, at Pathway, are very passionate about helping our clients. We also want to be able to help other potential clients who are looking for a family law lawyer.
So, here is our big ask! Will you do us and those in need of a good lawyer a big favour?
Would you be so kind as to leave a review for us on the link below?
Click here to leave a Google Review
Your rating helps us (and our prospective clients) a lot.
BUT WAIT!!! If there is something you think we could have done better or anything at all that did not meet your expectations, please let me know! Your opinion is important!
P.S. If you are feeling extra helpful, could you copy and paste the same review here?: Lawyer Ratingz
8. Monitor your online reputation
You could be doing really great work, have great clients, and have a really great family law advertising strategy, but if you don’t monitor what Google says when you type in your name or that of your law firm, watch out!
Even more than that, avoid the mistake I made when I hired the wrong kind of website company who built me a slow, buggy website that did not work well at all. If people Googled “Pathway Legal” in our area, my law firm’s name did not even show up on the first page of Google! So, yeah, it was bad. Take the time, even a few minutes every week or two to monitor your online reputation so that your family law digital marketing efforts are not all for nothing. Whether it is your time, energy or money, you can’t afford to waste your valuable resources.
9. Don’t be a know-it-all
Unless you are expertly trained in the industry of online marketing for law firms, don’t think for a second that you are going to figure it all out.
To the hours upon hours you will spend trying to learn about social media, websites, SEO for law firms, and everything else that relates to your family law advertising strategy, we say don’t waste your time.
Hire someone with great family law marketing ideas who will guide you and who knows what they are doing. You, my friend, you focus on running a great business (streamline everything you can), serving your clients, and serving your bottom line.
10. Thinking your “brand” is about a business card and some colours
I am embarrassed to say how much time I spent on my logo, and choosing a great colour, etc. when I first opened up my law firm. That is what I thought branding was, about logos and colours. Well, it isn’t. Branding is about a heck of a lot more than that.
Branding goes to the very depth of what you offer. It is about what your law firm delivers to your clients and what your team embodies.
At my law firm, we have our unique approach to family law and we talk about it everywhere. We also show it everywhere. This is a very important part of our “brand.”