(How you can win the BATTLE AGAINST OBSCURITY with a formula for success that is ignored by 99.99% of lawyers)
Every lawyer website looks the same.
Just about every lawyer website has a long video about the success stories of the partners with story after story about the lawyers’ verdicts and settlements. Of course, every lawyer website displays the law schools the lawyers in the firm attended and their professional accomplishments. Blah, blah, blah. It’s no wonder lawyers don’t get cases from their websites.
Here’s the problem: consumers don’t care about you. That’s right, consumers could care less that you attended Yale or Harvard and they don’t even know what “AV-rated” means. And do you think consumers care about your big settlements and verdicts? Guess again.
But it’s even worse than you think. Consumers don’t trust you. Lawyers are just below used car salesmen on the list of the most distrusted occupations. If a consumer doesn’t trust you, how will you get them to hire you?
WARNING! Your Webmaster doesn’t want you to know this
You will never get this advice from a webmaster (the big name webmasters want to keep you ignorant)—in fact, your webmaster will tell you this is hogwash and you should ignore this crazy lawyer newsletter.
But here’s the secret that will differentiate your website from every other lawyer website: your website must answer every question inside the consumers’ head in as much detail as possible. You don’t want to leave any question unanswered. You want to build as many web pages as possible that provide extraordinary detail to the questions posed every day by consumers. No secrets allowed!
“Being useful must be part of your company DNA.”
–Jay Baer, YOUtility
Your message: “I want to help even if you never call me with a new case.” Wow! How different is that? Is this a little different from the standard, “We fight for you”? You might write an article about the “Facts and Figures about Supplemental Needs Trusts” or my favorite, “Ten Reasons Not to Sue your Doctor” (little tip: attention grabbing headlines make all the difference).
Once you answer consumer questions in simple, easy-to-understand language, you will begin building trust with consumers. Soon, your website gets return visits from consumers who rave about your website to others and before long you’re building a small community of raving fans. Rather than trying to force-feed consumers with your professional accomplishments and courtroom victories, you’re helping consumers by giving away all of your secrets…and they will love you for it!
Before long new clients are contacting you every day with new potential cases from all over the country and you’re trying to figure out what to do (a topic for another day). Consumers are pitching their cases to you and you’re cherry-picking only the “A” cases. Now your website is kicking butt and you just discovered the magic of the internet.
More Questions Answered Equals More Success
The biggest problem with lawyer websites is the complete lack of useful information. Your website might have 20-40 web pages and they are limited to your professional accomplishments and pedigree. In the world of internet marketing for lawyers, 20-40 web pages will get you nowhere (this is called a “brochure website”—a very bad, ugly word).
Your website’s success depends on two things:
- The quality of the content on the web pages (a/k/a the BAIT);
- The number of web pages.
Think of every web page is its own independent bait. The search engines scan every one of the web pages on your website when a consumer makes a search query. If your website has 1,200 web pages, the search engines are far more likely to find you than if you have 40 web pages. It’s that simple.
A recent study shows that companies with 101 to 200 pages on their website generated 2 1/2 times more leads than companies with 50 pages or fewer. The more questions you answer the more success you will have. And just think, what if you had 1,300 or 1,800 unique pages on your website? The spigot just opened and you’re getting new leads 24-hours a day (even while you’re sleeping).
The Secret Weapon that All Lawyers Ignore
Okay, but you’re a busy trial attorney and you don’t have time for creating new pages on your website. And sure you could hire you webmaster to create 1,400 new web pages, but that’s not the answer either.
Your webmaster doesn’t know diddly about the law and can’t write quality content about your practice areas. Let’s face it—only you and your staff have the knowledge to write educational web pages, but why? It’s simple–because you and your staff answer questions posed by consumers all day long.
Your secret weapon for dominating the internet is your staff. In most law firms, there is a single person writing content for the firm’s website and all of the content creation is centralized in one person. What a waste!
“Just about every employee has useful knowledge locked in their head. It’s time to unlock it.”
–Jay Baer, YOUtility
Let’s say you have a three person team: a paralegal, receptionist and Joe Lawyer. You set realistic goals for content creation that will not dominate the time of your staff—perhaps two new website posts per week by each member of your staff. Remember, your staff knows exactly what consumers are asking and how to answer them.
If your three-person team is each creating two new website pages per week, guess what? You just added 312 new web pages in 12 months. You’re off to a good start and the content is great and written in plain language that consumers can understand.
The math is easy to do: if your law firm has ten staff members who each write 2 new web pages per week (it only takes 15-20 minutes to write a web page), you just added 1,040 new web pages to your website in 12 months. Damn! It’s amazing what you can do when you get your team involved in content creation for your website.
The One Thing that No Law Firm is Doing
Every time you add a new page to your website you alert your friends and followers on your firm’s fan page on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Rather than posting useless news posts on social media (i.e., “just checked in at Starbucks”—please don’t do this), you drive traffic back to your website with valuable content, i.e., “Ten Reasons not to Sue your Doctor”. Social media is simply another way to drive consumers back to your website.
Get your employees to spread helpful information from your website to their own social networks. Whenever you add a new page to your website, your staff members use their social media profiles to share links to the valuable, educational posts from your law firm’s website. Your staff is spreading the news among their friends and followers and you just harnessed the power of social media from each of your staff.
“Your employees are your single greatest marketing engine.”
–Jay Baer, YOUtility
If you have a staff of three persons and each has 350 “friends” on Facebook and 400 “followers” on Twitter, you just added a total of 2,250 friends and followers who will be alerted about your law firm’s educational web posts.
Just think about it: if you have ten employees each with 350 Facebook friends and 400 Twitter followers, you just added 7,500 new friends and followers who will be alerted to every new web page that you create. This is social media on high octane! (by the way, the website, Hootsuite, is a great way to automate the sharing of new posts among multiple social media accounts).
The Biggest Mistake made by Lawyers
You can’t just build your website and leave it there. Your job is never finished. If you stop adding new content to your website, the search engines will leave you for dead. But this is not easy with your busy work schedule, so consider doing this: out-source.
Outsourcing the creation of new web pages can be done by hiring law students to write copy for you (and they’ll do a much better job than you can)—every law school is full of bright, young lawyers-to-be who are just chomping at the bit to work for you. Let a law student show you what they can do in a trial run and soon enough you’ll have new content added to your website while you’re sleeping.
Once you combine the power of in-sourcing (your staff) and outsourcing (law students), you’ll be off to the races with a dynamic website that brings new cases every day.
How can we help you become more awesome?
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