State bars and the American Bar Association (ABA) heavily regulate legal advertising, which comes with strict rules. The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct explain in detail how legal services may be advertised, and state bar associations have mirrored these rules for their own law firm marketing guidelines.
As long as a lawyer or law firm obeys the advertising rules of the ABA and their state, they should be able to advertise in any medium or social media platform. However, before starting your legal marketing campaign, check your state bar association’s rules of professional conduct for guidance on how to use social media.
If you need help with your legal advertising, marketing assistance is just a click away.
Understand Your Target Client
The first thing to do is research your target audience. The nature of your firm and the type of law practiced will shape how you reach out to potential clients. For example, family attorneys won’t use the same advertising style as criminal defense lawyers.
Social media is one way to both market your legal services and research potential clients. For example, Google Ads and Facebook allow users to create interactive polls and surveys so you can ask viewers what they are looking for. These are the 21st-century version of mailers.
Having a market research firm analyze your marketing results may be a big step for law firms, but it is an excellent way to determine whether your advertising strategy is working. Number-crunchers will enjoy reviewing your callbacks and polls and determining what is and is not working so you can know which clients need your services.
Discover How To Reach Them
Different types of clients use different methods to seek out attorneys. Your market research will help narrow down the types of clients you have and the best methods to help them find you. Below is a list of some of those methods.
- Lawyer referral services: Sites like Avvo and Martindale list attorneys/law firms and client reviews. A lawyer referral service may charge more to boost your name to the top of the search results. These services are helpful for clients looking for a particular specialty — i.e., family law, wills and trusts, etc. — or in a specific geographical location.
- Legal directories: State bar associations maintain these directories. They seldom list more than an attorney’s name and areas of practice. These directories can be used by other attorneys looking for referrals for clients who need legal help they cannot provide.
- Facebook and other social media platforms: If you have the time to boost your social media presence or are willing to spend the money to have a marketing firm do it for you, maintaining an online presence will be your bread and butter. More people go to Facebook for online referrals than almost any other source. It is the Yellow Pages of modern life.
- Newspaper advertising: Never underestimate the power of your local newspaper. Many older people still rely on their local paper for the latest news, and local advertising rates may be cheaper than expected.
A word about TikTok and Instagram: These popular online platforms are the go-to sites for younger audiences and draw hundreds of thousands or even millions of hits daily. But recent news suggests both sites, especially TikTok, are vulnerable to hacking. And TikTok has been the subject of a U.S. State Department warning because of overseas threats. Use at your own risk.
Know Your Competitive Advantage
Not all law firms are created equal. Whether large or small, sole practitioner or multi-state franchise, each legal practice has its own unique flavor. Whatever yours may be, you should capitalize on it and make it work to your advantage:
- Be aware of the ABA’s rule on claiming a specialization. The Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2(c)(1) states that a lawyer shall not claim to be “certified” or a “specialist” in a practice area unless they are certified in such an area within their state. For instance, if you are a “state-certified Family Law practitioner by the Kentucky Bar Association,” you may put that on your advertising. However, you may not say “specialist in Family Law.”
- Highlight any professional employment that makes you unique in your area. For example, if you have worked in the government or with a large national firm, that should be part of your marketing.
- Mention publications, journal articles, and/or important cases. Potential clients like to see that you are good at what you do.
- Include referrals from other satisfied clients. Even a new attorney should have a few happy clients willing to post testimonials on their website. Have your clients leave Google reviews too.
- If you have negative reviews, consider addressing them. Read over any bad reviews and see if they are legitimate or just sour grapes. Maybe the client called on a busy day, or the case caught a grumpy judge. Let other potential clients know you pay attention to all your cases.
Your website and social media pages should reflect your character. Explore other attorney websites before having one made for you. Many sites look like they were all made from the same template, mainly because they were. Yours should have a more personal touch.
Legal Marketing With Scorpion
Legal advertising is essential for finding new clients and retaining old ones. There are some restrictions on attorneys and law firms that don’t exist for the public at large, but that doesn’t mean you cannot successfully use the internet and social media to announce your legal services.
As long as you abide by the rules of professional ethics, your marketing campaign will meet ABA requirements, get the attention of potential customers, and bring people to your offices. If you need help finding your target audience and establishing an online presence, reach out to Scorpion today for help with your online marketing campaign.