Rare is the person who invests in an estate plan on impulse. After all, anyone urgently in need of one is probably already too late. Instead, folks thinking about how best to protect their assets do their research. And by research we don’t mean the library; we mean Google. Your job is to meet them at the preliminary searching stage with answers before they’ve even formulated their questions. In other words, their searching needs to land them on your website—and keep them there.
Invest in a Stand-Out Website
This might sound elementary but a 2018 American Bar Association (ABA) survey shows that 33% of firms have no online presence. Solo practitioners are the worst offenders, with 45% lacking a website, while large firms—those with 50+ lawyers—are all online.
An entire article could be written about how the internet levels the playing field for solo practitioners seeking to compete with larger firms but that will have to wait. Suffice it to say that a website is like a banger pantsuit. Nobody’s going to question your firm’s competence if it shows up dressed like Gillian Anderson in the breakout British comedy Sex Education. After all, on the internet appearances are everything.
Create Quality Content
It’s not just the pantsuits that make Anderson’s on-screen character so engaging. It’s the pantsuits plus her blazing intellect and sharp wit. If potential clients are to be wooed by your website, it needs to brim with engaging content. Think of this not as a database of answers, but as a curated educational resource. Folks never realize how little they know about a given subject until a sliver of insight illuminates its breadth. Concretely, this means publishing informative, well-written articles that in themselves lead clients to grasp the importance of engaging with your firm.
Find Your Audience
Sex Education never would have gained 40 million viewers within its first month had it partnered with, say, National Geographic instead of Netflix. Likewise, a fancy-pants website won’t bring in your target audience unless broadcast on the appropriate platform. Reporting on social media usage habits, Pew Research suggests that if it’s folks aged 30-49 you’re after, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are your platforms; meanwhile, if your audience is over 50, you’re unlikely to find success anywhere but on Facebook.
Keep in Touch!
Once captive, you need a strategy for keeping your audience that way. Estate planning clients are rarely in a hurry and if you rush them, they may look elsewhere. Trust that if you stay in contact, when the time comes, they’ll come to you. Periodic email updates and personal cards do well, as do targeted advertisements on social media.
Built a Review Program
Another proven method is word-of-mouth recommendation—especially in this digital age. Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends—yes, our mind was also blown—which means your web presence needs to spotlight satisfied clients. How? By asking. People love sharing their opinion and if you’ve shown them exemplary service, you should have no trouble gathering a string of compliments to display on your website and social media pages.
If the above is helpful but lacking in specifics, check out the free daily livestreams broadcast on our Legal Marketing F.L.O.W. Facebook Group where you’ll find timely info on capturing your audience at a moment when more people are online than ever.