Online Legal Marketing for Dummies (Part 1)

Michael CarabashIf you build a website, they will come…or will they? Personally, I don’t think so. In fact, I’m pretty sure that, if you don’t plan on doing any online legal marketing, then you pretty much threw away a few thousand dollars to build a flashy brochure website. The only people who will actually visit your website will be existing clients – and they’ll likely just be looking for your bio and your contact info.

So what must you do to effectively and efficiently market your legal services online?

First, you need a strategy. I prefer niche strategies: be the big fish in the small pond (instead of the small fish in the big pond). Don’t mass market. You can’t win unless you have the resources of a General Electric or a Tata Consulting. You won’t be remembered in the marketplace for anything other than a jack of all trades. Remember: the market can only generally associate one thing with your product, service or idea. Honda is not really known for its snowmobiles or snowblowers. BMW is not really known for its bicycles. Mitsubishi is not really remembered for its nuclear reactor systems. The market will only remember you for one thing, so make it count. With respect to online marketing, you need to target keywords that users will be inputting into search engines to find your website.

Next, you need to identify your target market. I use situation analysis to do this. Ask yourself: who is your ideal client or customer. Create a whole bunch of situations in which someone or something would need to use your product, service, or idea. When you’ve done enough of these situations, you’ll start to see overlap. In fact, you can even group a whole bunch of the situations together. At this point, you will likely have identified your primary and perhaps even secondary target market. You should be able to say something like: my primary target market are boys between the ages of 15 who live in Toronto and who play online video games after school.

It is crucial to be able to properly identify your target market because the next step involves using a marketing communications mix (i.e. a mix of marketing channels) to attract them to your product, service, or idea. With, for example, the aforementioned target market, you may want to target them by taking out ads in online cartoons or on popular gaming websites they visit. Remember: it’s all about beating your competition by getting into your target market’s head – wherever, whenever, and however you can. They’ll reward you by coming to you while your competitors wallow in the endless sea of mass marketing.

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