You are a lawyer looking to capture your online brand, your image, and your reputation. You want to grab the interest – and business – of potential clients who visit your website.
Most likely, you immediately jump to including impressive images of courthouses, gavels, courtrooms, and law books. You may feel that you need to project a “legal-related” or even a kind of “legal-stodgy” set of images to convey to your audience that you are a serious lawyer, working in a serious industry.
If that is your instinct, think again. Gone are the days of wood-paneled seriousness on your website. The law firm websites of today, for both large and small firms, are changing dramatically. With the help of digital marketing specialists – like Oamii, South Florida’s top digital marketing agency – law firms are taking stock of what their firm’s culture is all about, and then making bold statements to project that culture in their websites.
What’s Wrong With Some of the Law Firm Websites Today?
It is likely that you have seen the law firm websites that are not well executed. Oftentimes, the less sophisticated websites have too much content on the opening page. They often have so much text that the site is overwhelming. The images are not well placed or present a muddled theme. The site jumps at you with chat windows and other pop-ups that you need to close. And, they “feel” too much like you are getting a sales pitch in every paragraph.
The trend of law firm digital marketing today, however, is definitely moving away from such elements. We at Oamii understand the latest trends in online legal marketing world, and that is why we thought we would take a moment to fill you in on the latest in digital marketing for law firms. Here are four of the latest trends in law firms for attorney marketing.
Trend 1: The Focused, Streamlined Design
As noted, many law firm sites feel cluttered, have varying design elements, and color and title styles are not consistent. That does not project a solid image of your firm. Rather, it conveys a more cluttered, chaotic image of your practice. While chaotic may not be all bad, because it may seem like you are a busy law firm, it will not attract the kind of client that you may be seeking.
To remedy the clutter, think simple ideas, clearly conveyed. Accordingly, one popular website marketing strategy is to have very little text on the landing page. Having an attractive, non-photo law firm graphic; the name of the firm; and two words that are hyperlinks to further information provides a powerful website design.
For example, a landing page that has simply an “Experience” link and a “Lawyers” link – and nothing else – will convey a great deal in its simplicity. The website is still functional because it allows further inquiry by the user, but also shows that your does not need to approach the user with the “hard sell” right up front.
Therefore, think about a home page that clearly states what your firm name is, what it does, but otherwise only has a few limited avenues for your users to click to simplify and streamline.
Trend 2: Lead With Results
In keeping with the streamlined, less-is-more approach, another popular trend is to make one simple statement about what your firm can do for the user/potential client. That statement could be one of the only words or phrases, in large print, on the home page. Coupled with a handsome picture of the firm’s partners, and a small “search” field, that homepage can say in a short word or phrase everything you need to know about what your firm does.
For example, if you are a personal injury firm, then having a dollar figure in bold letters – “$700 Million Recovered” – could be sufficient to grab your audience and lead them into picturing themselves being a part of the recoveries you have obtained for your other clients.
As another example, providing a compelling tagline over a positive upbeat image – such as “Life Can Be Challenging, Let’s Tackle Them Together” – may do the trick. And that one simple tagline can encompass the culture and mission of your firm. The keep-it-simple rule is definitely a trend for law firms today.
Trend 3: Attorneys You Can Relate To
Another popular trend we have been tracking is the emphasis on how approachable, how relatable, and how accessible an attorney is. Without question, clients look up to attorneys as having superior knowledge, and they will follow an attorney’s advice solely because an attorney has so much subject-matter authority. That dynamic is understandable since courtrooms and lawsuits are virtually unknown to a layperson, whereas that is where lawyers do their everyday work.
Thus, law firm websites have worked hard to demystify the legal industry. It has become very important for firms to demonstrate that lawyers are just people who understand the day-to-day problems of their clients. Rather than impress, firms are trying to relate. Rather than convey superior knowledge, firms today try to convey a sense that “we’re all just people providing a service to people we care about.”
In that vein, law firms may have pictures of their lawyers that project a more approachable image. No more staged, fake-smile-type firm photos. Now, firm websites feature attorneys in casual clothing, honestly interacting with others, or simply having a real, hearty laugh.
We all know that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ So, having an attorney behaving honestly will project an image of approachability and trustworthiness. Consider adding more candid pictures of lawyers at your firm. It may be the factor that makes a potential client feel comfortable enough to schedule a consultation.
Trend 4: Get Creative
Including an image or phrase that your audience may not expect always has the immediacy effect of getting the user to look more closely. Some firms like to take a familiar phrase and apply it to their practice in a clever, creative way.
Say, for example, you are running an appellate law firm. The commonly used phrase “Everyone should always get a second opinion” is a great way to instantly connect with your audience, and also describe precisely what your practice is all about. In that example, you are always getting a “second opinion” on appeal.
These are just a few of the many attorney marketing trends that South Florida’s top digital marketing agency, Oamii, has in its sights. If you are interested in increasing your law firm’s roster of potential clients, we can help. Call us today at 561-228-4111.