Inbound marketing is the art of attracting prospects before they’re ready to buy your services. You may have heard this oft-quoted statistic from SiriusDecisions: 70% of the buyer’s journey is done before they reach out.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that aligns with the interests of your desired customers. They’ll find your content organically, which means you’ll already be established in their minds as experts in the field.
Why choose inbound marketing?
Legal services marketing differs from a number of industries in that the client’s need drives the timing of their contact. Time-sensitive sales pitches, such as limited-time discounts or promotions, won’t influence someone who doesn’t have a legal issue. People aren’t enticed into wanting to hire a lawyer; they hire lawyers when they feel they need to. For law firms, therefore, closing sales isn’t about creating a need. It’s about convincing your potential client that you’re the right law firm for them.
Very often, people do online research into their legal issue a long time before consulting a lawyer. They may be considering whether to split from a spouse, or launch a claim against an employer, and they want to know what they’d be entitled to in those cases. Perhaps they want to learn more about a change in work health and safety legislation or tax law. Whatever brings them online, your goal is to get them onto your website and hopefully into your office.
The stages of inbound marketing
The first stage of inbound marketing is to attract those potential clients. You do that by creating quality content that aligns with their interests. Use analytics tools and buyer personas to establish who your clients are and what they’re likely to care about, and then make sure the content is fresh, unique and offers real value to them.
Once they’re on your site, your goal is to convert them into leads. There are a number of ways to do this without off-putting pop ups. You can offer them the chance to sign up to a regular newsletter that keeps them informed of any developments that might affect their industry. Add a button so that they can subscribe to your blog and receive a notification when it’s updated. You might develop a tip sheet or e-book that draws together existing content or gives them further insight into an issue. All of these trade something they want – more free information – for something you want – their contact details.
Having gathered your leads, you’ll be looking to close them. While the term smacks of sales, the goal is no difference for professional service firms. After all, that internet traffic is no use to you if it doesn’t transform into a pile of files on your desk!
Hopefully, your content has focused on the area of law that they’re engaging with, so that they already believe that your firm is the best one to address that. Remember that clients don’t care about you, they care about solving their problem. If the content marketing strategy is right, they’ll make an appointment with you when the issue becomes pressing.
Take care with your first impression, put your listening skills on show, and be thorough in your interactions. Once they’re through the door, it’s your chance to shine!