The advertising landscape has changed for everyone including lawyers. We are technicians who trust the advertising "experts" to guide us making the right advertising investment. As an old school kind of lawyer, I fell behind the internet curve and it hurt my business.
|Scooped by Andrade Law Offices|
Personal Injury Law Practice and Advertising - Lessons Learned
I have been a personal injury lawyer since 1987. I am an old school kind of guy and by this I mean that I still use a tape recorder (with tapes) to dictate my notes, I handwrite everything and until recently had never used a computer in my life.
Being an old school kind of guy, I stuck with old ways of doing business including how I advertised. I sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into yellow pages ads which, for many years worked well for me. When my business started to decline, my first instinct was to buy more ads in more phone books but all that did was strap my overhead. Next, I blamed the economy, cut back my office staff and decided to wait it out.
The phone book advertisers were now pounding on my door with terms like “SEO”, “Google”, “Bing” and “Yahoo” promising me top "ranking" - whatever that meant and I fell for it. Counting on the fact that I had no idea about the internet or how to track if what they were selling me really worked, I trusted them to come through and once again invested a lot of money with no "ROI".
It wasn't until I befriended a woman who investigated my web presence that I realized that the supposed SEO campaigns would do me no good for several reasons:
The keywords on my website were not consistent with the business practice so we fired the webmaster and redesigned the website.My business had not been claimed on the three major search engines and the business information was incorrect. We are still working on getting this corrected.The business name, business hours, phone number and address was incorrect on hundreds of listings. One listing had my street address correct but had my practice in Chicago, Illinois.There were no links to my website on any of themNone of the profiles for these listings were correctI had no social media presenceYellow book actually created a YouTube video for my practice and used Euro as the currency in the video. I was completely unaware of this video until my new marketing director pointed it out.
I have opted to hire an internal marketing director to manage my “brand” and business “image”. Her job responsibility is to manage the marketing budget, the advertisers and to keep a handle on the ROI. In the past two months I have seen our internet presence increase two fold in search results and in the number of clients we are signing up. She provides quarterly ROI reports on the performance of our advertisers. She is retraining my staff to understand their responsibility for client conversion.
Not every law office can afford an in house marketing director but I would encourage any lawyer, setting up their own shop, to manage their advertising investments wisely and hold them accountable for “performance”. Best of luck!