Like many attorneys, you graduated law school with a frightening amount of student loan debt, but that’s no excuse to be cheap when it comes to building & boosting your legal practice. In this article, we discuss the importance of investing into your legal brand’s marketing efforts—despite the monkey on your back.

Key Takeaways

  • Referrals are still the top source of new legal clients, but online search is gaining speed.
  • 96% of people searching for legal help use an online search engine.
  • 94% of the factors causing someone to reject or mistrust a website are design-related.
  • Our website designs, on average, boost online lead generation by 300%.

On average, law school graduates carry up to $200,000 in student loan debt. If you decide to go solo or build a small firm early on, your near-future income will be shadowed by uncertainty. This uncertainty, coupled with your burning desire to eradicate outstanding debt, might push you to pinch pennies. We’re here to tell the miser in you that being cheap now is a bad long-term mindset. You intend to build a successful legal practice, of course—so now is the time to build a proper brand and market presence.

You have one chance at a first impression. Consumers will be able to tell if you’ve built a cut-rate brand and online presence. If they see you’re not willing to invest in your own brand, why should they invest in you? Build the perception that you’re “all-in,” that you’re serious when it comes to your firm. This requires establishing a cohesive brand that gives you a definitive presence in the legal services marketplace. Given the methods in which modern legal consumers seek legal help, your website is absolutely pivotal in establishing a strong presence.

Even back in 2013, an impressive 96% of people searching for legal help used a search engine.   Some old-head attorneys will argue that most of their new clients come from referrals, not from their websites. That’s valid, and referrals are still the top source of new legal clients, but online search is closing in—fast. Plus, if you don’t already have a (powerhouse) referral network—like most early attorneys—then you need to find a way to make yourself more competitive. That’s where a strong online presence can help.

The ROI of a law firm website comes in the form of leads: someone finds you online, gets in contact and you do your magic to covert them into a client. Because the conversion process occurs offline, it makes measuring the ROI of your website a bit difficult. We have, however, employed case studies to measure the return of our websites. We found that attorneys who join us generate, on average, 300% more online leads. There are many factors that lend to the success of our websites, so many that we had to write an article about it—learn what makes our websites so effective.

Your website is the foundation of your marketing. Regardless of where or how someone heard about your firm, 74% will visit your website to take action. Hear that old-heads? 

Getting visitors to your website is only the beginning though—you’ll still need to convince them you’re the one that can help them with their “very unique” legal situation. You may think your messaging is the key, but it’s actually the design—no, seriously.

Northumbria University researchers found that 94% of the factors causing someone to reject or mistrust a website are design-relatedonly 6% of people considered content first. This isn’t to say messaging doesn’t matter; it does—a lot. Good design is only the foot in the door to get visitors to stick around to read your content. But design is a bit subjective, right? Who’s to say what’s “good” when it comes to design? Data, lots and lots of data.

Through dozens of case studies, we’ve gathered insight on legal consumers’ interactions with law firm websites. We considered their preferences, hesitations, confusions, how they navigate, what inspires them to take action and much more. We use this data to optimize our website designs, with the ultimate goal of maximizing your lead-collection. Check out our collection of Case Studies here.

Let’s take a step back… 

The point of this article is not to convince you to go buy a $25,000+ website from a boasting agency just because you need something beautiful and effective. We can give you that for much, much less.

We offer gorgeous, data-driven, industry-tested websites for a very modest monthly fee—and we take care of adding and editing all of your web content. With us, you’ll save more time, generate more leads and your online brand will dominate your competitors’. 

You’re better than spending hours hacking together a DIY website with Wix or Squarespace. You may save money with them in the short-term, but your cheap-and-lowly website will cost you more in the long-term—much, much more.

Supplementary Articles

References

Justin Pritchard, How to Get a Student Loan, The Balance, July 14, 2019
https://www.thebalance.com/average-law-school-debt-4588830

Stephen Fairley, Legal Marketing Stats Lawyers Need to Know, National Law Review,  October 1, 2015
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/legal-marketing-stats-lawyers-need-to-know

Clio, 2017 Legal Trends Report, 2017
https://files.goclio.com/marketo/ebooks/2017-Legal-Trends-Report.pdf

Halden Ingwersen, The Top 15 Legal Marketing Statistics for 2017, Capterra, February 14th, 2017
https://blog.capterra.com/the-top-15-legal-marketing-statistics-for-2017/

Janna Hartley Welch, First Impressions Count: How your website conveys trust and credibility, Saviore Faire, May 18, 2017
https://savoirfaire-us.com/blog/how-your-website-conveys-credibility-website-design-savoir-faire/

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