How to Build Your Client Base as a New Lawyer
Congratulations, you’re a brand new lawyer about to open the doors to your very own practice. You’ve been through the training and received all of your qualifications. Your business is all set up and ready to go. Now comes an equally important part of the process: generating interest that will earn you work.
Clients are essential. After all, you can’t build or run a company without them. Whether you’re running a solo practice or you’re starting a small practice with other lawyers, building a client base is critical for your success. Here, we’ll help you figure out how to get clients as a new lawyer so you can run and grow your firm.
1. Optimize Your Website
A strong online presence is a must. One of the best places to start is by creating an optimized website. The better your search engine optimization (SEO), the greater your odds of landing near the top of the search results pages, putting you right in the line of sight of those looking for your services.
Several SEO strategies can help boost your visibility. One method includes incorporating keywords, which are the words and phrases that people use to search for services online. To properly identify keyword search volume and the difficulty of ranking for it, you’ll need to use a tool such as Moz, Ahrefs, or Semrush.
With these paid tools you can track keyword trends over time and optimize for them as your site increases in domain authority. A helpful hint here is that newer sites tend to have a lower domain authority, so ranking for keywords with very high volume and high competition is unlikely.
User experience also plays a crucial role in your SEO. If your website takes too long to load or loads improperly, potential clients are more likely to back out of your site and move on to the next lawyer. For a smooth user experience, consider the following:
- Ensure your pages load quickly (you can use Google PageSpeed Insights to get a score on how fast your site loads on mobile devices and desktops.
- Check the mobile-friendliness of your website
- Make sure that your site is easy to navigate (providing links to other pages within your site can help)
Other SEO strategies include:
- Creating clean, optimized URLs
- Writing short, clear meta descriptions
- Gathering backlinks that lead to your site
- Optimizing images on your pages
- Generating consistent, valuable content (more on this later)
2. Implement Local SEO
You can take your search engine optimization one step further by optimizing your site for local searches. As many as 46% of searches on Google are looking for local information, and 97% of search engine users check the internet for local businesses.
Using local SEO helps those looking for a local lawyer find you. One way to improve local SEO is to claim and optimize your Google Business Profile. Fill out the information, add a description, and include pictures. You may also want to consider incorporating local keywords, which can help those conducting “near me” searches find you more easily.
3. Craft Beneficial Content
Content has been king for a while now, and it continues to reign supreme to this day. Well-written, valuable content helps showcase your expertise. Even if you’re a young lawyer, sharing your knowledge with your website visitors helps establish your authority.
Blogging is very effective, but it’s not just writing a few posts here and there. What you want are well-written blogs that provide something of value. Consistency is key. Regularly updating your blog shows that you’re active, which helps you remain higher in the search engine results pages.
If you’re stumped for content ideas, you can use Google to get you started. Google Trends helps you track the usage of keywords over time to capitalize on seasonality, and related searches under keywords you’re already tracking can be helpful as well. Another tool, Answer the Public, provides insight into questions entered in search to provide answers to your audience.
Try including videos and infographics, in addition to blogs. When crafting content, be sure that it provides something of value for your potential clients. Consider expanding upon your FAQs or creating a post focusing on a specific keyword that people are using to conduct online searches. Don’t forget to optimize your content for search engines.
4. Join Legal Directories
It isn’t only your own website that can help people find you in a search. Online legal directories are searchable databases that offer another opportunity to get your name in front of potential customers. There are many legal directories, and they come with different benefits. Some listings are pretty basic, with firm affiliations, areas of expertise, and contact info. Others include more information, like rankings and other customizable marketing opportunities.
Consider starting with a classic, like Lawyers.com — a longstanding directory that’s important for all practice areas. You can choose from free or paid listings. Another great choice is Avvo, which includes its own reviews of lawyers in addition to client ratings. Updated, completed profiles tend to rank a bit higher, so consider rounding yours out.
Because Google considers many of these legal directories highly trusted sites, when they link back to your website, you get a boost in your own site’s rankings, too.
5. Build a Social Media Presence
Social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, provide excellent platforms for promoting your new law firm. These platforms give you space to interact with followers, which may include potential new clients. Use social media to share valuable information, including your own content. Post a snippet from your latest blog post and provide a link that leads to the full article. Share a piece of news that’s interesting or relevant to your area of practice.
Don’t forget to interact with your followers. Pose questions to encourage engagement. When followers ask questions or make comments, respond.
6. Get Involved with the Community
Consider getting involved in your community by sponsoring events or local organizations. While sponsoring does involve providing money, it’s also a great way to get your name out there. Consider going one step further and attending the events. While you’re there, you can meet with other community leaders and the people who live around you. You can get to know them, and they can get to know you, too. Don’t forget to bring some business cards to hand out, too.
7. Try Conventional Marketing Tactics
We’re living in a digital age, but conventional marketing strategies aren’t dead. In fact, they can be rather helpful for new law firms. Get your name in printed and broadcast media. Send direct mail targeting specific market sectors or localities. Attend trade shows and other events for the industries or people that might benefit from your legal expertise. Again, remember those business cards.
8. Be Realistic with Your Expectations
Finally, set realistic expectations. You might want to land the big clients, but there’s a good chance that the first people you serve will be much smaller. No matter what, you need to start somewhere. Growing your client base takes time and effort. The more people you serve, though, and the better your marketing, the bigger you’ll be able to grow your list.
Attract Clients and Build Your Base
Generating business for your new law firm isn’t something that can happen overnight. It requires time, effort, and the right marketing strategies. For more help advertising your new practice and building your client base, contact Martindale-Avvo today.