Does your website try to convince prospective clients to contact you, or does it lead them to convince themselves? When it comes to content marketing, this is a critical distinction, and one that I explore in the article that follows.
Getting Clients is About Giving Them what They Want
For law firms that are relatively new to using – and I mean really using – the Internet to grow their client base, knowing how to develop quality website and blog content can be a challenge. Even getting to this point begs the question: What does ‘quality’ really mean when it comes to online content?
To a certain extent, the answer depends on what you want to get out of your law firm’s online presence. For the sake if this article, we’ll assume that your firm is like most others, and is seeking to harness the power of the Internet to grow its book of business.
With this backdrop, we can focus on ‘quality’ in the context of your content fulfilling its intended purpose: driving prospects to your firm’s website, and then convincing them to pick up the phone or submit your contact form. Of course, this all needs to be done without any human interaction and before your prospect starts wondering too hard if there might be a better firm out there. Remember, your competition is just a few clicks away.
Empathy and Ability: The Keys to Client Conversion
Your website needs to be your sales pitch, but it also needs to be your personal connection. Go over the top with buzz words, superlatives, and hard-sell tactics, and you’re going to send potential clients running. But, at the same time, if you don’t sell yourself and develop a sense of connection, prospects are going to go somewhere else to look for a better fit.
Selling your firm – really selling it so that prospects actually want to contact you to learn more about what you have to offer – requires proof of two things: empathy and ability.
Empathy Applies to All Types of Clients
Empathy doesn’t mean sympathy. We all know that, so let’s just say it and get it out of the way. Empathy means connecting with your clients because you care about what they are going through. Whether it’s a personal injury claim, a First Amendment violation, or a complex business dispute, your website needs to show that you care enough to do your best to help your clients.
If prospects see that you care; if they see passion and a practice built on relevant expertise, they are going to feel the connection that is necessary to begin an engagement.
Demonstrating Ability: Show, Don’t Tell
Of course, you can have all the passion in the world and still not be any good. We would venture to say that this is a rare circumstance within the legal profession; but, when it comes to online marketing, having ability doesn’t get you anywhere if your prospects don’t know about it. Most prospects will impute a certain amount of competence due to the simple fact that you are a lawyer, but this only puts you on a level playing field. To tip the balance in your favor, you need to efficiently convince your prospects that you have more to offer.
As a result, when we talk about demonstrating ability, we put the emphasis on demonstration. This is the old, “show, don’t tell,” chestnut, and it still rings true today. You can say you’re an experienced attorney over and over again, but if there is no substance behind your assertion, it is going to ring hollow.
Demonstrating ability on law firm websites and blogs is all about producing substantive content. Your content should have sufficient substance to impress your prospects without giving them an inferiority complex. You want to appear competent, not pompous – knowledgeable, but relatable. Never worry about giving too much away; if someone thinks they can get all of the information they need off of the Internet, they were never going to hire you in the first place.
If you follow this model, you should end up with a very high-quality online presence. And that’s the whole point, right?