Earlier in September, I had the opportunity to attend Inbound. Inbound is a marketing, sales, and customer service conference held in Boston. I spent most of the time attending sessions related to the customer experience and content creation. There were a lot of ideas to process, but I was able to come back with several takeaways and actionable steps that your firm can do to improve its legal marketing.
According to Ashley Faus, the Sr. Manager of Integrated Media at Atlassian, when you create content, you should treat your customer’s journey as a playground. The customer can enter or exit your pages as they desire, go in any order, and engage with your content in a different way than you had designed. Keeping this in mind, as you create content, make sure to delight your audience. Create quality content that engages your audience at each touch point. It’s easy to capture your potential claimants’ attention, but it’s much harder to maintain it. Therefore, focus on content that builds a long-term relationship and maintains your claimants’ attention.
Your customer is a potential client of yours who is worried about their current situation and is seeking help. He/she likely doesn’t know much about how you can help him/her. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include content on your page with legal advice.
Although it would be preferable for claimants to find your homepage and read about you, there’s a high chance that they’ll find you through your legal advice pages. Therefore, make sure they include links to contact you and learn more about you. Legal advice will also be engaging to your claimant and will help establish your credibility. A contact us button, your phone number, or a live chat can be easy actionable steps that are on those pages that will help the claimants get in touch with you, and therefore establish a long term relationship.
According to Emily Triplett Lentz, the Content Strategy Lead at Help Scout, you should avoid using micro aggressions in your content. Micro aggressions refer to language that certain groups find offensive. Your content should not be structured in a way that favors able-bodied people. Therefore, avoid words or phrases that could turn certain groups of people away. Some of these words are lazy placeholders anyways. By replacing them, you’re creating content that is not only more inclusive, but stronger too.
This is especially relevant if you help claimants with their Social Security disability or personal injury cases. Your claimants may experience disabilities, be injured, or come from dire circumstances. Therefore, go through your content to ensure that the language choices you make doesn’t drive your target audience away. For instance, instead of saying “if you are disabled,” use a phrase like “if you are experiencing a disability or disabling condition.”
According to Ravi Jain, the Senior Associate Director of Digital Media & Web Development at Boston College, storytelling is one of the best ways to get your point across. Stories are a transactional experience, so they engage your audience right away. They help strengthen relationships and bridge differences. Apparently, there’s even a biological response that occurs when you listen to stories - there’s a temporary brain alignment between the speaker and listener. There are many different stories you can create, but the best ones are those that are persuasive. They appeal to your logos (logic), ethos (trustworthiness), or pathos (emotion).
There are three great ways for you to engage in storytelling. First, write biographies for yourself and any other attorneys, paralegals, or staff members in your firm. Biographies are naturally a narrative that will easily capture your claimants’ attention. Your claimants will get to know you better and feel a connection with you before they even meet you. Second, highlight some of the cases you won. However, instead of just listing facts or numbers, write about those cases like you would a story. Create a narrative and amplify your story. Third, with the permission of past clients, add their testimonials to your site.
According to Margo Aaron, the Founder of That Seems Important, when you create newsletters, keep your audience in mind! We frequently write newsletters that are geared towards our colleagues instead of our audience. Make sure you’re not trying to please your boss, but instead, you’re trying to please your audience. Think of your tone and how you write. Your language and content should be directed at your audience, like you have an inside joke with the audience. As you write, imagine that your audience members are your friends, and speak in appropriate manner with that in mind.
If you haven’t already started writing newsletters to your clients, you should definitely start now. Newsletters allow you to strengthen your relationship with clients.
To do this, send information that’s relevant, educational, and interesting. For instance, you can write more in depth about your area of law or link to another article that your audience would enjoy. You can also write more about yourself and your staff members to humanize yourself and also keep your clients up to date with any changes in your firm. If you’re keeping your newsletter interesting and sending it periodically, clients will get constant reminders about your firm. You’ll be in the back of their minds, so if their family or friends need legal help, they’ll likely turn to you.
You work in a client-facing job, so it’s always important to make sure that your clients are having a delightful customer experience. This means you’ll need to think about how you market to your claimants, how you speak with them initially, how you continue to speak with them once you retain them as clients, and how you present yourself in court. One of the best ways to stay on top of these things is to make sure your interactions are personalized. To learn more about how you can do that, read my other blog on keeping business personal.