When planning your law firm’s website content, you may want to take time to organize some free information to be distributed to your visitors. Free information builds credibility, loyalty, and ultimately will bring in new cases.
While some areas of law require a fast decision from the client — like personal injury — most areas of law pertain to things people and businesses have to think about. Should I file for bankruptcy? Should I get a divorce? Is the infraction of a competitor worth filing a lawsuit over? Should I have a lawyer for the purchase of a small building? All of these are questions that individuals and companies work through prior to picking up the phone.
It is in those legal markets that free information and the collection of data will be of great value.
We will use a fictional divorce law firm to show you what to do.
Divorces are rarely mutual, and one party of the marriage is generally thinking about it for quite some time before they ever talk it over with their spouse. If you are a divorce attorney, you have a great opportunity to win over a client.
Essentially, you will be writing a short ebook that addresses frequent apprehensions people struggle with while entertaining the thought of divorce (or whatever your area of practice may be).
First, write an outline.
An ebook should be 10-30 pages, complete with a cover branded to your firm. You should also have your law firm’s content information in the footer of each page.
When writing an outline, go directly to the hot buttons. Here is an example of a Family Law ebook outline:
1) Considering A Divorce – In this section, you should comfort the reader about common fears and encourage them to read on.
2) Is It Expensive? – Without giving away your rates, express the affordability of your retention and give way for variables, such as jointly-owned real estate, businesses, and custody of children.
3) What If My Spouse Doesn’t Want A divorce? – Explain local laws and briefly what to expect in this situation.
4) What Happens to My Credit? – Give a basic outlook on how credit is affected in the divorce process.
5) Property and Assets – Don’t give too much information. In a very brief manner, explain the laws of property distribution in your state. You don’t want to give away a fully detailed “how to,” just basic expectations.
6) Children and Custody – Again, in just a few hundred words, give a brief “what to expect.”
7) How Long Does It Take? – Explain different variables that may come up. However, never present an obstacle without presenting your proposed solution in the event it comes up.
8 ) What Will My Lawyer Be Doing for Me? – Now is your chance to sell. Talk about your successes, responsibility, and, again, present solutions that you can implement in the event that the divorce takes a turn for the worst. Always steer the reader away from attempting to file themselves without representation.
With just a one- or two-page explanation for each of those items above, you should have a 10-to-15 page ebook.
Now it’s time to convert it into a PDF. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Professional, you can download OpenOffice. Open your ebook which you wrote in Word using the OpenOffice Writer. Include your contact information in the header. Then click on “File,” then “Export as PDF.” Now you have an ebook ready for distribution.
The next step is setting up an email list. Services like MailChimp.com make this easy. You will setup an auto-responder and a preformatted email. Then, you will include a form on your site provided by MailChimp. When a user fills out the request form to download your ebook, your auto-responder will automatically send them a link, while also subscribing them to your email list.
You can take also your ebook delivery a couple steps further:
Digioh.com offers a file delivery service that integrates with MailChimp. By using their service, you can secure your ebook file: only users of your MailChimp form are able to download your book. You can also choose to receive notifications every time that your ebook is downloaded, allowing you to track and measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
AmazonKindle – You can make your ebook downloadable on both Amazon.com and Kindle devices. You may need to coordinate with your marketing firm to ensure your ebook complies with their formatting rules. This is a great way to get a larger audience to your ebook while also gaining credibility.
Marketing your law firm in 2013 is going to be about more than just search engine rankings; you have to consider a far larger canvas of exposure. New competition is popping up in every practice area, so experienced lawyers need to make sure the public knows that they have the knowledge and experience to win cases.
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