As a freelancer, you know that part of your time has to be dedicated to bringing clients in, rather than just doing paralegal work. In a digital age, much of this is done online instead of the word of mouth recommendations and print advertising that used to be traditional. This change isn’t bad for your business, however, and it may even be beneficial.
Online marketing is necessary, but it’s also a fairly simple and cost effective way to communicate with potential clients and even get hired. There are a few important things you need to know to have successful online marketing services as a freelance paralegal.
Today, it’s more likely for someone to do a quick Google search when they need information than turning to anything else to find things out. Because of this, websites have become essential for businesses, including freelance paralegals. It can often be your biggest and most effective marketing tool, and potential clients’ first impression of you and your business.
In just a few minutes, a website can allow you to form connections with people as they learn about you, your field, and where and how to contact you. It’s a source of information about your business that you have complete control over, and it should be used to your advantage. A website should reflect your business, and also function as a reference for your work. Think of it as a resume for your business - it should include contact information prominently, previous experience and successful projects, key accomplishments, and a writing sample - your blog.
Traffic can also be driven to your website when you link to it from other places on the web, making it a great background source for information.
If there’s one online marketing tool that will allow you to show off your skills, personality and experience, it’s blogging. As a freelance paralegal, you’re working without the big name of a law firm to interest people in your expertise. A simple way to interest people in your work is by starting a blog, and keeping up with it.
Blogging doesn’t take a ton of time, but it does reap great rewards. By writing tutorials, informational pieces, or commentary on the latest news in your area of expertise, clients are drawn in. It shows that you are up to date on the latest issues and trends, that you know enough about your field to explain it simply to those who don’t, and that your research and writing skills are strong. By explaining the complex topics your work concerns to those who don’t have the resources or ability to do it themselves, you’re hooking potential clients. You could even use it to showcase the aspects of your unique business, writing posts showcasing what research and productivity tools you use, your business plans, and the benefits of any contractors you’ve worked with (a web designer, for example).
The best part - it doesn’t cost you anything but time. If you’re extra ambitious, you could even shop around online and see if a bigger blog or site would like to publish it for you, linking back to your website.
Directories and Google Local
Having a website and blog are extremely beneficial in bringing clients into your business, but if no one can see them, they may not be enough. Whether or not potential clients can find your information simply and consistently is a huge factor in how well your business is doing. Online directories have become more popular than the Yellow Pages or other paper directories, and that needs to be capitalized on.
Make sure your website clearly features your address, phone number, company name, and email written the exact same way.
For instance, if you specifically want to work with a lawyer specific to a geographic region, you need to have your name, address, and phone number (NAP) stacked in your website's footer. Check out the footer of this Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer for a professionally-maintained example.
Then, search online directories and use that specific information to sign up for some sites that are designed to make client’s lives easier by providing your information in a clear way. Google Places is an important one to make sure that you are listed in, because that has the potential to come up at the very top of the search results.
For a freelance paralegal, social media may not seem like an effective way to bring clients in. However, they’re largely populated online and incredibly easy to maintain, so even if it brings one client in, it’s worth it.
Being active on social media is often synonymous with being up to date with current events and ahead of the curve. Engage potential clients by using social media to promote links to your blog posts, any news about you or your business, or your accomplishments. If you don’t think your clients are on a specific social media site, don’t be afraid to skip it and put your effort into one that will be more useful. Professionally, having a LinkedIn account can be very beneficial, for example, in ways that a Facebook may not be.