Estate planning law firms provide an invaluable service to their clients, helping people protect their assets and ensure that their wishes are carried out after they pass away.
However, estate planning lawyers face a unique challenge when it comes to marketing. Because estate planning services often are not sought out until later in a person's life, law firms must find ways to market their estate planning services to potential clients who may not be thinking about their end-of-life decisions.
There are a number of different marketing strategies that estate planning attorneys can use to attract and convert prospects into paying clients.
Here is a checklist of some of the most effective estate planning marketing strategies:
Your website is often the first impression people will have of your estate planning law firm. It is important to make sure that your website is professional and informative, and that it clearly outlines the services you offer.
For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes, estate planning law firm websites should have individual pages for each service they offer. These pages should be well-written and include keywords that people are likely to search for, in their words, use plain language and avoid legalese.
Note that if you have multiple offices, each location should have its own page. This is important because many people searching for an estate planning lawyer will include their location in their search query.
Your website should be focused on conversions. This means that it should be designed to turn website visitors into new prospects. There are a number of different ways to do this, but some of the most effective include:
Advertising is one of the most important tools in any marketing arsenal, and this is especially true for estate planning marketing. By targeting potential clients with ads specifically designed to reach people who are thinking about their own mortality, estate planning law firms can increase their chances of reach and connecting with qualified prospects.
Facebook Ads allow businesses to target potential customers based on their interests, location, age group and other useful demographics. For example, a business could use Facebook Ads to target people who have expressed an interest in estate planning, retirement planning, or financial planning.
Google Ads also can be an effective platform to reach your target audience. Google ads work a little differently than Facebook ads, but with some expert guidance you can reach people who may be ready to move quickly. For example, a business could use Google's search ads to target people who are searching online with terms like “estate planning” or “wills and trusts.”
Google Local Service Ads are a type of advertisement that is specifically designed to help businesses reach potential customers in their local area. For example, an estate planning law firm could use Local Service Ads to target potential clients who live in the same city or state as the law firm.
This form of advertisement is limited to certain types of businesses, but luckily, law firms are eligible. These ads are placed above the 'Local Pack' and just below the pay per click advertising, which gives them great exposure. They are also more attractive than the boring text you see with PPC ads, and you only pay when someone actually calls you. Learn more about Local Service Ads here.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website for Google’s search engine. By optimizing their website for relevant keywords, estate planning law firms can increase their visibility in Google’s search results and attract potential clients who are highly qualified. Regardless of the other strategies you choose to implement, SEO should be part of your marketing efforts. SEO is a long-game strategy, so you shouldn't expect quick results. However, if you're patient and consistent with your efforts, you should see a good return on your investment. We wrote the book on SEO for Estate Planning. Request your copy of The 2023 Definitive Guide to Law Firm SEO for Estate and Elder Law Firms.
While generating quality backlinks can be a great strategy, beware of backlink schemes.
A Google Business Profile is a free business listing that appears in Google’s search results when people search for businesses in their local area. It also appears in Google Maps for local searches. These listings include important information about the business, like their address, phone number, hours of operation, and website.
Creating and claiming your Google Business Profile is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to improve your estate planning marketing.
To create your Google Business Profile, simply go to google.com/business and click “Start Now”. You will be prompted to enter some basic information about your business, like your name, address, and phone number. Once you have entered this information, Google will verify that your business is legitimate and then your listing will go live.
It’s important to claim your Google Business Profile so you can have control over the information that appears in the listing. To do this, simply follow the instructions on Google’s business listings page. Once you have claimed and verified your listing, you can add photos, hours of operation, and other important information that potential clients will want to know.
Here are some of the things you can do with your Google Business Profile:
Many estate planning attorneys overlook the importance of online reviews in their SEO strategy. That's right, online reviews are an important part of local SEO. When your firm has a lot of positive reviews on Google, the search engine treats your website more favorably ... showing it higher in the listings for key searches. This means that people in your areas who are searching for an estate planning attorney will be more likely to see your website first.
But you know it's not enough just to be seen. We're all conditioned to check out the reviews before we make online choices. That’s why it’s so important to generate as many positive online reviews as possible. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely potential clients will feel comfortable about reaching out to you to schedule a phone call or an in-office visit.
There are a few different ways you can generate online reviews:
Ask your satisfied clients to leave a review on your Google Business Profile.
Send an email to your clients after they’ve hired you, asking them to leave a review on your Google Business Profile.
Include links to your Google Business Profile and other review sites on your website and in your email signature.
Did you get ... or are you afraid of getting ... a bad review? Your best defense against a bad review is ... lots of good ones!
Webinars are a great way to reach prospects who might not be reached through other marketing channels. By hosting webinars on topics related to estate planning, law firms can educate potential clients about the importance of estate planning and the services they offer.
Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, live workshops were the estate planning marketing strategy most often used by estate planning attorneys. But, things have changed and shifted more to digital marketing.
One of the great things about webinars is that they don't need to be 'live'. You can create a webinar and then host it on your website or on a platform like Wistia, Mindstamp, Youtube or another site.
This means that people can watch the webinar at their convenience, which is often more appealing for busy people who might not have time to attend a live event.
In addition, by hosting webinars you can generate leads by requiring people to register with their contact information in order to watch the webinar. You can then follow up with these leads after the webinar to offer more information or set up a consultation.
Learn more about our webinar marketing services here.
Email marketing is a tried-and-true marketing strategy that can be very effective for an estate planning practice. By sending targeted emails to potential clients, law firms can stay top of mind and remind their target market, as well as their existing clients, of their estate planning services.
Email marketing can be used to send a variety of different types of content, including blog posts, articles, webinars, videos and more.
Like most business strategies, the key with email marketing is to be consistent. One email newsletter every month isn't going to be enough. At IMS, we build a system for our clients that makes it easy to use email marketing to send a weekly blog digest and monthly email newsletter. Remember, too, that you'll want to strike a balance with your email marketing so people welcome the valuable information your emails deliver ... along with the occasional calls-to-action to schedule a consultation, attend a workshop, or refer a friend.
Writing blog posts is another great way to reach potential estate planning clients. By providing helpful information about estate planning, law firms can show potential clients that they are experts in the field and that they can be trusted to help them with their own estate planning needs.
When creating blog content, it is important to make sure that the posts are informative and engaging. Posts that are dull or full of dense legal jargon are not likely to capture the attention of site visitors. Instead, focus on creating content that is interesting and easy to read. You can also use images and infographics to break up the text and make your posts more visually appealing.
In addition to informative blog posts, estate planning law firms can also use their blogs to answer common questions that prospects may have. By addressing common concerns, law firms can show that they are knowledgeable about the estate planning process and that they are ready to help their clients navigate it.
Content can come in many forms and these days, video is one of the most popular.
By creating helpful and informative videos, estate planning attorneys can reach a larger audience and provide potential clients with another way to learn about the importance of estate planning.
Social media is another great tool to reach people who may be a good fit for estate planning services. By creating and sharing content on social media, estate planning law firms can raise awareness about their services and build relationships with potential new clients (PNCs).
Two of the most effective platforms for this are Facebook and Google Business Profile.
Facebook: Facebook can be a great platform for estate planning marketing. By creating a business page and sharing engaging content, law firms can reach a large audience of PNCs. Additionally, Facebook advertising can be used to target individuals based on interests and demographics.
Google Business Profile: Google Business Profile is a listing that appears when people search for businesses on Google or Google Maps. By creating and optimizing a profile and being active on it (posting, getting reviews), estate planning lawyers can improve their visibility and attract people who are searching for related services.
As an estate planning attorney, one of the best marketing strategies you can use is to build a referral network. When people are happy with the services you've provided, they're more likely to recommend you to their friends and family members who may also need estate planning assistance.
To build a referral network, start by reaching out to local professionals who work with clients who might need estate planning services, such as financial advisors and accountants. You can also get involved with local community organizations, which can help you meet potential clients and referral sources.
Another great way to build a referral network is to offer free continuing education (CE) seminars for allied professionals on estate planning topics. These seminars can be an excellent way to strike up new referral relationships and get your name in front of referral sources.
It's important not to rely on referrals alone though. While referrals can be a great source of new business, they typically don't provide a continuous stream of potential clients.
Speaking at local events is another great way to reach potential estate planning clients. By sharing their expertise with potential clients, estate planning lawyers can show that they are the go-to source for estate planning information. Additionally, many people are more likely to trust a speaker if they have already seen them in person, making events an excellent way to build credibility and rapport.
Estate planning attorneys should also get involved in their local communities. By participating in community events and activities, law firms can raise awareness about their services and build relationships with potential clients.
Marketing for estate planning law firms can be a challenge, but by using the right strategies, you can reach a large number of potential clients and grow your practice.
Is your estate planning business struggling to grow? If so, IMS can help. We have over 25 years of experience helping estate planning and elder law attorneys grow their business.
Learn more by watching our training video here: imsrocks.com/the-growth-acceleration-roadmap
Or, contact us to grow your client base with effective law firm marketing.
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