In the field of law, chances are there are hundreds of attorneys who provide the same legal services you do. They may not have the same amount of experience, track record, practice the exact same way, or are not as well-versed as you are in a particular area however, to the average client not much of this will matter when making a decision on who to hire. The reality is that most clients chose to retain your firm because you had checked off three boxes for them - know, like, and trust and those three boxes are the keys to a successful legal marketing campaign.
Know, Like, and Trust Equation
The know, like, trust, the principle is a common term amongst marketers and can be applied to all industries. In order to have a chance at retaining a client, they first need to know you. That seems simple - right? Brand awareness is the most often overlooked step in a law firm’s marketing.
The second and most crucial step is “like.” As we learned when we were young children, there is no simple way to make a person like you. Complicating matters further is the fact that people don’t generally “like” businesses, people buy from people they like which is why any solid marketing campaign must be built around people.
Finally, a prospect must trust you. Trust is harder to define as different people have different measures for trust. There are however simple ways law firms can build trust within their marketing campaigns and online materials.
Legal Marketing Focused on Know, Like, and Trust
Most marketers like to use a funnel as a visual for the know, like, and trust process, and for the purpose of this conversation, it’s probably the easiest way to explain how we reach a retained client.
Envision at the top of the funnel is the client who knows they need your law firm's services but doesn’t know who you are. This is the “know” step and the one where your firm should be particularly paying close attention to. The more prospective clients and referral sources that know you, the more likely you’ll get opportunities to move on to the next steps.
Generating awareness for a law firm comes in multiple formats but the most common ones are an active online and offline presence which includes social media, public relations, event attendance, participation in nonprofits, etc.
How to Create a Legal Marketing Campaign that Converts
Your prospect knows you, now they need to like you. Attorneys traditionally shy away from sharing personal information as part of their marketing strategy and that’s a mistake. Creating the like factor means showing a human side.
Personal content does not have to mean sharing your childrens’ photos on the firm’s Facebook account (although babies and even puppies are a sure-fire way for a post to reach hundreds of more potential clients). Sharing throwback photos of attorneys from when they were in law school, images of the team at local events or non-profit organization fundraisers, fun facts from each attorney, hobbies they like to do outside of work, these are all simple ways to build a trust factor into a marketing campaign.
A great example of this is David Haber, founder of Haber Law, and their social media fishing content. When our INGAGE team realized the reach David was getting on his personal posts to his Facebook account from his fishing expeditions, we suggested folding the fishing content onto the business pages when appropriate and launching a dedicated Instagram account - @fishinglawyer305. As David now says, “No matter where I go, people immediately want to talk about my recent catch. It opens up conversations and connections in every room."
The Final Step, Building the Trust
“Trust is built with consistency,” Lincoln Chafee.
Consistency serves as a trust builder for relationships as well as closing a client sale. Being consistent with branding, messaging, posting to social media, emails - to name a few- the more a prospective client sees you and your firm, the trust factor builds. Client wins and testimonials shared on marketing materials provide an extra boost of confidence.
Responsiveness factors into trust-building as well. Today’s clients live in a world where they can order a toothbrush and it’s on their doorstep in an hour, your law firm needs to have mechanisms in place to ensure a prospective client hears from you within minutes of outreach.
Of course, the fastest way to move a prospect through the know, like, and trust equation is for them to be referred by someone they know, like, and trust. A strategic referral marketing campaign can accelerate the process and generate more continued clients for your firm. You can read more about referral marketing campaigns here.