A Comprehensive Guide to Estate Planning Lawyer Marketing
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A Comprehensive Guide to Estate Planning Lawyer Marketing

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The Role of Digital Marketing in Estate Planning Law Firms

In the realm of estate planning law firm’s marketing, relying on reputation alone is not sufficient. A comprehensive approach that includes estate planning marketing, search engine optimization, and leveraging online marketing tools is crucial. This is especially important considering the competitive nature of the legal industry, where neglecting these aspects can lead to losing potential clients to competitors. In fact, 59% of consumers seek referrals for their lawyers, leaving a substantial 41% influenced by other factors, such as effective marketing strategies and online visibility.

The Importance of a Marketing Audit for Your Estate Planning Firm

Before diving into the specifics of estate planning lawyer marketing, it’s essential to conduct a thorough marketing audit. This process helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategies, including your law firm website, social media presence, and paid marketing strategies. A marketing audit is the first step in developing a more effective marketing plan for your estate planning practice.

When estate planning lawyers market their services, how do they do it? 

Some lawyers say their reputation is all the law firm marketing strategy they need. They say that the trail of satisfied clients they leave in their wake paves the way for their future. 

They’re not completely wrong, as 59% of consumers seek a referral for their lawyer.

One question remains, though: which law firm has the best chance of securing the other 41% of the market? 

Well, if you neglect estate planning lawyer marketing, the answer is obvious – your competition. 

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Not ideal.

So rather than leaving all those potential clients to your competitors, take 20 minutes and read through this detailed guide to marketing for estate planning lawyers. 

You’ll learn about the key strategies you can adopt to ensure your business lives up to its potential.

Let’s start by examining your current marketing efforts. 

Building a Strong Foundation for Your Marketing Efforts

Understanding the core elements of your marketing strategy is vital. This includes assessing your website’s effectiveness, your engagement on social media platforms, the impact of your Google Ads campaigns, and the clarity of your marketing goals. For estate planning attorneys, it’s not just about attracting new business but also about nurturing relationships with existing clients and past clients, ensuring they remain a part of your client base.

Know what you need

1. Websites

Your website is your firm’s shopfront. 

In most cases, it’s the first thing your potential clients come into contact with, and therefore, it carries considerable weight in their first impression of your practice. 

No one wants to see an outdated website filled with stock images, confusing information, and clashing colors.

It takes about 0.05 seconds for a visitor to make their mind up about your law firm’s website and determine whether they’ll stay or leave.

Take a look at this site:

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The main photo aims to connect with the viewer’s family sentiments, which is a nice idea, but it’s not particularly well executed.

The page feels messy, the image doesn’t play nicely with the hero copy (“Planning for Your Family”), and there are far too many call-to-actions that inevitably feel distracting.

It’s a shame because this law firm might be full of brilliant lawyers, but still, looking at the design, you probably don’t want to take a chance on hiring them. 

So if your website looks anything like this, the time has come for a refresh. 

Now compare it to this law firm’s website:

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Look at the color palette, the beautiful image, and the homepage’s clear structure. Then take notice of the well-placed lead-generation form that enables potential customers to reach out to Shoup Legal easily. 

How much of a better impression does that create? 

However, website design isn’t your only concern.

You also need to take performance into account because conversion drops 20% for every second of load time – there’s absolutely no forgiveness for slow sites, no matter how well-designed they are. 

2. Social media 

58.4% of the global population uses social media. No wonder it seems obvious for estate planning firms to maintain a presence on at least one platform. 

The stats back us up:

  • 96% of lawyers use social media, and 70% use it as part of their overall marketing strategy, with LinkedIn being their preferred platform.
  • One in five people consults social media platforms when searching for an attorney.
  • 35% of private practice attorneys obtain their clients through social media. 

So, if you still believe that social media marketing is only meant for big consumer brands, this is the moment to adjust your position. 

If you already have a presence on social media, you should analyze your results. 

Are you happy with your overall performance? Are you driving enough engagement and leads? Are you posting frequently enough? 

The key is to create meaningful content and answer pressing questions because this helps you establish your law firm as a thought leader in your field. 

Being regarded as a thought leader leads to a specific result – your company is often the first one potential clients think of when they require estate planning guidance. 

3. Paid ad campaigns

Paid adverts (often referred to as PPC) drive 58% of all website traffic.

This means that, if combined with an optimized website, they have the potential to put your law firm in front of thousands of potential clients and become one of your main acquisition methods.

So ask yourself: 

  • What kind of paid ad campaigns have you run in the past? 
  • How effective did they prove to be?
  • Did they drive significant traffic to your site?
  • Did they generate a positive ROI? 

Once again, your goal is to determine whether you need to revisit your current strategy. If you find yourself unsatisfied with any aspect of your PPC campaigns, then this is an area where you need help in the future. 

4. Goals

Finally, we come to a decision every estate planning law firm has to make. 

What do you wish to accomplish? 

Is it:

  • Higher revenue?
  • Greater brand awareness?
  • Positioning yourself as an industry thought leader? 

Each one of these goals requires a specific marketing strategy if you are to turn it into reality.

Once you’ve settled on one, you can start thinking about the finances.

Evaluate your budget

This header suggests that marketing for estate planning lawyers is an expense.

While this is technically true, the reality is that you should think of your marketing budget as an investment.

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Unfortunately, this point of view isn’t shared by the majority of law firms, as 54% don’t have an annual marketing budget, clearly indicating they only see marketing as an expense. 

Strange, right?

It gets even stranger when you consider that high-growth law firms spend 26.9% of their revenue on their marketing budgets, while no-growth law firms only spend 18.2%.

Everything points to one conclusion: law firms need to invest in marketing if they wish to grow.

So sit down with your partners, and decide how much you’re willing to set aside for your marketing efforts.

One other thing – make sure the number you have in mind correlates with your goals. In other words, is it realistic to expect to generate 300 leads per month when you only spend $500 a month on marketing?

Choose the right marketing agency for estate planning lawyers

You know your current marketing’s strengths and weaknesses, you have clear goals, and you’ve set up a marketing budget. Where to next?

We recommend you look for a team of experts to lead your marketing campaign – people who’ve done it all before, people who’ve learned the hard lessons the hard way, people full of marketing ideas for estate planning attorneys.

You could save the agency fees and try to do it yourself, but that’s a perilous road.

You’ll end up wasting countless billable hours and throwing your budget straight into the fire.

You could hire your own internal marketing manager, but then you’d only have one employee instead of a team of experts, and you’d have to do all the managing yourself.

That’s why it is no surprise that marketing consultants are used by 21% of law firms with 2-9 lawyers, 19% of firms with 10-49 lawyers, and 23% with 100+ lawyers.

It’s simply a good idea.

The real question going through your mind should be, “how do I pick the right agency for my estate planning firm?”

Here’s what you should do:

You should reach out to your colleagues and hit the internet to create a shortlist of candidates. Carefully consider the following factors: 

  1. Case studies: Few things are more reassuring than seeing a company that can demonstrate its expertise and deliver on its promises. So examine each marketing agency’s past efforts to understand what you can expect from them. Feel free to use our track record as an example of what other agencies should demonstrate.
  1. Personality: This factor is sometimes undervalued, and that’s a mistake in our books. Pay close attention to the tone and personality the agency is conveying in their marketing materials – do they sound like people you want to work with?
  1. Work style: Some agencies are ordered and disciplined. Some are chaotic. Some sit somewhere in between. The important thing is that the agency’s approach to business matches your own. So ensure that the people you work with share your principles, or the partnership will never work.

Once you have a shortlist of about four to five agencies, reach out to them and set up an intro meeting with each of them.

Listen to what they have to say, examine their marketing proposals, and get to know the people behind the company.

You are certain to develop a preference for one agency over the rest.

Build a Strategy

Now that you have an agency, you can start working on your estate planning lawyer marketing strategy.

Ideally, this process should begin with a marketing workshop, in which the agency sits down with key law firm members and begins to professionally assess your marketing efforts and brainstorm new ways to improve performance.

This day-long meeting is usually followed by a short period of intense strategy work aimed at coming up with:

  • Clear marketing and revenue goals
  • A strong understanding of your target audience
  • A refined service offering

Set clear marketing & revenue goals

There are two simple reasons you need goals:

  1. They help you focus and prioritize your efforts
  2. They enable you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns

Here’s an example: 

Let’s say that, as a law firm offering estate planning services, you’d like to increase the revenue you earn from high-income individuals needing to revisit their will by 25%.

This is your revenue goal; in monetary terms, it equals an extra $2,500 in monthly revenue. 

How do you attract enough people to your law firm to achieve this ambitious target? 

After all, updating wills is hardly humanity’s favorite activity. It is, however, a necessary activity that people continuously put off. Half of Canadians say they haven’t created a testament. 

You should start by revisiting your website because your digital marketing efforts will direct prospective clients here. A good landing spot is paramount to success. 

After that, you should turn your attention to other channels. 

You could start by focusing on content and social media to establish authority and attract new clients with organic searches. Then, as the cherry on top, you could add an email marketing campaign and a paid PPC campaign to stop relying solely on inbound marketing. 

Whatever you do, you’ll need to create a SMART goal for each channel. For example:

  • 30,000 impressions, 3,000 engagements, and 200 website visitors per month from Facebook and LinkedIn
  • 100 organic clicks from your content marketing (blogs, videos, and podcasts)
  • 200 email clicks per month
  • 400 PPC clicks per month
  • A 3% conversion rate of website visitors into leads

Make sure to link these channel targets back to your original revenue target. Like this:

  • 900 new website visitors generated by our marketing activities
  • 3% of which convert
  • 27 new leads 
  • 25% become clients
  • ≈ 7 new customers
  • You charge an average price of $400 per will
  • $2,800 in extra revenue
  • Revenue goal achieved

Understand your target audience

You can’t start marketing your services without first learning everything there’s to know about your target audience. 

Think of it like this: Have you ever tried to pitch your services to a client hiding behind a wall? Whose face you can’t see? Whose voice you can’t hear? 

How can you possibly expect to sell your services to them?

Digital marketing works the same. You cannot succeed if you don’t have a picture-perfect image of your ideal client. 

First, identify the age and gender of your target customers. 

Given that you’re focusing on estate planning, it’s safe to say that your primary focus will be on older people, generally aged 55+, and gender isn’t a distinguishing factor.

This piece of research gives you an idea of the number of people in Canada that have an updated will, broken down by age:

This confirms our initial assumption, but it also shows us that people aged 45-54 are thinking about wills and should be part of an estate planning lawyer’s audience.

Next, you should consider other demographic factors that make people more inclined to prepare a will. Having a high net worth and/or multiple children are obvious ones.

Finally, you should spend some time speaking to your clients (in one-on-one interviews or focus groups) to understand the behavioral metrics that unite them. 

This will help you build customer personas and select the right channels for reaching your audience.

Pro tip: don’t buy into the common myth that it’s hard to market your services to senior citizens because they can’t manage the technology involved. The truth of the matter is that 59% of adults above 65 are online, and 49% of those are using social media. 

Refine your service offering

One of the biggest benefits of truly understanding your target audience is the ability to go back and review your service offering from their point of view.

Are you communicating the right benefits? Are you speaking their language? Are your pricing packages attractive to them?

You need to review your service offering if you answered no to any of these questions.

Your end goal is to make your prospects say, “This law firm understands me and my situation!”

You can do this by focusing everything around the biggest pain points keeping them from updating their wills.

Perhaps they see wills as stressful and emotionally draining. Perhaps they’re unsure about making the wrong decisions. Perhaps they think they don’t need a will.

Identify what’s stopping your target clients, and then structure your services and marketing collateral in a way that helps them overcome those challenges. 

Execute – Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy that uses valuable content to draw potential customers to your business.

Think of it as a magnet that attracts customers.

On the other hand, outbound marketing (also known as interruption marketing) is the traditional form of marketing, where a company pays to put an advert in front of an audience on a select medium at a select time. The most common forms of outbound adverts for legal firms are billboards, TV & radio, pay-per-click (PPC), and paid social media. 

Many people are proponents of one strategy over the other. The truth is more nuanced: inbound marketing should be the cornerstone of a marketing campaign, with outbound marketing playing a supporting yet pivotal role. 

So let’s start by examining the elements of inbound marketing estate planning lawyers should master. 

Web design & website copy

We’ve already explained the importance of having a fast, well-designed website. 

What we didn’t say is that 75% of people admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on website design. 

So leave nothing to chance and make sure your homepage looks as attractive and inviting as this example: 

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Design and speed aren’t enough, though.

You’ll also need excellent website copy if you plan on converting the traffic you funnel to your site.

Every single paragraph needs to impress them. Eliminate the fluff, speak their language, and most importantly, demonstrate your expertise in the field of estate planning. 

Two other tips:

  • Employ SEO writing techniques in your content to help your pages rank higher
  • Include client testimonials on key pages as social proof leads to a 1% higher conversion rate on landing pages

Video

49% of adults over 65 use YouTube.

This statistic alone demonstrates why video is a key channel for estate planning law firms looking to attract more clients.

The benefits don’t stop there, though.

Since estate planning topics are often complicated, videos are an excellent way for lawyers to simplify difficult concepts and break down confusing problems.

You also benefit from the fact that videos have a 95% retention compared to just 10% for blogs and other written material. It’s simply easier and more entertaining to watch a video.

A drawback to keep in mind is that videos can be very time-consuming and highly personal. 

There is no text to hide behind, no paid ads, and no professional photos. 

Whoever you pick to represent your law firm becomes the face of the company.

For this reason, you’ll need to select a lawyer that resonates with your audience and is comfortable in front of the camera.

To make your video sound and look more professional, you should:

  • Prepare a script 
  • Set up a mini-studio with high-quality lighting and recording

It might sound like a lot of work, but take a look at the difference between these two videos: 

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The lighting and the studio set-up were well worth the effort, don’t you agree?

Blogs

Search engines are the go-to place for 96% of people seeking legal advice.

You would think that with that many potential clients using search engines, every lawyer from here to eternity would have an active blog on their site.

Yet only 27% of law firms have a blog.

Can you spot the opportunity?

By blogging about topics your target audience is searching for, estate planning law firms can provide potential clients with valuable, timely information.

This positions your law firm as:

  • An expert in the field 
  • Someone willing to go out of their way to provide free advice

These positive effects also spill over to your homepage because the extra traffic and backlinks you generate from blogging lead to higher domain authority and better search engine results for your site.

MacMillan’s The Strongroom Blog is an excellent example of an estate planning blog – tailored content, an attractive design, relevant visuals, and consistent posting are all elements you should emulate.

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Despite the benefits of blogging, we don’t recommend you open up a word processor and start writing. 

Lawyers shouldn’t write their own blogs. It’s simply too time-consuming. 

Instead, you should outsource the work to specialized content writers and marketing agencies. Then your only job is to oversee the process and the quality of pieces they create.

This way, you won’t waste billable hours on content creation, and you’ll still be able to publish traffic-generating posts consistently.

Organic social media

Organic social media consists of non-paid posts you publish on your page. 

You can post about anything you like, but lawyers tend to focus on:

  • Explanations of legal principles
  • Legal examples and scenarios
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Case studies and testimonials

Social media has enormous potential when it comes to creating trust with your audience and building your brand. 

This fact is well understood by Mike Hiner, a lawyer who’s amassed more than 25,000 followers on TikTok by taking the time to explain the intricacies of estate planning. 

Bookmark his profile and go back to it for inspiration and content ideas when you’re building and planning your posting schedule. 

Execute – Outbound Marketing

Are you getting tired yet? 

We understand. We’ve gone through a lot of material.

So here’s a bite-sized summary of the next two sections about outbound marketing:

Feel free to jump to the next section, Connect With the Community, or continue reading for a deep dive into outbound marketing.

PPC for Estate Planning Lawyers

Pay-per-click advertising is a powerful tool marketers can use to show adverts to people searching for specific keywords related to their company. 

Search engine marketing on Google is the most popular form of PPC advertising.

You’ve surely seen them a million times, but here’s an example of what someone sees when they search “estate planning lawyer:”

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The first four results are paid PPC adverts.

Every single time a user clicks on one of these ads, Google charges the law firm that placed it on Google.

The fee itself varies because the PPC system works on an auction-based model, meaning the price largely depends on:

  • The competition for the specific keyword
  • Your firm’s geographic area
  • The quality of content you offer Google’s users

This last one is important because Google does not blindly lead its users to your website. Instead, it modifies the price you have to pay depending on how well you fulfill searchers’ needs. This is yet another reason why you should build attractive landing pages with:

  1. Testimonials
  2. About us sections
  3. A showcase of your expertise
  4. Contact information (phone numbers, email, etc.)

Just like Augulis Law Firm has done on their website:

As a ballpark figure, costs per click range between $5 and $300, and a small or medium-sized law firm should expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 on PPC ads per month.

Paid social media ads

Let’s say you are looking for a quick way to grow your social media presence and leverage your range of blog posts.

Paid adverts are the way to go.

Simply create a post (for this example, on Facebook), write an enticing summary, and link to a detailed article that covers all the information people should know about when structuring their wills. 

Next, publish it. It’ll look something like this: 

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Once it’s live on your profile, you can boost it. 

Simply look for the blue button that says “Boost Post” and click it.

Here you can select from a wide range of demographic and behavioral factors, and advertise your post to a very specific audience. 

For example, you could only show it to people over 65 who live within 30 miles of your office and have children. 

The costs of the campaign are also entirely dependent on you. Facebook allows you to choose exactly how much money you want to spend per day. 

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From there, it’s off to the races. 

Your target audience reads your posts, visits your blog, and learns everything they need to know. If they wish to take a step further, your contact information is only a click away.

Connect With the Community

The main purpose of estate planning lawyers is to help people in their community tackle difficult situations and ensure their families’ financial security.

So how do you reach out to your local community and build a reputation in the right circles?

Community service is one option since 84% of consumers say it is important to them that law firms support meaningful causes.

What other options do you have?

Here are our three favorite strategies.

PR campaigns

PR campaigns are designed with one aim in mind – to ensure your community is aware of your law firm, understands your practices, and sees your efforts positively.

A PR campaign can combine inbound and outbound marketing elements to create a sense of trust in your potential clients. 

Through PR campaigns, you can:

  • Shed light on your processes
  • Prove you’re willing to go the extra mile for your community
  • Celebrate important (and impactful) victories
  • Share reviews from happy clients.

You can use your social media channels to spread the word, or you could rely on interviews with local newspapers and radio stations. 

Another proven option is to attend local conferences and seminars to give speeches about your work and create personal connections with members of your community.

Offer thought leadership

Thought leadership is nothing more than offering the public and potential clients a behind-the-scenes look at how the experts view certain matters.

There are a lot of people with opinions. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are a lot of misguided beliefs out there. 

An estate planning law firm that takes the time to set the record straight on various matters will naturally attract traffic to its website simply because it’s a trustworthy source. 

Take the Common Estate Planning Myths post from Pihl Law Corp – it’s a perfect example of the valuable insight a law firm can offer confused clients looking for guidance. 

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N.M Law also does a great job at creating thought leadership pieces. Their series of webinars offer interesting insights on how to deal with the intricacies of estate planning. 

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This type of content also cements a law firm as the place to go when clients are looking for answers to niche questions. 

So if people are coming to your website (or social media profile) for answers, how likely is it that they’ll come to the same place when they need a lawyer?

The odds are stacked in your favor.

Business directories & local SEO

There are hundreds of business directories that catalog business websites. Some of them, like Avvo, specialize in listing law firms.

These are the ones you want to focus on.

Try to list your firm and all its individual attorneys in as many directories as possible to make it easy for potential clients to find you.

Being listed has the added benefit of giving your firm an extra layer of credibility. After all, you’re amongst the Top Lawyers in Canada.

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Business directories also help you improve your firm’s local SEO for estate planning lawyers, which is critical to your success as 85% of people use Google when researching law firms. 

For example, if a Toronto-based client typed “estate planning law firm” into Google, this is what they’d see:

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You know they’re going to click on these three well-rated practices first.

That’s why you want to rank in the top three – more clicks, more leads, and more clients.

Link building in business directories is only one of the many things you’ll need to master to break into this elite ranking. The others include:

  1. Website optimization
  2. Mobile optimization
  3. Quality content creation
  4. Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) Optimization

Estate Planning Attorneys Marketing: The Key to Growth

In the dynamic world of estate planning law firm’s marketing, achieving growth requires a blend of traditional and modern strategies. Estate planning attorneys must focus on enhancing their firm’s phone number visibility, leveraging Google local service ads, and ensuring their business profile is prominent in local directories. This comprehensive approach, which combines reputation-based tactics with cutting-edge digital marketing techniques, is essential for reaching a diverse range of estate planning clients.

Integrating Modern Marketing Techniques for Estate Planning Law Firm

For estate planning firms, the key to success lies in adopting the most effective marketing strategies. This includes a strong emphasis on search engine optimization to improve search results, creating engaging blog articles and service pages, and actively participating in local events. By doing so, estate planning attorneys can effectively cater to the estate planning needs of both referral-based clients and those influenced by digital marketing efforts.

Conclusion: Partnering with a Professional Marketing Agency

To truly elevate your estate planning business, partnering with a specialized marketing agency is a powerful marketing tool. Such agencies can help in sponsoring local events, managing Google Ads campaigns, and garnering positive reviews, all of which contribute to a strong online presence. Contact a reputable marketing agency today to explore how they can transform your estate planning firm’s marketing plan and propel your business to new heights.

You need to create a marketing strategy and manage:

  • Website design and optimization
  • SEO optimization
  • Content creation
  • Social media
  • Pay-per-click campaigns
  • PR and thought leadership

Though some lawyers believe they can handle their marketing campaigns without outside assistance, the truth is that the task requires expert help.

You should focus on your clients and legal practice while marketing specialists guarantee you the highest possible return on your marketing budget.

Contact dNOVO today to discover how to turn this into reality and take your business to the next level.

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