An aging population, new concerns about financial stability, and changes in tax laws have all contributed to a growing demand for estate planning services. How can your estate planning practice stand out and attract new clients?
The answer lies in developing an estate planning marketing program that includes proven strategies. For new attorneys who are just starting to build their client base, or existing firms looking to take on new clients, it’s important to create a simple plan that lets you use your knowledge and resources to draw in new business.
Why your firm should consider implementing a marketing strategy (if you don’t have one)
There are many advantages to creating a robust estate planning marketing strategy, including attracting new business, maintaining a competitive edge, and keeping current clients informed. Many people looking for estate planning services aren’t usually solving for an immediate need, so they have the time and luxury to vet their options. Positioning yourself and your firm as a trusted source of information now will keep you top-of-mind when your services are needed later.
Consider the following when determining how much time and resources are needed to invest in developing your marketing strategy:
- The Market. One marketing firm found that “search volume on Google is up more than 250% for both estate planning and elder care lawyers”. People of all ages seek peace of mind knowing that their estates are settled and assets designated to desired people and causes.
- Your Specific Expertise. Creating strong, compelling, and informative marketing can brand your firm as a leader within your practice area. By demonstrating your knowledge, experience, and expertise, you can use that authority to establish trust — which is the foundation of any successful client-attorney relationship.
- The Tactics at Your Disposal. Marketing can involve numerous activities. You can run paid ads on Google and Facebook, you can write and publish on your site and others, or you can optimize your own site’s content to rank higher when people are searching for estate planning services — to name a few. Ask yourself how much time you can realistically set aside to market your firm and how much money you’re willing to invest. According to one article, law firms tend to spend between 2 – 10 percent of their firm’s revenue on marketing.
How to get started with estate planning marketing
Many firms can be overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a marketing plan. However, there are several steps you can take to provide clear, engaging messaging that will help with the planning process.
- Identify Your Ideal Customer. Exactly which kinds of customers are you looking to attract to your estate planning practice? Having a clear idea about who your target customers are will help create a custom marketing strategy designed to attract them. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is there a specific matter type that brings in more revenue or that you have more experience with?
- What have past clients expressed about the estate planning process? What were their difficulties and how does your firm help to minimize those?
- What are the common questions your firm gets asked about legal, financial, beneficiary, and tax opportunities/challenges?
- How do you discuss client success and demonstrate it to them?
- Differentiate Your Practice. What makes your practice different from your competition? Consider for a moment that there are many players in the estate planning industry today – attorneys, accountants, and financial planners are all offering these services. What do your experience, education, credentialing, knowledge, and expertise offer that your competitors lack? Knowing what makes your services unique is a great place to begin and will help fine-tune your messaging.
With some of the fundamental work done, you’re ready to begin developing a marketing plan that delivers great results.
Estate planning marketing best practices
Ideally, you want to develop a marketing strategy that establishes trust and answers your potential clients’ questions. Where do they ask these questions? Increasingly, on the internet, which is why you need to have a digital presence that requires a digital plan. Three easy ways to do this are by 1) optimizing your local Google My Business listing, 2) exploring paid search options, and 3) creating quality content on an easy-to-use site.
Local Marketing through Google My Business
Want to optimize your search engine results on the world’s largest search platform? Then you need to build your Google My Business profile. This is mainly a free business listing that enables you to show up on Google search and maps and help clients find you when they’re searching for services near them. Your business profile lets you list your firm’s address, website, email, phone, hours of operation, and business category in one place. As well as descriptions of what you offer. It’s also a way to let customers leave reviews and rate your services. Your firm will show up on the results of general queries. Not managing your Google My Business listing is like losing out on powerful free advertising.
Explore Paid Search Options Available to Your Firm
When you google “estate planning services” some of the first results you see are advertisements. Simply put, advertisers are bidding on the keywords that users search for (in this case estate planning services) and paying ~ $10 for each click to their website.
While paid search may seem intimidating, there’s plenty of help out there. Google itself has a ton of documentation on how to get set up in Google Ads as well as best practices on how to create an effective search ad campaign. Plus, there are a ton of digitally focused marketing agencies who have ample Google Ads experience.
Creating Quality Content
Content is king when it comes to developing a marketing strategy for any organization, but this is especially so for attorneys. The Legal Marketing Journal points out that creating and promoting quality content is one of the best ways your estate planning firm can establish trust as a credible source of information.
How to create quality content for your firm
While optimizing your local listing and working with a paid search marketing firm can be fairly straightforward, developing quality content for your website and your audience to consume can be a little more challenging. What does good content look like? It includes a mix of relevant, helpful, and easy-to-consume materials that typically include a call to action for clients to contact you. If a prospect finds your site and your content is helpful, you want to make it easy for them to call you, fill out a form to contact you, sign up for an email newsletter, or, more directly, ask them to schedule an appointment with your firm.
Content can take on many forms and may include any of the following:
- Blog Posts. Written in your voice, blog posts can help establish your credibility and answer questions about estate planning topics of general interest.
- Video Posts. Increasingly, YouTube is being used as a search engine. For those prospects who are visual learners, brief videos or short interviews are a great option. Videos are also a great way to capture reviews of your current clients.
- Webinars. Using accessible webinars is an easy way to get your message out and an opportunity to get to know clients when in-person appointments are not possible.
- E-books. For those who are looking for a deeper dive, an e-book may be the answer. For example, your firm might develop an e-book that details the different types of trusts that can be established and the tax advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Infographics. Give your readers a simple visual reference to terminology, investment types, and common estate questions to ask their attorneys.
In all cases, be sure that your digital content is easily shareable and backed up by an active social media presence. You can repackage, rewrite, and reuse your content in multiple venues, getting the most out of your creative pursuits.
Developing an estate planning marketing plan is just one way to improve your firm’s efficiency and operations. At CARET Legal, we develop practice management solutions specifically tailored to Estate Planning law fims. To learn more about our law firm management products, sign up for a free trial, or request a free in-depth demo.