Internet Marketing forBankruptcy Attorneys

Your step-by-step guide to the top 9 marketing strategies to grow your firm.

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It makes no difference if you’re a solo bankruptcy attorney in a small provincial town or a multi-location law firm in the middle of the city.

You need to attract new clients to grow your business.

To do that, you don’t necessarily need to spend more money than competing law firms. You just need a better digital marketing strategy.

During major economic downturns and times of crises, as we have experienced around the globe recently, many individuals and businesses face financial distress and need your assistance.

How do they find and contact you if you are invisible online? Or at the back of the queue behind competing bankruptcy law firms?

To stand out and be seen, you need to market to potential customers with personalized messages that relate specifically to their problems.

This guide covers nine steps to help you:

  • Develop highly targeted marketing strategies that directly address target clients
  • Implement best-practice digital marketing strategies
  • Connect with more potential customers
  • Generate more leads and conversions

Step 1

Identify your ideal clients

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Failure to target the right customers with your marketing gets very expensive and does nothing to grow your law firm.

If you get it wrong at the beginning, everything that follows is wrong.

With all the tools at your disposal and some time spent up front, it’s very simple to become highly targeted with your marketing.

Consider the following.

Client Demographics

First, establish exactly who your ideal customers are.

They may be private individuals or business owners in financial distress but consider the following demographic elements to determine exactly who you are targeting:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Type of business (if applicable)
  • Size of business (if applicable)

Gain a deeper understanding of requirements

The better you understand your clients at this crucial first stage, the more targeted your messaging will be.

Think about what your ideal clients are really looking for by connecting with you:

  • Are they working individuals or insolvent business owners?
  • Are they looking for help through Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
  • Are they considering their options?
  • Are they trustees of a business?
  • Are they creditors looking to reclaim lost funds?
  • Do they simply want to stop debt harassment?
  • What are the main legal services they require – bankruptcy advice, litigation, asset protection advice, foreclosure advice, assistance with an opposed bankruptcy discharge, etc.?
  • What qualities are they looking for in their lawyer?
  • Are they primarily looking for support and direction?
  • What are the main questions going through their minds?
  • What information do they need?
  • What confuses them – bankruptcy law is complex so which areas require clarification?
  • What are their main problems, challenges, and fears?
  • What are they hoping to achieve as the end result?

This deeper understanding of your clients will help you shape your messaging and your content.

Your qualities as a bankruptcy attorney or law firm need to come through from the beginning and provide the assistance and support required.

Think about your past clients. What were the characteristics of those for whom you achieved the best results?

Where are your clients looking?

An effective marketing strategy meets your ideal clients on their own terms.

As far back as 2015, the ABA Journal reported:

One-third of all legal consumers begin their search for a law firm by using online resources

That figure would be much higher now. It’s safe to assume that business owners facing bankruptcy are looking for legal advice by:

  • Searching websites, FAQs, etc. for answers
  • Searching reviews and testimonials for the best bankruptcy lawyers in their area
  • Checking Google for useful websites
  • Checking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. for recommendations and advice

Focus your marketing efforts on reaching your clients through the above channels.

Now you have a plan of who to target, it’s time to start shaping your messaging.

Step 2

Create a value proposition that underpins your brand

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It’s important not to just say what all the others say. Your marketing strategy requires messages that reflect the brand you want to portray from the very start.

First, distill the main benefits you provide your target clients into a clear message that answers the question: Why choose you rather than one of your competitors?

With bankruptcy, your clients may be going through some of the worst days of their lives. Many individuals are being chased for money and have nowhere else to turn.

For many, facing insolvency or bankruptcy may mean that their life’s work or their dreams are vanishing before their eyes.

This creates a strong emotional element for most of your potential clients. They need support at this testing and stressful time.

Think about:

  • What makes your bankruptcy law firm unique?
  • What’s the real value you bring to clients?
  • What do you consistently do better than other firms?

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Create a clear and compelling value proposition that:

  • Convinces visitors that they’re in the right place
  • Shows that you can help with a key problem
  • Speaks directly to the needs of potential clients
  • Convinces visitors to dig deeper and contact you

Good value propositions often relate to the following.

The emotional value and support you can provide

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Your experience in achieving successful resolutions

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The one unique quality that your law firm delivers

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Positive ratings, reviews, awards, or other indicators of credibility

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Step 3

Capture leads by providing a great user experience

Your website will be the hub of all your marketing activities. It’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Increasingly, the user experience is what matters.

Most bankruptcy law firms are not focusing on improving usability for clients and this is where you can profit.

Your efforts here will turn user interest into tangible leads.

Focus on five main areas of user experience.

Page Load Speed

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Nobody likes a slow website, do they? Not your potential clients, your existing clients or Google.

Use GT Metrix or Pingdom to check speed.

If your page doesn’t load within a second or two, there is a big temptation for people to click away and try somewhere else.

Optimize images and videos so that they load quickly and don’t hold up the loading of pages.

Mobile Usability

Mobile and tablet internet usage outstripped desktop internet usage four years ago, in 2016.

Since then, it’s continued apace.

Today, your website should look clean and uncluttered like this.

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Note the clear messaging, easily readable menu, and lack of clutter.

Make sure that your website:

  • Displays correctly on all mobile devices
  • Includes call-to-action buttons that are easy to click
  • Includes easy-to-fill forms

Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to check how mobile-friendly your existing website is.

Incorporate Live Chat

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Live chat is not every law firm’s idea of a great user experience but more and more clients are expecting to be able to contact you this way.

It is possible to incorporate live chat into your website without contravening privacy laws, creating extra work (hire live chat agents to do the work), or annoying your visitors.

Live chat is a great way to provide immediate assistance and turn interested visitors into leads. It effectively puts a sign on your office saying “open 24/7”.

Gated Content

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How do you collect contact details from users and build your database of leads?

Gated content, such as eBooks and tip sheets, allows potential clients to find the information they want and build your reputation as a go-to resource for insolvency, debt, and bankruptcy.

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Use your legal IP to answer the key questions in your customers’ minds and it will draw people to your website.

Most will be willing to leave their email address and phone number in return for the value you provide.

Newsletter Sign Up

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Newsletters are another way for bankruptcy law firms to reach out to clients and keep them informed of the key information during difficult times.

They can help you grow your database of leads by capturing the details of existing or potential customers in exchange for monthly or quarterly updates.

Step 4

Highlight your legal credibility and capability to get results

Clients landing on your website want to know that they are in the right place. They are looking for someone capable of delivering what they need.

You can demonstrate this immediately using a number of strategies beyond your initial value proposition.

Focus on the following areas.

Client Testimonials

Demonstrate the great things people say about your firm.

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Awards and/or Media Attention

If people are talking about you or your firm, let your visitors know.

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Trust Badges

Memberships of legal organizations add credibility and build trust.

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Pricing 

Using compelling pricing models can make a powerful first impression on visitors.

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Case Studies 

The best way to show visitors how you can help is with real-world examples.

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The Size and Capacity of your Practice

If you can look after multiple cases concurrently, let your visitors know.

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Step 5

Become a go-to resource for bankruptcy info

Bankruptcy is a complex area of law where people have many questions that they want answers for.

Many individuals are looking for guidance in understanding their options and taking the crucial next step.

You are in a great position to help them.

The content that you produce should be based on the information that your target audience wants to know.

Do this well and it will boost your rankings in search engines for the types of questions people are seeking answers for.

Here are some ideas…

FAQ Pages

Simply create a page that answers all the key questions in your clients’ minds.

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One of the beauties of answering FAQs is that it gives you the chance for a free “ad” on Google.

Imagine you are wondering what happens when you file for Chapter 11 in New York. You go to Google and type the question in and this is what you see.

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What you see above is an example of a featured snippet – where Google features answers to common questions, with a link through to the resource that provides the best answer.

Appearing in the featured snippets should be your ultimate aim with answering FAQs.

You can achieve this with quality, long-form answers preferably broken down into a series of steps/bullet points.

Resources Pages

Include interesting articles, links to external resources, and downloads.

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Insights or News Page

Here you can include news, opinion or advice about relevant current events.

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Videos

Video is increasingly how people gather information. It should be part of building a great user experience.

Introduce attorneys and your firm, answer questions, and provide how-to information.

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Interesting fact: According to this infographic, you’re 53 times more likely to feature on the first page of Google if you include video.

Webinars and Podcasts

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Running webinars and recording podcasts allows you to reach many potential clients at the same time.

Pick the right topic and put a little work in upfront and you can gain many quality leads from these activities rather than focusing purely on free one-on-one consultations.

Infographics

Infographics are an effective way to communicate information quickly and in an easily digestible format – like this.

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Blog Posts

According to the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Report, 43 percent of law firms that blog have had a client retain their services directly because of it.

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Writing blog posts and articles demonstrates know-how and lets potential clients know that you’re active and up-to-date with the topics.

Step 6

Run search engine marketing campaigns to improve visibility and traffic

Did you know that:

  • 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine?
  • 96 percent of people seeking legal advice use a search engine?
  • 75 percent of people never go past the first page?

This makes search engine optimization (SEO) an essential part of marketing for any bankruptcy law firm.

It’s competitive out there. How will potential clients find you?

Unless you’re on the first page of Google, they may not.

Around 60 percent of clicks are generated by the top three SERP (search engine results pages) results.

If you’re not in the top three for your main search terms, you’re missing out on traffic and leads.

Law firm SEO is a huge area that requires specialist help but here are a few good ideas to begin with:

Build content around the right keywords

Your clients may be considering their options, seeking information, or ready to file for bankruptcy.

You must cater to both types of visitors with your content. This should be reflected in the keywords on which you base your content.

Consider their intent:

  • Do they want information? If so, terms like “How do I file for Chapter 11 in North Carolina?” are great for attracting searchers looking for answers to specific legal questions,
  • Are they ready to hire a lawyer? If so, transactional terms like “Bankruptcy attorney Charlotte” are appropriate for attracting potential clients.

Break your practice areas down with separate pages targeting one specific keyword e.g. chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankruptcy, home foreclosures, bankruptcy alternatives, etc.

Look to base content around “body” and “long-tail keywords” as these are usually less competitive and easier to rank for than “head” keywords.

That means rather than “Bankruptcy San Antonio “, go for “San Antonio Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney” or something equally as specific.

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Use Google Keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io to help you find keywords.

On-page SEO

You will need to optimize the content on your web pages to improve results in the search engine results pages.

However, avoid the overuse of keywords.

Instead focus on:

  • Including keywords in headers and sub-headers
  • Including keywords naturally throughout the body text
  • Using secondary keywords related to the primary phrase
  • Writing for the reader first and the search engines second
  • Adding images
  • Optimizing URLs around keyword phrases

Note in the following example how the keyword phrase “Chapter 7 bankruptcy” fits naturally into the text and secondary keywords are also used in the sub-headers.

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Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO also improves rankings in the search results but in a different way.

You need to focus on the following activities, which are all important ranking factors for Google:

  • Link-building – get backlinks from other high-quality and related websites
  • Citations – seek ‘mentions’ of your law firm in quality directories like Avvo
  • Reviews – gather as many high-quality reviews as possible from clients

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Important note about SEO campaigns:

Don’t expect immediate results. Persevere and you will see stellar results after a period of months rather than weeks.

Step 7

Improve local and regional search rankings

Unless you’re an international law firm with multiple locations, it’s likely that many of your target clients are in the local area.

This means you need to pay attention to local search.

Focus on two main areas.

Google My Business

Start by optimizing your Google My Business account.

After your website, this is probably the second most important element of your web presence.

Listings show prominently in the Google SERPs. Without optimizing your account, you have no chance of showing in these types of search results.

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So that local searchers in need of a bankruptcy law firm can find you, ensure that you:

  • Keep your account up to date
  • Fill out all fields with the relevant information
  • Choose the correct category e.g. chapter 7 attorney, chapter 11 attorney
  • Include optimized images of your firm
  • Gather Google reviews (minimum five)
  • Keep your firm’s name/address/phone number (NAP) details consistent

Law firm directories

As well as Avvo, you have Yelp, FindLaw, and Justia, among others.

These provide both free and paid listing opportunities that can help your law firm reach out to prospective clients in the local area.

A paid listing on FindLaw looks like this.

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This updated list of the main law firm directories may be useful.

Step 8

Generate a steady flow of leads with PPC

Of all the steps outlined in this article, this one can get you the most immediate results.

We know because we’ve seen it happen for clients.

Those that run optimized PPC campaigns can generate a steady flow of leads for months ahead.

The Google SERPs are now so dominated by ads that they cover up to 85 or 90 percent of the space “above the fold”.

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To see results, you need to budget, plan, and optimize your Google Ads campaigns.

Law firm PPC can get ridiculously expensive unless you keep the cost-per-click down and the number of qualified leads up.

Analyze what went wrong in past campaigns

If you haven’t received a good return on investment from previous PPC campaigns, it is likely to be because of:

  • Poor campaign planning
  • Poor targeting of keywords
  • Poor monitoring and management
  • Not stating negative keywords, which exclude irrelevant searches like bankruptcy courses
  • Poor budgeting and spending guidelines
  • Not hiring PPC specialists
  • Quitting campaigns too soon
  • Poor-quality landing pages

Create ads based on intent

An individual searching for “best bankruptcy lawyer in (insert location)” is probably looking to hire imminently.

These types of ads are generally highly competitive and may be expensive. But if someone clicks your ad there is quite a high likelihood that they will contact you.

Target more specific keyword phrases that will provide better value (less competitive). For instance, instead of “bankruptcy lawyer New York”, consider “chapter 11 attorney Brooklyn”.

This can create an immediate flow of qualified leads from hungry clients.

How to make PPC work for you

For PPC campaigns to deliver a great return on investment, you need to avoid costly mistakes.

Instead, make sure that you:

  • Hire an experienced PPC professional to set up, run, and test campaigns (with a no leads = no fees arrangement)
  • Focus on targeting specific, niche keywords
  • Focus on attracting more of your local target audience
  • Are specific with location – target zip codes and postal codes
  • Use dynamic keyword extension in your ad copy to precisely match client search terms
  • Request regular reporting on PPC campaign performance

Use ad extensions

Google Ads are nearly always competitive for law firms. To stand out and increase click-throughs, you need to use all the available tools, including ad extensions.

Ad extensions provide key extra information for readers, such as:

  • Your location
  • Your phone number(s)
  • URLs for other pages on your website (such as review pages)

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In the above example for “chapter 11 law firm Philadelphia”, the first ad stands out more than the others because it uses ad extensions for a phone number, address, and links to service pages. 

Ads are nothing without landing pages to convert clickers

The landing pages that people are directed to when they click an ad are a crucial part of any PPC campaign.

This is where interest is converted into paying clients.

To achieve a good conversion rate, ensure that your landing pages:

  • Are unique for every ad
  • Are professionally written
  • Are focused on the visitor taking one action
  • Provide visitors with what they expect –copy relevant to the ad they’ve clicked on
  • Provide visitors with a compelling reason to click the call-to-action button

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Check out these best law firm landing pages for a few ideas for your own landing pages.

Step 9

Use PR, newsletters and social media to stay front-of-mind with clients

There are multiple ways to ensure that you stay front-of-mind with potential clients so that when they need a bankruptcy lawyer, they come to you.

Media outreach and PR

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Media outlets need expert opinion – especially in times of economic downturn when many individuals and businesses are looking for advice.

Many face uncertain futures and will look to the media in the hope of finding solutions or answers.

Try the following strategies to build media relationships and increase the likelihood of mentions/interviews:

  • Offer your expert advice to the local press
  • Inform them why their audience will benefit from your expertise and opinion
  • Make it easy for reporters to contact you when a bankruptcy law expert is required for a story
  • Build authority through your content

Also, try writing articles for publications where you can share your knowledge of bankruptcy law and feature press releases as fresh news content on your website:

Newsletter marketing

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For potential clients who are seeking information and wondering about their options for resolving debt problems, a newsletter can help you stay front-of-mind.

Regular newsletter content helps you demonstrate expertise in bankruptcy law and allows you to pass on important news, information, and tips.

Think about including the following type of content:

  • Links to blog posts
  • Anything educational and informative
  • Articles that address topics in the news
  • FAQs
  • Case studies
  • Community events

Social media

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As a bankruptcy law firm, we suggest you focus on the preceding tips to form the basis of your marketing strategy.

However, social media may have a role to play too.

Whether you spend much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn will depend largely on your target audience and how they gather information.

Social media usually requires a law firm hiring a specialist to look after marketing.

If you are not prepared to do this or time and resources are limited, focus on other areas where your marketing return on investment should be higher.

What's Next?

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