The Ultimate Digital Marketing Formula for Law Firms with Annette Choti

Law school taught you just about everything you need to know about practicing law, but there are also a lot of things you didn’t learn. One of these is navigating the marketing side of running a law firm. After all, a law firm is a business. Gone are the days when lawyers could only rely on word-of-mouth referrals. Today, learning to use the online space and optimizing a digital marketing strategy is key to establishing your law firm’s brand. The sooner you start digital marketing, the wider the audience reach you can attain.

In this episode, Annette Choti joins us to break down the ultimate digital marketing formula law firms must follow. She demystifies SEO and discusses the best practices for writing online content. Annette also shares the 5-step formula that can help law firms grow online and how digital marketing agencies can bring value to your business. 

If you want to know how to optimize your firm’s content online, then this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode

  1. Find out the best practices for writing content online.
  2. Discover the 5-step formula on how to grow the online presence of your law firm.
  3. Learn how to navigate the digital marketing trajectory of your firm.


Episode Highlights

How Annette Became a Lawyer and a Marketer for Lawyers

  • Annette attended graduate school for theater and film and did professional comedy.
  • Since graduating from law school, she has been working in the legal field for almost two decades.
  • Working for the federal government is not an exciting world. She ended up transitioning to digital marketing after working for large digital marketing agencies for several years.
  • A lot of large digital marketing agencies don’t understand the law. To address this, Annette started her digital marketing agency, Law Quill.

Writing Content for Law Firm Owners

  • Lawyers follow a template for every document they submit in court.
  • Many lawyers don’t understand the difference between writing for the Internet and the professional realm.

Annette: “One of the issues is that a lot of lawyers don’t understand that writing for the interweb, writing right for the internet and the Google bots, is very different than writing your musings, or your thought leadership, or writing a brief for the court. It’s just a different set of standards and formula that you need to write.”

  • You can be a prolific writer, but Google bots won’t understand your content.
  • The key is to write content that resonates with people and shows your expertise in a format that Google bots can understand.

How to Write Law Firm Content on the Internet

  • The purpose of writing content on the Internet is to get more people to your website and increase your Google ranking.
  • The content should also be something people would want to read. It’s where incorporating keywords will come in.

Annette: “There’s no point in having a lot of content that just you think is interesting on your website. You can just write a personal blog on that.”

  • Determine what people are searching for. Then, answer their questions in ways that Google will think you have the best answer.

How to Find Out What People are Searching for

  • The first step is to learn about SEO or search engine optimization.
  • Start researching practices on finding topics, incorporating keywords, proper formatting, outgoing links, and meta descriptions, among others.
  • Small solo law firms can bootstrap until they can afford to hire someone that can provide legally aligned SEO services for them.

Annette: “At some point, you just realize, ‘I’ve got to outsource the things that are not in my zone of genius.’”

The 5-Step Formula on How to Grow Online

  • There is a specific recipe you need to follow to help you grow online.
  • The first step is to figure out your law firm’s branding. Next, build and develop a website on WordPress.
  • After that, start creating content. The most common form of content is written content or videos.
  • Then, you can go to social media or do email marketing, which will direct traffic back to your website.
  • Finally, the backlink strategy will help build a sturdy foundation for your entire digital marketing strategy.

Moshe: “There's always another platform, another medium, another place that we should be focusing our attention. The reality is that when you're focusing on those things, you're not focusing on running your firm, you're not focusing on the legal work, you’re not focusing on growing your team. So, should that be a focus of yours?”

How to Navigate the Marketing Trajectory of Your Firm

  • Older lawyers rely on referrals. But younger lawyers don’t have decades of work to gather as many referrals.
  • The beginning stage is to network and get your name out into the community. Then, you must delve into digital marketing as soon as possible.

Annette: "They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second-best time is now. Whatever you're going to do with digital marketing, the sooner you start, the better because it takes so long."

  • Some digital marketing agencies hold law firms in a year-long contract because it takes time for the strategies to work.
  • Once you’ve built your branding and website, you can focus on your work as a lawyer.
  • Annette wrote Click Magnet to guide law firms about their digital marketing decisions and to hold agencies to account. 

Annette: “There's nothing mystical here. There's a science and an art and an algorithm that we are all following. There's no reason why a law firm can't at least learn about that so that they can make better decisions with their digital marketing dollars.”

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Note

  • Organic marketing is often called "dirty marketing" because it's harder to get the same types of KPIs paid advertising has.
  • Look at how keywords rank over time by checking their overall domain authority (DA) score on websites like AHREFS or Moz.
  • Your content should be at least around 1000 words or more.

Annette: “Go and look at what your competitors are doing. Whatever they're doing, you should be doing at least that or more to win. Because otherwise, you're just wasting your money.”

  • Putting out consistent, valuable, search engine optimized content is vital for individual keywords to start ranking and for Google to trust your website.
  • Your content marketing and social media efforts are working when your organic traffic number shoots up after a few months.

Domain Authority Score

  • The position of your website’s domain authority score depends on your competitors.
  • Who else is doing exactly what you’re doing? What are their domain scores?
  • SEO and organic marketing are more of a science and art with its algorithm.
  • What differentiates a good marketer from others is the ability to rank for more difficult keywords.

Where to Focus Your Marketing Efforts Once You’ve Established Your Brand

  • Many digital marketing agencies force you into pre-made packages.
  • Make sure you only get the services you actually need.
  • Focus on consistently showcasing key worded content on your website.
  • Use social media to direct people to the content and value on your website.

How Much You Should Spend on Digital Marketing

  • The best practice is to have at least one 1000-word blog post weekly.
  • The typical cost of four search engine optimized posts a month is around $1000.
  • Social media marketing costs vary depending on the type of posts and how many platforms you want to use.
  • If you’re paying to get your content from someone, they should give you everything you need transparently. That includes the keywords and all the crucial numbers.

Annette’s Final Advice

  • Take the time to think about where you are in your digital marketing journey to figure out your next step.
  • Look at resources to figure out where you want to be. Then, create a digital marketing strategy that will get you there.
  • Law Quill has over 125 articles containing crucial information that can help you on your digital marketing journey.
  • Annette also offers valuable content on the Legal Marketing Lounge podcast and her book.

About Annette

Annette Choti is a lawyer with two decades of experience and the founder and owner of Law Quill. Law Quill is a full-service digital marketing agency for law firms, providing website branding, content marketing, social media marketing, and backlink services. 

Additionally, Annette is the author of the #1 bestselling digital marketing book for attorneys, Click Magnet. She is also the podcast creator and host of Legal Marketing Lounge.

If you wish to get in touch with Annette, you may connect with her on LinkedIn.

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