Chances are, you have some amount of website shame. If you have a website, that is. And, if you don’t have a website, you need to get one set up asap, if you want to keep up in the marketplace.
One of the biggest problems with website shame is that you might have a sense that your website sucks, but also not know exactly what to do to fix it. Or, you might be at risk of hiring an expensive company to fix your site, but then not get what you really need.
Lawyer websites can sell for as much as $5,000, or you can get one done for as little as $350, if you know exactly what you want and what to give to your designer.
So, before you hire anyone to help you with your website (or try to fix it yourself), here’s what you need to know:
Websites serve two key purposes and you need to understand the difference before you design (or update) your website to understand where you are and how you will use your site.
Here are the two key purposes and types of websites.
1) The Brochure Site
Every lawyer (including you!) at least needs a website to act as an online “brochure” where people who are considering hiring you can check you out, and learn about who you are and how you work.
On a brochure type site, you at least want to have warm, inviting copy introducing the people who get to your site to you and your services. Your brochure site should have a picture of you on the home page, and not just some skyscraper buildings or a gavel, like many lawyer sites have.
The goal of your brochure site is to humanize you (yes, most people are actually afraid of lawyers), and to tell the people coming to your site how they can get started working with you. It should not share any specific information about your fees, though it can outline your process for how you determine a clients’ fees, and explain how you work with clients.
You can see great examples of a couple of our Personal Family Lawyer member sites that do this well here:
Laura and Joshua Meier: http://www.meierfirm.com
David Feakes: http://parentsestateplanning.com/
Darlynn Morgan: http://www.morganlawgroup.com
Your brochure site is the very first step in your client engagement process, and ideally
Now, if your site is just a brochure site, we do not recommend driving web traffic with paid ads to your website because what happens when you do is that people get to your website, read about you, and leave the website with no way for you to follow up with them. And that means you are wasting lots of money on paid traffic.
2) The Lead Gen (List-Building) Site
If you also want to send traffic to your website, either via google adwords, facebook ads, or other paid sources, you will want your site to do more than just be a brochure for your office. You will want to ensure that your site also is a way for you to turn website visitors into “leads”.
Leads are people who have raised their hand to say they are interested in your services by opting in to your email list. But, they are not quite ready to make an appointment to come in and meet with you.
Generating leads is critical because most people are simply not ready to hire you until they’ve seen your name at least 7-10 times. And most lawyers are dropping the ball here because they do not have follow up systems in place.
Building an email list of interested leads will become the single most valuable asset of your law practice over time.
To upgrade your website from a brochure site to a lead generation site, you would need to add lead generation magnets.
Here is an example of a lead generation magnet on Joshua and Laura’s website:
Where it says Name Legal Guardians for Your Kids for free. That’s where site visitors who are not ready to come in and meet with Laura and Josh can enter their info and start the guardian naming process, and then receive Laura’s weekly email newsletter and follow up communications about events and other educational content until they are ready to come in to get their planning handled.
Josh and Laura also have a book, and regular events listed on the website. These are all list builders for them.
David’s site has a few lead generation magnets: his complimentary report + his e-magazine and his event listing, which stays up to date regularly.
These lead generation magnets are licensed from us as part of the Personal Family Lawyer program that Laura and Josh and David participate in.
By using lead generation magnets on their websites, Laura and Josh and David are building the most valuable asset of their law practice, a list of people who are getting to know them each week via their weekly email newsletter and are the pipeline they can count on to keep their income consistent and predictable.
And it’s likely why Laura and Josh and David all have million dollar plus practices.
Here’s the deal though, they did not need to create all of this on their own. And they didn’t have million dollar plus practices when they came to us. They came to us struggling, without systems, and without consistent predictable revenue.
But they took baby steps, first got their brochure sites in place, and then little by little added the additional pieces that would convert those sites into robust lead generation sites to keep their pipelines full and their income consistent and predictable, for life.
Recently in our private member’s forum, our members were talking websites and we saved one of our members nearly $3,000 after she posted about an investment she was about to make in a new website, and our other members jumped in with recommendations and resources on where she could get her site created for just $350 because we’ve already provided the layout and copy for the site.
So before you hire anyone to “fix your website” understand what kind of website you really need, and make sure you’ve got all of the copy you need for your website (that’s something we license to the lawyers in our Personal Family Lawyer, Creative Business Lawyer, and Family Business Lawyer programs), and then tell your web designer exactly what you want instead of looking to them for the guidance you need.
Ready to create the law practice you have always dreamed of? Start here: