The legal sector continues, in our experience, to lag behind other sectors when it comes to using the Internet effectively from a marketing and business development perspective. But even within the legal sector, Barristers remain even further behind the curve when it comes to utilising technology to help their business grow.
This recent article in Legal Futures  highlights why so many Barristers (and indeed so many lawyers in general) may be reluctant to dip their toe into the potentially murky waters of online marketing. It also highlights the importance of having the right partner agency in place. Ideally, one that is born of the legal sector and that understands the importance of ensuring that every touchpoint is aligned with current best practice and compliant with regulatory requirements.
If you are a Barrister looking to market yourself online beyond the typical one page bio on your Chambers’ site, here are five tips to get you started.
- Understand your audience and what you want to achieve online
If you are targeting large law firms and other professional services firms and most of your new business is introduced to you via referral, then your online strategy should focus on supporting the weight of your reputation and providing potential instructing agents with the certainty that you are indeed the person they need to speak to. On the other hand, if you are looking to compete with law firms by targeting organic enquires via direct access, then a different approach will be required. If looking to instruct an agency to assist you, it’s crucial that you engage with one that knows the difference and has experience and expertise of managing digital projects across a wide spectrum of practice areas and sectors.
- Establish trust
As highlighted in the Legal Futures article, just saying you’re the best doesn’t make it so. Build trust with potential instructing agents by ensuring your website contains robust amounts of authoritative, in-depth content and includes your recent successes, appearances in the press, client testimonials and ‘trust icons’ such as Legal 500 or Chambers logos or logos of your industry memberships etc.
- Be clear
Ensure that your key messages and value proposition are clear. Why should a potential instructing agent choose you? Sometimes this exercise takes some deeper reflection on your core strengths, but it’s worth it to help you distinguish yourself from your competition. This is a particularly relevant concern if you are targeting the direct access market and an audience that might not understand that it’s possible to instruct a barrister or why that course of action might be better suited to their particular requirements.
Also, make it obvious to the visitor what you want them to do (e.g. call you, fill out a form, email you, and in some cases, go elsewhere!) by including prominent calls to action throughout your site.
- Content is King
The phrase ‘Content is King’ is still as relevant as it’s ever been. Developing a website, rich with relevant, authoritative, on-brand, targeted content will help you present better to search engines and convince potential instructing agents that they should be speaking to you. Your content, if done properly, will help you to attract and convert potential instructing agents by demonstrating knowledge, expertise and thought leadership in your practice area(s).
- Keep it simple
Is your content easy to access and read (and not hidden behind a Flash plugin or mostly contained within images or pdfs)? Is your navigation easy to use? Does your site work well on mobile? Is it easy to make an enquiry? All relevant considerations. Getting as many pieces of the jigsaw correct as possible will help you succeed online.
Trusted digital, marketing, branding, and strategic services for the legal sector
To find out more about our how you can use the internet to help your practice grow (without falling foul of the authorities!), please call 07969336526 and ask for Chris or email email@example.com  to arrange a free initial consultancy.