Marketing a law firm to the general public is never an easy project to undertake, especially with fierce competition in almost all areas of the country and online. Your competitors won’t make it easy for you, and just because an online service appears to have all the answers, you still need to ask yourself if that service is right for your firm. There are pros and cons to every choice. In general, though, are law firm directory websites a good place to advertise your law firm?
First of all you should ask a few questions of your law firm. Do you know where most of your current clients find you? Do you already advertise on the web? Does word of mouth bring the most visitors to your door? Before you seek the assistance of a law firm directory website, you should know the answers to those questions. If you can’t answer them right away, then you might be in the process of trying to fix a problem you don’t have. If you don’t know how you get new clients, then you should do one thing first: survey them. Reach out to past clients, and ask every new client who walks through your front door.
If you gain your attention without advertising–i.e. Through reputation or word of mouth–then you’re probably better off avoiding the law firm directory websites. If you need to rely on copious amounts of advertising to find good clients, then you might want to shift gears and start looking at the best law firm directory websites available. Then again, you might not. It can be a dangerous game plan for any good law firm.
When you sign up for a directory website, you’re essentially joining forces to do business with a competitor, and you should be aware of that fact before you do. When these websites get wind of your potential new clients, they offer those clients alternatives. Sure, new people will see your law firm’s name, but they’ll also see details and contact information for dozens if not hundreds of others. Chances are someone else’s prices will beat your own, and for a lot of people cost is all that matters.
The companies that run these directory websites do not really care about the visitors they help attract to any one law firm. Instead, they make their money from a pool of visitors that they attract to a pool of law firms. They’re essentially creating a community of prospective clients and law firms, and then funneling money for themselves. The sales representatives themselves make a pretty penny on commission. If they were given the choice between their own company and yours, who do you think gets chosen? These same companies often run SEO services. What happens when their own SEO conflicts with yours? What happens when they run their own and yours simultaneously? This is a dangerous avenue for any law firm.
Basically, if you decide to engage in business with a law firm directory website, then there should be no other alternative. If you already have a thriving business, then don’t let someone else steal prospective clients away from you. Keep what works for yourself, and stay away from the directories.