A Law Firm Marketing Blog Series Edition #26
Welcome back to our blog series, in which we talk with some of today’s most knowledgeable legal marketing minds. In this edition of Let’s Talk Legal Marketing, we feature Ryan Raplee, the CEO of Legal InSites and Gavl Video.
We hope hearing the thoughts and ideas shared by the people in these blog posts, will inspire you to make positive changes to your marketing strategies. The biggest goal of this series is to get the conversation going, so let’s dive in.
Our Conversation With Ryan Raplee
As the COVID-19 pandemic carries into May, we continue to shift our LTLM blog series towards coronavirus related marketing matters. For this edition we spoke with Ryan Raplee, a man who is well connected to the attorney community, and has a strong understanding of the biggest challenges lawyers are facing right now.
Some things to know about Ryan Raplee:
- He’s the co-founder of Legal InSites, a digital marketing company for law firms.
- He helped create Gavl Video, a business that creates premium quality videography for attorneys.
- He recently launched a website called Lawyer Minds, which provides exclusive interviews with the brightest minds in the legal industry.
In our below conversation with Ryan, we discuss strategies for increasing new client opportunities during the pandemic, how lawyers should approach SEO during this time and how this crisis could impact the future of legal marketing.
Answering Legal: What’s your biggest piece of marketing advice for lawyers right now, as they try to navigate their firms through this pandemic?
Ryan Raplee: Do not stop investing in your SEO efforts. There are potentially dozens of opportunities right now to donate or sponsor a charitable event that will help your community. Not only will your firm get great public relations awareness, but the goal here is to earn a backlink on the charity’s website or event landing page that will help your SEO efforts. Always look for opportunities to earn a backlink.
AL: What should attorneys do if their practice has seen a significant decrease in new client opportunities since the pandemic began?
Ryan: Unfortunately, nearly every business in some form or another has been impacted since the pandemic began, mostly for the worse. Now is the time to get creative on how you can help potential clients. Just think – have people been harmed by this pandemic through the fault of another? For example, target businesses who have had their business interruption insurance claims denied. Or, something more altruistic, such as offering healthcare workers free or discounted wills.
AL: What must lawyers avoid doing with their marketing during this crisis?
Ryan: You may feel inclined to discuss politics on your public social media platforms and I would highly suggest you do not. It is best not to offend potential future clients. That doesn’t mean your voice or opinion isn’t important, but you will definitely want to weigh that against the costs of losing clients.
AL: How should attorneys be adapting their SEO strategies during this time?
Ryan: Publish content that your potential clients are searching for. As mentioned above, some businesses are needing help with their interruption insurance claim. If so, write about what businesses should look for when going through the claims’ process. Walk them through it. Make a list of all the questions you get from potential clients and write the answers out. Inform the public. Publish new content targeting those people in your geographic area.
AL: Should law firms be making changes to their website, either from a design or content standpoint, to reflect the current pandemic?
Ryan: It is certainly best practice to have a page that covers your firm’s policies and procedures during the pandemic.
AL: If lawyers have not started creating video for their firm yet, is now a good time for them to start?
Ryan: It depends. If you truly know how to create professional quality videos and you have the free time, then yes. Otherwise, hire a professional when the pandemic is behind us. Some people make videos just to make videos after being told “any content is good content.” While that might (in some cases) be true with written content, people are going to watch your videos and make decisions about you, fair or not, based on the quality of those videos. For instance, how would you feel if you saw a campaign ad and the boom mic was in the shot? Or, the audio was poor? That instant first impression you have stays with you. You want your first impression on others to stay with them as well — but positively.
AL: Should law firms’ content strategies be completely centered around the coronavirus right now?
Ryan: No, not at all. Your content should be as evergreen as possible and always have a purpose behind it. Now is a great time to expand on every aspect of law you practice. If you know that a potential client is searching for something and you do not have content that can fulfill that need, write about it!
AL: With everyone discussing COVID-19 right now, how can attorneys create pandemic related content that stands out from the crowd?
Ryan: Be as in-depth as possible. Do not focus on a word count. Fulfill the needs of the searcher completely. This not only goes for COVID-19 related content, but all content on your website.
AL: What long-lasting effects do you think the coronavirus crisis could have on the future of legal marketing?
Ryan: It will most definitely depend on what type of cases the law firm is targeting. I mainly work with personal injury law firms; I do not think this pandemic will have a very long-lasting effect for them in terms of marketing. Other things (such as how the firm handles depositions) could completely change, though. And, honestly, that just leads to more content — lawyers should write about how they’re handling remote depositions or trials in light of the pandemic.
AL: Tell us a little about your new website “Lawyer Minds”, and what inspired you to launch it?
Ryan: Lawyer Minds is an ambitious idea to create an ever-growing ecosystem for all the resources modern lawyers need. We are starting with weekly interviews being released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and plan to quickly grow the content into other areas such as podcasts, videos, op-eds, and a community. We want to allow others to have a place to regularly contribute content that helps other lawyers, all while they’re being helped by the content others are sharing with them.
The idea of Lawyer Minds has been in discussion for several years now. We saw a need for more outlets for lawyers to learn and grow, with useful content created by people who have been through what they’re going through. We finally decided to create it.