Week 1 of 2019:
Online marketing is key in today’s environment. This is evidenced by the sheer number of SEO companies in existence. I was able to consult with an SEO expert this week and he gave me some great tips on how to let customers find your business on the internet.
Step one, have a website with content customers are searching for. Using WordPress, I created my own website (pinellasfamilylawyer.com) for significantly less than the $1500-$3000 I had been quoted by SEO companies. (I spent under $200 for my domain, webhosting, and personalized email for a year.) Once complete, I submitted my website to Google as well as a few other popular sites. I used the rest of the week to improve the website and add more content (which will be an ongoing part of each week going forward).
Step two, establish free listings on lawyer directories. There are many free ways to get your name out there as a new business. One way is through creating or claiming your profile to be listed in online directories. I began a profile on Justia, Avvo, Yelp, and updated my profiles on other websites including the local bar to include my new business phone number, website, etc. I submitted my business information to “Google My Business” but I’m still waiting on my postcard from Google to verify my business profile.
Step three, get involved. I started answering questions on Avvo, a legal Q&A board. You can install a widget to have your Avvo answers displayed directly on your website as you answer them, which provides more searchable content for your site. This snowballed into me doing research on topics I may not have been as familiar with while helping people with legal questions along the way. This, in turn, led to me contacting some other fellow attorneys in my practice area whose posts displayed a strong knowledge of my field of law (divorce and child custody) and connecting with them on LinkedIn.
During my first week of beginning my own practice, I was also able to network in person with some other attorneys at my temp job in hopes of building some long-term relationships in the community. (Yes, I am still working a temp job a few days a week until things takeoff.) Additionally, prior to the new year, I setup my virtual office and ordered business cards with my new email, phone, and address (with the phrase “available for consultation at” included to comply with the Florida attorney advertising rules).
Oh, and did I mention I’m divorced (I was divorced well before Fortnite in case you were wondering) and have three children under the age of 10 that spend half their time with me. It has been a productive first week of 2019, and I look forward to continuing the momentum as I grow my new practice.