I first came across the term inbound marketing from our friends over at HubSpot. Inbound marketing is essentially the process of getting found by people that are searching for your services. This is in contrast to outbound marketing which is blasting your message out to the masses in hopes of capturing someone who might have interest (ie: television, radio, email blasts to purchased lists, etc)
In a thoughtful post Hubspot wrote on the subject of inbound vs outbound marketing, they tell us that:
Rather than do outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, I advocate doing “inbound marketing” where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry. In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites. I believe most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing and I advocate that those ratios flip.
The Times Are Changing
It used to be that the firms with the largest marketing budgets and biggest advertising spends were the ones able to generate the most cases. This was a “stack it high and let it fly” mentality. But times have changed and the effectiveness of this type of advertising has shifted.
The internet has allowed consumers to research their issues, make more informed decisions, and seek out the types of services they are looking for. It’s less about shouting the loudest and more about positioning yourself as an authority in your field.
Consumers are battered with advertisements all day long and for the most part tune it out. However, if you can implement a law firm web strategy that is truly helpful to those that have questions and need your services, you can prosper online.
What Should I Do?
You can start by listening, being helpful, and getting active. Try some of these simple, free suggestions:
- Start a blog on WordPress – Talk about your field of expertise. Write articles that are helpful and informational.
- LinkedIn – Join relevant groups and participate in discussions. Search for questions people have posted an answer them. Don’t spam out that you give free consultations. Offer legitimate, helpful answers and the requests for service will come.
- Twitter – Track relevant topics on Twitter. Don’t worry about tweeting what you had for breakfast. Spend some time listening to what others put out there. Again, be helpful and participate. Answer questions and point people in the right direction towards good resources. Work on building and nurturing relationships.