You have a limited amount of time to spend on marketing, so why waste it? Here are nine marketing mistakes that waste time, money, and effort — but I see lawyers making them all the time.

1. Having a Non-Responsive Website

More than 60% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. And more searches occur via mobile devices than desktop devices. These facts matters so much to Google that it now accounts for the mobile-friendliness of your website when ranking your site in search results. And it prefers responsive design over mobile-only websites. So if your site isn’t built for the various devices that may try to access it, and if it isn’t laid out in a way that makes it easy for visitors to accomplish their goals, your site will suffer. That means fewer potential clients for you and more potential clients for your mobile-friendly competitors.

2. Not Having a Website

The only thing worse than not having a responsive website is not having a website at all. You need to command your own market when it comes to online properties. If you do not have a website that describes your services and benefits to prospects, you are missing the opportunity to connect and convert.

Now is the time to make your law firm’s website a priority. Put it at the top of your marketing budget for next year. Even better, spend this year’s remaining marketing dollars on a down payment to get started.

3. Using a Free Email Account for Business Purposes

You are a professional. An AOL or Yahoo! (or even Gmail) email address does not reflect that. In fact, it sends the message that you are not serious about your business.

Spend the money to purchase a domain for your company. Most providers, like GoDaddy, will offer you a free email address tied to your domain. You can then direct your email to your Google for Business or Outlook account for ease of access and use. Your email may be free, but how much credibility (and how many potential clients) are you willing to lose to save that extra $10 per year?

4. Not Focusing Marketing Materials on Your Potential Clients

Make sure the content you write — for your website, blog, newsletter, email or other content-based material — focuses on your potential clients: what they need, what they want, what they can gain by working with you.

5. Choosing a Bad Bio Photo

A great headshot can say wonderful things about you — you’re poised, confident, knowledgeable, and approachable. On the flipside, a bad headshot immediately tells the world you don’t care about the small details. If your current image is a cropped personal photo, is outdated, or is blurry or grainy, pick up the phone and call a professional photographer.

6. Putting Zero Effort into Your Bio Page

Your bio page is one of the most important pages on your website. If your bio fails to engage, entertain and enlighten, you’re doing it wrong. Prospective clients who read your bio want to know more about who you are as a person, so give them what they want. Tell them why you practice and what you enjoy about it. Provide a little bit of insight into who you are and what you are passionate about. A little bit of openness and vulnerability can go a long way in building the initial stages of trust with a prospective client.

7. Allowing Your Social Media Accounts to Go Stale

You took the time to set up your social media accounts. You have followed best practices and filled each profile out perfectly. You even did a great job of posting regularly for the first week or so … and then you gave up. Other work took priority. Unfortunately, your profiles are now showing signs of age, and a stale social media account is worse than none at all.

By remaining silent on social media, you are quietly showing the world that you do not care to remain current or to engage in dialogue. Get back on the right track and start posting on a regular basis. You can use free (and paid) social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer to help you keep your profiles fresh.

8. Failing to Make Time for Networking

Time and again, attorneys say they do not participate in networking groups or attend events because they don’t have the time. I call shenanigans on this. It is not the time that is lacking, but instead the understanding of how valuable networking can be for business.

If you network well, you can build strong relationships that afford the ability to continuously pass along warm referrals. This ensures you keep new business streaming in, helping you avoid those dreaded “quiet months.”

9. Passing Out Homemade Business Cards

If you think no one will notice or care about the little bits of perforation around the edges of your printed-at-home business cards, you’re wrong. They will notice. And they’ll think, “Huh, this person must be new to business.” Except that you’ve been practicing for longer than one month. Not good.

Give the right first impression by passing out professionally designed and printed business cards like those you can get from Moo.

How Many of These Mistakes Are You Making?

If you are making any of these mistakes, commit to change now.

Featured image: “ Chain Broken Stress Pressure Freedom Concept ” from Shutterstock.

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