Once you have your firm’s identity determined (logo, colors, business card, etc.) the next step is to consider how to present yourself on the world wide interweb. Whether you choose to be blog-based or more traditional, your firm will need a website.
The two most important things to focus on are looking good and sounding good. In other words: your design and your content.
First, look through websites you frequent to find inspiration for your own website layout. Even if you only have one or two examples, this will provide considerable help to your designer and help them to understand your style. For more help, try browsing through this list of award-winning legal websites.
Once you have your website running your goal should be to have repeat traffic. If you only look nice but never change your content, there is a slim chance that will happen.
Consider the type of information you search for on other websites and aim to provide that to your clients. While your site should advertise your services, it should also meet the needs of the users through its content.
Think about creating a content strategy where you organize your schedule and topics to ensure consistency. Engage your visitors with compelling content, and make it easy for your content to be shared through Share This or Add This. The recognizable Facebook, Twitter and other social bookmark buttons at the end of your content areas visually remind readers to spread your messages.
Integrate your social networking profiles onto your website. This will help potential clients get to know you, and also is great for SEO. Use online social networks to promote and pull people to your website and also engage with current and potential clients. Have your Twitter feed featured on your site, and links to your LinkedIn profile and Facebook business page.
When setting up these items, be sure to integrate your firm’s design for brand consistency. Your Twitter and Facebook pages should be designed to include your logo, imagery, and color scheme.
A few final tips
Plan out your site implementation together with your content strategy. Also, do not put up an “under construction” or “coming soon” notice, or a line that says “I haven’t had time to finish this part.” If you are not done, just post your contact information and make it look good.
You never want people to think they have caught you off guard, and that you are not ready for their business.
See Karin’s previous “toolkit” post, Essential Marketing Toolkit, Part 1: Be Distinctive.
(photo Mitchell Joyce)