You’ve tried the typical paralegal career path and instead of working for one particular law firm, you’ve decided your hand at being a freelance paralegal. Much like any other business, your level of success depends on how you market yourself. Don’t know how to do that? Just read this guide and we’ll help!
Everyone who goes freelance has brilliant notions of how their new life will be. They’ll have all the income they want with the freedom of a flexible schedule. Sleeping in before a morning run? Yes, please! Taking the afternoon off just because? Don’t mind if I do!
While this is a great goal, the beginning of your freelance paralegal career may be more of a grind than you expect. It takes a lot of work to get your name out and start getting clients.
As the saying goes, though, “Work smarter, not harder.” Choosing the right marketing tactics can help you build a business without burning out. Try these on for size:
Marketing Ideas for a Freelance Paralegal
Before you jump in and start marketing yourself, you need a solid plan. Consider adding these options to your game plan:
Prioritize a Professional Website
Your website may be the single most important part of your marketing process. You can’t throw your entire message out in every piece of marketing you do. Instead, that information should be on your site and your other marketing should attract clients to your site.
Your website doesn’t just have to exist. It has to have a professional, updated design as well. Did you know 94% of users say they use a website’s design to judge a business’ credibility? If your site looks like a cheap afternoon project, you won’t look like a dedicated professional.
Join Local Networking Groups
As important as digital marketing is, sometimes you need to step out into the “real world.” Networking is among the most successful ways to market your business.
Look for networking groups in your area. Meetup.com is a great site where you can find networking opportunities with local professionals. These are often casual gatherings where you can meet business owners, discuss what you each have to offer, and exchange contact information.
Before you start networking, make sure you have something to hand out. Get professional-looking business cards that include your website as well as your personal information.
Run an Educational Campaign About Document Preparation
One challenge for freelance paralegals is that many people don’t know what you can offer. People think they need a lawyer to prepare wills and take other simple legal actions. They don’t realize a freelance paralegal can offer the same service for less.
On top of marketing yourself, run an educational campaign. Teach the public what a freelance paralegal can do for them.
Get in Touch with Independent Lawyers
Large law firms tend to have their own paralegals on staff. Individual lawyers, though, may need some help from time to time. In these cases, they’re looking for a freelance paralegal for short-term projects.
Look for ways to network with local independent lawyers. You can even arrange a way to meet with them on an individual basis.
Take Advantage of Video Marketing
It’s 2018 and video marketing is a hot buzzword and for good reason. Videos are an engaging medium and the internet makes it easy for them to spread like wildfire.
Set up a YouTube channel and add a new video every week or two. They don’t have to be high-budget productions. You can even have someone film the video on your phone or you can set up a tripod to film it yourself.
Your videos should focus on educating the public. Answer common legal questions or offer tips most people don’t know about. Think about what legal questions you think a lot of people would search for online. These videos will help you build visibility as well as credibility.
Remember to advertise your YouTube channel as well. Share the videos often on your social media. Link to your channel on your website. You can even put it on your business card.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
One of the biggest challenges for a new freelancer is building credibility. Legal documents are an important service, and people want to know that you’re knowledgeable before they hire you.
Online reviews are among the most powerful ways to build your credibility. As you complete projects for happy clients, invite them to post a review for you. You don’t have to ask them in person or create an awkward exchange. Instead, send them an email a day or two after their project is complete. Include links to your profile on different reviews sites.
Target Your Marketing to Your Customers
When it comes to marketing for a professional service, it’s not about reaching as many people as possible. It’s about reaching the right people. In this case, try targeted niche marketing, known as grassroots marketing.
Take time to think about your target clients and where they would be. For instance, let’s say you specialize in preparing wills. People tend to think about their will when they have kids or when they have a terminal illness. Talk to local pediatricians about putting your literature in their lobbies. You can also advertise in hospitals.
Another great place for paralegals to advertise is at a marriage counselor’s office. If the counselor has a couple who cannot reconcile, they can refer the couple to you for divorce, annulment, child support, or other documents.
Look for Local Business Fairs
Entrepreneurs grow a city’s local economy, so your city has a vested interest in your success. Many cities hold business fairs or other neighborhood events, and these are great ways to get yourself out there.
In many cases, you can pay a small fee to set up a booth at these events. You’ll meet dozens or hundreds of local residents and business owners within a day or two. Take the time to explain your services to them, answer their questions, and leave them with a way to contact you.
Marketing Yourself as a Freelance Paralegal
If you’re a new freelance paralegal, marketing can feel like foreign territory. It’s not your area of expertise, but it’s necessary to build your client base. The ideas above can help you jumpstart your success, and many of them require a minimal investment.
For more tips to grow your new business, check out our small business blog.