In a recent blog post, we covered the basics of digital and social media marketing strategies for immigration lawyers, which was based on a webinar with immigration attorneys and entrepreneurs John Khosravi and Roman Zelichenko. This article is going to get a little more practical and discuss specific tactics that you’ll be able to implement to actually grow your firm’s brand and business using digital marketing and social media
We’re going to dive into how to best use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube as online platforms for connecting with prospective immigration clients and, as a bonus strategy, we’ll go over the importance of building an email list to grow your audience.
Let’s jump right in, and since Facebook is so closely tied to the origins of social media as we know it, we’ll start there.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world and is great for immigration lawyers who are just getting started
Despite the recent Facebook outage that both upset millions of small business owners and sent millions of users to rival platforms like Twitter and TikTok, Facebook’s numbers speak for themselves: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with over 2 billion active users. Over 70% of Facebook users worldwide are between the ages of 18 and 44.
Most people think of Facebook as a place to run ads — indeed, Facebook’s advertising platform is relatively low-cost and easy to use. But for some law firms, especially those just starting out, paying for marketing is often out of the question.
So how does an immigration law firm use Facebook to grow without spending money?
Here are two simple ways you can market your immigration law firm on Facebook without paying for ads.
Creating a Facebook business page.
You can and should list your business contact information on the page, including your phone number, email address, and website. Allowing people to contact you through your Facebook page or the Facebook Messenger app can be incredibly helpful, especially when you consider that 98% of Facebook users say they prefer to use the app on their phones.
Create or participate in relevant Facebook Groups.
Creating a Facebook Group specifically for your niche and/or your specific location can help you communicate with your local community by advertising events, hosting Q&A sessions for group members, posting updates on regulatory or other legal changes, and messaging directly with potential or even existing clients.
You can also participate in existing Facebook groups, whether immigration-related or those that are related to your target audience, geographic location, or other criteria. Plus, the more you interact in other Facebook groups, the better you’ll be at managing your own!
Facebook isn’t just for baby pictures and vacation videos - it’s one of the world’s most robust social media platforms for small businesses.
However, if you are looking for a more strictly business-focused social media platform where fellow lawyers, corporate employers, employees and others spend their time, consider LinkedIn.
Use LinkedIn to establish your immigration law firm’s authority and grow your professional network
LinkedIn has over 750 million users and is actively encouraging businesses to market themselves through the platform, and we have to look no further than LinkedIn itself to get started in learning how to use it for marketing. In their marketing blog, we find strategies from successful content creators to make your LinkedIn profile stand out along with other helpful tips.
One of the areas in which LinkedIn beats other social media platforms is trust. According to LinkedIn, in a study conducted by leading marketing research firm Nielsen, the vast majority of respondents find firms with a presence on LinkedIn “more professional,” “higher quality,” and “more respectable.”
So how do you take advantage of that established perception of LinkedIn being a legitimizing social media platform and use it to your advantage?
- Interact with colleagues, clients, prospective clients and others. Like, comment on and share the posts of others, especially existing clients, prospective clients or immigration law colleagues, and especially as they relate to the type of immigration work you specialize in. Not only does this make you a source of information, but your connections will likely do the same for you, which increases your visibility. Social media is not passive: in order to be visible and become known, you have to engage, participate, and connect.
- Focus your profile page on what you can do for others, not your accolades or diplomas. The most important place on LinkedIn is your profile, and if your content gets someone to visit your profile, make sure you’ve made clear exactly what value you bring and to whom. For example, in your headline, which is right below your name, instead of writing “Top-rated immigration attorney,” or “Managing Immigration Law Firm Partner,” which can sound self-promotional and not very substantive, consider writing something like, “We help family members reunite with family in the US” or “Helping athletes and artists immigrate to the US.”
Once you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile and started engaging with other LinkedIn users, it’s time to start posting original content that shows your expertise, shares a bit about you as an immigration attorney, and builds your personal brand. All of this, at the end of the day, translates into growth for your law firm.
If you’re just getting started with posting on LinkedIn, here are a few specific tips to keep in mind:
- Add a lot of white space to your post. Make sure to use white space to break up longer strings of text into short paragraphs to make them easier to read. This is especially important given that most LinkedIn users are on the mobile app, where long blocks of text are hard to read.
- Get people’s attention by starting with a hook. You’ll need to draw people in at the very beginning of your post so that they decide to stop scrolling and read what you have to say. To do this, try starting your post with something that will entice the reader to click on “See More” to read your full post, especially if it’s longer. For example, “I’m excited to share that…” or “Important immigration update…”
- After you post, stay active as other users comment on it. For the first few hours after your post, try to respond to comments as quickly as possible. It shows your followers that you are truly social and willing to build a relationship with them, which makes it more likely that they’ll engage with or comment on your future posts, which has a snowball effect of more engagement leading to more followers and thus more business.
- Connect with people who engage with or comment on your post. If someone who you’re not connected with likes or comments or shares your post, be sure to send them a connection request - keep in mind they don’t have to be in the same professional space as you. Indeed, there are a lot of benefits to having a LinkedIn audience that is professionally diverse. For example, if you focus on business immigration, try connecting with international tax or HR professionals or in-house recruiters since there’s a chance you can work together in the future.
- Thank your connections when they engage with you, at least in the beginning. If someone you’re already connected to has engaged with, commented on or shared your post, send them a private “thank you!” message. Not only is it a nice thing to do, it can also serve as positive reinforcement. When your connections know that you appreciate their engagement, they’re more likely to do it again in the future.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to post a variety of content, such as posts, videos, stories, and livestreams. If you want to focus on only one style of content and are comfortable being on camera (at least your voice), consider YouTube.
Create an immigration law YouTube channel to deliver value, build a community, and grow your business through video
According to the Pew Research Center, YouTube and Reddit are the only two social media platforms seeing “statistically significant growth” since 2019. YouTube is also the second most used search engine in the world, after Google (incidentally both of which are owned by parent company Alphabet Inc.), and is responsible for 37% of mobile internet traffic.
One other impressive, but perhaps intimidating metric is the number of YouTube channels in existence: more than 37 million. That might leave you thinking, “how can I possibly compete with all those channels?” At first glance it seems impossible, but when you think about it, most YouTube channels are based around incredibly specific topics that aren’t related to immigration.
In other words, you won’t actually be competing with YouTube channels about video games, DIY wood cabins, cooking tutorials from the Great Depression or the millions of other hyper-specific niche topics out there, even though those channels have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of subscribers. Instead, there’s actually a small number of immigration-related channels on YouTube, which means that you have the ability to garner an audience, even if somewhat small at first, provide them with informative content, and grow your immigration law firm’s brand through video.
So, how should you get started on YouTube?
Start with what you have.
Record a few videos on your phone, practice looking at the camera, pace your delivery, and be aware of your tone of voice. People want to see content that’s engaging, relatable, and educational, so put your knowledge at the forefront and make sure your videos leave people with at least one takeaway.
One really important task in the beginning is to create enough valuable content to help you accumulate watch time (i.e. how many hours visitors to your channel have watched your content). This is essential because the more watch time you get, the more YouTube’s algorithm will recommend your videos to other viewers of similar content, helping you reach a wider audience.
Use other platforms to invite viewers to your YouTube channel.
If you have a blog on your website, or an active page on another platform like LinkedIn or Facebook, share your YouTube videos there and invite people to watch those videos on your channel. Ask your viewers and subscribers to share your videos with others who may find them helpful - you can add this to your “call to action” at the beginning and end of each of your videos.
Consider buying the right tools to make your videos truly stand out
While getting started with just your smartphone is fine, you can really increase the quality of your videos dramatically by purchasing just a few pieces of equipment, like a webcam or camera, light, and microphone. There are usually options within virtually every budget. Not only does this make the viewing experience better, it also shows that you’re serious about your content, which will reflect positively on your brand.
Finally, let’s talk about email - one of the oldest tools in our toolshed, but still one of the most powerful.
Email is still one of the most powerful ways to build your immigration law firm’s brand and business
You may know what email is, but have you ever thought about it as a marketing channel? Billions of people use email around the world, and hundreds of billions of emails are sent each day, which means reaching people via email can be extremely successful, if done correctly.
The most important thing to think about, however, is that unlike social media platforms that only show your content to your followers and other users if the algorithm decides to do so, email gives you a direct link to every single person whose email address you have. Social media algorithms change - content that reaches thousands of people one day can reach virtually no one the next - while email doesn’t. With social media, your fate is in the hands of the social media company. With email, your fate is in your own hands. That’s what makes email marketing so powerful.
On the flip side, you need to get email addresses with the owners’ consent, which is the hard part. Well, this is where our discussion about social media platforms comes into play.
Hubspot, a leading marketing and sales management platform, has a great post on 39 creative methods of building an email list using a number of methods, including leveraging the social media platforms we mentioned above.
For example, you could create exclusive, valuable content, such as immigration updates, that only mailing list subscribers receive. You could periodically offer free consultations to subscribers. You could also promote your email list across your Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube accounts.
Increased marketing leads to more clients!
No matter what platform you choose to focus on for your online marketing, the message is clear: all of them have potential if done correctly and consistently. You can build an audience, get new clients and grow your firm successfully through Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, email or a number of other platforms. The most important thing is for you to determine which platform is best for you, and commit to it.
Once you commit and start seeing success, streamlining your firm’s case and document management will become increasingly important, so you can handle the increased volume. That’s where Docketwise comes in.
Docketwise can help you streamline and digitize your practice, so that you can spend more of your time building your online presence and marketing your practice, or simply keeping up with all the new work coming your way.
From a full library of immigration forms to client questionnaires in multiple languages to an industry-leading set of API integrations, we help you stay up to date on all your cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your firm. If you want to learn more about Docketwise, schedule a demo at the link below, or sign up for our Immigration Briefings newsletter for daily and weekly immigration updates!