Welcome to the updated version of day 3 to our 30-day challenge. 

In the last post, we discussed how attorneys could convert more phone calls into clients. But we’ve talked enough about making more conversions via phone calls. 

Now, it’s time to talk about how to get more calls in the first place.

Fair warning: The cost of getting more phone volume is going to be free of charge. So we hope you’re not opposed to saving money.

When I started my firm in ’06, Craigslist was the most effective and least utilized place for attorneys to advertise their services. 

In 2010, when I had multiple associates and sizeable support staff, I was still utilizing Craigslist and getting 2-3 paying clients a week as a result.

And in 2014, Craigslist was still one of the most effective and least utilized places for attorneys to advertise their services. 

Fast forward to 2020, and Craigslist is still way under-utilized. And any lawyer who isn’t taking advantage of the platform is wasting a massive opportunity.

That being said, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. While only a handful of lawyers take advantage of Craig’s wonderful invention, most of them go about it all wrong.

 Let’s talk about how you can leverage the service to its fullest potential.

Craigslist: An Effective (And Free!) Marketing Platform for Attorneys

If your law firm’s website isn’t getting you the traffic you need to get clients, Craigslist could be an effective way to temporarily supplement this issue.

Craigslist is one of the most visited sites globally, and there are a surprising number of people who use it as their new “phone book.” Think about it: Craigslist has 60 million monthly users in the United States alone — that’s about 18% of the total population in 2019.

If you visit the site, you’ll find a “services” section, which contains a “legal services” area. You can post ads for your firm in this section for free. 

The problem is that many attorneys will simply type a text ad and call it a day.

This gives you the perfect opportunity to stand out, which will make prospects all the more likely to call. And not attempting to stand out is about as silly as ignoring the platform altogether.

So how do you do it then?

Making your firm’s Craigslist ad stand out takes two steps. First, include a nice banner photo (which will appear at the top of your ad). 

Of the few lawyers listing their services, most don’t have any type of a banner at all, and the difference you’ll see from adding one is enormous. 

I used to prepare these banners for clients. Here’s a sample of what you should be looking for:

Sample Craigslist Advertisement

Keep in mind that your ad’s text can also be formatted with HTML so that you get nice visual effects such as separate paragraphs, centering of text, etc. 

In other words, you are essentially creating a one-page website with an excellent header. 

Attorneys who lack HTML skills (which happens to be most attorneys) can type up their ad’s text and send it to a web developer, or someone who understands basic coding. The developer can return a Word document containing the HTML formatted text that the attorney can quickly copy and paste.

Once you have your banner and text, setting up your ad is as easy as using your email or a word processor. 

You’ll want to make sure you post 2-3 times a week. I would vary the times and days until you figure out which combination results in the most phone calls. 

Again, the posting is free of charge, and I typically received 2-3 paying clients by leveraging this service. 

If you practice in various areas, including family law, criminal defense, traffic tickets, bankruptcy, etc., there’s no reason for you to miss out on free phone calls. 

If you want to make some extra cash, then start getting nice ads up regularly.

The 2-Step Action List for Increasing Your Profitability

If you want more phone calls at no cost, do the following:

1) Develop a banner and text ad to post on Craigslist regularly. This is inexpensive and shouldn’t cost you more than $100-$200 if you outsource the graphic work and HTML formatting.

You then own the ad forever and will receive phone calls indefinitely. It’ll be the best hundred bucks you’ve ever spent.

2) Start posting your new ad in the “legal services” section of Craigslist 2-3 times each week. Play with the days and times you post until you find the combination that brings you the most phone calls.

Want to know another way you can increase your firm’s profitability? Learning and implementing SEO into your website.

Learn the basics of SEO and how it can transform your online presence in our SEO for Lawyers guide.