Lee Rosen is a family law attorney at Rosen Law Firm in North Carolina who writes a great blog called Divorce Discourse, where he talks about family law marketing, practice management and technology. In a recent post, he posed the question: Is Penny Pinching Costing You Clients? Here’s his answer:
“We don’t have a website yet because it’s too expensive. We’re being very careful with our money.” That’s what the lawyer told me when I asked about being unable to find his site on Google.
“We’re just getting started, and we’re in a small town,” he explained. “It’s just me and my partner, and we’re planning to do that later.”
I got the same answer when I asked about his “@gmail.com” email address. They’d decided that it wasn’t worth the money to commit to their own domain name just yet.
I’ve got to say that I disagree. If he had a site, I’d have found a reason to link to it from here. That would have generated interest and referrals. If he had a site, I’d have added it to my list of referrals on my North Carolina Divorce site, and that would have generated referrals. I would have bookmarked the site in my browser and saved it for when I need someone in his area.
But, alas, no site and nothing for me to save, so no referrals.
Did they save money with that money-saving decision? I don’t think so. It’s costing them—big time.
Here’s what I would do if I were a brand new lawyer running a very low budget, startup operation.
I’d go to a domain registrar and buy a domain name for $10 or less.
Then I’d go to Google Apps for Business and sign up for the free account (good for up to 10 users). It’ll get you hooked up with email from your own domain name (like mine: email@example.com). The domain name is important because it helps us find your site and start sending others to visit.
Finally, I’d go to Squarespace and build a website. It’s got a deal for $8 per month, and the site has great templates. I built a site the other day as an experiment. It took me 10 minutes. You don’t need anything fancy to start. Just build something simple using the templates and add some pictures you take yourself.
Total investment to have a website and an email domain name? $106 per year.
If you don’t make money on your $106 website, then you’re not trying.
Lee makes a number of good points. I know there are lots of attorneys out there he could be referring to in this piece. They think that getting online with a website and blog will be expensive, maybe even because they’ve had some pitches from agencies that threw the kitchen sink at them – a kitchen sink that cost a ton.
As Lee so aptly points out, you can get online for a very good price these days. We help attorneys get up and running quickly at a very affordable rate, only a few hundred dollars a month. And not with a template site that will never rank on Google. A custom website with custom content.
Not having an online presence can hurt you in many ways, including sending a red flag to potential clients and referral sources. Are you real? Are you really in business? Do you take your business seriously? Without a website, the natural assumption is no.