Because court reporting firms typically generate most of their business through repeat business and referrals, they tend to underestimate the importance of their website and are not utilizing some of the internet marketing strategies that could really help their firm.
- Nearly 90% of all prospective clients will go to a website and conduct their own research before choosing to do business with a company (source: Pew Research).
- 60% of the decision process is over before you’ll speak with a prospective client for a business-to-business transaction (source: The Corporate Executive Board).
- 94-96% of website visitors are not at the buyer ready stage. They are not ready to have a conversation with a person at your company, fill out a contact form or scheduled a deposition. If those visitors do not see something on your website that interests them or provides value, they will leave and may never come back or consider doing business with you.
People want to consume information when and how they want it. They want to be educated but not sold to. They are using the internet as one of their primary sources of information.
- Over 10.3 billion searches are conducted every month on Google
- U.S. internet users spend 3 times more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email. Some of that time is for entertainment but they’re also looking for information that will help and educate them.
- Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors (source: HubSpot)
- 43% of business-to-business companies have acquired a client through their company blog; 45% through LinkedIn; 33% through Facebook and 38% through Twitter (source: HubSpot)
A court reporting firm can use their website as a way to help their potential clients get the information they want.
It can be used to start building a relationship with people you’ve never done business with before you even have to chance to speak with them. It can be used as a marketing engine that helps you start new relationships with potential clients, provide consistent value to potential clients and current clients, and be used to turn potential clients into clients.
A court reporting firm may generate a decent amount of business through referrals. Many of those referrals will visit a firm’s website before considering whether or not they’d like to do business with the firm.
A firm’s website, along with other online marketing tactics, can also be used to help generate repeat business as well.
When a firm owner is managing their business, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to clients outside of what they would normally do to cover depositions and get the transcripts out. A firm doesn’t have to be too big to reach the point where they have 100 to 200 scheduling clients a year (not to mention those who order transcript copies).
With that many clients, does a firm owner have enough time to reach out to each one of those clients even just once a month by phone or in person to continue building the relationship and securing repeat business? It is a great idea to reach out to clients over the phone and in person from time to time. But, there is a limit to how much time an owner and/or their employees have to do so. In addition to those interactions, a website and online marketing tactics can be used to help.
A website with consistently published good content, and other online marketing tactics (email, social media, etc.), is a great way for a firm to interact with their clients regularly.
Recently (in 2014), we researched over 200 court reporting firm’s websites and their online presence and found that the strong majority are not utilizing their websites as a marketing engine. The majority of websites are not set up in a way that produces the best marketing outcome. (Update: We did this research again towards the end of 2015 and released our State of Court Reporting Marketing report for a second year in a row. We compared 2014 to 2015 results. Access the report we released here.)
Is it because internet marketing strategies don’t work for court reporting firms? No.
We’ve looked at the behind the scenes data and have seen that a firm can definitely create marketing results and increase their business with their website. It may just be that these firm owners really don’t know what to do with their website to generate better marketing results. There is a real opportunity for court reporting firms to differentiate their firm through the type of marketing they do, especially using the internet.
Is your website a key part of your firm’s marketing strategy? Is it just an online brochure or is it helping generate more business? Is it as effective as it could be?
Are you thinking, or starting to think, you need a new website or should improve your current one? Want to ensure that you, as the business owner, receive the most value with your website? Download the New Website Planning Checklist for Business Owners.
If you’d like to speak with us about your specific marketing or business challenges and how you can start addressing them now, go here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Nesbitt is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+. He has also been a continuing education instructor for the Stenograph Prince Institute Center for Professional Development (a court reporting school).