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10 Ways to Successfully Market Your Law Firm

legalMarketing your law firm can not be ignored if you want firm survival or growth due to increased competition.   Selling services like legal services requires it be a trust sale.  Many firms don’t have the expertise on staff or the time to market their services to acquire new clients.  The purpose of this blog is to suggest some ways for a law firm to market themselves to prospective clients.  One size does not fit all.  Marketing needs to be tailored to each firm.

Here are 10 ways for successful marketing:

  1. Create the necessary marketing infrastructure to make sure that the right quality marketing is done at the right time to the right people.  You need to make sure you have a staff person or an outside consultant assigned to marketing.  Marketing needs to be thought out and consistent.  Make sure that there is money budgeted to marketing so that it can be successful.  You want your marketing efforts to be efficient.  Make sure there are the right tools in place such as Hootsuite for social media management or HubSpot for Marketing Automation solution or Constant Contact Email system.
  2. Build a community that you stay in touch with including your clients and others who might need your legal services in the future.  Your community wants consistency and to be educated.  Get referrals from your community.  An excellent way to stay top of mind is to send out an email newsletter that is entertaining, educational and keeps them informed of your firm and services.  And make sure that they can forward the newsletters to others and that on your website there is an easy way to sign up for the newsletter.  A strong community retains clients and attracts perspective clients.
  3. Be a thought leader.  Show your expertise by writing articles, posting videos, doing blog posts and giving presentations. Make sure that this new content showing thought leadership is on your website so that the search engines will lead more folks to your site.  Make sure that you post the marketing pieces on your social media networks as well.   Every attorney at the firm should be writing a least 1 blog post a year.  If you are a 1 attorney firm then you will probably need to write at least 10 blog posts a year to support  your newsletter contents.  Your thought leadership will bring prospective clients to you.
  4. Get out of the office and network.  Go where perspective clients might be.  Go visit existing clients.  Remind them of your knowledge and services.  Building a stronger client relationship can increase your referral rate.  Do presentations at associations.  For example, if you are an employment attorney then present at the local HR group on a new law that went into affect.  If an attending HR person needs legal assistance then you might be their choice as your showed your expertise.  People want to do business with individuals they know and like.
  5. Firm up your identity and brand.  Make sure that your website, collateral, blog, business cards, letterhead, etc. are consistent and professional.   Make sure that every attorney and staff member at the firm understands that they need to be a sales person and a marketing person as well.  All attorneys and staff members should be trained on the importance of the firm’s brand and on marketing activities that they can be involved in such as social media.  Perspective clients want to deal with a firm that looks and acts professional.
  6. Have an accurate contact database.  Your contacts are gold. Make sure that you have your client’s contact information in a database, either a CRM system, a Marketing Automation system or an Email Blast system.  You need to stay in contact with your clients who might need future business and with prospects that have shown interest in your legal services.  Gather contact information at live events or from your website such as the newsletter sign up.  Make sure that your vendors and others that know your law firm in the contact database as well.  They might know individuals that could use your legal services.  These contacts will be used for your newsletter send outs and for any targeted emails you send out such as for a special event you are putting on or a charity that you are supporting.  The better your contact database is the more effective your prospecting will be.
  7. Strategize and finalize your target audience and messaging.  You need to know who your perspective clients (buyers) are and make sure that your marketing activities take them along the buyer’s journey so that the can become a satisfied client of your law firm.  You need to have consistent messaging in your marketing activities.  Everyone at the law firm needs to know the message to tell prospects.  Have a less than 2 minute elevator pitch that everyone at the firm can recite when someone asks them about your firm.  What is your differentiator?  Gather the members of the firm and get their feedback on what is the message for the firm.   Know who your prefect client is, what to tell them and have everyone in the firm be a part of the input and knowledge.
  8. Have a strong website.  A potential client is going to check out your website before their 1st call to set up an appointment to discuss legal services.  They will not make that call if that website does not talk to them and impress them with your services.  You need to make a good 1st impression with your website.  It must speak to their needs and displays your firm’s culture and expertise.  Make sure that the right messaging, branding and content is on the website.  Make sure that it is easy to use and easy for them to contact you.  Make sure that every page promotes your social media networks and has a clear call to action so that the perspective client knows what they need to do to continue on the buyer’s journey with your firm.  Make sure that you keep adding content to the site (blog posts and articles are good for this) so that your site can be found by the search engines.
  9. Be active on LinkedIn which is the largest social site for professionals.  Make sure that every attorney has their personal LinkedIn profile up to date.  Make sure that the law firm has a LinkedIn company page so that the firm can be found by others on LinkedIn.  Be involved in LinkedIn groups where prospective clients are members.  Educate your staff on how to use LinkedIn and how to be involved in LinkedIn groups.  Look at other social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. and see where they might fit in your firm’s marketing strategy.  LinkedIn assists in engaging with perspective clients and with them finding your firm.
  10. Make it happen now.  Don’t wait.  Don’t just talk about marketing.  Do marketing.  As Seth Godin, a thought leader in marketing, says, ship it.  Marketing is not easy.  Execute marketing yourself or bring in someone from outside to do it.  Digital marketing is ever changing and that is not your focus as a lawyer.  Just look at the newer social media networks of Instagram and Snapchat.  You don’t need to do it all at once.  Divide and conquer.  But you need consistent, professional marketing for your firm.

The future of your firm could depend on the quality and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.  Marketing is different at every firm depending on their size, specialty, geography, marketing expertise, marketing budget and marketing resources.

Work with someone who can determine the right marketing activities and messaging for your firm.  As Jack Welch, former CEO of GE stated, “Your back room is somebody’s elses front room.  Back rooms by definition will never be able to attract your best.”  Convert your back room activities such as marketing to someone elses front room and insist on getting their best. Marketing is one area of your firm that you can outsource.

Marketing is an art.  You need to determine the mix of marketing activities that will reap the greatest benefit to your firm.  Marketing is a process.  Remember that marketing is not a single activity so you should  never stop marketing.  Hope that the above was helpful.  Let me know your thoughts on ways for successful marketing for law firms.

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