Marketing a law firm is no different than positioning any other professional services business. You need a strategy. It’s not uncommon to try to “wing it” by designing low-budget brochures after-hours, or assigning a receptionist the daunting task of keeping up with the firm’s website.
But while you might have skated through with that approach in the past, increasing your caseload ever so slightly but not knowing how, the reality is that kind of scattered marketing approach is no longer viable in today’s sophisticated, crowded market.
With the introduction of social and mobile platforms, plus increasingly tech-savvy clients, law firms have to market from every angle from TV advertising, to direct mail and internet-tracked eCRM campaigns — to reach customers consistently. Here’s your wake-up call: You can’t handle this alone, even with paralegals pitching in. Plus, shouldn’t your employees focus on what they do best, converting the leads that do come in?
Marketing a law firm carries a new level of complexity best handled by an agency, preferably with legal expertise, that knows how to leverage every new and changing facet of marketing and advertising.
Now that you know it’s imperative to have a marketing expert as a partner, you can start the rewarding part; creating a strategy to maximize your advertising budget. While we know TV advertising is still the biggest bang for your buck, you can stretch your marketing money in some very creative ways these days thanks to the relative affordability of Web-based marketing tools.
Here’s how to begin thinking strategically when it comes to marketing your legal brand:
- Learn your market. Task your marketing experts with finding out out everything about the competition and how your firm fits in — and therefore, can stand out — in your specific legal or regional niche.
- Identify your audiences. Do you really know to whom you’re marketing? Is your current message truly tailored to those people? Are there some “fringe” client bases you’ve left out and could target better?
- Know what you are asking for. It sounds simple, but if you are trying to compete by selling “speed and greed” law, you are going to get exactly that: an of quick, low-value cases. Consider how that approach may undercut your revenue in the long run.
Formulate a plan based on real data about your market and competition, learn as much as you can about your target audiences, and tailor a message to get exactly what you’re asking for — quality, high-value cases based on relationships that lead to referrals.
Once you’ve worked with a marketing strategist on these core elements, your firm can quickly get on a predetermined path to success. It doesn’t mean things can’t change. Be flexible about tweaking tactics as you go, but hone in from an initial strategy. You can’t go wrong if you start from the right place.