Your law firm marketing plan should not have a single focus. Rather, it should be a comprehensive plan that embraces all possible sources of clientele.
Not to downplay referrals. They are extremely valuable especially in that they have a snowball effect. Developing a reliable base of valid referral sources can certainly aid your law firm and it is a strong foundation on which to build. As fellow attorneys and former clients refer to you on a regular basis, they come to hone in on just the client you are ideally likely to take on, and this saves time and makes money for all parties involved. As you generate more and more satisfied clients, the word spreads and the snowball effect is on. You should certainly send and receive referrals to non-competing attorneys.
Referrals should be, however, only one facet of your dynamic marketing plan, which should include well-planned advertising and marketing based on research, testing, and trial and error. The first thing to be said, believe it or not, is that you should at least have a legal marketing plan. Don’t just wing it. If that’s been your mode of operation to date, NOW, TODAY, is the time to make a chance and develop and implement a proper marketing plan.
Your multi-faceted law firm marketing plan might include:
- Relevant and current blog articles
- Strategically placed billboards
- Well-selected TV and radio outlets (sparingly)
- Publish a law firm newsletter
- The new frontier of marketing is Social Media. Make full use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Blogging. All your attorneys should set up a LinkedIn profile. Social Media is especially important for smaller law firms, a place where they can easily compete with larger firms.
- Website videos
- Receptions which offer partners and associates opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential clients and referral sources
- Spreading the word via advertising your firm with well-placed flyers and brochures at events that draw crowds
- Well-timed systematic follow-up on all leads
- You can’t do everything yourself. Assign each attorney a lead quota (enhanced with a bonus structure).
- Get your entire team excited about maximizing your marketing plan. Their enthusiasm will generate new ideas and add more man/woman power to your marketing activities.
Networking, networking, networking! Can’t say it enough! Get out and about! Strike up conversations. Just saying, “I’m a lawyer” may get you your next client. Good old-fashioned leg work: get out there in the community, you and your partners, associates, and other staff. Visit trade shows.. Go to community events, especially when you know there will be a large gathering. Is it even necessary to say that you should always have plenty of business cards with you? That’s par for the course but often we get lackadaisical, busy with cases, and are not consistent in exercising our marketing techniques.
Have a mini-marketing plan for various and sundry community organizations, such as churches, community centers, and social work organizations. Also cultivate specialized plans strategically designed for the types of law you practice.
Give seminar presentations. Advertise and publish your success. Make sure your firm is listed in every legal directory. Let everyone know about the awards you win. Publish legal articles and white papers. The way to become known as the expert in your field is to write about it! Develop a relationship with a local community paper and be their legal columnist! Become the go-to person or firm for a news organization needing legal input. Don’t be afraid of the media; rather, use it to your advantage! Establish a good relationship with all media sources. When communicating, use user-friendly language that the average person can relate to—not difficult legalese.
Keep your antennae up. As you go about your daily activities, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Sometimes you can overhear a conversation and realize someone needs an attorney. That’s the time to politely and gently speak up, letting a stranger know you might be of help.
Once cases are settled always survey former clients for tips on how to make your service better. Doing this allows you to maximize your strengths, become aware and weed out your weaknesses, minimize threats and realize opportunities. As you do this and start becoming known as one of the best and dynamic firms you will automatically draw more clients.
Methodically and on a timely basis you should track the results, review your marketing plan with a fine tooth comb and revise your marketing plan accordingly, so as not to waste money and valuable time on anything that is not working. You might want to do some market research online. It’s not so much how much money you spend as how strategically you spend it. Research so as not to waste! Conduct a focus group, to get valuable feedback. Be sure you’re targeting the right market, focusing on what you do well. Always refresh and update, and keep all your advertising current. Rearrange content and add new content. Advertise your recent successes. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients. Ask yourself what questions would be important to YOU if you were seeking an attorney and then answer those questions. One good question: what about your location? What are the pros and cons of your current location in relationship to building your clientele? Have you given it any thought? This is just one example of the kind of fresh thinking you should periodically engage in to keep your marketing plan fresh and up-to-date and maximally effective.
Whatever avenues of marketing you choose, do them well. Don’t “do a little dab, and say dat’l do.” If it’s done poorly, it will achieve the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Put your heart, mind and soul into creating the best well-though-out law firm marketing plan you can possibly develop.
Following these suggestions and continuing to voraciously read and study everything you can on the subject will help you attract more clients and ultimately become that rainmaker you want to be!
If you don’t have time to devote to planning your marketing you might want to consider hiring a marketing agency that specializes in law firm marketing strategy to handle your marketing plan for you.
Want to learn more about other legal marketing problems to avoid? Download our free eBook below.