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How to Market Your Law Firm – 11 Strategies

Running a law firm can be stressful and time consuming. You must attract clients, deliver top-notch service, and run the business side of your firm. Given all you have on your plate, developing a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy can seem overwhelming. Many firms neglect their marketing planning, a costly mistake given the current competition for attaining and retaining clients.

Below are a few insightful statistics from the American Bar Association’s study of law firm marketing:

  1. Less than half of law firms have designated marketing budgets
  2. 32% of solos say “no one” is responsible for marketing in their firms
  3. 73% of attorneys from firms of 2-8 say lawyers spend valuable time performing marketing tasks
  4. Firms of all sizes ranked their confidence in their firm’s marketing efforts at only a 2.9 on a scale of 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (very confident)
  5. One-third of all firms rated their confidence level at a 1 or 2

Without a strategic plan your firm is investing in random acts of marketing. To achieve a full pipeline of client leads you must both deploy and manage a researched and intentional marketing strategy.

How To Develop a Winning Strategy for Your Firm’s Marketing

Lawyers have many options for marketing. This is great news for your firm. You have more methods available than ever before to reach your potential clients, but not all options are ideal for all firms. If you want to maximize the results you achieve with your marketing, consulting with an experienced legal marketing consultant is a great place to start.

Call us today at (346) 267-7619 or email [email protected] to learn more.

Know Your Clients

Before you can reach your audience, you must know who they are. The first step is defining your firm’s niche. Who is your target audience? What specific services are they seeking and where are they located?

If you are a personal injury attorney your services will obviously be very different from a family law attorney. You are marketing to a different type of audience. Their needs, decision making process, and search journeys are very different. Take time to think about what your high value clients need and how your marketing can speak to them about their concerns.

Now that you know who your clients are and what they need, you should focus on which platforms your potential clients use the most. Many attorneys think they need to market on all platforms. That is not only incorrect but may actually be a huge waste of money and time.

Respond Without Delay

According to one study, 40% of law firms don’t even respond to their contact forms. Investing in marketing will only pay off if you respond quickly to your leads. Legal consumers will investigate and call multiple firms, but they will typically hire the first attorney they speak with. If you call them back and they do not answer, follow up a second time. Make sure leads speak with you before your competition!

Eleven Strategies For Marketing Your Law Firm

1. Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great tools for raising awareness and growing your following online. The trick is to know your audience, meet them where they are, engage with your followers, and provide valuable content.

Social media marketing (link to PR and Social media page) goes beyond leaving a few likes and comments. To take full advantage of your firm’s social media marketing you need to do the following:

  • Determine the purpose of your posts: inform, awareness, news, entertain, querie
  • Decide which, if any, will be paid or promoted
  • Plan relevant topics for your posts
  • Create visually appealing and engaging posts
  • Set up a consistent schedule for posts and create a social media calendar
  • Engage with your followers

2. Online Profiles

Online profiles like your Google Business Profile, listings on AVVO, FindLaw, Yelp, and other online listing and review services are important for several reasons.

  • Google has placed an increased importance on your Google Business Profile for “near me” searches and for placement in Google Maps.
  • Profiles help potential clients find your firm, when searching online
  • They provide verification of you and your firm’s level of expertise
  • They provide links to your website to improve client conversion and your SEO

Optimizing your profiles can be time consuming, but this is a task that really will make a difference in the number of leads your firm receives. Some lawyers decide to do this themselves, while others prefer to contract out these tasks to their marketing partners.

3. Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising including print, billboards, direct mail, and traditional television and radio remains a valuable resource for law firms. The role of traditional advertising is changing, though, as legal consumers turn to internet-based methods to search and verify service providers of all types.

Billboards and local newspapers are viable options in smaller metropolitan areas or where the population of potential clients is limited to a smaller geographic area. If your client base is scattered between several towns, multiple areas of a larger city, statewide or nationwide these methods become less useful. Another potential downside of traditional advertising is its lack of targeting.

4. Targeted Display Ads (link to digital advertising page)

Technology has come a long way since lawyers primarily advertised in the Yellow Pages or purchased time on television or radio. Newer service technologies like OTT, OTV, polygoning, and retargeting can provide an impressive level of client targeting.

You can define your target client by age, income, medical diagnoses, ownership of vacation homes or luxury automobiles, whether they are a business owner, or frequent brew pubs. The ability to reach your clients doesn’t stop with defining a group or demographic. You can now target individuals. Rather than paying for time (old school tv and radio) in front of your demographic group you are buying access to individual more qualified leads.

Another form of advertising can be served based on proximity to a hot spot. Imagine your clients are injury victims and their families. You can serve an ad to an individual on their phone or laptop while they’re at a coffee shop or hotel near a hospital or while grabbing a beer after leaving their job at the refinery. You can serve those same people ads while they’re streaming Breaking Bad on Netflix or the Astros on ESPN Plus. You don’t care what they’re watching. You don’t buy time on a given program or channel. You are targeting a specific person via their media and phone use! When they visit your website, you can follow up with an ad on their phone encouraging them to contact your firm.

5. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (make purple and link to website and SEO page)is often called the marathon of search results. It takes time, dedication, and resources to achieve but the payoff to your firm will be huge. SEO is nothing new to law firms, but how to achieve maximum results is an ever-changing science. What worked a year or two ago is probably not working as well for your firm now. Many firms dabble in SEO optimization rather than playing to win. If you are following that model, your competition sends you their thanks. If you want to win the race, but don’t have the time, knowledge, or personnel, give us a call to discuss your options. We will share proof of success and develop a custom plan for your firm’s goals and budget.

6. Website Optimization

When is the last time you had an in-depth audit of your website from a source other than your website vendor? When is the last time you updated the look, function, and content? A kick-butt website is essential in today’s digital world. According to the American Bar Association’s research “Legal consumers actively consider websites when choosing an attorney, and expect law firms to have modern, well-designed, functional websites. With website options for all budgets, there is no reason to ignore your firm’s digital front door.

Most firms rely heavily on referrals. Wouldn’t it be a shame to earn a referral only to have the potential client go to your website and then choose to call another firm? Maybe it’s time for a website refresh. (make purple and link to website and SEO page)

7. Lead Generation & Conversion

Law firms can spend a lot of money gaining leads through various online and traditional advertising sources. Often the missing piece of the puzzle is converting those leads to calls. It is important to determine where the process is breaking down if you want to get maximum returns on every marketing dollar you spend.

Some reason your leads may not be converting to contacts are:
  • Your website is not working for you. Consumers have high expectations and if your website is not modern and engaging, they may assume you are not successful or able to help them.
  • How is your intake? I ask this of all my clients and most of the time their answer is, “Great. We never miss a call.” Often upon a closer inspection that may not be the case. If the call is answered by your answering service or your assistant but the caller does not speak with an attorney quickly, you are likely to lose that client to another firm. Another shortcoming to consider is your email or chat service. Are you responding to the inquiries within minutes, hours, days, ever? Remember, legal consumers will generally hire the first attorney they speak with, so you do not have hours or days to respond.

8. Content Marketing

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Content is King.” That statement is more true now than ever. If you want your website to appear in searches and convert leads, you must have engaging, frequent, and valuable content. While content comes in various forms, it must speak to your clients (and Google) with relevant information, contain the latest SEO features, and SEO optimized coding.

Some attorneys write their own content and blog on a regular basis. If you have extra time and are up to date on Google requirements, give it a shot. If not, contact an ad agency like Strategic Alliance Marketing Group to discuss how content marketing can improve your lead flow.

9. Public Relations

When it comes to your clients, there are two types that need public relations, those that want to get in the news and those who need to get out. Your clients cannot afford to allow biased or inaccurate reporting of their case go unanswered. A public relations team will work in conjunction with your legal team as you carefully craft a strategy for winning in court…. and in public opinion.

A qualified and connected PR team is a must when you are working with a whistleblower or any high-profile individual or entity. In today’s world reputations can be shattered beyond repair if you remain silent while the wrong message infiltrates social media or the press.

What if you, as the attorney on an interesting or important case, want to make a media appearance or get quoted by a news source? A great PR agency can make it happen! PR is an often overlooked and valuable tool to gain attention and thereby gain additional clients.

10. Events and Referral Networking

Lawyers have always relied on events and peer relationships for client referrals. There is good reason, referrals are free and often lead to valuable clients. Referrals are “earned” marketing, so they build trust before you even speak with the prospective client. I always advise my clients to continue attending networking events and legal functions and to encourage associates to do the same.

11. Pay Per Click

If search engine optimization is the marathon of search, then PPC is the sprint. Paying for ads on Google can bring quick results. It can also carry a huge price tag. Consulting with legal marketing experts can pay off big time for your firm. A legal marketing agency will work with you to define a strategy where PPC plays a part of your larger overall marketing plan.

Most firms use Google ads when they run pay per click ads, but have you considered adding Bing? Bing is a great option to grow your reach at a lower cost per click. Do you care if your leads come from Bing or Google as long as they are high-value leads? Of course not.

Some firms run their own PPC campaigns in house, while others find they get better results and free up valuable time by bringing in an agency.