Why Does It Matter?
There is a common perception that the law is serious, staid, and steers well clear of flashy PR or marketing campaigns. While there is no denying that attorneys take their positions and responsibilities seriously, neglecting your marketing strategy can have a hugely detrimental impact on the longevity and accessibility of your law firm.
The world as we know it is changing and evolving, with a record number of businesses harnessing the power of the internet to launch headfirst into the digital space, striving to offer something different from their competitors, and to stand out for all the right reasons. Law firms are no exception, and as a growing number of attorneys reach their qualification stage, existing attorneys need to explore new options to help them stay ahead and establish their reputation – and this is where legal marketing comes into its own.
Why Do I Need To Market My Law Firm?
In days gone by, law firms relied predominantly on word of mouth to attract new business – traditional methods such as billboards and ads in the paper were seen as damaging the credibility of a firm. There was also a notion that if a firm needed a large scale marketing campaign, that they could not be high quality – a dissociation which is harmful to the growth and evolution of your business.
There are a few reasons why focusing on marketing for your law firm is super important, and these include:
- Law firms are businesses
While their business may be the law, firms cannot ignore the fact that they are, first and foremost, a business – there is no way to live out your Erin Brockovich fantasy if you can’t even afford to open your firm. In order to be successful, every business in every niche needs to focus on growth and development as key parts of their strategy. With this in mind, all activities which occur within the business have an overarching goal in common: growing the business, and developing a strong, credible reputation within the industry.
- The market is crowded
Increased accessibility to higher education means that a greater number of people are now choosing to enter the legal profession and start their own firm. While this is great news for social mobility, it can be bad news for a firm used to coasting on their success and previous reputation – competition is real, and firms need to work hard to carve out and maintain their area. This does not mean selling your soul to celebrity campaigns or building a flashing billboard – instead, you need to focus on a campaign which is a good fit for your particular firm – more on this later.
- Bigger firms have a bigger budget
Marketing is particularly important for freelancers, small firms, and attorneys just starting out in their career – these guys lack the multimillion dollar advertising budgets or international reputation of larger firms, and so are more likely to slip unnoticed beneath the radar.
The good news is that these types of attorneys tend to be working in smaller communities where word of mouth can be a very useful tool – but to rely on this alone is foolish at best, and arrogant at worst. To succeed, you will still need some sort of marketing strategy to get your name known and your brand seen.
How Do I Market My Law Firm?
As we mentioned, flashy, ostentatious and over the top advertising is not going to cut it here – as a general rule, law firms need to be a little more discreet and subtle. There are a number of tools and techniques which can help you add that “je ne sais quoi” to your firm, while still retaining a professional and reliable reputation.
- A stellar website
In many cases, the website will be one of the first points of contact your client has with the firm – so it needs to stand out. Make sure that your name and branding are clear, and that your niche, if you have a particular specialism, is highlighted on the homepage. Keep things clean and brief – don’t overload your visitor with text – while also ensuring that they have the information they need to take the next step. Contact forms should be clearly displayed, and a “Meet The Team” can be a great way to build a rapport with your client – this is more important in law than most other businesses.
You should also make sure that all of your information is up to date and relevant, including opening hours, areas served and addresses and contact details – a client who cannot get hold of you easily is more likely to look elsewhere than to try again.
- Strong social media
We live in a world dominated by social media, and businesses have learned to use these to their full advantage. Maintaining a strong social media presence helps add a relatability to your brand, and this can be very welcoming when your clients are dealing with frightening, distressing or personal legal matters – they want someone they feel they can connect with. Social media platforms can also be used to highlight your particular experience and expertise in specific areas, for example by sharing updates and developments in the law, discussions of changes and high profile cases, or by allowing visitors a closer look at your team.
- Play the SEO game
SEO – search engine optimization – is a phrase often heard in marketing, but it can make a huge difference to the success of your campaign. In the simplest terms, SEO determines where your site ranks on search engines such as Google – ideally, you want your firm to crop up at the top of the very first page, encouraging searchers to choose you. Using SEO to its full advantage is the difference between enjoying regular, organic traffic to your site – which can then convert into clients – and languishing in page three obscurity with the less well esteemed firms.
Focusing on your marketing may not seem a priority for a law firm, but legal marketing is an essential tool if you are looking to grow and develop your firm into an established, reliable and reputable team of legal experts.
Need a marketing plan that consistently generates clients?
Lawyer Secrets Marketing is run by attorneys. We use and consistently get clients using these methods everyday on a consistent basis. If you are underwhelmed by your current vendor, or need to get started with a website, we are here to help.