Family law attorneys and law firms just starting to market their services have an ideal opportunity to take stock in what is being offered and to who. It’s the best time to reflect on what types of marketing activities are easy and enjoyable, as well as the marketing resources available. With all this in mind, new family law marketing strategies and plans will be smart, effective, and achievable.
Family law attorneys and firms getting started with family law marketing strategies and plans should focus on the “human” side of family law marketing. Unlike many other areas of law, family law attorneys serve clients who are looking for someone skilled and knowledgeable but also empathetic and trustworthy. Family law clients are not often experienced in working with attorneys. They’re looking to make a connection. Family law attorneys and firms should prioritize relationship-building in all marketing strategies and plans.
Family Law Marketing Strategy
A family law marketing strategy is created by defining these six elements:
The Product or Service: This may be one or many services. It can include broad services, like divorce law, or niche practices, such as child custody disputes in divorces involving abuse allegations. Begin with a look back at matters and clients over the last year or two to see what patterns emerge.
Goals: Once the services being marketed are identified, one or several goals should be set. Most likely, a family law attorney or law firm is looking to generate leads and build business. Create a goal that feels attainable, i.e. five leads and one new matter a month for the next six months. There could be other goals, such as recruitment, branding, and awards, too.
Budget: Resources put toward family law marketing should include both human and financial capital. It’s a good practice to tie the budget to the goal to ensure the marketing spend doesn’t surpass the revenue generated by the goals in the long term.
Target Audience: These people are the prospective clients (or editors or lateral hires) who need to be reached with the information listed in No. 1 above. The target audience can be based on location, demographics, or specific circumstances. Knowing who to reach is important in planning how to reach them.
Value Proposition: A value proposition is a written statement that explains the service’s benefit to the target audience. If the goal is to generate business, the value proposition should be client-focused and illustrate the service’s human elements. Other ways to get to a value proposition include using client feedback to identify strengths and conducting competitive analysis to see how this service compares and contrasts to the same offered by competitors.
Messaging: Whether it’s a few bullet points or an elevator speech, this is the information that will be incorporated into family law marketing plan tactics, which we discuss below. Having a list of messages, referring to it often, and incorporating them into marketing content ensures that any discussion about the family law attorney’s or firm’s service is informational, effective, and consistent.
Family Law Marketing Plan
While the family law marketing strategy includes who is being reached and why the family law marketing plan outlines how that outreach will happen. A family law marketing plan will generally include one or more tactics from these broad groups:
- Websites, including blogs and firm news
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Advertising, including pay-per-click
Which tactics above are used for marketing a family law practice depends on the strategy. For instance, a family law practitioner looking for more professional women clients will need to research which publications and social media platforms this target audience uses. Then, create marketing content for those channels. Incorporating search engine optimization, or SEO, strategies into all family law marketing content boosts opportunities for success.
Directories and Reviews
Family law firms and attorneys should claim their profiles on the many legal industry and general business directory sites. This ensures the ability to control the profile as well as to monitor any reviews or comments and address them appropriately. Good reviews can be repurposed into testimonials on the firm’s website, collateral, and social media. These sites include: Avvo, FindLaw, Martindale-Hubbell, Yelp!, Next Door, and, of course, Google.
As an added bonus, being active on these sites can boost a family law firm’s or attorney’s search rankings.
Any marketing activity that creates awareness and visibility, and boosts the reputation of a family law attorney or firm is worthwhile. These can include:
- An informative presentation on family law for a relevant audience, such as residents of a domestic violence shelter or a wealth planning seminar
- Meeting people in the community through professional organizations, such as the local chambers of commerce, or even volunteering at a church, the school, or Little League
- Getting the family law attorney’s or firm’s name in the press by sending press releases and pitches to relevant media
- Submitting a family law attorney or firm for local or legal editorial awards
Measure for Success
It’s a good practice to take some baseline measurements before launching a family law marketing strategy and plan. These include reviewing website analytics and monthly or quarterly client intake statistics. Set up benchmarks to revisit this information to assess what’s working, and what’s not, and adjust accordingly. All new leads should be asked how they heard of the family law attorney or firm as another way to gauge marketing success.