Marketing can be one of the most complex things to build at your law firm.
With so many possible ways to market your law firm and intense competition, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And, of course, money is time and time is money. So, how do you start marketing your law firm?
Marketing is, simply, a conscious effort you make to push awareness of your brand and your services to potential customers or others whom you want to know about you, like referral sources, job candidates, and even news reporters. There are a variety of platforms available upon which to do this. You should think of marketing your law firm as a marathon and not a sprint - your message needs to be spread many times and in different ways to get the results you want, and it takes time.
Three Steps to Get Started Marketing Your Law Firm
What are your goals? Ask yourself first what you’re trying to accomplish. More often than not, law firms market to build their book of business. But you may have other or more precise goals for your firm. It could be that you’re trying to focus on a particular type of case or you want to attract talented lateral partners to the firm.
Set a budget. Often, the marketing budget is based on how much the law firm can afford to put toward the effort. Another way to look at the budget is to tie it to your goals. For example, if your goal is to have three new clients in the next quarter, think about how much revenue they would likely generate and assign a comfortable percentage of that to your marketing budget. This helps you track the ROI of your marketing.
Write a roadmap. Take the information you generated in the two questions above and memorialize it in a plan, a whiteboard, a sticky note, a calendar… wherever it can be easily accessed and feels organized. This roadmap will lead to your marketing strategy.
Legal Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve identified your goals and budget, you’re ready to create a legal marketing strategy. This is where you identify what service or services you want to market, who you want to target with your message, what your message should be, and who your competitors are. Get some tips on creating a legal marketing strategy in our previous post 5 Questions to Ask When Creating a Legal Marketing Strategy.
After you have a strategy, you make your marketing plan. The plan reflects the actual marketing activities you will do. There are many to choose from, but knowing who you want to target and what you want to tell them makes the choices easier. Generally, every legal marketing plan will have a few tactics included, such as an effective, informative, and user-friendly website; social media; and networking.
As you get started, be sure to become familiar with your state’s professional rules and responsibilities for attorneys. You don’t want to violate those with your advertising, marketing, and communications activities.
Getting started with marketing can feel crushing, so start small. Pick a few low-hanging fruit activities and focus on your goals. Soon, your marketing machine will hum along as part of your day-to-day business.
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