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10 Ways to Avoid the Most Common Legal Marketing Mistakes

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Constitutional Law. Torts. Contracts. There are many law school classes on how to provide effective and knowledgeable counsel to clients. Unfortunately, there are no classes in law school that teach how to get those clients.

This leads to some very common mistakes by law firms and lawyers that hinder their marketing and business development efforts. Here are ten ways to avoid the biggest legal marketing mistakes:

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Set Legal Marketing Goals

How do you know how to get there if you don’t know where you’re going? Set goals that are realistic, tangible, and measurable. Don’t say, “I want to get more business.” Instead, say: “I want two new clients each month.”

There are plenty of other legal marketing goals that are worthwhile and not focused on the number of retention letters signed. Consider goals to enhance your content marketing strategy by writing six blogs a quarter. Or boost your visibility through networking and set a goal of joining one industry-related professional board in the next six months.

Identify a Target Audience

Understanding who you want to market to, network with, and build relationships with begins by identifying the characteristics of that group. Think about the geographic locations or industries of your target audience, or their specific circumstances, such as small business owners facing a potential bankruptcy or those who were injured in auto accidents. Read Four Steps to Market to the Ideal Legal Client for more tips on how to identify a target audience. Once you know who you are trying to reach, you’ll have more success marketing directly to them.

Create a Legal Marketing Plan

A legal marketing plan ensures your efforts begin and continue. Creating and implementing a legal marketing plan will keep lawyers and law firms from feeling overwhelmed, which often stops marketing activities even before they start. A legal marketing plan provides a step-by-step guide to specific marketing activities that are based on goals and a realistic timeline.

Define Your Niche

Trying to be everything to everyone makes you nothing to no one. Identifying what you’re passionate about, what you enjoy, and where you have skills will help you focus on the type of legal services you want to provide. Having a well-defined niche allows you to also cultivate relationships with your target audience. Instead of marketing yourself as a “personal injury attorney,” try narrowing it down to an area where you excel for marketing campaign purposes, such as representing cyclists or those injured on the job.

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Be a Problem Solver

Lawyers and law firms often focus on themselves during marketing. Instead, focus on the potential client’s needs. Let them know how you can help them by sharing stories of how you solved other people’s problems.

Update Your Law Firm Website

Take a look at your law firm’s website and ask yourself: Is this information accurate? Is the website hard to navigate? Does it look dated? Does it present opportunities for people to contact the firm? How does it look on mobile devices?

A website is the crown jewel of a law firm’s marketing strategy. Having a website that is simply an online brochure is no longer good enough. It’s possible the website might just need some new content or images to make it feel fresh. Check out Is it Time for a Law Firm Website Redesign? for five questions to ask to determine the website updates you need now.

Embrace Social Media

You might hate social media. It is, however, a critical component of any modern legal marketing strategy. Social media strategy is scalable — you don’t need to join every platform, build multiple profiles, and post daily. Get educated on which social media platforms will help you reach your goals and your target audience. Start small and remember there are experts available to help.

Measure Your Progress

Understanding what works and what doesn’t in your marketing efforts will help you decide how to make meaningful changes to your plan. Digital marketing, such as your website and social media, carries a wealth of analytics you can measure. But you should also refer back to your goals often and track your efforts.

Collect Client Feedback

From referrals to testimonials, client input provides a valuable legal marketing tool. The end of the case should not be the end of the relationship. Be sure to always debrief and get permission to share positive comments. Learn more in Three Proven Ways to Gain Client Feedback.

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Do Something!

The biggest mistake law firms and lawyers make in marketing is not doing anything at all. “I’m too busy.” “I don’t like talking about myself.” “Marketing is cheesy.” We hear you. We’ve worked with many law firms and lawyers who felt the same way. Many, though, quickly see how a few small changes to their website or a thoughtfully composed elevator speech created new business opportunities. Putting your best foot forward with a polished, professional brand is the first step in building relationships – which is ultimately the foundation for successful marketing and business development.

Scorpion regularly publishes articles on the various strategies, tactics, and activities law firms and lawyers can and should use to market their services and develop business. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and out of your wheelhouse by marketing and business development strategies and activities. You don’t have to do it alone. Scorpion is here to help.

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