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5 Questions to Ask When Creating a Legal Marketing Strategy

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Andrew Adams

A legal marketing strategy is important if you’re trying to grow your business or get new clients. Legal marketing strategies are the foundation for any solid marketing plan. They help you organize your efforts around your goals so that you are reaching the right people with the right information.

Generally, there are five questions to answer in creating a legal marketing strategy:

  1. What do you want to “market?” This may be the entire law firm, a specific practice, or individual lawyers or teams of lawyers. Think of this as your “product.”
  2. Who are you trying to target? Your audience may be based in one or more geographic locations or industries, or tied to specific circumstances, such as families in need of estate planning, custody dispute assistance, or criminal defense.
  3. What problem does this service solve? Clients are looking to you to help them overcome problems. Understanding the challenges your clients and potential clients face, and how you can help them, is key in communicating what makes your product worth buying.
  4. Who are your competitors? Knowing who your competitors are, and how they are marketing the same or similar product, will help you distinguish what sets yours apart from theirs.
  5. What do you want to say about the product? Using the answers to Nos. 3 and 4 above, create the messaging you will use to market your service. It’s helpful to start with a few bullet points or create an “elevator speech” - what you would say if you had 15 seconds to explain your service to a stranger you met in an elevator.

If the firm or practice you want to market has a business or a strategic plan in place, be sure the legal marketing strategy aligns with those.

Once you have answered all these questions, you have a legal marketing strategy. The next step is to create a legal marketing plan. A legal marketing plan is a set of activities or tactics you use to implement the marketing strategy. These include, but are not limited to:

Activities are like menu items in a restaurant: you may choose several together in a combination or pick some à la carte. You’re likely not going to select every item on the menu - just those that support your legal marketing strategy.

For example, if your strategy is to target consumers, then your activities might be buying ads in local newspapers, writing blogs with the right keywords so you’re found on Google, and finding opportunities to be quoted as an expert in the local media. Or, if you’re a corporate attorney trying to reach Fortune 500 companies, you may guest author an article in Forbes, submit for high-profile awards like Chambers, and attend an industry conference that attracts in-house counsel and C-Suite executives from the companies you’re targeting.

Keep in mind that a legal marketing strategy will likely need to change over time. Make a point to review it periodically and adjust as needed.

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