If you're a lawyer who wants to grow your law firm, you probably already have a few ideas about how to do it. But have you ever stopped to think about why people choose one law firm over another?
Successful law firms have (and follow) effective marketing plans.
Every law firm needs a marketing plan, but most don't know how to make one that fits their various goals. A lawyer can make an effective marketing plan by knowing the difference between the plan, the strategy, the tactics used, and the channels they can use.
Effective marketing plans help you identify your value proposition, identify your target market, work with legal marketing experts, and set your law firm up for growth beyond marketing.
What Is Your Target Market?
In order to grow, you need to know who your target market is.
The first step in identifying your target market is determining your ideal customer's demographics. For example, if you're a law firm specializing in criminal defense, you might want to find clients between the ages of 20 and 30 who live within a certain radius of your office.
After identifying your target demographic, you'll want to consider whether or not you're going to grow by taking more market share or expanding into new locations or practice areas.
For example, if you're a personal injury law firm, it may make sense to expand into other areas of injury cases, like workplace accidents or slip and fall cases. Similarly, it could make sense for an immigration attorney who has gotten very good at helping immigrants transition into the United States from Europe to expand into assiting immigrants to transition from other countries, such as Canada or Australia.
Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
One way many businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors is to emphasize how their services are unique from those offered by other firms in the same industry sector.
For example, if two attorneys specialize in personal injury law, one may focus on helping people who were in car accidents, while the other works with people injured on the job. In this case, it makes sense for both attorneys to emphasize how their services differ from those offered by other firms in their industry sector.
This is your unique value proposition. It’s what makes you different from everyone else. It’s the way you interact with clients. The way you approach cases. The way you build your team. It could be any number of things.
The important thing is that once you identify what makes your law practice special, focus on doing more of that.
The basis for value propositions includes things like:
- Personalized service
- Willingness to take on complex cases
Use this formula to expand that nucleus of an idea into a full unique value proposition:
- I help [Insert client type here] achieve [insert outcomes] through [insert firm value proposition].
Example: I help people who have suffered spinal injuries in car accidents get the compensation they deserve through my knowledge of insurance companies’ legal tactics as a former insurance company attorney.
Define Your Marketing Plan
Once you know what makes your practice special, it's time to get out there and find clients looking for those legal services.
Use marketing to spread the word about who you are and why people should work with you instead of someone else. You can convince them by writing blogs about topics related to law practice management or posting on social media about events happening in your area.
You can also leverage your existing network of contacts to find clients. When you meet someone who could benefit from your services, ask for referrals to others who need help with their legal issues.
A great way to start is to define your brand. You can do this with a simple, three-step process:
- Identify your client's problems
- Find out what your clients are looking for and what they expect from a lawyer
- Craft your message around those answers
Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to establish a lead-generation process. This means knowing what kind of leads (or potential clients) you want to generate and how you will get them.
Do you want new clients who are looking for serious legal help? Are you looking for clients who only need legal advice? Do you want clients who are entrepreneurs in need of guidance? How will you reach them?
Creating a marketing plan and determining your budget will help you determine your overall marketing strategy. This helps you figure out how much time and energy to spend on each type of lead and what channel will work best for you to approach them.
The most popular channels to use in a law firm marketing plan are:
Don’t select a channel because you know your competition thrives there. What works for one firm in one market or practice area doesn’t always work well for another.
Make data-driven decisions about why you suspect a particular channel will work for your marketing, and then be sure to set goals so you can check in on those efforts.
Build a Website to Capture Leads
A website is crucial to capturing the leads you generate on other channels like social, paid, and organic search.
Your search engine optimization strategies will revolve around your website. It's the basis of everything you'll do to get in front of your ideal potential client and build and market your brand.
Search engines are the primary way people find businesses to hire, so lawyers need websites that work well with them.
This isn't a new idea since the Yellow Pages aren't the best place to look for information and haven't been for a while.
Not convinced? Consider these stats:
If you aren’t ranking on Google, most potential clients will not find you.
Law firms need a website to get the attention of search engines and prospective clients. Investing in the right law firm website design and ongoing SEO is crucial to stand out from your competition.
Law firms need the best content to answer searchers' questions and show their expertise.
The look of your website is also important. A website that ranks well but has a terrible user experience won't turn as many visitors into leads. Your website should build trust, make people more aware, and get them to do something.
We compiled a list of the best law firm websites we could find for your inspiration. It’s a resource that breaks down the underlying psychology, user experience, and conversion rate best practices behind great websites.
Optimize Your Website For Search
How you set up your law firm's website can affect how Google ranks it and how you use tools like Google Analytics to look at how well it's doing.
It's not as easy as just making pages to optimize your website for search engines. Google looks at a number of things to figure out what your content is about and how well it will answer people's questions.
Investing in ongoing on-page SEO and technical SEO efforts can help you improve your site’s overall rankings, traffic, and conversions.
Invest in Content Marketing
Almost every page on an attorney's website is made to do something specific. Content marketing for lawyers shouldn't just tell people about the firm or the service. Instead, it should entice people to do certain things, like get the information they need for their legal situation and hire an attorney.
Search engine optimization campaigns have used blog content for a long time. Top of funnel content can help bring people looking for something specific to your website, while publishing middle and bottom of funnel content can help convert them.
Make Sure Your Site is Easy To Navigate
Nothing kills a client's interest faster than a website that takes forever to load or is hard to find its way around on. You need a site that's easily accessible from any device and gets them where they want to go as quickly as possible.
Present Your Services Clearly
The best websites feature clear descriptions of what your firm does—including any specialties or areas of focus you might have (like car accident injuries or slip and fall cases). This will make it easier for potential clients to decide whether to work with you or if there's someone else who would better suit their needs.
Showcase Strong Branding For Your Practice
A good website needs a strong brand identity so clients know who they're dealing with before they've even met with anyone from your team! Ensure all of the information on your site is cohesive and consistent, so people don't get confused about which firm they're visiting.
Choosing The Right Marketing Team To Help You Succeed
Getting your marketing efforts off the ground is difficult, especially when you have your own business to run. If you don't get it right, then not only are you wasting time and money but also valuable opportunities to increase brand awareness, grow your business, and attract new clients.
Choosing the right marketing team to outsource work to is one of the most important decisions you can make for your law firm.
A team of experienced law firm marketing experts can help you develop your plan and execute it for you so you can focus on what’s most important—getting new clients and winning their cases.
With so many options available today, it's easy to get lost in the crowd. We’ve helped our clients dominate the search results, compete against the largest firms, and—most importantly—grow their firm’s business.
Set Your Law Firm Up For Growth Beyond Marketing
Setting your law firm up for growth beyond marketing is like planting a garden. It takes a willingness to get your hands dirty and patience. But when you've got a good plan and the right tools, it's worth it.
Here are four ways to plant the seeds of law firm growth besides marketing:
Learn To Delegate
When managing law firms will never grow beyond its current size if you don't learn how to manage people who work for you. You can have all the legal software and tools in the world, but it will never make up for knowing when to hand things off to others.
Hire good people, train them well, and then let them flourish.
Delegate tasks to your employees and free up your time to handle the things that only you can do instead of the small administrative tasks that build up into a mountain of work.
An excellent way to grow is by word of mouth. Find ways to get your existing clients to tell their friends and family members how happy they are with your service at every opportunity.
Strive to create an excellent client experience. Listen to their feedback and find ways to improve until you are the best law firm in your area.
Talk with your peers and let them know you’re open to taking on new cases. The attorneys you know in other legal practice areas get leads from people you serve more often than you’d think. Setting up referral deals with these other attorneys is a great way to get new clients.
Network In The Community
If there's one thing we know about lawyers, it's that they love being around other lawyers. Take advantage of this by joining local organizations or even just attending events when possible—you never know who might need your services.
Think Long Term
The most successful businesses aren't necessarily the ones with the most profit right away; they're the ones that have been around for years because they've learned how to adapt to changes in the market, and they've been able to stay relevant.
This is true for lawyers as well. The longer your firm has been around, the more likely people will know about you and trust your service.
Make Your Law Firm Grow
The strategies that make your law firm grow will depend on the type of work you do and the size of your firm. The kind of marketing plan that works for a midsize personal injury law firm is different from a plan that works for a big corporate litigation firm.
If you’re ready to take your firm to the next level with more leads and cases than you’ve thought possible—let us know. We’re experts at making law firms more money through SEO and content. We did it for these firms, and we can do it for you too. Contact us when you’re ready to grow.