When clients need a lawyer, they may turn to friends and family for recommendations, check out online reviews, or, more likely, enter relevant keywords into a search engine. The better job you do at law firm positioning, the more you'll succeed on all of these fronts. Clients should be able to tell what makes you unique in all aspects of your legal marketing.
The legal industry is increasingly one of the most competitive worldwide, and that calls on you to infuse your value proposition throughout all aspects of marketing your law firm brand and within marketing campaigns.
First, let's consider what a law firm's marketing position means. It's one of those buzzwords thrown around, but it's helpful to know what it means so you can develop yours effectively. It's how you serve client needs.
In general, marketing positioning refers to the strategies you use to explain differentiators of your service. When you pin down the positioning well, it's what makes someone more likely to hire you instead of a competitor.
Understanding Law Firm Positioning
Law firms can position themselves in a variety of ways. Too many small law firms don't do anything on this front, making them appear no different than every other firm in their region. Others try to focus on too many various aspects, leaving new clients confused.
You want to land somewhere in the middle, with strong positioning that makes you the clear choice for someone to hire.
Look at ESQGo for an example of this.
Everything on this homepage makes it clear what they do and who they do it for while highlighting that their team has extensive experience in e-commerce law and cases involving Amazon or Walmart sellers. Their positioning pitches a David vs. Goliath style battle in which the right legal team could make the difference for a business owner's future.
The Importance of Law Firm Positioning
With more than 425,000 law firms in the United States, potential clients can easily struggle with choice overload. Of course, even within your region and practice area, you will still have competition, even if it's not in the hundreds of thousands.
Positioning work helps you explain to your potential clientele what makes you unique so they can make an informed decision about their legal matter. If all law practices appear similar in terms of experience, education, and approach, clients default to whoever gets their contact information and calls them back first or whoever appears at the top of the search engine results pages.
You need a way to highlight why you're right for them, and that comes from following a law firm positioning process.
Getting Started with Law Firm Positioning
To start thinking about how you want to be recognized in your practice area and location, begin by looking at the experience of past clients. When you wrapped up their cases, what did they say about you?
This information often forms a strong foundation for your positioning message.
If personal injury law clients note that they appreciate that you never backed down, even when the insurance company was difficult to deal with, you might want to play into that idea of being an aggressive advocate.
If estate planning clients note that they felt perplexed by everything when they began but that you broke everything down into actionable and practical steps, consider making the idea of you as a "guide" through complex issues part of your positioning.
Identifying Your Law Firm's Strengths
What does your firm do well? What do you consistently hear from past clients or your referral sources? What can you offer that another firm can't? You need to lean into that as you develop your law firm positioning.
For example, you're a family lawyer focusing primarily on mediation and alternative dispute resolution. That's a whole different clientele than someone in a high-conflict divorce. By developing positioning around the types of clients and cases where you do best, you cut through the competition and make your firm the top choice for your ideal clients.
Similarly, a personal injury firm might have a former insurance investigator-turned-lawyer on the team. That insider knowledge of common insurance industry tactics might make you a more appealing choice than another personal injury firm, and your positioning should reflect that.
Shaping Your Law Firm's Image
What do you want to be known for?
Sometimes, you may have a clear direction and want to rely on something other than waiting to see what clients say about you. You may have started your legal practice because other law firms you worked with weren't on the same page as you regarding communication, timelines, or strategy. If there's a reason you ventured out on your own, include this in your positioning.
Here are some other questions to work through as you develop a brainstorm of positioning ideas:
- What are three words that define your practice or firm?
- What's something you'd like each client to remember about you?
- When you think about your firm vs. the competition, what's the most prominent way you stand out?
Effective Marketing Tactics for Law Firms
Once you know what makes your firm a clear choice for legal services, you need to translate that into your legal marketing. Your law firm marketing plan lays out the roadmap for who you help and how you do it, breaking that down into channels and tactics.
You reach your client base through channels like search engine optimization (SEO) or social media outlets like Facebook or LinkedIn. Conversely, the tactics are the actual things you do on those channels to connect with them. Many law firms use a mix of tactics to reach their target audience.
Your lawyer positioning should be found throughout your content marketing, including:
- On your law firm website (homepage, service pages, about page, and case studies/testimonials)
- In social media marketing or other places, you share thought leadership
- In paid ad placements like Google ads (PPC) or Facebook ads
- Within any email marketing
Together, these should all tell the story of why you're the right team to work with a client. Creating a comprehensive strategy and determining the best use of your time and marketing budget can be challenging. That's why most successful law firms work with a strategic marketing agency for this purpose.
Crafting a Comprehensive Law Firm Marketing Plan
Your law firm marketing plan explains what you'll do to get new clients and how you'll measure your success. Overall, your marketing strategy should stay the same once you create it. Over time, you may adopt new channels or tactics, but your strategy is the guiding light for defining and achieving success.
Your plan should include these sections to verify that you're on the right track:
- Firm description
- Market analysis
- Legal services/practice areas
- The channels and tactics you'll use
Measuring Success with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Data is powerful and should also be the driver of any shifts in your marketing channels or tactics. With metrics and KPI tracking, you can see in real-time whether or not you're achieving your marketing goals and bringing in new business. To see if your marketing efforts work, keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening in the firm and determine a general return on investment.
You may want to track numerous KPIs like:
- Phone calls
- New clients per month
- Conversion rates
- Number of client reviews
- Revenue per month
- Website traffic
- Ad spend
- Click-through rate
These data points tell you if you're on track to connecting with prospective clients and answer the question, "Is my law firm positioning resonating?"
Summarizing the Impact of Marketing Positioning on Law Firm Success
The proper positioning tells clients who you are and why you're ideal to help guide them through a complicated legal process. It helps distinguish you from your competitors and enhances your brand awareness and online presence because of your digital marketing efforts.
If you'd like to turn your law firm positioning into actionable steps for your marketing plan, work with an expert to help make a strong impression on your potential clients. Outside marketing experts can help you develop a strategic plan and the right KPIs to track so you can focus on serving clients while someone else provides marketing services.