“Let’s try it and see what happens” is not a strategic marketing plan for a law firm. And yet, too many firms use this exact approach. They feel pressured to try it all because they see their competition or hear about new marketing techniques at conferences or networking events.
If you throw money and time at everything, you can’t tell what’s working, and more than likely, you’ll give up on all these marketing campaigns too soon.
But you’ll get seriously frustrated if you don’t use an aligned marketing plan for a law firm. Your law firm marketing plan should incorporate the following things:
- Information on your target clients
- Details about the legal services you offer
- What makes your law firm unique from the competition
- The goals you’ll set for how many new clients or how much revenue you’ll generate
- Where you’ll reach your target clients (channels) and how you’ll get them (tactics)
Embracing Digital: Maximizing Online Marketing for Law Firms
There are many ways to connect with potential clients offline in the legal industry, but creating and maintaining an online presence for your law firm is imperative.
Most people looking for an attorney find one using their research, and the most popular methods are online. According to Clio’s Legal Trends Report, people are most likely to research attorneys on law firm websites, search engines like Google, and online reviews (like those found on your Google Business Profile, sites such as Avvo, and Facebook.)
The most impactful places to ensure your firm considers in your content marketing plan include:
- Your website
- Social media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube
- Pay-per-click methods like Google ads or Facebook ads
- Local service ads
- Email marketing
Not every law firm should use every possible marketing option. Instead, you should pick and choose based on your offerings, your budget, and the resources at your disposal. If you get stuck with this process, work with an outside marketing agency or expert to guide your process.
A marketing company with legal industry knowledge can help you bring in high-quality leads with a targeted strategy based on your needs.
Building a Strong Law Firm Brand
What does your brand stand for? What words do you think your ideal clients associate with your practice?
Your brand should communicate who you help, the services you provide to them, and your secret sauce. The secret sauce distinguishes you from law firms with similar clients and practice areas.
For example, your personal injury law firm offers unparalleled support to help clients get to settlement faster. Although your trial likely also has trial experience, maybe the real expertise is in preparing compelling settlement arguments or videos. These results help clients move on with their lives faster and show that you’re invested in getting them the best possible result with minimal stress.
This requires you to create a unique selling proposition. Your USP appeals to your target audience clearly and effectively.
A USP is not generic. Don’t put “dedicated to pursuing justice” on your personal injury website or “fighting for your rights” on your criminal lawyer site.
Look at this example of solid branding from McClellan Law.
The firm showcases itself as a winner and expert in getting 7-figure verdicts. They likely picked this marketing slogan since their competitors cannot say it. This immediately tells a seriously injured client that this firm can evaluate, prepare, and litigate big cases.
SEO: The Key to Law Firm Online Visibility
According to research from CallRail, most lawyers’ biggest online marketing strategy is website optimization. Your website is the one place on the Internet where you have total control over how you show up. It shares your expertise, introduces your firm’s attorneys to prospective clients, and educates potential clients. As the hub where most of your other digital marketing points, it’s essential to structure your website for search engine optimization.
Implementing an SEO strategy is a comprehensive effort that requires some upfront work and ongoing maintenance for you to appear in organic searches. For the best performance and chance at conversion, make sure your website:
- It is easy to navigate
- Includes geo-specific keywords for your target clients
- It is optimized for mobile viewers
- Includes calls to action to drive clients to take the next step
- Loads quickly
Authority through Content: Educating and Engaging Potential Clients
The more you can connect with your ideal clients through the content you share, the higher the chance they’ll want to hire you. It’s not enough to share your educational credentials and bar admissions. Clients today have a choice in who they hire, and you want to make a lasting impression with your online content.
Authoritative content establishes the firm attorneys as experts in their field. When someone hires a lawyer, whether for a personal injury case, family law, criminal defense, or any other practice area, clients want to find an expert at the top of their field.
A variety of content may help you target and reach your ideal clients. Creating content to post where they’re most likely to see it will narrow your focus and increase your chances of success.
Networking and Referrals: Expanding Your Law Firm’s Reach
In addition to online marketing plans, you need a way to connect with people who may refer business your way. Networking is a great way to do this. You never know when someone knows a person with a potential legal case, and when your name and firm brand are top of mind, you’re much more likely to get those powerful word-of-mouth referrals. Staying in touch with past clients is another way to bring in more business since people tend to trust you more when someone they know had a positive experience already.
But past clients are just one way to get good referrals. Collaborating with other law firms or businesses and nurturing client relationships can help build positive reviews and a referral pipeline.
If you’re an estate planning lawyer, you might form a referral relationship with someone who helps older people sign up for Medicare or an expert who researches local assisted living facilities to make things easier for families. Together, you may be able to share business back and forth, making your clients feel like you have a great network of resources to help them with various related issues.
Leveraging Social Proof: Enhancing Trust and Credibility
Showcase all positive feedback from clients in as many places as possible. This includes online reviews on platforms like your Google Business Profile, legal directories, and Facebook.
You can also turn client feedback into case studies and testimonials. Use these on your website and occasionally on social media to share the real experiences of people who worked with you. These online reviews work for all ages and client demographics but are especially important for clients aged 18-34. 91% of people in this age group trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Other people’s words can be much more potent than your own, so ask every client you work with to leave you a review. Make it simple, such as adding a QR code for your Google profile in your final letter to a client or when they visit your office for the last time.
Streamlining Law Firm Marketing Operations
Marketing takes a lot of work. While it can pay off with new clients, most attorneys need help to keep up with a consistent marketing plan. As a result, their marketing efforts fail or don’t bring in good results.
The more you can operationalize marketing, the easier it will be to create more consistent cases and cash flow. With your documented strategy, you can use this like a roadmap to determine how best to approach all aspects of your traditional and digital marketing plan. You may use in-house employees, but many law firms outsource this to qualified marketing agencies or contractors who can handle all the heavy lifting.
In addition to using outside help, use project management tools to ensure nothing slips through the cracks and implement software with automation to streamline getting your marketing message out there.