Injury Lawyer Marketing Plan

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Family Lawyer Marketing Plan

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DUI Lawyer Marketing Plan

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Elements of a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is more than just what you hope to do to get more clients. Sadly, too many marketing strategies look like that (if they exist at all). 

A marketing plan is the documented strategy of what your team will do to execute your goals in a specific period.

A good marketing strategy can help you grow your law firm for a law firm should include multiple elements, including:

  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement
  • Marketing Objectives
  • Standards of Performance
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Market Research
  • Market Strategy
  • Budget

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary for a law firm marketing plan or in a business plan includes an overview of how you’ll reach your target clients and drive conversions from that audience. 

To achieve this, you must know who your target audience is, and the answer can’t be a generic or broad one like “people who need a child custody lawyer.”

Within each practice area, there are many potential types of clients. Recognizing who you serve along that spectrum is vital for communicating to this audience and showcasing that you’re the right firm for them. Consider the example above. A broad range of people need a child custody lawyer, but all have different backgrounds, such as:

  • A parent moving out of state who wants to protect their rights to visitation
  • A parent who wants to resolve things in mediation outside of court
  • A parent going through a second divorce who lost custody the first time
  • A parent with limited resources
  • A parent who has been the victim of domestic violence

All those parents bring different perspectives and beliefs about what is most important when hiring a family lawyer. Make sure you know exactly who you’re talking to, as this will impact not just the executive summary but the entirety of your marketing strategy.

An executive summary section of your marketing plan should include:

  • A description of your law firm and team
  • An overview of market factors and trends in your industry
  • An explanation of your customer base
  • A brief statement of your financial planning for marketing
  • A summary of your overall goals and objectives

See the examples below for more inspiration for your law firm.

2. Mission Statement

The mission statement of your law firm breaks down into three simple concepts:

  • The purpose of your law firm
  • What you bringing to the table for your clients
  • How you achieve outcomes for your clients

One common mistake in drafting a law firm’s mission statement is focusing too much on the future of the firm instead of clients. A mission statement is client-specific.

As you brainstorm what to include in your mission statement, ask these questions:

  • Why was I motivated to start or join this practice?
  • What do we want our clients to experience and feel in working with us?
  • What do we do beyond practicing law that makes us an optimal choice over our competitors?

3. Marketing Objectives

Marketing objectives are simply the outcomes your law firm wants to see from your marketing activities. Marketing objectives are different from marketing goals, but these two terms are often confused and improperly used interchangeably.

A marketing goal is a broad target you hope to hit, but a marketing objective is a specific short-term goal. Multiple objectives might be hit in the process of achieving one marketing goal.

Perhaps your marketing goal for the upcoming year is to increase new cases, but the specific marketing objective to accomplish that is to double down on your SEO efforts to bring in five more new qualified cases per month in the next quarter. 

You might shift objectives over the course of the coming year, but all can be related to your underlying goal of more new cases.

4. Standards of Performance (KPIs)

Key performance indicators are the metrics you regularly measure to determine if you’re meeting the objectives of your marketing strategy. It’s easy to go KPI crazy and track dozens of numbers, but resist the urge. It’s far better to focus on a few core KPIs to track back to your marketing objectives.

Imagine, for example, that you’re an estate planning law firm providing weekly email newsletters to prospective clients. Your email series of financial and retirement planning tips takes a lot of team time but gets good results in terms of driving planning strategy sessions booked. But that’s decreased as of late because people aren’t opening the emails. So you set a goal to boost your email newsletter open rates for this quarter.

Likewise, a personal injury law firm might have a great referral network but sees potential in an SEO campaign that drives organic leads from the internet to their office for initial consults. 

A KPI to track that is the number of calls or intake contact form requests in which the user says they found the law firm online. Tracking this data helps the law firm make sure they’re putting the right budget and emphasis on revenue drivers. This doesn’t mean they forget their referral network, either, but instead focus on a KPI to help bring in additional cases so the firm isn’t entirely reliant on referral partners.

KPIs can always be changed, especially as you learn more about return on investment. Note that you can track many in your law firm, but you need to choose the ones most relevant to your overall marketing goals.

Here are some common law firm KPIs:

  • Website traffic
  • Number of pages ranking on the first page of Google
  • Landing page conversions
  • Potential client calls vs. actual clients per month
  • Average fees per client
  • Client retention rates

5. SWOT Analysis

Graphic showing each part of a SWOT analysis

To prepare to craft the market research section of your strategy, the preliminary work is drafting a SWOT analysis.

By looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), you’ll be better positioned to stand out from your competition.

Here are some questions to consider as you walk through your law firm’s SWOT analysis:

  • What do we do better than other law firms?
  • What do clients say about us when we wrap up their cases?
  • What feedback do we receive about what we could do better?
  • What kinds of feedback do our competitors receive in online reviews in places like Google My Business or Avvo?
  • How can we compensate for or overcome challenges?
  • What modifications could we make to our legal services to better position ourselves? (I.e., offer flat fees or sliding scale pricing for DUI matters or simples divorces)
  • What actions could threaten our standing in the market?

6. Market Research

Knowing who else is out there is important for defining what makes you unique. You don’t want to or need to copy your competitors, but understanding the landscape and looking for gaps is helpful. 

Recognizing legal marketing trends is also crucial for determining the best ways to stand out from other firms and capture the attention of more potential clients.

In this section of your marketing plan, consider your biggest competition and what they’re doing well and not well. This section can also break down into three subsections.

This should include:

  • An overview of your industry
  • A competitive analysis
  • A definition of your client persona/target market

There’s no shortage of competition in any one practice area within the law. But no matter your practice area, there are other firms out there snagging cases that could have been yours. Use the intel you gather during this phase to think about how you can beat these competitors or lean into a different marketing strategy to accomplish your goals.

For example, maybe the cost of PPC ads is sky-high in your area because the bigger personal injury law firms dedicate significant budgets to play there. If you’d rather make an organic play with content marketing, you can capture the traffic for some of those keywords with a great strategy in place. As a bonus, many readers trust organic search engine results more than ads anyways. This is an example of how looking at your competitors can help you develop a strategy that taps into market gaps.

7. Market Strategy

Graphic showing the 4 p's of marketing strategy

Your market strategy should cover each of the four Ps:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

As you draft this section of your plan, the four Ps make up the “marketing mix.” Consider these questions as you write:

  • What services do we offer? Are they defined clearly rather than generally?
  • How do we charge for our services, and what do we charge (such as hourly retainer vs. flat fee divorce)?
  • What region do we serve? Where do most of our clients come from?
  • Which marketing channels do we think will best connect with our clients?
  • What advertising and public relations tactics have worked best for us, or do we think will work the best for us?

8. Budget

You’ve got to know what you’re willing to spend in order to achieve your marketing objectives. It’s easy to create a long list of marketing objectives you’d like to achieve, but these efforts will likely fail if you’re not ready to commit to the budget needed.

This is one of the most complex parts of a marketing plan to write because it’s where the rubber meets the road. You might have to revisit your objectives and KPIs if you’ve overshot your budget and realize you don’t have the resources to execute well on all of them. So at this stage, go back and review all the other sections of your marketing plan with a fresh set of eyes.

Most law firms commit between 2-19% of their annual revenue toward marketing expenses. Start with 5% and total up all the potential costs. If you’ve got a mismatch, you need to either eliminate some marketing activities or scale up your budget to meet these priorities.

Ask yourself:

  • Which activities are most likely to drive the outcomes we’ve outlined as most important to the firm?
  • Which activities are ones we’re still interested in but might need to be tabled for a few months and revisited as secondary priorities?
  • What non-monetary contributions (team time, learning curve, etc.) do I need to consider as I evaluate these marketing activities?

Remember, your budget should include:

  • Software/programs needed to execute (like an Ahrefs or SEMRush subscription to track keyword rankings)
  • Outside expert fees, such as a consultant’s retainer
  • Actual ad spend (such as PPC, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads)

Create and Implement Your Law Firm Marketing Plan Today

Successful law firm marketing requires paying attention to many different details. Documenting your business goals and the methods through which you plan to accomplish them can greatly increase your chances of success. Strategies for law firms should always include every element of an effective marketing plan.

If you have already created a law firm marketing plan with a strong focus on SEO, know that you don’t have to do it alone. Rankings.io is here to do the heavy lifting for your SEO strategy so you can focus on serving your clients. Contact us today for a consultation about your next steps.