Law firm marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses a whole bunch of actions. It’s important to note that the “run-of-the-mill” marketing activities that work for any old business aren’t necessarily going to be the best fit for law firms, however. What’s more, some law firm marketing activities are going to be more worthwhile than others depending on your immediate goals.
Before You Get Started: Assess Your Law Firm’s Objectives
Law firm marketing should be executed based on what you’re trying to get the prospective client to do next. Do they need to know simply that your practice exists, or why you’re the best legal resource for them? You could even be at the point where you need the client to officially agree to working together. Here are quick summaries of common law firm marketing objectives that lawyers face all the time:
- Building Authority: Make sure prospects know you are different from the lawyer next door by presenting your legal perspective on common client issues.
- Establishing Trust: Allow prospective clients to get to know your personal legal brand by making an introduction and revealing your personality and values.
- Demonstrating Capabilities: Help clients realize your specialty practice areas and reassure them that you truly solve problems for your clients, in and out of the courtroom.
- Starting the Relationship: Ask the client to bring you in for legal counsel on an issue they’re currently facing and establish the services for which you’ll be billing.
- Asking for Referrals: Keep the business coming by asking your established, ideal clients to introduce you to other people just like them.
Depending on the maturity of your law firm marketing strategy, you may be in a position where you need to work on all of these things at once, or just focus on a couple of areas in particular. For each of these objectives, there are some ideal marketing activities (that you can do every day, of course) that will strengthen your overall chances of success.
Haven’t built your law firm marketing strategy yet? Start by asking yourself the right questions - find them in our free downloadable, The Complete Guide to Building a Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm.
Law Firm Marketing Activities for Meeting Your Practice Objectives
If you want to prospective clients to identify you as the legal “expert of choice,” you’ll need to show off a little. Write down your legal perspective on hot issues of the day and transfer that to a digital medium. It’s a great idea to get a blog started on your law firm’s website, but even if you don’t have one, using LinkedIn Publishing tools is a great way to broadcast your legal knowledge.
If writing for law firm marketing isn’t your strong suit, try finding your voice by reading the Free Downloadable Guide: How to Position for Authority.
Send “Expertise”-focused Emails
If you’ve built up a library of some authoritative blogs (or just have a couple), email marketing can be a great way for lawyers to broadcast that information. Give prospective clients that have agreed to communications links that go directly to your resources. That way, you have more control over whether you’re reaching the right people instead of hoping that they’ll stumble across you. Just be sure to keep your contacts organized by the practice areas and topics that are most applicable to their needs.
Send “Trust”-focused Emails
These messages will be similar to the “Expertise” emails mentioned above, but show more about who you are rather than what you know. Share personal anecdotes about your life experiences, your professional journey, and other details that will help your legal prospect realize your law firm’s mission and get an idea of your values. Clients are more willing to work with the attorney they know over the competitor they don’t.
Refine Your Ideal Client Profile
As your launching new law firm marketing efforts, working with new clients, and generally evolving as a professional, acknowledge which clients you can serve best. Do your ideal clients have some commonalities in their personal background, or initially approach you with the same legal problem? Keep a running list of when client engagements go particularly well and try to determine why that was the case.
Organize Evidence of Your Success
At the same time that you’re refining your ideal client profile, organize that list of successes so you can give future clients an idea of the results you can deliver. How many dollars have you saved or won during litigation? What’s your case win rate? In practice areas where courtroom litigation is less common, do you have testimonials or satisfaction ratings that demonstrate your achievements on behalf of the client? Building a standard survey for your current and former clients may be a good way to collect some of that information.
Starting the Relationship
Take a Tip from Sales - Develop a Line of Questioning
At some point, prospective legal clients will have a good idea of what kind of lawyer you are and how you can help them… but may not realize that they could use your help now, or at least set up a retainer with you for when the need arises. Asking the right questions can get prospects thinking about scenarios where they may need your services and get an engagement started. Your list of questions could get pretty long, but brainstorm a few questions every day until you have enough to use on different types of clients. If you need somewhere to start, you may be able to adapt some of the questions from this HubSpot article and put a legal spin on them.
Make Time to Check In
Maintaining an established client relationship is a lot easier than starting a new one from scratch, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any work involved. In some cases, the law firm marketing “Expertise” or “Trust” messages that you’re sending out can still be helpful to your current clients. Make a note of topics that can strengthen or support your current clients’ needs, and send out a basic message (“Hey, I thought you might find this interesting.”) to stay active in the relationship.
Asking for Referrals
Referrals from Legal Clients
If you’ve successfully assisted a client, chances are that they’d be happy to give your name to someone they trust. The closest people to your client - family, friends, business associates - are usually similar to your client, too. By getting the referral, you turn one ideal client into two. All you have to do is ask.
Referrals from Your Professional Network
Clients aren’t the only ones who can ally themselves with your law firm. Establishing referral agreements with your professional network can be equally effective for client generation. Reach out to members within your non-competitive attorney network and broader professional network and see if you can establish a “client-sharing” agreement. LinkedIn or other social media platforms may be a good place to start.
If you find referral conversations awkward, try using the scripts in our Free Downloadable Guide: The Client Referral Cheat Sheets that have helped hundreds of attorneys to date!
Want to Know Which Law Firm Marketing Activities Will Help Your Practice Generate Business?
The tips listed in this article are sure to benefit any law firm, but every attorney and practice is different. Practice Alchemy can identify the law firm marketing opportunities that will yield the fastest and best results for your firm. Schedule a conversation with our team to take your law firm to the next level today.