Ready for some help with your law firm marketing?
There are only so many hours in a day and the bulk of that time needs to be spent practicing law to keep your firm on solid ground. In order for your marketing to be successful there are a number of functions that fall into the “must do” category. There are many things you can do to enhance your firm’s marketing, but for the purposes of this article we are going to focus on the core of what needs to be done so you can evaluate your ability to market against the time you might spend getting it done right.
The marketing program for your law firm will only be as good as the plan you develop and implement. The first step in planning is to audit your current marketing efforts to determine what you are doing now and how effective it has been for you in the past.
Look at your website, any client-facing communications including form letters, business cards, emails, packaging of reports and communications, radio, TV, social media, blogs, etcetera. Gather all of this together in one place and decide if it is consistent with your brand positioning. Then try to rate the effectiveness of each effort. Ask for help from others to “grade” effectiveness from individuals inside and outside of your firm and from individuals with different backgrounds and levels of education.
Once this step is complete, it’s time to develop a marketing plan. There are a number of resources online that you can use as marketing plan templates, even some focused purely on law rms. There are many ways to approach your marketing plan, but the importance of having one is that it keeps all of your efforts and the efforts of the rest of your staff moving in the same direction, with the same goals and expected outcomes. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.
Plan to spend some real time developing your marketing program and try to project out for a full year. Auditing and planning could take several weeks and will require a lot of interaction with staff and people outside your rm. It may be time intensive, but get real opinions from a variety of resources. If you do this, your findings will be more complete and accurate.
Your website is one of the first contact prospective clients have with your rm. It makes the first impression and can be held up against the standards of competitor’s websites with the click of a button. It may also serve as the center of your marketing ecosystem with most calls to action leading back to it. This is why it is so important to do your site right.
Make sure your site is up-to-par from a design perspective, and with current and relevant content. As you are planning the time you will spend developing your site, and just as important, maintaining it, be sure to outline time in your schedule each week to focus on website activity. Even if you are working with an outside resource for design and development, this activity will need to be guided with at least two to three hours of focused time each week.
Content development and distribution are becoming more and more important to marketing efforts of companies large and small. Law firms are no exception, and in fact, considering the consultative nature of the services law firms provide, it is even more important for prospective clients to understand how your firm thinks. What makes your law firm standout? What do you bring to the table that others do not or do not talk about?
All of this information comes to life for existing and prospective clients through the content you produce in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, white papers and more. You want to make sure you have a steady flow of content and that it is highly searchable (meaning that it focuses on topics and issues your target audience will search for online).
Developing and distributing relevant content on an ongoing basis is not always easy. Coming up with your first ten topics for blogs may seem easy but your one hundred and tenth may be a bit more challenging. The important thing here is to keep the flow going over a long period of time with consistency and relevance. This will take some real time, and the amount of time required will vary depending on your ability to brainstorm and create content quickly.
Whatever you do, make sure you have the ability to measure success or failure. Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts over time will allow you to see which ones resulted in conversions (actions you planned to happen as a result of a particular marketing effort – website click, form completion, generating a phone call, etcetera). The idea will be to double-down on the types of efforts that are working and to eliminate the ones that are not. Doing this over time will make your marketing efforts more and more effective as you go.
Measurement does not have to take an enormous amount of time. The thing about measurement and analytics is that you can measure almost anything digital, but you want to avoid thick reports of arcane data that might actually confuse your ability to make good decisions. Be sure to only measure the things that matter. This will allow you to make decisions quickly and keep things moving forward effectively.
Time is money
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are an attorney, and your time is best-spent practicing law. Your firm relies on this activity for it’s financial health. You know that your clients are not legal experts; that’s why they hire you. You are not a marketing expert; so don’t be afraid to hire one.
This post outlines a surface level of marketing activity that must be done at a law firm, large or small, to ensure an ongoing flow of business opportunities. McCafferty Advertising has many years of experience assisting law firms with successful marketing efforts. There are only so many hours in a day for you to practice law, and we can help you do this more effectively by relieving some of your marketing responsibilities.
When it comes to marketing and advertising, McCafferty literally wrote the book that helps companies build marketing campaigns that get results and drive growth. You can download your FREE eBook by clicking here.