Successful law firms such as the SOCAL Law Network don’t have to worry too much about marketing as the majority of their new clients come via referrals. For new and less well-established law firms, it’s a different story.
Twenty years ago, marketing a law firm involved taking out full-page ads in the local press, posting on billboards, and booking a few slots on local radio stations. These marketing strategies still have their place, especially if you are trying to attract a local clientele and you operate in a small town, but times have moved on and your law firm needs to embrace the changes.
The internet is your most powerful marketing tool. With a bit of clever online marketing, you can now reach millions of potential clients far and wide. Depending on which area of the law you specialize in, you can’t afford to ignore online marketing.
Create a Branded Website
As an absolute minimum, have an easy-to-use website as an online portal for your law firm. Most would-be clients will search for attorneys online before they pick up a telephone and make that call. You need to ensure your website is placing high in the search engine listings for key search terms. For example, if you specialize in personal injury claims, target search terms such as “I was injured at work” or “accident not my fault”.
Social Media Marketing
Work hard at creating a prominent social media presence. Social media is incredibly important in today’s super connected world. Everyone is linked to everyone else via a social media account, so if you post an interesting article on your blog and then share it to Facebook, there is a strong chance a potential client will see it.
Become active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Post regular content and make sure it highlights your skills. People want to read content that enhances their life in some way, so try to avoid posting too much self-promotional content, as this is a huge turn-off.
Build a Brand
Decide which area of the law your business wants to be known for and work hard at building your brand. It will really help your business if your law firm becomes the go-to firm for a specific problem. For example, if you have a department specializing in criminal law, you could specialize in domestic violence cases. Build your brand in this area and become known for helping women affected by spousal assault and domestic violence.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive referrals. Make sure your customer service is excellent. If any issues do arise, deal with them quickly and efficiently. Encourage happy clients to leave positive online reviews and offer them a discount on future work for every positive referral they send your way.
Networking is essential, particularly if you provide B2B legal services. Be a prominent voice in local business networking groups and consider providing some pro bono work to build your brand.
As an absolute minimum, law firms need to spend 2.5% of their gross revenue on marketing. Any less and you are putting the firm at risk.