When you start your own law practice, you are going to quickly realize that you need to wear a lot of hats. It is no longer just about billing hours. You also need to run a business, and that includes marketing.
A solid marketing strategy can help you build your customer pipeline and avoid wasting time and money.
In this post, we will walk you through the basics of creating a marketing strategy for your firm, along with some tactics you can use.
Why do you need a marketing strategy for your law firm?
No matter what area of law you practice or if you are a solo attorney or have a team, you are operating a business first and foremost. And to help your business succeed and sustain long-term growth, you’ll need a good marketing strategy.
- Create measurable business goals: Having a handful of strategic goals or KPIs will keep your marketing plan on track, whereas vague ones will keep you spinning your wheels. Business goals mean more focused results.
- Stick to a budget: Having a plan in place will help ensure you don’t overspend on your marketing objectives.
- Motivate yourself: Setting goals and outlining a plan will help you keep your pipeline full of new leads.
- Avoid common marketing mistakes: Too often, law firms rely on a ‘spaghetti on the wall’ approach to marketing. This means they try anything and everything without any real plan and hope something sticks. This is ineffective and inefficient. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some firms will go all-in on the latest marketing trend without a rational reason for doing so. This shiny object syndrome can be just as detrimental.
What to include in your marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is your overall plan of action to reach prospects and sell your services. Every marketing strategy will be different, but at the bare minimum, here are the elements your strategy needs to include:
- Positioning: This is context-setting for your law firm. Why should clients turn to your firm instead of X competitor? For example, are you establishing yourself as a compassionate firm that helps local families with their wills or a prestigious corporate firm that works with high-end software companies? The way you position yourself in your market and against competitors will change how you market yourself.
- Ideal client: Who is your ideal client? How are you conveying that in your firm’s positioning and messaging?
Competitor research: Who are your competitors? You’ll need to investigate the competitive landscape to understand how your competition is positioning themselves. This will help you develop your unique selling proposition. Your USP is your differentiator and what sets you apart from other law firms selling similar services.
- Website Messaging: Do you have a website? And are you communicating clearly your positioning and what you do to your ideal clients? Make sure you communicate all of your brand values and key messages upfront on your website. In addition, your messaging needs to be consistent across all platforms including social, digital, email, print, and anywhere else you communicate with your prospects.
- Marketing goals: What are your sales and marketing goals for the next 3, 6, or 12 months? Setting a clear target with specifics for your business objectives will set you up for success. For example, instead of a goal like “getting more clients,” you could set a more tangible goal of “doubling your leads from the previous year.” Quantifiable goals may also include profits, sales, or customer satisfaction.
- Success metrics: Do you have a corresponding KPI or metric tied to each goal, so you can identify if you are on track? Determine how you’ll measure success before implementing your strategy so you can tell how it’s working. For example, if your goal is to increase leads from social media marketing by 20%, you could send out a survey. Sending a survey to new customers asking where they found your company would help you determine if you hit your goal.
Build your marketing plan
Now that you have an understanding of what a marketing strategy is and how it can help your business, it’s time to dive into your playbook or marketing plan. This refers to the specific tactics, like social media marketing, paid ads, or SEO, you are going to use to execute your marketing strategy.
Social media marketing
There are plenty of social platforms available where you can grow an organic following. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Quora are all viable options. If you’re on the platform to just pitch your services, then you likely won’t gain much traction and could waste valuable time.
The key is to provide authentic content that adds value to your audience. For example, if you practice bankruptcy law, you could post tips to help your audience determine when the right time to file bankruptcy is.
Different ad platforms have varying rules and specs to follow, so be sure to look at best practices.
The best two to get started with are Google Ads and Facebook ads.
Google Ads can help put you on the map when leads are searching for your services. These paid ads allow firms to promote their services on Google search, YouTube, etc. You can set the objective for the ad campaign, such as generating new leads. Then, you can customize your ad set targeting, keywords you are going after, and specify your ad budget.
Facebook is a good one to get started with for paid social ads as it’ll let you target very specific audiences with a well-defined budget. In the past, prospects would flip through a physical Yellow Pages book to find a lawyer. Today, Facebook serves a similar function, so don’t discount the value of a paid ad to drive traffic to your law firm’s page.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of designing or improving your site for search engine visibility. Search engines use bots to crawl sites and algorithms to determine how they rank in search results. Optimizing your site for SEO includes getting relevant backlinks, meta descriptions, tags, and keywords you’d like to rank for.
Many lawyers turn to content marketing to improve their search engine rankings in the form of blogging. However, make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes with your blogging efforts.
Email marketing isn’t limited to a company newsletter. You can use email to share tips, resources, and best practices, nurture new and existing leads, and update your followers on law changes that could impact them.
It is also one of the few marketing channels that you own and isn’t controlled by an algorithm.
Review and reputation management
Having an online presence means your law firm’s reputation is crucial. A negative review can have a devastating impact on your image and potentially dissuade potential clients from contacting you.
Reputation management involves monitoring reviews on sites like Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and Avvo, proactively and positively responding to them, and looking for ways to promote your good reputation online.
How TitleTap can help you build and execute your marketing plan
At the end of the day, the best marketing strategy is the one that you can execute consistently for your firm. If you don’t have time to build and execute your marketing plan, TitleTap can help with our turnkey websites, content, marketing automation, and online review solutions – specifically tuned for law firms and title companies. Request a demo today.