In our experience, the biggest mistake that lawyers make is not marketing their practice at all.

Whether you don’t know what to do, are stuck in analysis paralysis, or are just terrified of making a mistake, creating and executing your marketing strategy can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, you can learn from the mistakes of others to get your marketing off on the right foot.

In this post, here are some of the most law firm marketing mistakes that we see attorneys make, along with tips to help you avoid them.

1. Not defining your ideal client
2. Ignoring social media
3. Trying too many things
4. Competing with the wrong firms
5. Ignoring customer reviews
6. Inconsistent communication
7. Not outsourcing when you should

How TitleTap can help you build and execute your marketing plan

1. Not defining your ideal client

Do you know who you are trying to reach? Or are you trying to speak to anyone and everyone who might need your legal services?

The marketing approach you take shouldn’t be identical for different audiences. For example, you wouldn’t expect to reach a young mother looking for help with bankruptcy protection in the same way you would reach a multimillionaire nearing retirement and looking to settle her estate details.

Make sure your marketing is speaking to the right audience by taking the time to define who your ideal client is. A buyer persona exercise can help with this.

Simply think of who your best client is and then write a short bio and details about them such as their annual income, profession, hobbies, work style, and legal concerns.

You can write multiple persona profiles and even give the persona a name to help you feel like you’re speaking to a real person with your messaging. When you approach your marketing, think of your persona and imagine you’re talking directly to them and only them.

2. Ignoring social media

Social media is the new phone book. Most people search for services and ask for recommendations through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tiktok, or Youtube. So, you can’t afford to ignore your social presence. Even if you have a website, a social page lends more credibility to your services and boosts your odds of being found.

Imagine you were searching for a local store on Facebook and their page hasn’t been updated in 6 years. Would you assume they were still in business? Probably not.

As more law firms turn to remote work, being accessible through social media will help you connect with potential clients that are more open to working remotely with their attorney.

However, you don’t have to be posting on every social channel at once. And you certainly don’t need to start recording TikToks (unless that works for you!). You risk spreading yourself too thin if you try to be anywhere and everywhere on social media.

Instead, pick a couple of platforms and stick to them. It’s better to have one established social platform presence where you can actively engage with your audience than to have 5 that you never have time to check.

3. Trying too many things

Doing too much marketing on multiple platforms can be just as harmful as not enough. You risk blowing through your budget and cutting into your profits if you try to do too many things at once.

Additionally, if you’re testing too many marketing tactics or channels at once, it’s difficult to track which ones are working.

For example, say you decide to implement Google ads, social media paid ads, local radio and print ads, Youtube videos, blogging, sponsorships, podcast ads, and TV commercials.

You get an influx of phone calls, but all of your ads had a CTA to call your firm for a free consultation. How will you figure out where the sales leads came from? And did all of the costs that went into the various channels pay off with the number and quality of leads?

This marketing approach can be confusing, expensive, and inefficient. Instead, try being more strategic about your marketing efforts and limit the number of tactics initially.

This will allow you to get good at the tactics you implement, track which ones are working, and maintain a manageable marketing budget.

4. Competing with the wrong firms

Setting aspirational goals isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be harmful when you’re trying to outdo the wrong law firms. Not every firm in your location, or even your practice area, is your competitor.

It might seem like that, especially if someone is located just down the street from you or you regularly see their marketing. But you don’t have to compete against everyone, just the right firms.

For example, let’s say there’s a large, well-known law firm in your area. Their brand is plastered on billboards all over town and you can recite their commercials by memory.

Everyone you know recognizes their name. That doesn’t mean you have to put up a billboard next to theirs or run a commercial back-to-back. You probably aren’t going for the same audience. The big firm could be focusing on business law while you handle estate law.

Or even if you both handle estate planning, their ideal client could be lower-income residents with simple requests that can be handled by their large team, whereas you want to focus on estate planning only for high net worth individuals.

Or put another way, you don’t need to market to everyone, just your ideal client in your niche. Figure out who that is and look for firms that are also marketing to them, not ways to drown out your perceived competition.

5. Ignoring customer reviews

Customer reviews play a big part in whether a prospect chooses you over another attorney and they’re so often ignored. People want to work with an attorney they can trust and positive reviews can help with that.

The more positive reviews you have, the better. However, it’s not enough to just have reviews. You need to engage with your reviewers.

For example, say you have a negative review. This can hurt the perception and credibility of your firm. However, engaging with the reviewer can change any negative perceptions into a positive ones. Most people realize that most businesses aren’t perfect.

Let’s say someone accuses you of being unresponsive and not caring about their case. Without writing a response, anyone that looks up your firm would see the negative review and potentially think you were in the wrong.

By respectfully responding, apologizing, and offering to let them call you so you can talk about the issue you show readers that you care about your clients.

The best way to leverage customer reviews is to respond politely and gratefully to all of your reviews. Monitor weekly or daily and make sure negative reviews, in particular, don’t fall through the cracks.

And don’t forget to ask your most satisfied clients to leave a review.

6. Inconsistent communication

Is your marketing sending mixed messages? This is often the result of taking an ad-hoc or as-needed approach to your marketing. Firms with limited time or poor planning skills can also fall victim to inconsistency.

For instance, say that you currently write marketing emails whenever you have downtime between cases.

That means you could send 2 emails to your subscribers in a week and not publish another until several months later when your workload dies down again. This on-again, off-again approach to communication can be confusing to your audience.

Creating and sticking to an editorial calendar can help resolve this. With an editorial calendar, you plan ahead of time when and what communication you will send out. For example, blog post topics and publishing dates or email campaigns, and follow-up times.

7. Not outsourcing when you should

One of the biggest mistakes small law firms make with their marketing is attempting to handle it all on their own. As you’re growing, it sometimes makes sense to tackle your marketing in-house. After all, you’re working with a tight budget and may have time on your hands while you’re working to bring in your first clients. And who else knows your business better than you do?

However, the time you spend on your marketing is time that you’re not spending on billable work. Also, your specialty is your practice area. Not marketing. For example, do you have the time to learn the ins and outs of Google Ads and SEO? Not unless you’re planning on switching careers.

Hiring website professionals, like TitleTap, who know how to market your business means they can do it more efficiently than you could in-house and with more expertise. You might save more money upfront with a DIY approach, but in the long run, working with a professional often results in a higher ROI.

How TitleTap can help you build and execute your marketing plan

The key to marketing your law firm is to get started. Too many lawyers worry about not doing the right thing they never work on their marketing at all.

If you don’t have the time to do the marketing yourself, hiring someone, like TitleTap, to execute on your behalf can be a smart move.

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.