Marketing your law firm can be done successfully in many different ways.
You can build a network of referral partners, develop a strong internet presence to drive traffic and leads to your website, and you can advertise in places where your target market might be.
You might be doing these activities already, but the item you’re probably missing is a detailed marketing plan to help you measure results and ensure success.
Is a law firm marketing plan necessary?
The success of your law practice – and any business – is dependent on acquiring clients. Do you really want to leave this up to chance?
We refer to marketing without a clear plan as scattershot marketing because you’re randomly implementing ideas and hoping that something works. You’re not tying your efforts back to a clear goal and you’re probably not giving campaigns the time they need to develop properly.
Time and money are wasted and this is why many business owners get frustrated with marketing campaigns that flop.
We liken the steps of creating a marketing plan to driving to a new vacation spot. You would never simply get in the car and start driving aimlessly, hoping to get to your destination!
You would take the time to plan your route, and you’d keep your directions handy throughout the trip. Your law firm marketing plan serves as the directions for your firm’s growth. It’s your guide to achieving greater sales and stronger brand recognition.
When you’re armed with a clear understanding of your target market and your unique selling proposition, you can reach business goals quickly and efficiently.
The bottom line is this: Do you want to aimlessly promote your company? Or move forward with a clear plan and clear objectives?
What to include in your law firm marketing plan
We’re not fans of long, convoluted strategies – especially if you’re creating a marketing plan for the first time. You need to get your ideas on paper and start tracking progress.
And this can be done in a few pages. Whether this is your first plan, or you’re making revisions to an existing plan, here is what you should include:
Define Measurable Goals – What are you hoping to achieve with your marketing? You might want to average three new cases per month. Or you might want to increase revenue each month by $5,000. Whatever your goals are, make sure you get specific.
If you’re familiar with SMART goals, then you know they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
So you might set a goal such as this: Increase monthly revenue by $5,000 (from $20,000 to $25,000) by December 31, 2016.
Determine Your Differentiator – What makes you different from your competition? Here’s a hint: customer service is not a valid answer. That is everyone’s answer.
You need to take a hard look at your business and really understand why you are different.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Southwest Airline’s differentiator, for example, is quite simple: Bags Fly Free.
Identify Your Target Market – Who is the client you want to work with all day, every day? Most business owners say, “everyone is an ideal customer.”
But in reality, you don’t have the resources or the budget to reach every consumer. You need to get specific and tailor your message to the best prospects.
In the marketing industry, we refer to these as buyer personas. This is a detailed, written description of your best client. You need to outline psychographics and demographics in order to understand how to reach that potential client.
Select Marketing Activities and Tools – There are literally hundreds of ways to promote your law practice. Some will work and some won’t.
The only way to know for sure is to execute your plan, collect data and adjust based on the results. Make sure you select marketing activities that best align with your goals and your target market.
Determine Your Timeline – Perhaps the most important step in the strategy is setting a timeline for your objectives, and the strategy as a whole. Can you double your business in the next six months? Or will that realistically take a year to accomplish?
You also need to consider your budget and the resources you have available. You might have someone in-house who can create and execute the plan, or you might need to consider hiring a marketing agency to help ensure optimal results.
Remember, success with marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for a message to resonate with an audience. We recommend that you commit to a campaign for at least six months in order to evaluate its effectiveness.
When you have a clear marketing strategy in place, it becomes much easier to reach your target market with the right message using the right tools.