New clients are the lifeblood of a thriving law practice. When you’re busy overseeing day-to-day operations and working with existing clients, though, finding the time to prospect for new ones can be challenging. However, it’s a must if you want to grow your practice and increase your revenue.
If you put a legal marketing strategy in place before you start prospecting, you’ll improve your chances of success. Here are five steps to take when developing your law firm marketing plan.
Set Your Marketing Goals
Goal setting should always be first on the list of things to do when creating a law firm marketing plan. After all, you need to know how, when, and where to direct your efforts, as well as the ability to gauge what is and isn’t working. Decide exactly what you would like to accomplish. It could be adding a new practice area to your firm, expanding an existing practice area, or bringing onboard three new associates by the end of 2021.
SMART goals are the most successful way to outline marketing goals for your firm. This acronym stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It’s a great framework on which to build your plan. If you have never used SMART goals in your professional career, or aren’t familiar with them, you can visit the Corporate Finance Institute website, where they explain the concept.
Identify Your Law Firm Marketing Audience
It’s time to identify the type of consumer you want to serve via your practice. A key way to do that is through demographics. As Attorney at Law Magazine points out, your demographic will be determined in part by the area of law you currently concentrate in, or would like to. It can also be influenced by the type of clients your competitors are targeting.
We recommend you find a reliable source of demographic data. As Investopedia explains, this is information on consumers such as education, income, homeownership, marital status, and employment. This will help you direct your marketing messages to the right audiences.
Create a Marketing Budget
Some law firms devote more dollars to marketing than others. While it’s unrealistic for a two-attorney boutique practice to spend millions to promote themselves, it’s generally true that you get what you pay for.
Your budget should reflect the goals you set in Step 1 and how much it will cost you to achieve them, according to Clio.com. Ask yourself how many cases you’ll have to bill in 2021 to hit your revenue goal. You should also factor in the level of competition in your practice area. The greater it is, the more you’ll need to spend to compete with the crowd.
That said, watch your marketing budget carefully. You do want to stand out, but you don’t want to drain your firm’s earnings.
Build a Law Firm Marketing Website
If you don’t already have a website, or you have one but you’re not updating it regularly, this should be your next focus. Potential customers who are considering hiring a professional services provider will seek information about it, and the first place they’ll go is the internet. A business website is such a critical resource for your firm, we recommend delaying setting a marketing plan in motion until you have one.
Most small firms and solo practitioners will outsource website development. Your website is a window into your practice, and you want it to be as attractive and easy to navigate as possible. You need an expert to create and design it, monitor who stops by and what they’re looking for, and ensure it is visible to those searching for you.
The written and visual content must be eye-catching and useful to people who land there. Otherwise, they’ll leave without you ever knowing they visited.
Choose Your Channels
After you’ve taken these important steps, it’s time to select which marketing avenues to pursue to promote your practice. While many law firms still use billboards, radio and TV ads, and print ads and advertorials in select publications, online marketing is rapidly growing in popularity. It’s also less expensive than traditional advertising.
Digital marketing includes, but is not limited to, unpaid social media posts and thought leadership articles (written by you or outsourced), paid social media ads, search engine marketing/pay-per-click ads, web banners, and more.
Now you know how to build out a law firm marketing plan. All of this information may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
LeadingResponse develops marketing solutions for attorneys and practices of all sizes. We work with over 500 firms across the country and provide over 1,000,000 pre-qualified leads each year to our legal clients. Contact us today to start accelerating your firm’s growth. Learn more