Growing your firm means getting more clients. It’s natural for any law firm to look to the world of marketing to get the word out about its services. Marketing works, and your firm should always be mindful of its outreach efforts. But what is too often overlooked is the fact that growing and retaining clients means knowing how to treat clients once they walk in your door.
Too many firms place an emphasis on outreach without considering how they will actually keep the business of someone who shows interest in their firm. Let’s consider the ways marketing can help and why, ultimately, marketing alone isn’t enough to sustain your practice.
Marketing is Essential in Today’s Legal Field
Many attorneys were slow to come around to marketing, and it’s understandable why so many lawyers turned up their noses at traditional forms of advertising. Not only was it illegal throughout most of the 20th century in the United States for attorneys to advertise, the mindset of “professionals don’t advertise” held a strong grip on the profession throughout the decades even after a Supreme Court decision made it legal for attorneys to engage in marketing.
Today, the strategy of marketing is not only very different than it used to be, it is also a realized necessity for most firms. Advertising used to be limited to print, radio and television. The internet fundamentally changed the game for attorneys. The widespread use of search engines meant that every law firm had a presence online, whether they wanted it or not. Marketing in the legal profession was no longer a clichéd television advertisement, it was the way to make your firm stand out online and to control the online narrative about your firm.
History lesson aside, marketing is a must for most attorneys. Firms know that, at the very least, they need to invest a portion of their budget in strengthening their presence on the internet. Some even find it essential to launch more traditional marketing campaigns.
You should have a marketing strategy in place if you want to stand out. There are endless resources to find out more about the ever-changing marketing strategies of law firms, but let’s assume you do have some form of marketing in place, and you’re wondering why your campaign isn’t garnering a crazy amount of inquiries from clients.
Marketing Alone Will Not Do the Trick
An effective marketing campaign will draw more eyes to your website, more calls to your firm and more walk-ins through your front door. However, a marketing strategy without a follow-up plan is like making a bank deposit you never intend to withdraw.
You should be following up with all inquiries to your firm, even those that you don’t believe will be a case you can handle. The more refined your follow-ups and the more data you can collect from them, the better your future marketing campaigns will be. Yet, we still haven’t addressed what should happen once a client reaches you online, via phone or by walking through your office’s front door.
Once a potential client reaches out to your firm, they should know that they contacted the right group of people. You should be responsive, engaged and helpful. They should be so impressed by your firm’s response to their inquiry that, even if you can’t help them directly with their legal needs, they will not forget the way they were treated. They will recommend you to others and return to you if they do need your services in the future.
Marketing cultivates interest and points people in your direction. As you have often heard, “We can make your phone ring.” How you treat and engage with potential clients after that is what solidifies your reputation. The issues involved with this “engagement process” are numerous, but each one can have a huge impact not only on the current potential client but also on many multiple future clients.
Too many firms “set and forget” their marketing efforts without considering how they’ll deal with inquiries. Attorneys seem surprised that the money they’re investing in marketing isn’t coming to fruition with more cases. When you dig deeper into this disconnect, you often find inquiries that were written off or ignored because a firm didn’t follow up properly.
Don’t make the mistake of failing to cultivate leads that stem from a marketing campaign. At LMA, we help firms identify areas for improvement from intakes and follow-up campaigns to processes and procedures within case & lead management systems, so they can create a client experience that truly sets them apart from their competitors.
If you want to learn more about growing your law firm, don’t hesitate to contact Lauren today by calling (919) 637-9144. Let us help you create a plan that capitalizes on your marketing strategy. This is what we do. We’re here to help you grow your firm.