When someone asks you about how you market your law firm, do your eyes glaze over and you look like a deer caught in the headlights? Most law firms don’t have any idea what their marketing strategy is much less how they plan to implement it. Your marketing strategy involves many different pieces, not just television, yellow pages or a website. The key to an effective marketing strategy is making sure that you remain consistent with your brand and stick to a budget that you are comfortable with. I.E. the key is: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!
There are 3 basic fundamental building blocks for all marketing strategies. You don’t necessarily have to do them all, but you have to address them all in your firm’s marketing plan.
- Firm Website – The key to a successful and sought out website is in the ease of use and how informative and interesting you can make it. This doesn’t mean that it has to be on the cutting edge of website technology and include fancy 3-D graphics and animation. It does mean however, that the potential clients and current clients need to be able to easily navigate through your site to locate all of the wonderful information you have for them. And, that is probably even more important – the content needs to be informative and educational. Don’t just tell them about who you are and how long you’ve been practicing law – tell them what they really want to know – answer their questions and put their minds at ease. You really can’t give too much information on your website. They won’t take the info you give them and run off and try to handle their case on their own – I promise! It will make you the expert and begin the relationship you need to have in order for them to hire you! Your website can also act as a “pore-qualifier”, because when people call you after going to your website they will already be ready to help you help them, by having thought about many of the questions you need them to answer.
- Television Commercials and 30 minute programs – This IS NOT a must have! But, TV is still king. Knowing how you feel about it, what your competition is doing (and I would venture to guess – their doing as much as they can afford!) and how you plan to address the issue IS a must have. Not everyone is completely comfortable with the idea of having their face all over the television set. That is ok. But, it is important to remember a few things before you swear off TV advertising – it can be done tastefully (you don’t have to appear like a used car salesman, unless of course that is who you really are!) and it can/should reflect you and your brand. Also, remember who it is you are targeting as your potential clients, do they watch a lot of TV? So, with these things in mind, you can and should do TV advertising if you can afford to at all. The key to a successful TV marketing campaign is the message you put out there, the media buy that you or your marketing agency puts together, and consistency /longevity of campaign. The other alternative/option that can be done instead or in addition to traditional television advertising is the 30 minute paid programming “news format” info-mercial (for lack of a better term). These can allow you to brand yourself as the expert, give you potential clients lots of valuable information, act as a pre-qualifier/start to the relationship and can cost much less to air! So, once again, don’t discount TV advertising right off the bat – there are alternatives that can really work for marketing your firm.
- Direct Mail – Once again, many of you have said over the years that this is simply not something you are comfortable doing to market your firm. I appreciate your opinion and again offer an alternative perspective. If your state bar allows for direct mail, I can promise you most of your competition is doing it. Not necessarily doing it well or successfully, but they are doing it. If your state bar doesn’t allow for direct mail – you still may be able to take this perspective and use it to your firm’s marketing advantage. The key to a successful direct mail campaign is the same as doing a successful website or TV campaign – be informative and educational in your message (This does not mean sending just a letter with an accident report!). This will endear you to your potential clients before they ever get a chance to talk to you on the phone or meet you in person. If you help answer some of the questions that are keeping them up at night – I promise they will come running to you! The other key is timing in your direct mail pieces – you should NEVER send just one and you should time the pieces you do send at pertinent intervals (there is a little science involved here). But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel on this either – there have been many successful campaigns across the country and you can simply copy what they have done.
With these things in mind, the foundation for a successful marketing strategy and plan is set. Now it is simply a matter of putting it to use. This can be a lot to think about – if you need help organizing your thoughts or getting the answers to your questions about how to implement your plan and develop it further, let us help you. This is what we do! We are the experts! Just like you tell your clients – let me doing the worrying for you, let us make it happen for you and your firm.