For most attorneys, the most significant struggle isn’t handling the case, understanding the law, or dealing with persnickety filing requirements. The challenge lies in getting the client in the door and making them a client. It can be especially tough if you’re trying to build a practice while competing with the firms who spend millions of dollars plastering their faces on every billboard, bus stop, and cheesy television commercial in town.
The worst thing you can do is wait until your client roster gets low and then decide to go out and drum up a bunch of new clients. Not only is it a bad business practice, but you’re also going to create a glut of clients who will all require your attention at approximately the same time. When you can’t get back to everyone’s phone call, which will invariably occur, the word gets out that you’re one of those lawyers who doesn’t respond to clients. So instead of marketing to build your practice, you’re marketing to destroy it. Nice going, counselor.
The key to successfully marketing your legal practice is consistency, which manifests itself in two distinct ways.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
First and foremost, be consistent in the amount of time you spend on marketing. (For our purposes, let’s assume you already know what kind of approach works best for you. If you aren’t sure about the best marketing approach, it’s okay- don’t freak out. Just fake it, and we’ll tackle it in another post.)
Instead of churning out twenty blog posts in one week and then leaving your blog unattended for the next two months, set up a reasonable schedule and stick to it. Nothing says inconsistency more than visiting a blog or Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in weeks, months, or even years. If you’re not taking your marketing seriously, you could unintentionally do more harm than good. Again, nice going, counselor.
The second aspect of consistency in marketing your legal practice means understanding that results rarely happen overnight, so you’re going to have to give your efforts some time to bear fruit. Sounds simple, right? Yeah, except that “patience” is rarely the first word most people use to describe attorneys, especially attorneys responsible for keeping a practice up and running. Coupled with the fact that lawyers are usually experts in law and not the nuances of setting up an effective marketing plan, it’s not hard to see why so many lawyers wind up taking such an uneven approach.
If your marketing includes paid advertisements on social media networks or search engines, do not tinker with the amount you’re spending until you’ve established a realistic baseline to determine what’s working and what isn’t. There is a tendency to scale back the budget if the returns aren’t immediate; this counterproductive strategy almost always leads to failure. Shrinking your paid reach before you know the effectiveness of your ad virtually guarantees your ad will be ineffective. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and an expensive one at that.
By establishing and maintaining a policy of consistency to guide your law firm’s marketing strategy, you are setting yourself up for success. A consistent investment of your time, as well as your resources, give you the best opportunity to generate a steady stream of new clients while keeping advertising costs down. Just be patient, stay on course, and give your efforts a little time to pay off. You’ll be glad you did.
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