Effective marketing is an essential part of practicing law. Of course, lawyers get into law to practice, not to focus on administrative tasks or marketing. However, running a law firm encompasses more than practicing law – it requires running a business. If law firms want to stay in business, they need to keep abreast with legal marketing trends to attract new clients and keep the firm growing and profitable.
Here we’ll show you creative marketing ideas for law firms to keep clients coming in your door. We’ll include:
Any of these tactics applied by itself will improve your results. Using these tactics in combination will multiply your success. Select and prioritize a few of these ideas which apply to your firm’s current marketing goals and incorporate them one at a time to begin growing your business.
To promote your law firm effectively, you must deliver your message consistently to your target market on a large scale to sustain your profits. You can combine the strategies discussed in previous chapters with the tactics we’ll discuss below. A winning promotional plan includes methods for reaching customers through traditional channels such as referrals and digital channels such as websites. Below we’ll cover 18 of the most useful promotional tools, including ones designed to reach local markets and those geared toward smaller firms’ needs.
While most clients looking for lawyers today use online tools at some point in their search, your prospects still spend most of their day offline. There are many opportunities to cultivate clients through conventional marketing tactics, which continue to play a vital role in legal marketing today. Three of your most effective offline marketing tactics are referrals, local networking, and direct mail.
Referrals are one of the most effective yet simplest and least expensive tools in your marketing arsenal. The law business is about relationships and reputation; referrals capitalize on this. It’s important to remember that about half of all legal services consumers will look for services through referrals. After you’ve provided exceptional service, it’s time to capitalize.
If you continue to get referrals from specific clusters of people, take note of this. Start jotting down the areas where folks have come to your firm in the past and how you are uniquely qualified to help them. You can then build out client personas which will help you better streamline the process it takes to help client A in one situation and client B in another. It’s critical to craft messaging that addresses unique clients in unique situations.
Local events offer a great opportunity to network with prospects in your area. You can use a variety of tactics to network locally, including:
Before attending a local networking event, consider what message you will use when introducing yourself and your firm. A best practice is to rehearse an “elevator” speech that is short enough to say between floors of an elevator ride. A good elevator speech should take about 90 seconds or less to summarize who your firm helps, what you do for them, and how it benefits them.
Direct mail lets you reach clients in their homes or offices. It’s a suitable method for reaching an audience that is difficult to connect with online. It’s also excellent for targeting audiences in a specific location or customers who fit a specific demographic profile.
Personalize your mailers when doing direct mail campaigns to make them more likely to be opened and read. Keep costs under control by testing campaigns on small scales and tracking performance so that you know which mailers are pulling results. A simple way to track results is to include a code in the response mechanism for your mailers so that you can tell which offer a prospect is responding to.
In a smartphone-oriented society, digital marketing has become a vital tool for legal marketers. Your website, email list, online ads, blog posts, and videos can all help you land clients. Here are some tips for using these invaluable tools.
If you don’t have a website, you need one. Assuming you have one, the place to start improving your performance is doing a technical audit. A technical audit will help eliminate obstacles that may keep visitors from finding and using your site.
As you do your technical audit, your webmaster should review several items:
Work with your IT team to make sure these imperatives are implemented, and your site otherwise is technically up to speed.
Technical issues are only one factor determining your website performance. Don’t lose sight of providing value to prospective clients when your SEO efforts. To make your website appealing to human visitors:
Delivering a great user experience through your website offers prospects a preview of the knowledge they can expect as your client.
You can use your website to encourage subscriptions to your email list, creating the opportunity for email marketing. Despite social media and other communications, email marketing is an incredible outbound marketing technique still crucial in 2022. Nearly 60% of marketers say that email delivers the highest ROI, regardless of industry.
Targeted, value-packed emails can help a law firm build credibility, convert new leads, and attract new and repeat customers. Once the email list is built, law firms can segment the list according to the stage of the customer journey, location, practice area, and more to create highly targeted email messaging.
Create email campaigns that nurture and educate leads as they move through the customer journey. Email campaigns are also a great way to nurture referrals from past clients by providing updates on your law firm or sending special holiday greetings. You can use an email autoresponder service to segment your mailing list and send emails to different customers based on where they are in their journey. Always include a CTA in your emails to promote follow-up action by recipients and steer them toward your services.
Digital advertising campaigns provide a way to reach audiences quickly and cultivate contacts with your target market. Try out retargeting campaigns on platforms such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Advertising, and Bing Ads. You can create custom audiences using your existing customer contact list.
Work with your copywriting and graphic design team to develop ads that convert into clicks. To follow up on clicks, ensure your landing pages are optimized for conversion with a visible CTA and a contact form.
While ads can bring in waves of visitors, content marketing can help you build steady website traffic. Content marketing is essential for a law firm from both an SEO and a general marketing perspective. Valuable content turns a law firm into a thought leader in the industry or practice area, bringing clients back when they need a solution to a problem.
Firms must create in-depth, original content that addresses common questions for the target audience. A good place for firms to start is with a legal blog that addresses topics such as frequently asked questions from clients.
Keep your blog current, and publish content regularly. Research relevant keywords to your audience and the associated search volume to decide where to invest your time and money.
Leverage your blog posts and press releases across your social media channels. Your content can perform double duty when you post or link it on your social profiles, promoting engagement with your followers while driving traffic to your site.
When creating content, be sure to include videos in your toolkit. Video marketing is sweeping the marketing world and has plenty of value for law firms. Consumers are more likely to watch video content than read a written format. Using video content communicates the message and humanizes the law firm’s brand.
Videos come in many shapes and forms, including animated explainer videos that break down complex legalese, spokesperson videos with a partner answering frequently asked questions, and client testimonials to showcase how the firm helps people. You can use these videos on your firm’s website, emails, and social media accounts such as YouTube and Facebook.
When doing law firm SEO, it’s critical to prioritize local customers. You want to be the first law firm when prospects search for firms in your area. Here are three keys to boosting your local SEO presence:
Google Business (formerly Google My Business) is a free service Google provides which allows businesses to claim a profile and be listed in local search results. This free tool commands tons of organic searches on your firm’s name. It’s a great spot to reduce friction and provide up-front answers to potential clients’ most important questions. Google is where interested parties can find your contact information, address, and hours of operation. With Google Business, you can reduce the friction between search and contact; it even populates reviews and makes it easy for people to find evidence that you are the person they need to hire!
The “Local Pack” is the biggest bang-for-your-buck for Google search because it’s completely free. Listen to our live stream on how to rank on Google to hear an in-depth description of how you can leverage the Local Pack to have your Google Business page rank higher.
Client reviews go a long way in helping law firms attract new clients and earn a higher search engine ranking. If a law firm doesn’t have a lot of reviews, it’s essential to prompt clients to leave a positive review on social media, Google, or your website. Positive client reviews strengthen your online profiles and build trust with potential clients.
If getting reviews is challenging, law firms can incentivize staff to ask for reviews and explain how it can impact the firm. The firm can also offer incentives to clients. Keep in mind that video reviews or testimonials can go a long way in increasing the credibility of a firm.
Beyond Google, there are many online directories where your firm can be listed. Claim your public profile on relevant business directories and legal directories to increase your firm’s local website visibility.
When using this strategy, make sure to optimize your profiles. Check that your contact information is accurate and that your messaging and branding are consistent across all listings.
When implementing marketing plans, small firms may face challenges from several limitations compared to their larger counterparts. Apparent obstacles include:
Fortunately, the marketing methods discussed above can be used by smaller firms as well. Here are the six most cost-effective marketing methods and how they help smaller firms get the most out of their marketing budget.
If you’re a small firm operating on a small budget, start with these six simple strategies to build a foundation for expanding into other marketing methods as your firm grows. Even as your firm grows, you’ll find these methods yield a productive return on investment.
This three-part guide shares the strategies and tools you need for an effective law firm marketing plan. But marketing is only one pillar of a successful practice’s operational strategy. Your office will get busier as you attract new clients through your marketing efforts. You can automate your law firm processes with legal practice management software to handle your growing business without sacrificing operational efficiency.
Legal practice management software, like PracticePanther, helps law firms in various lucrative business operations, including streamlining billing, invoicing, managing client communications, tracking billable time, and simplifying client payments. With the burden of marketing tasks, having legal practice management software allows law firms to automate many day-to-day tasks, freeing time to focus on marketing efforts. It also offers automation for some marketing efforts, such as custom tags to track lead sources or assigning marketing tasks through workflows to ensure you’re never missing a lead. Book a demo to see how it works, or explore and compare plans to start getting more done in less time so you can spend more time growing your firm.