Every law firm marketing plan is unique, every law firm is different.
However, for nine out of ten law firms the underlying platform that must be set up to successfully market a law firm is the same, some firms will already have the platform, some will be building it and other firms need help getting started.
This article is designed as the first in a series – Establish the platform – which will help you develop and implement your law firm marketing plan. So where do we start?
Get your website right
Your website should be the centrepiece of your marketing plan. You own it, you control it and it’s the most powerful marketing tool available to every law firm.
If your website is not providing you with solid regular leads, it’s underperforming. It should be your new fee earner working 24/7!
A well-designed website will enhance your firm’s online presence and keep your audience coming back. You want your website to be useful and useable, so that people have a positive user experience and so that people can easily find what they’re looking for.
For more detailed information read this article – Law Firm Marketing 101 – Get Your Website Right
Make Google work for you
The basic Google tools are free, and they provide help on both sides of the marketing equation – people looking for the right law firm will use Google to search and law firms looking for new clients will use Google to market their services. Don’t leave this to chance, tell Google (and Bing) about your website by connecting to their services.
Then, help your website visitors and the search engines understand your law firm, who you are, what you do and why you are the law firm to engage.
Optimise all the pages on your website. Your homepage, your service pages, profile pages, blog posts, image and pieces of marketing content should be optimised so that visitors to the website have a great experience and so that the search engines understand it. You should also optimise for your firm expertise and location.
The higher your search engine ranking, the more potential clients who are searching for answers or representation will be directed to your firm’s website.
It makes sense to have Google working for your law firm. So, sign up for these Google services:
For more detailed information read this article – Use Google to boost your law firm website
Client newsletters – a one on one communication tool
Sending newsletters is a fundamentally important way to maintain communication with everyone on your database. Clients treat it as a personal message from you to them.
You might not think the subject matter is interesting from a legal perspective, but your clients are not lawyers and don’t want to be. They like valuable information and appreciate being given a ‘heads up’ if a change is looming.
If you are not communicating with your clients and referrers some other law firm will be.
You need to remain top of mind. Despite how good you are or the “unforgettable” effort you put into their last matter, don’t kid yourself – your clients will forget you, if you don’t continually communicate with them.
You need to remind them what you do…your location…your people and what your values are. You can do all this in a newsletter.
For more detailed information read this article – The value of an effective e-newsletter for law firms
Build your contact database and expand your newsletter reach
For so many firms a contact database is an unused asset. It is a hidden treasure, so here is your treasure map.
A database is a collection of information that is organised so that it can easily be accessed, managed and updated. For law firms it means your contacts, consolidated into a list and you need it to drive your marketing!
So where do you start and what does that mean in a practical sense?
It’s all about capturing contact information about your clients and referrers – names, phone numbers and especially email addresses.
For more detailed information read this article – Get your law firm’s marketing database into shape
Creating a law firm marketing plan
Creating a marketing plan usually requires you to start with an analysis of what marketing you are currently undertaking, deciding where you want your law firm to go, what work you really want to do and how much money you have to spend, then developing a timetable of tasks and tactics designed to achieve your goals.
The problem is that creating the marketing plan is not easy, lawyers are not trained to create marketing plans and it doesn’t come naturally to most lawyers.
Eventually, we recommend that you do create a plan but for now you can start acting, rather than planning, based on the law firm marketing plan we have outlined in this article.
To recap the steps, you should take right now:
- Get your website right
- Make Google work for you
- Communicate with your clients and referrers
- Build your contact data base
Over the next few months we will provide some more actionable steps you should take to not only develop but also to implement your law firm marketing plan. If you need any help, or you have any feedback, send us an email.
About the author
Brian has more than twenty years’ experience in marketing and management across diverse industries including legal, real estate, tourism and technology. Brian lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters.