Effectively marketing your law firm can pose a challenge if you are not aware of what it takes to adequately advertise in the legal community. It is something every attorney deals with at some point in their practice if they plan to grow their client pipeline. Business development and legal advertising were not topics covered in law school curriculum, therefore this issue is often unfamiliar to the majority of those who practice. Many law firms partake in random acts of advertising without having defined their goals, their message or their ideal client. If you are looking to grow your practice and develop new business through marketing, there are key tips and tactical approaches you should observe before you invest time and resources.
When an attorney first puts out their shingle or joins a firm, more than likely a business plan was established. This plan discussed the firm’s business model, how it would operate, what its ideals and values were, etc. Just like your firm’s business plan, you should have a law firm marketing plan. Take the time to think big picture about who your firm is, what you stand for, what your business goals are and how you plan to reach them. These are all incredibly important when it comes to creating a successful brand and marketing campaign.
It is more difficult to work backwards when it comes to defining your marketing goals and implementing tactics to achieve them. Many attorneys begin advertising their firm without a clearly defined set of goals and end up wasting time, money and valuable other resources with little to no return on their investment. You can alleviate many hours of effort and financial waste by devising a clearly defined marketing plan and writing it down. This will help keep an effective focus throughout the process and reassure you are spending time and resources effectively. After you have created a legal marketing plan, you have will have developed a foundation that allows you to move forward in an efficient and targeted way.
Advertising as a lawyer can be very challenging if a firm does not know the precise message their brand wishes to send. The saying “a jack of all trades and a master of none” is applicable in the sense that an attorney who seemingly does it all, doesn’t portray himself as an expert in anything. Not only do potential clients want to know what it is you can do for them and how you are different, but also your firm should know what defines you and how you can offer clients more value. Many attorneys seek direction from their competition and feel they must reiterate what everyone else is doing rather than creating a unique strategy that helps them stand out against the competition. Being an apple in a basket of oranges can be an incredibly beneficial thing when it comes to success in the world of legal advertising.
One key element of creating a clearly defined marketing plan is to determine and define who your audience is. When answering this question, it is important to develop a picture of who your ideal client is. Many attorneys market to the client base they currently have, and fail to take into account the ideal client they are trying to reach. Your marketing efforts should focus on clients you are trying to reach in order to further the big picture goals you have established for your firm’s future success. Defining your target market audience allows you to create a message that resonates and speaks to their needs as it pertains to the value your services can offer them. By putting yourself in their shoes, your advertising can more effectively and powerfully reach them on many levels.