A law firm’s size impacts the amount of resources that can be allocated to the firm’s strategic marketing plan. Small and medium-sized firms inherently have a limited amount of manpower and money compared to bigger counterparts. As a result, there are challenges to implementing a full-blown marketing strategy without knowing how to be efficient and effective with the resulting objectives. Yet with enough effort, experience and imagination, small law firms can absolutely roll out plans that work.
Create a specific strategy
Mapping out a strategic marketing plan with timelines and accountability measures is vital for any firm, especially for smaller firms and solo practitioners who often find themselves wearing numerous hats. Larger firms and businesses tend to cast a huge net when it comes to marketing, which isn’t always the most cost-effective approach. Planning out the process ahead of time leads to faster ROI, and it means the firm will be less likely to waste valuable resources on strategies that aren’t likely to pay off. Consider consulting with an outside marketing agency to help you brainstorm strategies that have a higher likelihood of being beneficial to the firm.
Take advantage of the web
An online presence, through the firm’s website and social media, is an extremely cost-effective method of law firm marketing. Use the internet, namely the firm website and social media platforms, to build the firm’s image. Make sure that you are working with a marketing agency that understands SEO and employs an integrated approach. Your online presence is sometimes your law firm’s first impression on prospective clients.
Be social! Start with the network you already have, and slowly expand your circle, by setting up meetings and taking key contacts out to lunch. Know what to ask and how to follow up effectively. There are tried and true business development strategies that work for professional service providers. Know the “Four Ps” of marketing and always do great work. Traditional “word of mouth” marketing is still a great way to spread the word about your practice.
Creating original content that analyzes significant cases in your wheelhouse, emerging trends, or discussing anything else relevant to your practice area establishes you as an authority in your field. In addition, blog posts or articles seamlessly containing popular keywords have a positive effect on SEO ranks for the firm. Developing quality content has a cumulative effect, and the more often prospective clients see your firm showcasing its expertise, the more likely they will retain you for future matters.
Use a business development coach with years of law firm experience to rally individual lawyers and, in turn, smaller practice groups around a comprehensive strategic marketing plan for the entire firm. Marketing in this way truly makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. An experienced facilitator will know how to identify strengths and weaknesses and identify effective roles for each lawyer.
Undoubtedly, smaller and medium sized law firms certainly face a different set of obstacles than their larger counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t develop smart, strategic marketing plans that set them apart from the competition.