5 Ways To Market Your Law Firm Without Feeling Overwhelmed
Would you be surprised to know that the word “marketing” strikes fear into most lawyers?
I’ve worked with nearly 10,000 lawyers over the past 30 years, and marketing is a subject that causes a lot of pain and confusion. We are bombarded with emails from specialists every day telling us they have the “ultimate solution” to help us enroll more clients and secure business.
However, the truth is that most of us see marketing as time-consuming, expensive, and we don’t know where to start. We cringe at the thought of having to “sell” what we do. It’s tempting to write a check to “an expert” and let them solve your marketing problems, but shying away from your marketing will not work; you need to own it.
Without the right marketing strategy in place, it’s likely that you’ll have fewer and fewer prospecting calls, which leads to a downturn in business. People will gravitate to the firms that they know, like, and trust, and often that is a result of their marketing.
Before we dive into some simple marketing solutions, there are two points to consider:
- Unless you have good systems in place to make sure you are returning client calls and delivering a high standard of client work, no amount of marketing will help you secure new business. You have to have smooth systems and processes in place in order to run your law firm efficiently for both you and your clients.
- We are professional lawyers; unless you have retrained, it’s time to accept you know very little about marketing. As lawyers, our job is to learn, to ask questions, and be open to the answers, but we need to “chill” and stop being so analytical when it comes to marketing. We are not experts. We need to learn from those who are.
How do we keep marketing within our control while recognizing that we are not the expert?
Grasp the Opportunity
Guy Remond, co-founder of Guidr (our online legal platform), has some great insights.
Guy: “Marketing needs to be delegated, but not abdicated. You can’t just sign a check for someone else to do it and make it go away, because nobody else will care about your company as much as you. You need to work in partnership to get it right.
It’s easy to become confused when there are so many social media platforms, but, when you know how, the internet allows you to compete at exactly the same level as big companies.”
Guy went on to explain that the best solution is often to think about who can offer support, rather than trying to work out how to do it all yourself (remember that we’re lawyers, not marketing experts!). “Who, not how” is a concept encouraged by Strategic Coach® (coaching for growth-minded business owners).
What Guy shared next was game-changing.
Building Personal Brands
Guy: “Build a culture within your business that encourages your team to demonstrate their expertise in the marketplace on a fairly regular basis so that it becomes part of their daily, weekly, or monthly routine. They effectively build their own personal brand by demonstrating their expertise.
How you conduct your business might be the greatest marketing tool you’ll ever have, because how you take care of your clients, how you get the work done, and how they feel gets talked about. They’ll go and tell their friends, and that leads to referrals.
Lawyers have a tremendous amount of expertise. If you write one blog or share a podcast every two weeks, you can start to compete with the big firms that throw money at these things.”
Guy has shared some valid points, but I know that you’re likely to experience resistance to this strategy because you’ll have staff who prefer to avoid the limelight. There is a simple solution (which Guy used to successfully skyrocket one of his businesses which is now owned by Disney Streaming Services).
Find the Staff Who Love Social Media
Guy: “Some people will not want to put their head above the parapet or be that vocal. They don’t have to. If you get roughly 30% of your staff to share content [blogs, podcasts, social media posts] on a regular basis, that’s a lot of content that helps prospective clients find you through search engines such as Google or Bing.
You need to build a strategy that includes your whole team so they can help you generate and share valuable content. As long as your offerings are good, this strategy will generate sales.”
How to Avoid Overwhelm
Guy made everything sound so easy, and with the right support it can be. Our Head of Marketing, Lisa Roser, knows that lawyers are intimidated by marketing. She has five pieces of advice to help you avoid overwhelm:
- Assess whether you have the right infrastructure in place. Does your law firm run smoothly? Are you ready for the next step? Is your team ready?
- First impressions count. The reception area of your law firm creates an immediate impression. It’s already part of your marketing so make it welcoming. Think about all the points of contact that you have with clients and prospective clients. This is all marketing; what can you do now to improve it?
- Find out which of your staff love to use social media and talk to them about getting their voices out there on your digital platform. Little steps build momentum.
- Go back to basics. You can still market in traditional ways, such as fliers or printed questionnaires to gather client feedback, and you can digitize them.
- Enlist the support of a marketing expert if you need to, and work collaboratively to create a simple and manageable strategy that can be developed going forwards.
Guy and Lisa have shared some valuable advice based on their decades of business experience and results.
It’s clear that successful marketing that builds your reputation and increases client numbers does not have to be expensive. It needs a strategy that you or someone inside your office is responsible and accountable for.
If you find social media and online marketing a challenge, it’s likely that you will also feel overwhelmed by the new online platforms that are offering low-cost legal documents. Last year, Guy and I co-founded Guidr, an online legal marketing platform. We’re on a mission to ensure that your skills and expertise are not bypassed by these platforms.
If you’d like to find out more about this, read our book The Digitization of Law; it removes the fear and explores the future to make sure your firm can continue to do what it does best, without losing business to online platforms. Or you can reach out to me, Dave Zumpano, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Guy Remond at email@example.com.
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