The legal industry has become over-saturated, and most law firms are feeling the effects through difficulties in acquiring new clients. To deal with the stiff competition, law firms have started to invest heavily in legal marketing to ensure a steady flow of new clients.
Legal marketing refers to all efforts to promote a law firm to acquire new clients. Legal marketing includes public relations, client relations, networking, and any other business development activities to acquire new clients and grow and increase your law firm’s revenues.
Digital marketing is today increasingly more popular than traditional marketing. When you successfully market your law firm online, you are putting your firm in front of potential new clients and leading them through your sales funnel to get in touch with you and finally hire you.
Other competing law firms are likewise working on their digital marketing efforts; thus, your goal is not only to attract new potential clients but to outrank and outperform the competition.
Marketing consists of four basic principles, commonly known as the 4 Ps of Marketing. Every product or service abides by these principles because the ‘product” is often incidental. The main goal is to acquire new clients and retain as many of them.
In a law firm setting, these are lawyers responding to clients’ needs by providing legal services and representation. Legal services are delivered to the client with the utmost professionalism to achieve a favorable result for the client.
Price refers to the reasonable costs of billing hours.
Place refers to the geographical area where lawyers may provide legal services and representation to clients.
Promotion refers to the branding, sales, promotions, and networking activities of the law firm to acquire new clients.
These marketing principles interact with legal marketing realms to create plans, strategies, and activities that bring together buyers (clients) and sellers (law firms).
Before the extensive use of the internet, law firm marking was simple. Law firms relied on referrals, print ads, TV and radio commercials, and billboards to acquire new clients. The scripts to relay the message were often similar.
Today the game has changed. Potential clients are on the internet for at least 8 hours a day. When they need a lawyer, most of them will go to Google instead of going through the Yellow Pages. Today, potential clients of your law firm want to know more about your law firm before they decide to hire your services.
Your law firm needs to be where your potential clients are. That means your law firm needs to have an online presence, so you are in front of potential clients when they need answers to their legal issues and learn more about your law firm.
There are many legal marketing strategies your law firm can use to acquire new clients. Proper planning is essential because doing too much and too quickly will not achieve your desired results.
The success of your Digital Marketing campaign is dependent on marketing strategies that will attract potential clients and convert them into actual paying clients for your law firm.
• Build a law firm website that will serve as your 24/7 sales generator.
• Include video marketing, social media, PPC, and local SEO to increase your online presence.
• Connect and regularly engage with at least five potential referral sources for new clients through telemarketing (phone calls), and email marketing.
• Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing.
• Add fresh content to your website and blog regularly, focusing on topics related to your area of practice.
• Be active on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms where most of your potential clients are.
• Manage your firm’s reputation by generating online reviews from past clients to acquire new clients.
• Do person-to-person networking activities by attending events of your local bar association to generate case referrals from some of your peers.
• Provide free legal advice and services to your community to connect with some potential clients.
• Measure and track your digital marketing activities.
These marketing strategies can be overwhelming, mainly because they need to be done over and above your main tasks of providing legal services.
You can hire a digital marketing professional or service provider who can supplement your efforts to achieve your target of new clients per month so that you can focus on your business’s central core.
Digital marketing professionals can likewise keep your digital marketing strategies consistent, and thus have a steady increase in your client database.
You are a trained lawyer and not a marketing professional.
Some lawyers want to be both. They can be, to a certain extent. There are specific marketing strategies lawyers can or need to do, and there are marketing activities that are best left to marketing professionals.
For the most part, should you outsource your legal marketing activities, or should you be doing them yourself?
If you opt to do legal marketing yourself, you will need to:
• Find a qualified employee who can do in-house marketing for your law firm.
• Train the employee on legal marketing.
• Pay the employee wages and benefits.
• Provide the employee with the needed technology to launch and maintain a digital marketing campaign.
• Provide a physical space for the employee.
If you want to engage in in-house marketing to grow your law firm, you will need to learn more about legal marketing activities. This is more suitable for larger law firms.
Seriously considering in-house legal marketing has its advantages.
• You can build your marketing team.
• You can control your team’s time, quality, and activity.
• You create the marketing strategies that you believe will differentiate your law firm from the competition.
• You have more control over the resources, time, and results of the marketing activities.
Outsourcing your legal marketing activities means hiring a consultant, provider, service, or agency to launch and manage your legal marketing activities.
Many law firms outsource their legal marketing activities because they believe their precious time must be spent providing legal services and representation to their clients.
There are advantages and disadvantages of doing legal marketing yourself and outsourcing marketing activities to marketing professionals.
While there are some marketing activities you can do yourself (writing a blog about your legal services or answers to specific legal issues), marketing, in general, has shifted from being an art to more of a science.
It requires marketers to be more technologically advanced and focused on what they do best.
• You can focus on your core business.
As a law firm, your core business is to provide legal services and representation. You are an expert in the practice of law, and you charge clients for this expertise. It will be spreading yourself too thin when instead of just focusing on your clients’ needs, you will still need to oversee the day-to-day operations of your marketing team.
Of course, you can hire an in-house marketing manager to manage and focus on legal marketing activities; however, you will still need to be on top of everything.
• You can save on costs.
Delegating jobs to the experts saves on costs. Hiring an entire-time team of in-house marketers always costs less than hiring one marketing professional or service to take care of all your marketing activities.
An outsourced marketing professional or service has the needed experience to launch and maintain legal marketing campaigns.
They are experts in this field. They have spent years mastering legal marketing; therefore, they do not engage in trial and error tasks.
• Distributed expertise translates to getting the job done correctly at the least possible cost.
Legal marketing entails many activities such as SEO, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
Should you opt for an in-house marketing team, you will need to hire people who are experts on each of these tasks, or one marketer should do all of these tasks.
When you outsource your legal marketing, you are dealing with only one marketing professional or service that has a pool of experts on each marketing activity. It is easier to talk with just one person to get different jobs done instead of talking with various persons to get each marketing activity done.
Even if you choose to outsource your law firm’s legal marketing activities, some of these activities still need to be done in-house. You, as lawyers and your in-house staff still need to be involved in legal marketing:
• Work on word-of-mouth referrals through networking.
• Lawyers who write content for their blogs hand-in-hand with the outsourced marketing provider, especially on more technical matters, generate potential clients’ engagement.
• In-house staff or the lawyers should provide the outsourced provider with details on what potential clients need to know or hear.
Outsourced legal marketing providers help improve the marketing aspect of your firm.
Outsourcing your legal marketing campaigns or activities is more logical than doing it yourself, provided you are working with the right outsourced partner.
Notwithstanding, you should also read up on legal marketing strategies and techniques to know what your law firm needs and relay these needs to the marketing professional or service.
We can assist you building your law firm’s website and performing SEO for your law firm. This will improve your opportunities to be found on the top of Google, which leads to more clients and the continued growth of your law firm.