Law firm marketing – action tips to get you started.

In January we published a popular post about the top 5 reasons lawyers have for not doing any marketing. The post was originally a Top 10 so here is part 2 of the reasons we hear for not marketing and some actionable tips for working around the problem.

We have also pointed out some reasons that we recommend lawyers start their law firm marketing by establishing a law firm newsletter. In short, it’s relatively inexpensive, its effective and it’s easy to do.

This is what we often hear from law firm principals all around the country:

When we try marketing internally it gets hopelessly bogged down

We have also heard many senior lawyers lament the fact that marketing material just gets bounced around the office with no one really wanting to do it or with too many having too much say causing inaction.

In the end nothing gets done and a lot of (otherwise chargeable) time is wasted.

If this sounds familiar in your firm you need to interrupt this culture or ‘sport’ and outsource the marketing. Then appoint one person within your office or a small group to drive the law firm marketing internally and naturally check on the return on investment.

Where should we start advertising – yellow pages or in the newspaper?

There is a common misunderstanding by lawyers about marketing and advertising.

Marketing does not mean advertising. Certainly some advertising can be very worthwhile and we at Lift Legal are not opposed to it, but we cannot remember any example from a law firm last year where the principal said their local newspaper print advertising campaign was a success. The same can be said about Yellow Pages – it has had its day.

You are much better off to have a website and drive traffic to it with your newsletters because this way you are focussing on people who already know and trust you or who have been referred to you.

My partner thinks marketing will devalue our firm’s image

Think commercially – you and your partner/s are running a business that happens to be a law firm. This is a huge question and you may need to examine the reasons why you are in business together. Essentially you need to have a meeting of minds about this.

It is now widely accepted that you need to be proactive and strategic about marketing.

Certainly you wouldn’t plan to have your staff wear sandwich boards around the city advertising your firm’s services. You need a law firm marketing plan and you need to communicate regularly with clients, targets and naturally referrers.

For our newsletter service called Law News+ we send for our law firm clients 8 newsletters over a 12 month period and none of our clients have had reports from their clients that that is too frequent or detrimental to the firm’s image.

Our firm does Commercial and Corporate work, would a newsletter work for us?

There is an art in writing newsletter articles and a degree of care in the selection of the topics.

We think a law firm should have articles that are suited to a particular firm. So if it is a firm with a readership of ‘blue chip’ clients or a firm dealing with ‘mums and dads’ client’s then articles need to be suited to the relevant audience.

We interact carefully with our law firm clients about this, carefully selecting article topics and then having the principal checking (and if necessary amending) the articles.

Principals tell us they like being able to suggest topics to us or like to amend what we have done. So yes it works for all client types.

If we pay for Google Adwords why do we need a newsletter too?

Google Adwords or similar online advertising can be very beneficial and we are not suggesting that you interrupt that as a source of attracting work.  By advertising this way you are appealing to the world at large though, just like any other form of advertising.

The big difference with newsletter marketing is that it works on the principle that it is about ten times cheaper to attract work from people who are already clients of the firm that it does to get a new client.

It doesn’t matter if you have a specialist area such a Family Law, by marketing to these clients, your referrers and other contacts they all know of people who will need your (in this case family law) help.

So if you can afford to do Adwords, it is smart to do both that and a newsletter, then you can have the best of both worlds by appealing to the world at large and more directly to your own clients and referrers.

Conclusion

There are many reasons for not not marketing your law firm and not many of them make much sense. When it’s all said and done it’s not that complicated, you need a simple plan and you just need to start.

If you need help to get started with marketing your law firm then please contact me. A 10 minute phone conversation or a quick email might be all it takes.

Regards

Peter Heazlewood

0407 018 109

About the author

Brian Hicks

Brian Hicks

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.

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