Demystifying Marketing for Your New Law Firm
You’re not a marketer— you’re a lawyer. But any seasoned attorney knows that you need to get your new law firm’s marketing strategy in order if you hope to catapult your business to success. The problem is, you probably have no idea where to start.
There are many different marketing strategies out there. You might not know which ones are most important, or how to go about implementing a marketing plan that makes sense for your firm. In any case, you will need to figure out which strategies work best for your firm if you want to beat out the competition and become the go-to attorney in your area.
Why You Need to Market Your Law Firm
Whether you are a brand new law firm or have an existing practice, it is important that you get started on your marketing plan. There are many different elements that go into marketing a business. You need to choose how you will be identified in advertising and online, connect with other lawyers online, choose your branding logo and colors, purchase business cards, and engage in other efforts to get your name out there.
There are two primary ways budding law firms become successful— they build or engage in strong referral programs, and they become well-known within the community. Back in the late nineties through the early 2000s, you might have been able to purchase a billboard ad or create a commercial to get business in the door.
However, in today’s society, you have to market yourself online as well. But before you get ahead of yourself, first you need to figure out what marketing must-haves you will need the first day that your new law firm opens for business.
New Law Firm Marketing Must-Haves
Before you can open up the doors to your new law firm, there are several marketing materials you will need to have established and on-hand. Some of these are physical materials while others are various virtual tools. Both are equally as important at this stage of your business.
You will also need to begin at this stage of your marketing strategy if you are an established firm that is rebranding yourself. This often happens when existing law firms take on new managing partners, or simply have decided to go another direction in their branding.
No one said marketing your law firm was going to be easy. And you can also expect it to be time-consuming. But your efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed if you plan your marketing strategy out correctly.
Traditional Law Firm Marketing Materials
First and foremost you should begin your marketing efforts on your branding. Choose colors, what you want your firm to go by, and your brand logo. You want to be thinking about how you want your potential clients to perceive you as their lawyer when designing these elements.
From there, you can draw up and print your business cards. Once these are ready you can begin your new law firm’s networking efforts.
The new generation of lawyers who are anxious to get their practice up and running might be less interested in traditional law firm marketing materials such as postcards, newsletters, and other tangibles. But these tried and true methods of marketing are essential for your business.
A key component to marketing in 2021 is your Internet presence. You need more than just a good website. You need to set up your legal services description and professional biography, your website content, your law firm email address, and your professional email signature block.
You should also start to think about setting up your new law firm’s social media profiles including LinkedIn. Remember: referrals are one of the best ways for new law firms to get clients. And the only way to get referrals is by making connections— both in-person and online.
You may want to consider sending out formal announcements to colleagues and others who may be in your network that your law firm is officially open and accepting clients. Sending tangible cards and virtual announcements can both help gain exposure for your new law firm.
Search Engine Optimization for Law Firms
Your law firm is not likely to be successful if you do not have a strong online web presence. When potential clients are looking for a lawyer, they aren’t going to wait until they happen to see a billboard or commercial for a lawyer. They are going to open up their web browser and search Google for the “best (practice area) lawyer near me”.
You want your new law firm to show up in one of those top displayed search results because these are the only ones most internet users will click on. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) matters.
The legal industry is one of the most competitive online. You will be going up against established law firms that likely have teams of digital marketers working to boost their sites in the rankings. Your law firm may be new, but you cannot afford to not implement an SEO strategy for your site before or shortly after you open for business.
Marketing Tools You Need That Can Wait
Once your law firm opens, your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop there. You will need to continue to fine-tune and implement additional marketing measures to help your new law firm succeed.
Once you have your bearings and are ready to expand your marketing efforts, you can strategize further. Do you want to become involved in community organizations? Join bar associations? set up regular email campaigns? Maybe you want to send client retention gifts or order swag items and set up giveaways. Perhaps your focus is on giving back to your community.
No matter what your vision is for your law firm, you will need to continue to reimagine your marketing strategy over time. Even five years is too long to go without revitalizing your law firm’s marketing efforts. Your law firm should always be keeping up with marketing trends. This will help your firm stay ahead of the competition and point today’s clients to you and your law firm for the help they need.