You can have the best law firm in the world, but if no one knows you exist, you will not attract business. Marketing your law firm is incredibly important because you need to constantly broadcast your firm's messaging, offering, and identity. You want to establish yourself as the go-to law firm of the community. Even by attempting new marketing strategies for lawyers, you are outpacing most of your peers.
However, most solo attorneys and small law firms are not taking an intentional marketing approach and instead engage in "random acts of marketing." The American Bar Association states the majority of small law firms do not have a strategic marketing plan in place.
This behavior is self-sabotaging as it is critical for law firms to stay relevant in the legal community and firmly establish their brand voice and marketing plan.
Overall, lawyers have an incredible opportunity to network and expand their brand in a world that has seemingly gone virtual. To grow your practice, you need to experiment with new marketing strategies and mediums. After all, if you do not market your services, how would anyone know your services are available?
This article will cover some ideas on how to determine what your brand identity is and how to elevate it through marketing tactics.
Be Crystal Clear on Your Law Firm's Brand Identity
A law firm should establish the message they want their clients to remember them for. Start by asking yourself the following:
What is the identity of our law firm?
What are the values of our law firm?
What makes our law firm unique from competitors?
What makes our legal services different from other firms?
It is often said in marketing, "People do not buy from businesses; they buy from people." Answer these questions to establish your unique perspective and differentiator, and then move onto executing traditional marketing tactics for lawyers.
6 Ways to Elevate Your Legal Brand with Marketing Tactics
Potential clients are looking for lawyers who are good at what they do, helpful to the people they serve, and that show strong leadership skills and community commitment. Marketing is a holistic tool that helps the best attorneys become more visible to their clients and in the legal community, which grows their reputation, increases their referrals, and grows their practice.
Utilize Snail Mail.
Striking the right balance between traditional and digital advertising is tough; however, traditional media still has tremendous value for law firms, and its utilization continually carries an air of authority and prestige. Direct mail is not dead, and in fact, postcards outperform other mediums, leading to a response rate of 42%. Creating personalized postcards that have a unique touch also increases the likelihood your potential clients will respond. You can include an incentive such as first-time client deals, a free consultation, or a local resource list.
Radio Still Wins
The majority of the Americans are still tuning into the radio; 90% of adults ages 18 to 30, 94% of adults ages 35 to 49, and 91% of adults over 50 years old are listening to their local radio station, making it the leading platform for reach in the US.
Additionally, radio audiences are also becoming more diverse. 45 million Latinos and 35 million Black Americans are tuning in monthly.
Radio advertising also offers the unique advantage of a high frequency, meaning how many times the average person hears your ad over the course of a week. It can take your customer seven times to hear about your legal service before they take action. Radio provides many opportunities to get in front of your community again and again. It is scientifically proven that a person needs to hear an ad about three to four times per week to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Embrace Virtual Networking Sessions
As the legal community is a relationship-based industry, in-person activities historically laid the foundation for the most powerful marketing strategies. However, COVID-19 brought those activities to a grinding halt, pausing almost all face-to-face marketing opportunities for law firms.
However, Zoom usage soared from 10 million daily meeting participants back in December 2019 to over 300 million in April 2020. There are endless opportunities to get involved with networking. Search for areas in your legal specialty for speaking opportunities, mentorships, or even just a monthly meetup. Take advantage of the new ability to catch up and network with multiple people a day, from the comfort of your home office, without having to drive around town.
Email Marketing is Powerful
Email marketing is still one of the most popular traditional marketing practices. Over half of the world's population uses email every day, and 54% of email is read on a mobile device. Also, email marketing continues to deliver one of the strongest returns on investment, with every $1 spent averaging an ROI of $42.
Building out monthly newsletters and embracing consistent email communication is key in staying top of mind with your community.
Collaborate with Fellow Attorneys in Your Area
I often advise legal professionals to capitalize on developing an attorney-to-attorney referral network. Instead of seeing local law firms as competition, it is essential to create a reciprocal relationship among ten to twelve attorneys that practice in non-competing areas. Develop authentic relationships with your peers, and you will find that more business will come your way, making collaborative advertising one of the most affordable forms of marketing.
Even though you can't grab dinner or coffee, there are many ways to stay connected with other local attorneys virtually, including the following:
Consistently engaging with their LinkedIn posts, offering congratulations on a hard-won case, or simply adding your insight to their thought leadership.
Not forgetting milestones such as birthdays or work anniversaries – for your fellow local lawyers building their business, their fifth-year anniversary of starting their firm is an emotional milestone for them. Send a handwritten congratulations card or a special treat to their office.
Staying connected on inside jokes, sending a funny gift through the mail, or shooting over an email that references a great time you had together in the past.
Billboard Advertising Offers High Frequency and Familiarity
Billboard advertising utilizes local awareness and promotes your law firm to a broad range of your local community. Like radio ads, billboard advertising offers a high frequency, meaning your potential customers are driving or walking by your signage every day, becoming more and more familiar with your face and brand name.
This familiarity breeds comfort; studies show that brand familiarity is the most rudimentary form of consumer knowledge and increases your customer's likelihood of seeking out your services when they need legal help. This continued exposure builds trust and establishes your image as the go-to attorney in your area.
Elevate Your Brand Through Trusted Marketing Strategies for Lawyers
As a lawyer, you first need to establish what you and your firm stand for. Create a solid brand identity that guides your usage of traditional marketing strategies. Put pen to paper on your vision and know how impactful you can be in your community, which directly leads to your firm's branding. Once this is created and solidified, experiment with trusted traditional marketing strategies like postcards, email, billboards, radio, and virtual networking sessions, and you will find that marketing your business was well worth the investment.