In Legal Marketing, Fortune Favors The Bold – And The Proactive
Generations of lawyers believed their practices would develop slowly and naturally. Their reputations would grow over time, the thinking went, and referrals would eventually create a stream of new business. For decades, that approached worked well.
Then, the internet came of age.
Suddenly, consumers had a wealth of information at their fingertips and were able to move with ease and quickness like never before. Today, it’s no longer enough for lawyers to hang out a shingle and wait for people to find them. In fact, it’s no longer enough to just put a website out there and expect people to find it, either. The attorneys I’ve seen achieve success are those who work strategically, consistently and diligently to achieve the best-possible position in front of prospective clients. That is to say, proactive attorneys are the ones I’ve seen do best.
Now, just saying “be proactive” isn’t very helpful, so in this post, I’ll outline the best and most productive ways for attorneys to generate their own success.
Know what you need, then prioritize
If you can afford engraved business cards, great, but that may not be something you should put atop your list of things to spend money on. The marketing components you must have in order to thrive depend on many factors, including your practice area, your location, how consumers in your target demographic behave and the resources you have available. Every ounce of thought you can put in at the beginning will mean a smarter, leaner marketing strategy. (As always, we’re happy to provide free consultations and free marketing resources to help you inform yourself.) In an ideal world, you would be able to afford every single marketing tool you think you need, but that isn’t realistic. Focus on not putting the cart before the horse – start at the top of your list and progress on down as it makes sense, pausing periodically to assess whether everything is working as you had hoped.
Bring in an expert
To succeed in a dynamic marketplace, you need a diversified digital marketing program managed by one provider (more on that later). A multichannel approach ensures all aspects of your marketing battle plan will work in coordination to meet the same overarching goals. A professional marketing service should be able to achieve a unified brand message across multiple platforms, resulting in a clearly defined brand that A.) Attracts high-quality prospective clients and B.) Distinguishes your law firm from competitors. Yes, you can do some marketing tasks yourself, but what is it you tell clients about DIY legal forms? Run a risk by doing it on your own, or pay a little more for an expert and achieve peace of mind? That applies here, too.
Keep it to one vendor
If you’re able to hire an outside vendor to help with your marketing, try to hire one that can address all facets of your marketing plan. A piecemeal approach will mean more work and fewer results. Why
- Your efforts to ensure coordination and consistent brand messaging increase with each new vendor
- As a small business owner, you’re negotiating more vendor contracts and paying more bills
- With inconsistent or incomplete tools for measuring the success of these different vendors, how do you know what’s working
- You’re in danger of becoming more marketing manager than lawyer, and that’s why you hired a vendor in the first place.
- Consequently, you’re not enjoying the summer with family, going to dinner with friends, or watching the game. It may sound trite, but I have seen too many lawyers burn themselves out because they weren’t allowing themselves to have personal lives.
At FindLaw, we have more data about legal consumer behavior than anyone, and your law firm benefits from that as part of your partnership. Our legal marketing experts deploy the latest online tactics and, through our Integrated Marketing Solutions, manage them over time to increase the quality of leads. By helping clients just like you for more than 20 years, we’ve come to lead the industry in terms of understand the needs of small law firms, and we can leverage that expertise to provide a unique digital marketing program for you.