Striking Out On Your Own (Without Striking Out)
So you’ve decided to start your own law firm. Congratulations! There’s no getting around it, you’ve got your work cut out for you. There are a thousand things to do and, now more than ever, time is money. With so many things happening at once, it can be easy to lose track of the foundational marketing activities that will help set you up for success.
To keep things in perspective, consider the following five ideas. Your most immediate marketing activities will likely fall into one of these categories.
- The Essentials – Your business needs a website (with valuable, audience-focused content), accurate and complete local listings, and possibly some initial advertising if your budget permits. These elements are at the core of your marketing launch so get them in-line and running smoothly as soon as possible.
- The Knowledge – To make your marketing dollars work, you’re going to have to learn where your customers are coming from. You’ll discover a lot by simply asking your clients how they found you or who referred them. But don’t just have these conversations and move on. Make a note of your referral sources in a spreadsheet. Over time, you’ll gain a clear picture of how your marketing is feeding your business.
- The Brand – Your brand is much more than a logo, font or color choice. As you take care of your online marketing, develop a consistent tone of voice and manner of representing your firm. Get your headshot and biography up to snuff and don’t forget to leverage your accolades like recognition from professional organizations.
- The Network – Never underestimate the value of networking in growing your practice. Most attorneys are good at making initial connections. The challenge is often in maintaining an active network to draw from if you need to refer a client – or from which to receive such referrals. Keeping in touch can be time consuming, but one excellent way of staying connected is to leverage social platforms like LinkedIn.
- The Reputation – Your reputation is your number one asset, and recommendations and reviews are a great way to grow your reputation. Let your satisfied clients know how much you appreciate their feedback. Include links to your local and social media profiles in your email signature encouraging clients to review your firm. This will not only help to build your reputation but may also benefit your overall visibility online.
Hanging out a shingle can be exciting and more than a little intimidating, but marketing your new firm shouldn’t be a mystery. Use these to help guide you in the months to come. And if you’re interested in learning more about legal marketing, download Legal Marketing 101: A Guide for Small Law Firms.