If you’re a lawyer running your own firm and you find yourself at a loss when it comes to marketing—you’re not alone. Most law schools don’t teach business and marketing skills needed to grow a business; they teach law. In other words, you learn in law school what to do to help your clients, but not how to get the clients in the first place. Whether you’re just getting started with your firm or whether you need a marketing refresher course, let the following serve as a quick primer on the basics of law firm marketing.
Marketing versus Sales
A lot of people mistakenly interchange the terms sales and marketing. They are two different functions, and you need to know the difference in order to do both effectively. Marketing is the process of identifying your target market and introducing your product or service to them (in this case, your law firm practice) in hope of turning them into leads. Sales is the act of converting a lead into a paying client. For our purposes, we’re focusing for the moment on marketing—introducing your firm to your prospective clients to get them interested.
Communicate What Makes You Different
If your marketing messages consist of, “Hey, we’re a law firm in your neighborhood; we do this and such; come see us,” you’re wasting your marketing dollars. You do not want to identify yourself as one law firm in a pool of hundreds just like you. You need to identify what makes you unique (your “Unique Selling Proposition,” or USP), and then you need to find creative ways to communicate that USP to your audience. Why should they come to your law firm as opposed to anyone else? What extra value do you offer? What can people get from you that they can’t get elsewhere? The answer will be different for every law firm, but make sure your USP is clear. Every piece of marketing you create should contain this message in some way.
Test, Retest and Check the Numbers
Effective marketing often involves a series of tests, retests, trial-and-error. When you employ any kind of marketing strategy, check the numbers to measure effectiveness. For example:
- If you send out an email blast, how many people opened it? Of those who opened it, how many responded? Try a different headline and tweak your message, and see if you get better numbers next time.
- How many ads were answered per number of mailings you sent out?
- How many leads generated per dollars spent?
By looking at these and other metrics, you can tweak and refine your approach to learn what your target market really responds to, and you’ll get better results over time.
Marketing is a Process, Not an Event
Marketing isn’t something you do one time; you must make it an ongoing practice. Even among people who actually need your services, it takes between 6 and 8 communications on average to turn them into a lead. For those who don’t need you yet but might need you in the future, your goal is to be top-of-mind with them, which only happens by putting your name in front of them repeatedly and consistently.
If you need more detailed guidance in effective marketing for your law firm, we can help. Call our offices today at 888-207-2869.