Whether you have two attorneys or fifty attorneys at your law firm, marketing is a crucial element of your success. After all, what good is a law firm without clients? We’re going to take you step by step through a marketing plan that can be implemented and tailored to fit the needs of you and your firm.
Step 1: Set A Budget
Marketing is an investment, and, like all investments, it costs money. The amount of money you are willing and able to spend on marketing may vary greatly based on firm size, location, expenses, and more. You may opt to set a budget for marketing based on a percentage of revenue or budget, or you may simply start with a particular number and go from there. There really is no concrete budget that is ideal for law firms, and it can range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Need some help coming up with a budget try this page for additional help.
Step 2: Assign Point Person/People
If you’re lucky enough, you may have someone whose sole job is marketing for the firm. In this case, it’s easy to decide who will be in charge of the marketing plan. If you don’t have someone devoted to marketing, assign a point person (or point people) for either the whole marketing plan or each aspect. This really depends on the dynamic within your company and what each person’s specialty is. If you have one person who is an extremely strong writer, you might have them draft the emails for your email campaign. However, maybe they’re not the best in social situations, so you can opt to send someone else to a local meetup or conference.
Step 3: Decide on Key Components
This is where things get both fun and complex. You need to decide what aspects of marketing your firm should focus on, or what aspects they are struggling with and need to improve upon. What works for one firm may not work for another, so it’s important to keep that in mind when deciding what key components to focus on. Personal injury marketing is different from divorce marketing, and a firm in rural Indiana with two attorneys might have a different focus from a firm in New York City with 45 attorneys.
Some aspects of marketing to consider:
- Website- regular updates, blog posts, promotions
- Emails- email list, content
- Social media- LinkedIn, Facebook
- Radio advertising
- Print marketing- flyers, ads
- Business cards
- Networking- conferences, meetups, conventions
Step 4: Create a Schedule
Set up a marketing schedule day by day in order to ensure maximum organization and success. The best way to start is by setting a schedule that can be used each month, subdividing it into daily, twice a week, weekly, and monthly. You can also have different marketing ideas that are not on a regular rotation for your company but that you want to try out on occasion. Here is a sample marketing schedule:
- Google advertisements ($20/day)
- Facebook advertisements ($15/day)
Twice a Week:
- LinkedIn blog posts
- Email newsletter
- Flyer in local newspaper
- Promotion of the month
- Local meetup for lawyers
- Radio advertisement
Each of these aspects can vary by firm and by month. For example, in December, your tactic for promotions may be sending out holiday cards or gifts to clients. In June, it might be a summer referral program. If you have a “busy season”, this might change for a few months out of the year, but a large part of marketing is consistency. If clients get used to weekly emails and then don’t receive emails for two months, they will begin to think of your firm as inconsistent and unprofessional. If you need help on creating a schedule there are some good templates here.
Step 5: Set Goals
In addition to setting a schedule, you can also have a list of goals, divided into weekly and monthly goals, both for your firm and for each attorney. Even if you have a marketing person at your firm, don’t discount the attorneys who work there. You have built-in spokespeople, so be sure to keep that in mind and get them involved in marketing.
Here is a sample list of goals:
- Sent out weekly newsletter
- Post on LinkedIn at least one time
- Task each attorney with handing out five business cards
- Create sign-up sheet for attorneys to write blog posts for website
- Make ten solid connections on LinkedIn
- Price out radio advertisements for five different stations
- Have three attorneys attend local conference
As with your schedule, your goals may vary from one month to the next, and may differ from those of firms around you. This is all about what is best for your firm and what you hope to accomplish through marketing.
Step 6: Review Results
Take a look at how each aspect of your marketing plan is going. This can entail sorting through referrals, looking at email open and click-through rates, reviewing and interpreting analytics, and more. You do not necessarily have to wait until the end of a set marketing period, usually a week or month, in order to review and evaluate the success of your marketing plan. After all, time is money. If you see after one week of a radio advertisement airing daily that you haven’t gotten a single prospective client, consider changing your strategy and not renewing for another week. Radio advertisements can cost anywhere from $600 to $5000 a week, depending on the market, so don’t waste another large sum of money when, chances are, you’ll see the same results week after week.
Step 7: Adapt as Needed
After reviewing analytics, you should be able to see what’s working for your firm and what isn’t doing as well as you had hoped. This is when it’s time to adapt your plan to make it as effective as possible. For example, if you have budgeted $50 each for Facebook advertisements and Google advertisements and Facebook is giving you double the number of leads, you might consider altering the ratio of money devoted to each. If you see that you have an email open rate that seems out-of-line with the click-through rate, it’s possible that the content you are sending isn’t what your email subscribers are looking for. In this case, you might consider a different approach in your next email sequence.
There you have it… a step-by-step guide for marketing success at your law firm. Not sure where to start? Contact us today we can help!