Websites, Social Media, Pay Per Click, SEO, Facebook and more!
You want to improve your law firm’s marketing this year and so you start with some google searches on law firm marketing. If you are like many of the attorneys we talk with at legal conferences, or when doing consultation calls, you quickly become paralyzed with all the different marketing tactics and advice on what you should be doing.
The first article says to take advantage of the free exposure you get by being active on social media every day; the next talks about how you need to focus on sponsoring events in your community to drum up word-of-mouth business; and yet another says Google pay per click is getting too expensive so law firms should be focused on Facebook. Of course, that may be what you will see if you are able to wade through the countless articles about websites, SEO, and blogging.
With all of this information it is no wonder some lawyers wish they could go back to the once a year decision about how big the yellow page ad needs to be.
Unfortunately, marketers spend a lot of time writing in detail about how to take advantage of the latest and greatest marketing tactics, but often forget to put it into perspective. I am here to try to help you stop worrying about the marketing madness.
There is one guaranteed way to cut through the marketing madness — you must start with your firm and marketing goals.
When it comes to your marketing efforts, I like to reference the Pareto principle which states that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the input. This is often called the 80/20 rule. What this means is that when looking to improve your marketing, you can get rid of 80% of the tools, tactics, and strategies by first spending the time needed to understand what you want to accomplish. Don’t be paralyzed with fear that you need to master Hootsuite or start blogging every day, you don’t need to worry about the majority of tactics, tools, and tricks when you know exactly where you are and where you want to go.
For example, I talk to some law firms who say they feel that their referral business is starting to weaken. They want to shore referrals up and begin work driving new, quality leads that are not from referrals. With just a little investigation we can dig into the underlying cause of the referral business weakening and decide on the groundwork needed to drive new leads outside of referrals. Then we come up with just a handful of tactics — these would be your final four tactics that will move the ball forward specific to those goals.
Here are just a few questions to get you thinking about your firm’s strategy:
Where does majority of our clients and cases come from?
Are we spending time on the cases we enjoy?
Has our clientele shifted in recent years?
What is our most profitable practice area and do like doing that work?
Spend time with a pad of paper and start answering some of these questions and you may uncover the specific areas to improve. Then once you know that, you can formulate the specific things you need to focus on and find the best marketing tactics for that need.
Stop the marketing madness, stop just googling “law firm marketing” and getting enamored or confused with the latest marketing shiny object. Start with a good understanding of where you want to take your firm in the coming years and your marketing strategy will fall in place a lot faster and have a much better chance to be a winner.
Mark H is Virtual Bar Association Literati specializing in marketing. He is also the CEO over at GNGF http://gngf.com and you can find his LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markhomer/