Shockingly, many law firms admit to having virtually no marketing budget, staff or strategy—and that’s a serious mistake. Expecting your firm to grow without investing any effort into marketing is like expecting to win a case without any preparation. Don’t know where to start? Here are five areas where you should be putting your marketing efforts.
There’s no getting around it: marketing costs money. The good news is that increasing your marketing budget, even slightly, can result in more clients and significantly higher returns. According to most sources, firms should be spending no less than 2.5 percent of their annual revenue on marketing, and some even recommend spending up to 8 percent. Your yearly budget will largely depend on your marketing goals. Overhauling your brand, revamping your website or experimenting with new channels are significant investments that will cost more than just maintaining your current marketing activities. But if your business growth is stagnant, it can be an investment worth making.
In order to implement a successful marketing plan, everyone in the firm needs to be on board and willing to dedicate some time to marketing efforts. A good way to make marketing part of your firm culture is to hold a yearly meeting to discuss marketing goals, tactics and desired outcomes. To get the most out of your meeting, record your strategy in a marketing plan and define expectations for the marketing team—no ambiguous, maybe-we’ll-get-around-to-it “plans.” Make your marketing plan easily accessible and encourage people to check in regularly to ensure they’re on track.
Without measuring the results of your marketing efforts, the time and money you’ve invested won’t do much good. It’s essential that you reflect on what works, what doesn’t and where you’d like to improve. Tracking where your business comes from is the simplest way to get into the habit of measuring results. Each time a new client contacts you, simply make a note of how they heard about your firm. That way, you’ll know if you should put more marketing power into your website, social media, blog or another platform.
Offering great service to clients is a no-brainer for most attorneys, but did you know it’s actually one of your most effective marketing tools? Investing time into relationship building can bring in significant returns down the line: clients who are satisfied with your performance are significantly more likely to request your services in the future and recommend you to other potential customers. One way to harness that marketing potential is to ask clients to write testimonials.
Content marketing is the gold standard when it comes to fostering credibility. Sharing your firm’s expertise through blog posts, articles, webinars and white papers is a great marketing tactic—but developing quality content is a commitment. If you find that your firm alone can’t keep up with regular posts, that’s a sign that it’s time to find a marketing team. And once you’ve mastered written content, it may be time to experiment with mobile and social media friendly content like images, videos and infographics.