How Plaintiff Firms Can Make Names for Themselves in a Crowded Landscape
The competitive landscape for plaintiff lawyers is perhaps more challenging than any other area of law. The market seems to get more crowded every day, and the fight for clients is fierce. Moreover, plaintiff lawyers often have to overcome the unsavory, ambulance-chasing reputation inaccurately associated with this practice. With all of these obstacles, establishing your marketing strategy can seem like an uphill battle.
Yet, even in this difficult atmosphere, it’s possible for plaintiff firms to stand out from the rest. This was the topic of “David vs. Goliath: The Competitive World of Plaintiff Firm Marketing,” a session at this year’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference. Speakers Pamela Foster, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Howie Sacks & Henry LLP; Danelsy Medrano, Marketing Manager at Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP; Adrian Dayton, Founder of ClearView Social Inc.; and Erin Watson, Director of Communications and Marketing at Motley Rice LLC discussed best practices and lessons learned from their years as legal marketers for plaintiff firms. We recapped the session on our LMA Conference webinar and broke down their strategies into three areas:
- Use Marketing 101: Differentiation
There are lots of firms that do plaintiff work, from auto accidents to slip and falls to medical malpractice. A quick Google search can tell you as much. So, when compared to all the other firms out there, what makes you different? It could be that you’ve been doing it the longest, that you’re more hands-on than anyone else or that your firm is all women. It doesn’t matter what makes you different; it only matters that you know what that differentiation is and then market it.
This is marketing 101, because you can’t communicate a message without understanding exactly what you bring to the table. Being clear and focused in your message not only resonates better with prospective clients, but it also makes your marketing budget go further, too. Truly understanding what makes you unique will make the rest of your marketing strategy fall into place and differentiate you in the minds of prospects.
- Go Beyond SEO
A decade ago, it was possible to write a few blog posts with keywords and do reasonably well in search rankings. That’s no longer the case. Online marketing has gotten more complex and detailed, and it takes expertise to do it well. Today’s legal marketers need to understand much more than SEO; they also need to understand syndication, what kind of content ranks high and which algorithm changes can upend their approach.
Especially in plaintiff law, where the landscape is crowded and firms need to rank high to survive, DIY search marketing doesn’t cut it. Whether you have an in-house marketing team or hire an outside agency to help, you need to be sure that the person in charge of your search strategy is a true expert.
It’s true that investing in good marketers and digital strategy can be costly, but the return on investment is just too good to pass up. Digital marketing offers so much insight and opportunity for measurement. Where are your clients coming from? What search terms are they using to find you? Once clients do find you, where are they losing interest—or where are they making contact? Digital tools can help you find the answers to these questions and track clients at every stage of the decision-making process.
- Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Plaintiff lawyers know better than anyone that the best time to seize an opportunity is before anyone else does. The same goes for your marketing. Rather than waiting for things to come down the pipeline, anticipate and identify where they’re coming from before your competitors do. It’s all about being proactive rather than reactive. When you’re ahead of the curve you’re at an advantage, at least for a little while—and that time can make all the difference