Watch this video to start:
In this interactive video blog post, I will share with you lots of ways you can market yourself and your law firm. By the end of the article you will have enough information so that you can start or continue building your law firm marketing plan.
But first, let’s begin with a short story- check out this video on why marketing is so important to you and your law firm (if you have one.)
Why Having a Law Firm Marketing Plan is So Important
Whether you are a solo practitioner, a partner in a small firm, or an associate (in any size firm), there is an opportunity for you to create your marketing plan and begin the process of rainmaking. Let’s get to it!
Over the last 30 years, I sought out the best information and ideas from books, webinars, online classes, and consultants to assist me in growing my law practice and living an ideal life.
My mission is to share what I learned and implemented in my law firms and small business to help you!
Most lawyers I have met fall into the category of my ex-partner, decent at the practice of law, but clueless when it comes to running their law firms and attracting more clients.
Marketing a Law Practice:
In today’s world, everyone should be a rainmaker. Why? It helps to have a book of business and a steady influx of new clients, especially in times like the pandemic we are going through as I finish up this article. If you are part of a small firm, just a small bump in the amount of new prospective clients can be tremendous. As an associate, you could work your way up the law firm ladder much more quickly if you do some rainmaking and insulate yourself from being laid off in a bad economy. No matter who you are, you may want to aspire to be a rainmaker.
What is a Rainmaker? The idea behind the word “rainmaker” may come from the American Indians. They used rain dances to make it rain! What was the significance of a rain dance in this culture? They acted “as if.” They danced as if they were dancing in actual rain, coming down from the sky. Rainwater was essential to growing their crops and for drinking. So they took it upon themselves to “act as if” it was raining if they experienced a drought.
Are you ready to be a rainmaker? Keep reading for some Attorney Marketing Ideas.
Why Are Attorneys Averse to Business and Marketing?
Why do attorneys struggle to learn, understand, and implement marketing? Why do most small firms and solos ignore the business aspects of their law practices?
Once the Bar Associations allowed advertising on television and billboards, I think most attorneys were just flat out embarrassed. A once honorable profession became the butt of lots of lawyer jokes and ridicule by the general public. We will not be discussing this kind of marketing or advertising in this article. Law firm marketing is a process, and the sooner you get started with some or all of what I will teach you, the sooner you might reap the benefits.
As we begin to gain some expertise and get comfortable practicing law, we end up getting bogged down with minutiae and the daily grind of being a lawyer. We then spend little to no time on building or growing our practices. Further, law school does not teach us anything about running a law firm. You are too busy working in your firm and not on your firm. You might not want to wait until you are struggling to make ends meet to start planning and implementing a marketing plan.
If law firms do any marketing at all, it usually is not very effective. The old fashioned marketing doesn't work anymore. Hanging a shingle and expecting clients to flock to your door hasn't worked in decades. The reason simply opening a law practice may have worked for attorneys in the 1970's and before was primarily because of supply and demand. There were a lot fewer attorneys in practice back then. Did you know there are four times more lawyers today than there was in 1960, and our population in the US has yet to double? It is a simple supply and demand problem we have as a profession!
In my book "Raising the Bar- Turn a Career You Hate into a Life you Love, In or Out of the Law," I discuss this very issue in depth. Click the link above and get the first three chapters for free.
Most lawyers think marketing consists solely of buying some business cards and going to a few networking events. You have to get creative! Sadly our profession lacks any degree of using our creativity. Check out an article I co-wrote with my friend and business partner Casey Berman, on how the lack of creativity can be the basis why we might leave the law.
Read this article: https://leavelawbehind.com/i-hate-being-a-lawyer/
Embrace business and marketing and grow your firm! In the following paragraphs, I will outline some ideas and tips on the following:
- Law Firm Marketing Plan;
- Some Law Firm Marketing Ideas;
- Delve into some Law Firm Marketing Strategies;
- How I used Video Marketing for my firm and title company;
- Discuss Online Marketing for Lawyers.
How to Market a Law Firm: Mapping Out Great Customer Service
What happens if you create your marketing plan, implement it, and sign up a bunch of new clients?
More business, more clients, what is not to like? When this happened to my law firm, my staff was not ready to handle the workflow, resulting in lots of unhappy customers. I needed to fix our systems. We cleaned up the workflow, systematized the entire process, and improved everything we did for the clients.
It is essential to map out every step of the "client experience" with your firm and see how it can be automated and improved. What is the client experience map?
Watch this video to learn more:
At what point will your firm hire new support staff? What is the threshold to determine the timing of this new hire? Be ready!
If your firm isn't prepped and ready for the possible influx of new clients, all the hard work of rainmaking might be for naught. Bad word of mouth, negative online reviews, and bar complaints are the result of failing to prepare for the success of your marketing efforts. This process is called "systemization," and we will discuss it soon.
An articles on this process:
Marketing for Attorneys and Law Firms:
Who is Your Ideal Client Avatar?
If you were to grade each of your current clients from A to F (like they were getting a grade in school), what grade would each of them get?
I did this exercise in a workshop for lawyers a long time ago and realized most of my clients at the time were either a C or C+. I was shocked and saddened to see I had so many mediocre clients after this exercise that I set off on a journey to figure out some ways to "attract" more ideal clients. What I learned changed my marketing plan, and how I ran my businesses. I fired many of my "C" clients and began implementing my ideal client attraction plan. I created my ideal client "avatar," and wow, how things changed! I went from average clients to attracting perfect clients in short order.
Your ideal client avatar would be the representation of all of the characteristics of your ideal client. Some of the aspects of my perfect client back in the day:
- Easy to work with;
- Appreciative of us and our work for them;
- Paid our invoices timely and without hesitation;
- Knew we were looking out for their best interest and thereby trusted us implicitly;
- They were raving fans and became great referral sources to our firm.
Want to learn more about how you can attract your ideal clients? Check out my "Ideal Client Attraction Formula" video series by clicking on the logo below:
Building a Marketing Plan/Law Firm Marketing Ideas and Marketing Strategy
So let's begin building your law firm marketing plan!
A question for you before we begin:
How much time will you devote to creating your marketing plan and implementing the ideas in the project?
Set some time in your calendar to spend on your plan each week. If you schedule the time, you have a fighting chance of actually doing some work on your plan!
How to get more done in less time so you can work on your marketing plan:
Attorney Video Marketing
Video marketing worked far better than any other kind of marketing in my plan. Networking can work well, but video marketing takes the cake. When someone googles "Law Firm Marketing Strategy," you will see the same old tired ideas on how to use video to attract prospective clients. Not many know how to use it effectively. Luckily I figured it out, and I enjoy teaching others how to do it!
How do most attorneys/law firms use video marketing?
An attorney will record a few videos standing in front of their office or their conference room. They will say "I am Joe Smith, and I am an attorney. My law firm handles real estate and business law cases."
These videos are the same kind of boring crap that EVERYONE does, but it is better than nothing. What we are looking to do is to set your firm apart from all the others out there, and this kind of video marketing won't cut it. It does nothing to attract your ideal clients either.
How did I use video, and how can you?
Our best referral sources for real estate closings were real estate agents. I also marketed directly to consumers who needed help with a real estate closing or real estate contracts. I made my marketing campaigns all about training real estate agents.
Until the advent of video, I did live workshops in real estate agents' offices, which was quite time-consuming, and I was limited to training a room of people. Once the webcam and webinar software were released, I took the live training online. I then began to build a list of prospective agents through the use of YouTube videos and paid ads on social media.
I could target real estate agents in my local area with hyper precision. Facebook allows you to target people in various professions, who have liked specific pages, or are in groups.
Once I had some of my training videos edited and ready, I then built an automated email marketing campaign. I focused on building trust in our firm in every email and video I sent, which ended in a call to action to set up a call or time for coffee with me.
In the past, it would take me six months or a year of schmoozing to get a real estate agent to give us a test closing. With the automated email campaign, the process took ten days!
What a revelation this was.
I used the emails to build trust and give them something they needed, which was training. After email number five, agents would reach out and say- "Wow, thanks for all these amazing videos, can we talk?" Of course, I was on the phone with them quickly, and they would ask who to send the first contract to in my company.
My YouTube videos garnered over 100,000 views before I took them down. I now sell these videos and others in training for Florida Realtors. See more on this TheFarBar.com
I now teach this entire process via my online course ( I offered you videos above), which I call the Ideal Client Attraction Formula. Didn't sign up for the videos yet? Click here.
Want to know more about my one on one consulting to assist you in building your video marketing and automated email campaigns? Visit my Adam O Consulting Page.
What is content marketing? How can you use content marketing along with your video marketing? How did I utilize it?
Watch the video:
Every attorney and law firm needs to have a website. Of course, the basics include providing your prospective clients with some information about you and your firm. But, if you are looking to attract a lot more ideal clients, you should treat the website as a way of capturing email addresses of your prospects and building trust so you can sell them your services.
No one reads much anymore (because of video), and they won't read much on your site, so this is precisely why every firm needs to embrace video marketing. Not just the boring videos we discussed above. How can you share your expertise with your ideal prospects and move them into booking a call or appointment with you so you can close them as a new client? More on selling (we are all salespeople) in a short video later in the article.
Pay Per Click and Social Media Advertising
Another powerful way of attracting more clients is to use pay-per-click (PPC) and social media advertisements. You can hyper-target your ideal clients based on a long list of various criteria.
I recorded a video on how I used Facebook and Linkedin ads in my marketing plan (see video below). Using social media and PPC ads could be a great way to create interest in your firm, and I would strongly suggest adding these techniques to your overall marketing plan. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it can pay big dividends.
Caveat- make sure you always follow the rules for your law license in the state in which you live when it comes to any kind of marketing or advertisements.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When a prospective client searches for your practice area in your locale, how do you set you and your firm apart from all the other law firms out there? People are googling this information every day, and there may be someone doing it right now. Where does your firm fall in a search like this? Page 100 or page 1? Being close to the top on page 1 could make a massive difference in the number of prospective clients that find your firm.
How do you get on page 1? If you live in a big metropolis, is this even possible? The answer is MAYBE! Most companies that help attorneys and law firms with SEO are stuck in the year 2010. They focus on the foremost keyword people are searching for, which you may never get close to page 1 on google. This kind of SEO work is not optimizing anything. It may cost you a bunch of money, and you get absolutely no return on your investment. If you live in a smaller community with less competition, then you might find some success with these basic SEO tactics, but every day that goes by, it gets harder and harder to reach prospective clients unless you know how to work the system.
I have found that if you can determine some keyword strings that are not being gobbled up by the big firms, you have a fighting chance to get on page 1 of google. The possibilities are endless here, so do some research and reach out to me if you would like to discuss working together.
Sign up for my "Tale of Two Attorneys" free training and get notified when I release further articles and information on SEO marketing strategy.
Blogging for Attorneys and Law Firms
Should blogging be a part of your law firm marketing plan? The traditional wisdom is to get your website set up, create a blog page, writes some articles, and clients will come flocking. Sorry but this is some seriously outdated advice. It didn't work back then, so why are people still blindly continuing with this practice?
Video blogs that use some of the new SEO tactics, as I outlined above, can work quite well. The video blog post you are reading right now is an example of this strategy!
Figure out what your ideal clients are searching for online and do a video blog post on various topics. If you spend the time on a blog and posts, make sure someone can find your information! Watch the video below, and I will tie both of these topics together for you.
This next video is more about Blogging and SEO:
Want me to walk you through this process? Hire me for an hour or two and we can brainstorm. Use the button below and get a time to work with me.
Law Firm Marketing Strategy:
Networking has been my go-to way of building my "sphere of influence" and my book of business. Networking will change in our new normal due to this pandemic, but there are quite a few ways to connect with others in a post COVID world. When I combined in-person networking with automated email campaigns, things got interesting!
I would seek out my ideal referrals sources in the room at networking events, build rapport, and offer them so of my free training videos. How could they say no? My videos were hyper-targeted to their needs and wants for their business or their lives.
After the networking event and I was back in the office, I would add them to the marketing campaign, which would run automatically in my software. The first touch in my campaign would begin with a "nice to meet you" letter and business card. I built my system to send multiple emails every couple of days with some training videos or articles that would interest them. Lastly, I would invite them for coffee or a meal, but only if they could be a decent referral source.
I always got permission to add them to my automated marketing.
If you don't get their permission, it's just spam. Occasionally, someone would do this to me, and I hated it. Why wouldn't they ask me when we met the night before if it was ok?
Linkedin, if appropriately used, can be a great way to connect with people whom you might be great referral sources. If you find someone who fits the criteria, see if you know anyone who knows them, and ask them for a warm introduction.
Networking with other attorneys:
I found attorneys to be an incredible source of referrals. Do you belong to the local bar association? Get involved and attend some of their networking events when they resume. What kinds of attorneys usually send you the most referrals? Target them in your networking plan!
How will you follow up with your new connections? Create a plan for each of your ideal client or referral source categories.
I used networking to build friendships that lead to lots of new clients!
Finally, when you build your sphere of influence, ALWAYS make it about them. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to refer someone in your sphere, a client or customer. When you keep your network friends close and refer to them any time you can, they will do the same. When you create long term friendships, you all find success!
Want to be on the waiting list for my networking course? Sign up here-- EsquireAcademy.com/Networking
Can you use podcasting to grow your client base? Maybe... Once you have used my Ideal Client Attractions Formula course to figure out who your ideal client avatar is, you can then ask yourself if your perfect client can find you this way.
Can a podcast attract new ideal referral sources? If the answer is yes, then you may want to look into doing a podcast. It can be a compelling way to reach more ideal clients, but you have to weigh the time and expense, based on the opportunity it presents you long term.
Turning Prospects into Clients
How do you turn prospective clients into actual paying clients? How can you utilize automation and some new marketing techniques when it comes to increasing your client base and your bottom line? Do you have a sales "funnel" to move a prospect from being a total stranger to a point when you can sign them up as a client? More about sales funnels in the next section.
These are all questions you should ask yourself when building out your marketing and advertising plan.
Online Marketing for Lawyers:
As stated above, I use email marketing campaigns as a powerful way to attract prospective clients and referral sources. I have helped some of my consulting clients build custom campaigns that targeted other attorneys. As I stated above, attorneys can be great referral sources. How can you share your knowledge with your fellow attorneys and use an email campaign to build trust with them? Build trust in you and your firm, and the referrals can begin to flow in!
How did I use email campaigns to find and attract real estate agents?
I hooked them by offering some free (but valuable) training and asked them to provide their name and email address. My automated system did all the work, and it would immediately send out the first email. I then set the system up to send them an email every other day with a new video that was NOT about me per se, but all about the training and education.
By the end of the email campaign (which was six emails), I would get phone calls thanking me for the fantastic training, but also asking me how to send us closings and referrals!
Before email marketing, it would take me months to build trust with the real estate agent enough to send us a closing or client referral. This automated process did all the work, and it took two weeks to get them to work with us.
I couldn't believe it.
It worked almost like magic. You should consider implementing video blogging combined with email campaigns in your marketing plan.
Once I got this figured out and dialed in, this was the main way we marketed.
Are you interested in chatting with me about how you can build an email campaign to target your ideal clients and referral sources? Click here and let's chat.
Traditional Forms of Advertising and Marketing
Print, radio, and TV ads may have been popular back in the day, but since the advent of the internet and streaming video, radio and tv ads don't work at that well. You might add these areas if your perfect clients utilize these mediums, but for the most part, you might want to skip the time and expense of these media dinosaurs. If they fit in your plan, go for it!
Past clients can be a great source of referrals. Do you follow up with them during and after your work with them? Do you survey them once your file is closed to get their opinion? Surveys and follow-ups are great ways to see where your processes need work and where you can do a better job in your overall representation.
We always did our best to wow our clients with fantastic customer service and follow up. My goal was to create "Raving Fans" out of every customer or client. You should want the same for all of your clients too.
Word of mouth referrals can be a large part of your bottom line, as it was for our firm and title company.
Legal directories can be part of any law firm's marketing plan. Sites like Avvo.com and Lawyers.com allow you to customize the information on your firm and your areas of practice. A prospective client who searches these directories can also see ratings from other lawyers and past clients. First, search the web for "Lawyer directories." Next, one you find the directories you want to customize, add your website info and as much info as the directory allows. Some are free, and some are fee-based. Test them out and see if you get any referrals. If this is an area you do currently get referrals from reach out to me, I would like to interview you for my podcast.
Negative Reviews on Directories and Social Media
Sometimes no matter how great of a job you do for your client on their case or file, one or more of them may post a negative review or comment on social media. With the advent of the internet, people can hide in relative anonymity and say anything they want.
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in!
How do you deal with negative reviews? The Bar Associations and the agencies in charge of regulating or licensing lawyers should have some guidance on this important issue. You must be VERY careful if and how you respond to these reviews or postings. If this happens, check with your bar association or whoever oversees your license for guidance on how you can respond, if at all. You may not have any recourse depending on your bar rules, and as always, you must make sure you never disclose anything that could be privileged information. Do your research before you do anything!
Automating Your Law Marketing
You might want to ask me "How the hell am I going to make time for marketing when I have so much to do every day? I am so busy already!" Yeah, I get it, I've been there and done that. I know exactly how you feel, but with some tweaks to my day to day life as a lawyer, I was able to make the time.
Here is how I was able to make time for marketing:
- I systematized my law firm and title company using the ideas in the E-Myth Attorney Book;
- I automated as much of my day to day work as I could using a CRM such as Clio.com and the like;
- I delegated work that I wasn't good at or didn't like much to my staff and law partner;
- I implemented the ideas and principles of the Getting Things Done Book.
By implementing the items outlined above, I delegated or automated more than 70% of what I did day in and day out. I teach more about all of this in my online coaching program and community- Esquire Academy.
There are LOTS of ways you can automate daily tasks you and your staff do by leveraging the available software in the market. Check out this article on the 25 ways small businesses can use automation— HERE. I liked the Clio.com software when I was practicing. You can use it and other alternatives to streamline your practice.
If you'd like to clear out more time for the important stuff like growing your firm, take a look at Clio and software like it. This one strategy, well thought out and implemented, can save you hours a week, or even better, hours a day. I did it and so can you!
Social Media Marketing
An entire article coming soon on this topic!
There is some work you need to do to market you and your law firm!
You may choose to work on some of your marketing on your plan yourself, or for other more involved ideas may require some professional help. Work with me:
- I take on a limited amount of consulting clients and can assist my ideal client with the following:
- Email campaigns;
- Search Engine Optimization and Blogging/Video Marketing;
- Systemization and Automation for your firm;
- Using systemization to create raving fans of your law firm;
- Building your ideal team;
- How to cut your time working in half, so you have more life balance;
- HeartMath and Resilience.
I am also available to do online workshops for your firm on a variety of topics. Reach out to discuss!
If you would like to chat with me about hiring me for some help, click the button below and get on my schedule to discuss. Before you pay me for a consultation, I would suggest you take a look at my Ideal Client Attraction Course.
I think you will find that this course may be all you need to get your marketing plan planned, completed, and implemented. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a large number of ideal clients contacting your firm regularly? Check it out HERE.
Wrapping it all up
Whether you are a solo practitioner, a partner in a small firm, or even an associate in any kind of law firm, big or small, you should know how to build a book of business and attract more clients.
I can help cut your learning curve down substantially! Purchase some books, hire a coach, or find a mentor. The key is to learn all you can so you can build out your successful marketing plan.
I wish you success!