A marketing plan is a roadmap you can use to realize your vision and grow your law firm. It can help you outline your goals and then come up with strategies for building your business.
When it comes to lawyer marketing, no two plans will be the same. Although they may share similar elements, each needs to be customized according to your firm’s location, size, practice, clientele, and budget.
Need a lawyer marketing plan template to help you get started? This guide will cover the basic marketing elements you need to know to begin crafting your own lawyer marketing plan.
Because each law firm is different, it’s helpful to perform an internal review of your firm’s needs and marketing goals. As a primer, there are several steps you can take to better understand your business, clientele, and marketplace:
- Determine your practice area – What is your place in the market? What services do you offer clients? Describe your practice how you want clients to view it. What are the things you’re known for? What would you like to be known for? Effective marketing for family law will differ drastically from criminal law.
- Build client personas – To speak to your audience, you need to understand them. A law firm marketing template is most effective when it’s targeted at a specific group of people. Marketing strategies or messaging that reaches and then wins over seniors may not have nearly the same reach or impact on a younger demographic. It’s helpful to build client personas—both for individuals and businesses—by asking questions like:
- Where are they located?
- What are their demographics?
- What industries are they in?
- How large?
- What’s their revenue?
- Why do they need your help?
- What solutions are they looking for?
- How would that person search for a law firm?
- What type of messaging do they respond to?
- What technologies do they most utilize?
- Detail how you locate clients and how they will find you – Do you have existing marketing channels that are already working? Are you largely a word-of-mouth business? The answers to these questions will determine how you approach your marketing efforts. This can help highlight effective marketing channels as well as potential opportunities that you aren’t fully utilizing.
- Know your competition – Who are the main competitors in your market? What are they doing well? Where are they weak? Similar to knowing your clients, understanding your competitors helps you craft a more effective marketing plan.
- Craft your message – What do you want to convey to your target audience? Is it your expertise and pedigree? Will your tone be personal or professional? Your website and all of your marketing content should be built around your messaging plan.
- Identify your goals – Avoid broad generalizations here. Practically every firm wants revenue growth and an increased clientele. Instead, set specific, time-based goals that you can use to check your progress and gauge the efficacy of your marketing strategies. For clarity, it’s helpful to break goals up into chunks of time, with short-term goals (6 months), mid-term goals (1-3 years), and long-term goals (5-10 years).
- List your business development stage – Are you an established firm or fresh out of law school? Do you have a lot of contacts but few clients? How you answer this will also help refine your marketing strategies. A law firm that’s further along will likely need to focus more on SEO, whereas a budding practice may need to employ a broad array of marketing tactics, such as PPC, for the first time.
- Set your marketing budget – As the saying goes, you often have to spend money to make money. Marketing is an investment and should be treated as such. If you want an effective plan, you’ll need to direct money to multiple channels. So, consider setting aside 5-10% of your revenue toward your marketing budget.
Marketing Strategies for Lawyers
Now that you’ve done your due diligence, we can get down to the brass tax of legal marketing. The following are some of the marketing strategies that could pay dividends both in the near future and the long term:
PPC Is King
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising lets you artificially boost your ranking in search with subtle, paid ads. This is one of the most effective ways for lawyers to ensure that potential clients have visibility on their legal services. And when managed properly, it’s the most predictable, measurable, and responsive form of lawyer marketing.
For a small investment, you can ensure that your law firm gets in front of your target audience, showing up on page one of the primary search results—whether it’s for Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
This marketing channel becomes even more effective when properly managed with the help of content marketing experts. They can help ensure that your ads, bids, keywords, and localization are optimized to perform and catered to your target clientele.
Focus On Your Website
Your website is your legal firm’s digital business card and home. It’s an important attorney lead generation tool in your arsenal and will likely be the first place a potential client will look at when researching your legal firm.
A well-designed website can help draw traffic and then establish your authority as a trustworthy expert in your field. However, a shoddy website may turn off a potential client before you even have a chance to make a pitch. As Forbes notes:
“A well-crafted website can benefit a business in many tangible ways, including increased sales and leads. Effectively, a great website is its own campaign, constantly working to support the brand. What’s more is that in comparison to other marketing initiatives, a website is easily trackable, allowing brands to better understand consumer behavior and providing insight into what is and isn’t working.”
Your website should be mobile-responsive and have a couple of key components, including your contact information, legal team and experience, areas of focus, client testimonials, and blog page. Additionally, you must build your site with search engine optimization (SEO) elements in mind, including:
- Ensuring the website is easy to navigate
- Designing the site to be mobile-friendly
- Adding relevant keywords on web pages and blog posts
- Inserting quality backlinks
- Producing shareable and authoritative blog content
- Being listed on high-quality websites
High-Quality Content Matters
For your website and SEO efforts, your blog and the content therein represent a powerful marketing tool. By building out content using relevant keywords and addressing likely topics and questions of interest, you can rank on Google search.
Google’s goal is to help searchers find their answers by providing them with the most relevant and up-to-date information available. The algorithm will favor content and websites that check these boxes.
Your goal isn’t simply to get them on your web page but to keep them engaged. The primary focus of your blog content should be to educate or entertain your readers. It’s a chance to establish your authority as a legal expert and to answer questions potential clients likely have.
So, for starters, be sure to regularly produce well-written and informative blog posts. From there, optimize your content on the page by using SEO practices like:
- Using headers to break up content into scannable chunks
- Adding relevant keywords throughout the content
- Utilizing internal and external links
- Optimizing URLs for SEO
- Including title tags, meta descriptions, and alt-text
Use Social Media
In today’s digital age, a marketing plan is incomplete without a social media strategy. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness, engage your target audience, attract potential clients, establish authority and thought leadership, and enhance your SEO strategy.
For lawyers, the most effective channels include:
- LinkedIn – According to an Attorney At Work study, LinkedIn is the most commonly used social media site by lawyers, with over 27% of lawyers saying that it’s the most effective platform for finding new clients. It allows you to network, share helpful articles, and build a reputation.
- Facebook – Building and maintaining a professional profile helps build and interact with a community while identifying potential clients.
- Twitter – Twitter is all about engaging in the conversations of the day. It’s an excellent networking resource that allows you to position your firm as an authority on legal matters.
A content calendar can help you build your social media presence and ensure that you’re posting regularly. It lets you create posts and then schedule them for release, which takes much of the daily effort out of the equation. But that doesn’t mean you can simply set and forget. You also have to remember the importance of regular interaction and engagement with your audience.
Convert IT: Specialized Marketing for Legal Firms
In the digital age, the vast majority of your marketing efforts will be conducted online—whether it’s PPC campaigns, building an optimized website, producing blog content, or utilizing social media. Therefore, it helps to have experts on your side who can take your law firm marketing plan template and elevate it into actionable strategies.
This is where Convert IT can be a difference-maker for your firm.
As lawyer marketing experts, we specialize in helping you get found, have quality calls, and retain clients. Whether you’re a small or large firm we are a Google Premier Partner that knows how to drive traffic, create captivating ads, and convert. We’re PPC specialists, and so much more.
Want to see why our legal marketing platform is so successful? Find out more today.
Forbes. Digital Influence: Web Design’s Impact On Marketing Strategy. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2019/04/04/digital-influence-web-designs-impact-on-marketing-strategy/?sh=1c4351dc5eb8
Attorney At Work. Engage! A Lawyer’s Guide to Social Media Marketing. https://www.attorneyatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Engage-Lawyers-Guide-to-Social-Media-Marketing-102317-2.pdf