If there is one thing (there are really dozens) that is under-taught in law schools, it’s the skill of getting clients. Next to knowledge of the law and the competence in practicing it, he must also have the skill and ability to market himself and his legal practice to potential clients.
There are a lot of lawyers who are naturally gifted with law firm marketing skills; it is the “lesser-blessed” ones who have to put in a lot of work and require a lot of guidance in order to be a skilled marketer. Here are a few principles being followed by most law firms in their marketing programs. This list does not cover everything, though. On the contrary, it is a starting point that I wish I had when I was just beginning.
All successful law firms are extremely targeted in their approach to getting clients. The largest law firms in the world, whose workforce reaches the thousands, still make use of targeting in their marketing strategy despite the breadth and width of their services. A classic example is how a law firm with a solid reputation of being good at handling both capital markets and leveraged finance wouldn’t automatically focus all their targeting efforts on both. An attorney marketing plan with an extremely focused targeting tactic would clearly establish the said law firm as an expert.
Establishing your law firm as an expert in a particular area of practice is extremely important because potential clients want to see that you’ve got both knowledge and experience in their particular matter. Each potential client believes their case is unique and unlike any others, something you should not dispute if you want them to engage your services. If you have established yourself and your practice to have the expertise that they especially require, then their assent and that signed contract is pretty much in the bag.
Apart from setting their firm up as an expert, successful marketing campaigns also answer or address any concerns that potential clients may have. Firms always take the opportunity to show the extent of their know-how and proficiency. High success rates and distinctions may impress potential clients, but that is not all they consider in making that final decision on whether to hire you or look elsewhere; they may have other concerns unknown to you.
One of these concerns is how many lawyers give the impression of not really taking their cases seriously. Regardless of whether this is true or not, if a lot of your potential clients feel this way, then your marketing needs to address this issue head-on. Your “expertise” would be rendered worthless if potential clients will shy away from hiring your services because they think you won’t take their cases seriously anyway. It is important to personally address the potential clients’ concerns and be responsive.
As an action tip, if your law firm needs more clients and you want to improve your law firm marketing, then the first thing I suggest is to sit down, write down all the characteristics of potential clients that you can think of, and then make a list of all of their potential concerns and/or questions. Once you’re done with that, rank the issues and questions in order of importance to your clients, and then use that list to start revamping your marketing.
The biggest benefit of running a marketing company is that we get to take part in the success of many businesses. When you hire a contractor, you’re looking for someone to do exactly what you ask, suggest helpful changes, and keep you up-to-date on progress. We do all of those things.