If you are trying to attract more clients to your law practice, you’ll need to do more than take out a few ads, attend some mixers, and come up with a catchy slogan. While more people than ever need the services of a lawyer, the market is becoming increasingly saturated in some legal niches, making it harder for any one law firm to make the case that they should represent a client.
Attracting new clients to your law firm depends on you having a comprehensive marketing strategy that highlights what you have to offer while making sure the people most likely to become clients see it. However, some methods are more effective than others, and learning what not to do ahead of time can save your firm from losing time and money on ineffective strategies.
The Most Common Law Firm Growth Mistakes
Finding the right strategies to grow your law firm requires trial and error, but here are a few common mistakes you can safely avoid.
1. Not Differentiating from Other Firms
Every business needs a unique selling position to distinguish it from its competitors, and your law firm is no different. If there’s nothing distinctive about your business, potential clients won’t have any reason to choose yours over your competitors. Your firm could focus on one or more fields of law to help you better target a segment of the market which needs your services while demonstrating to them why your firm is qualified to represent them.
Keep in mind that there are many advertising restrictions on what lawyers can say for areas of specialization and claims they can make.
2. Not Treating Every Phone Call As a Sale
It’s easy to forget that grabbing someone’s attention is only half the battle when it comes to landing new clients. Even if your marketing efforts are effective at bringing prospecs to your door, you could easily lose them if you fail to emphasize the importance of sales skills within your organization. Every touch point your firm has with a prospect can either bring them closer to a sale or drive them away. Making sure that your front-end staff have top-notch customer service skills and that you are fully prepared for meetings with prospective clients can help your firm close more sales.
3. No Consistency on Marketing Efforts
When you are trying to find a winning marketing strategy, it’s natural to experiment until you find one that works. However, if you don’t give each one enough time to yield results, you’ll have little to learn from and might even scrap a promising campaign. Even a successful campaign may take several weeks or months before you see ROI, so it’s important to plan for this from the outset. This can prevent you from making haphazard changes while giving yourself the chance to assess and modify your plan as it matures.
4. Not Investing in PPC
While newer forms of internet marketing have taken the spotlight in recent years, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can help you to get a steady stream of clients in your doors when you are starting your business. PPC advertising is a simple and effective way to increase exposure for your firm and can supplement a more robust marketing plan once you create one.
However while PPC is useful, it's important to know that Google is an advertising platform that wants to make money. Knowing the ins and outs of keyword targeting and advertising best practices could avoid you from spending needlessly in areas that will not yield an ROI. It may be lucrative to hire a specialist to help you with your PPC campaigns.
5. Not Tracking Results
Every dollar you spend on advertisement should be treated like an investment, but many lawyers don’t track results closely enough to know what they are getting for their money. You should know the return on investment (ROI) of every marketing strategy you employ. This can help you to easily track the effects of any changes you make in your marketing efforts. You can better identify high-performing strategies which should receive a greater investment as well as underperforming ones which may need to be improved or ended.
6. Not Building a Brand
Consistency is key to marketing, and if your campaigns lack a sense of unity, you could easily confuse potential clients and prevent them from seeking out our services. It doesn’t matter what keywords you target, where you take out billboards, or how many flyers you mail out if you don’t have a coherent brand to unify your marketing efforts. Choose a consistent set of colors, typefaces, and motifs which you use across marketing campaigns. If you create a logo, make sure to use it consistently.
7. Not Keeping Up with Growth
Sometimes you can be a victim of your own success, and nowhere can this be more painful than in business. If your marketing efforts are successful and your stream of new clients turns into a flood, you may end up cutting corners just to meet demand. Unsustainable growth could lead to customer complaints, burnout, and a bad reputation that can take years to live down, if your business isn’t sunk entirely by new expenses. If this happens, consider cutting back on marketing efforts until you are able to expand your capabilities to meet your new demand.
Law firms often face a similar set of problems when it comes to growing their firm, many of which you can prepare for and avoid. On the other hand, there is no one-size-fits-all marketing solution for lawyers, and it is likely that you will have to conduct extensive experiments to find the strategy which works for your specific needs. Choosing a variety of strategies, from large-scale internet marketing campaigns to professional lawyer business cards, can give you the best chance of growing your law firm.