The $192,000 Law Firm Marketing Plan

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Law Firm Marketing Strategic PlanIf you have limited resources and limited time there are five things you can work on immediately that will make a big difference in your law firm marketing. 

These five things are relatively inexpensive and they have a significant impact. 

Think of them as a “Mini Marketing Plan”.

Newsletter

This is one of the most important marketing tools and yet it is the one that lawyers give me the most resistance to implementing.  A weekly email newsletter and/or a monthly print newsletter are both great ways for you to enter the conversations taking place in the lives and the minds of your prospective clients.

In many cases, prospective clients do not know when they will need a lawyer.  If you are entering their lives frequently, you will be a resource for them and they will call you with many of their issues.  Some of them you will handle.  Others you can refer out.  In either case your relationship with these people will grow and you will have an opportunity to help them learn how to bring you a good case.

Educational Website

Most law firm websites are online brochures.  This is the wrong approach.  Your website should be an education center that will help your clients learn how to deal with the issues they are facing.  This does not mean it becomes a do-it-yourself-guide.  It means you educate them on topics in your field of expertise and you help them understand their options.  Once they know what they are facing, they will know how to hire a good lawyer.

Appreciation Events

You simply cannot spend time with all of your clients and referral sources during the course of a year.  Yet personal interaction is critical to developing a bond with them and keeping your law firm on the top of their mind.  An annual client/referral source/community appreciation event accomplishes this goal and it allows you to take an opportunity and announce a new initiative or create some buzz in the community.

Host your appreciation event during a time of the year when people are in town but not otherwise preoccupied.  November and December are the worst months for this as this tends to be a time of year when people are preoccupied with holiday plans.

Structured Networking Group

Referrals are the lifeblood of any law firm.  Eighty percent of your referrals will come from twenty percent of your colleagues.  It is in your interest to develop a group of people you can trust consistently with your referral business.  Once you begin sending referral business to the same people over and over, you will be amazed at how quickly good matters come back to you.

Every month you should hold a meeting of your referral partners.  You should exchange ideas and discuss issues that concern everyone in the community. Some of our clients even have their referral groups share advertising and marketing expenses or host joint events.  The key is getting this idea off the ground.  Once you host the first meeting, you will notice that good ideas immediately begin to surface.

Media Presence

What you know is not as important as people knowing what you know.  You must be perceived as an expert.  This expertise starts with being quoted in the media.  Many lawyers do not like to take a high profile in the media as they feel it makes them look less humble.  Other lawyers choose to avoid the media because they feel it is often “not friendly” to their type of practice of their type of clientele.

As an alternative to being quoted in the media (and to be used in conjunction with being quoted in the media) you can write articles and submit them regularly to publications your clients read.  These should be articles showcasing your opinion, your expertise or both.  A good place for consumer lawyers (criminal law, family law, immigration law) to start is with some of the small local publications.  Your neighborhood newspaper always needs content and editors are often happy to have well written stories submitted from expert columnists.

No matter how much you may hate taking a high profile, remember:  Famous lawyers don’t starve.

Implementing these five things as your mini marketing plan will not help you attract clients en mass.  What it will do is help you consistently attract 4 or 5 new clients each month (conservatively).  That is a minimum of 48 new clients each year.  While those numbers do not seem overwhelming, if your average client matter is worth $5,000, this mini marketing plan just made you $192,000.

I am not sure why you would not implement these five initiatives immediately, unless of course you don’t need an additional $192,000…