12 Common Law Firm Marketing Mistakes
It is the desire of every business owner to effectively market and grow their business—and this holds true for lawyers as well.
However, there is the possibility of complacency creeping into law firms that believe they have attained a considerable level of success, and therefore they neglect strategic marketing. This can be dangerous as some legal firms are still yet to implement the most basic of marketing channels, such as social media or digital marketing.
In today’s digital world, the internet is becoming the biggest billboard for every business type irrespective of their size, product or service offering. However, it is important for law firms to avoid certain mistakes when creating and executing a marketing strategy.
Here are some of the most common errors legal firms make when it comes to marketing:
1. Failing to establish a strong online presence
One critical mistake law firms make while marketing their services is failing to take advantage of the opportunities that abound on the internet.
In a Forbes report, Galveston lawyer Khalil Saman says that for any law firm to achieve continuous success in their business, establishing an online presence is a must. The advent of the internet makes it very easy for individuals to search online for whatever products or services they require.
A lawyer marketing their services only offline is literally losing out on the billions of internet users across the world and surrendering leads to their online-savvy competitors.
2.Neglecting consistent marketing
Marketing is a continuous activity, and for a lawyer working 12hours or more every day, there is the tendency to slack or slow down on reaching out to prospective clients.
However, doing this can be dangerous to your business as marketing must be a daily activity interwoven into your business. Therefore, always ensure that you set asidea few hours daily to reach out to prospective clients online—whether by updating your social media page, following up on leads or writing an article you can share.
3. Inconsistent networking
Procrastination is the bane of some law firms who have a pile of briefs to work on, and this can affect their proactiveness in terms of networking.
Networking is very important as referrals are one of the best sources of continuous leads for any business. While you think you can make up for the lost times, every industry event missed is a potential client walking out the door.
Therefore, take time to outline the prospective contacts and referral sources that you plan to reach out to on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Having a consistent small-scale approach to networking can be much more effective than trying to do too much in too little time.
4. Poor follow-up culture
It is important to cultivate a good follow-up culture into your marketing activities. As a lawyer, networking is a great way to meet prospective clients; however, failing to follow up on a promise or activity can put you in a bad light.
Therefore, it is necessary to always reach out to prospective clients and follow up with them based on whatever conversation you had—and time is always of the essence.
5. No social media presence
Social media platforms are increasingly becoming one of the best ways to connect with your clients, build your brand and increase revenue for your business.
Failing to establish a social media presence can do more harm than good to your business. Nonetheless, it is important to have a strategic approach to social media marketing, or else you might end up wasting time and effort.
LinkedIn is typically a great place for corporate businesses and individuals to start and you can dedicate a few hours weekly to connect with people via updates, comments and other forms of interaction.
6. Slow adoption rate
Every industry has certain tools and techniques that are tailored to enable growth and improve performance in that industry. The same holds true for legal firms, but lawyers are notorious for their overly patient approach to quite a lot of things—including technological adoption.
Rather than waiting to see how the competition fare with a new product or service, take the bold step and do some research on the tools. This can help you get a better head start than your competitors and provide timely resolution to issues affecting your firm.
7. Poor contact management
It is quite common for lawyers to mishandle the contact information of their prospective clients. Considering the amount of work that needs to be done daily, there is the tendency to forget an email or a meeting, or even lose a file.
Lawyers must learn to take the initiative in properly managing the contacts they engage with. Create a task list after every meeting and use the appropriate technological tools to schedule meetings and record deadlines.
8. Harnessing the power of writing
The most successful lawyers today have achieved great things by public speaking and niche writing. This goes to prove the power of writing and a lot of lawyers are ignorant of this.
Writing is a great way to build brand recognition and credibility for your firm. As long as your articles are highly informative and original it is bound to attract your key clients.
9. Shying away from public appearances
It is an open secret that a lot of people are wary of public speaking—and even the most successful lawyers are not exempt.
However, constantly writing and speaking publicly at events will eventually make you a prominent subject-matter expert.
10. Not having a focused marketing strategy
Marketing can be overwhelming but to get the most out of it, it is necessary to have a focused approach. Spend time researching who your target audience is, where they are most likely to be and what they are likely to be interested in.
Identifying the specific needs of your target audience can help law firms carve a niche for themselves rather than hopping on the trial-and-error wagon. Building a focused marketing strategy will eliminate the need for activities not directly related to your set objectives.
11. Overlooking pro bono work
For law firms that are actively engaged in controversial and trending legal topics like labour law—and are making lots of money off it—there is the tendency to overlook pro bono work.
However, offering free services can be a good way to effectively market your firm and be in the public eye.
12. Publicizing your rates
The operational costs of law firms are quite high, and most firms charge an hourly rate for their services, just to balance everything out.
However, one rule of law is never to advertise your rates publicly as this can greatly damage your business. Putting up a fixed rate on your website—whether hourly or otherwise—can make it difficult for firms to adjust their rates in the future.
Legal cases vary and so should your fees.