“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
As with all proverbs their origin is shrouded by the mists of time. In applying this proverb to law firm marketing, we encounter weekly if not daily examples of lawyers telling us how vital marketing is to them and their firm, to bring in the ‘tomorrow’ work, yet the paradox is that the marketing is still not done.
Hope reigns supreme that new work will just come through the door. This is not a marketing strategy we recommend you tell your bankers – or your family!
It’s time to be realistic with yourself and your business.
Even if your firm is small or you are not very computer/IT literate, you can still showcase your firm so that you have a sound marketing presence and a smart ongoing marketing strategy. What is even better is that this can be done inexpensively.
There are three basic elements needed to get your law firm marketing started.
If you do not have a website, then get one. This is a no brainer.
People who have been referred to you will want to ‘check you out’ first by looking you or your firm up, on the internet. If your firm is not on the internet and the person referred has been given two names, then in most cases you will miss out and you won’t even know. Just reflect for a minute and consider how you deal with your own purchasing options.
You can get a basic 10 page website built for a couple of thousand dollars within 2 weeks if you want to, it might even be included for free with your practice management software package.
Most lawyers can confidently say they have a database. The problem is that it is usually in a mess.
In the past, little thought was given to this data at all. It was treated by lawyers as ‘nuisance material’ needed by the Office Manager, or possibly your accounting system, that interrupted you before you could start the ‘real work’ that is, working on that new matter.
Over the years this data has been collected but perhaps it’s not really current, perhaps you have multiple copies of client details or perhaps the records are long standing but are the old fashioned little cards – all hand written straight from the 1950’s.
Lawyers have focussed on delivering services to their clients rather than considering or having had the time, to go through the process of converting paper records into a proper electronic database.
It’s now time to convert it, the contact information in your database is invaluable.
Make a plan to get your database in order so that you can take advantage of the most valuable marketing asset in your law firm.
Regular client communication
Having a website and a database though only fulfils part of your marketing plan.
If we apply general business statistics from Gartner Group to law firms it means that 80% of your law firm’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing clients. The generally accepted 80/20 rule of business.
There is no point just having a website if no one knows about it. You need to drive traffic to your site.
You need to tell all your clients about what you do (they will forget) and remind them who you are (apart from your closest friends, they will not remember you) and where you are located.
You need to engage with them regularly. You can only do this if you have a database that is in reasonable shape. It won’t start out perfect but start now, set it up, nurture it and you will reap the rewards in the future.
If you want to enjoy a brighter year and rely on a better work flow with the phones ringing, your appointment diary building up with the work you want to be doing, it is up to you to do something. Having good intentions will lead you to a place you probably don’t want to be.
If you want help getting started we have a set and forget marketing strategy that costs about as much per month as what you charge doing one hour’s legal work, contact us now if you would like to have a chat about where/how you should start.
About the author
Brian has more than twenty years’ experience in marketing and management across diverse industries including legal, real estate, tourism and technology. Brian lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters.