It doesn’t matter if you had a shocker in 2014, that year is over. The more important question is what you are going to do to make improvements in your law firm. If you do nothing, of course nothing will happen.
There are still firms that can’t get their act together or who seem lost and there are other firms looking for marketing help. We hope this blog helps you.
In this article we share some of feedback we have received about law firm marketing from principals and decision makers in law firms around Australia. In doing so we hope this helps you, so you can have a better and hopefully much more rewarding 2015.
Based on this feedback we have come up with some actionable tips that will help you work around the Top 5 reasons for not marketing that we commonly hear, as told to us by law firm principals, these tips are set out below.
We know we need to do some marketing – we just don’t know what to do
This is commonly said and is understandable – you are a lawyer not a marketing guru.
A lot of practitioners however have commented that it’s comforting to know the Lift Legal directors were each lawyers of over 20 years and previously managed their own firms. We know how to help you.
If you advertise (as this is what usually first comes to mind as a plan) you are appealing to people who don’t know you, that is to the world at large. So where should you start? If you start marketing to people who already know and trust you – your clients and referrers, it is a smarter strategy. Lawyers have said to us since using our newsletter service that clients they thought they would never hear from again have called them with new work.
We rely on ‘word of mouth’ we don’t need to send out newsletters
Word of mouth is a great way of getting new work and you should continue with this as a marketing method. However we find there is an over reliance on it and this is often because the senior partners don’t really know what marketing the firm could be doing.
The real problem is that as a strategy it will fail if it the only marketing you are doing. You need to do more because a person referred to you needs to be reminded about what you do and what your values are.
The best way of doing that is by providing helpful tips and pieces of legal information on a regular basis. Clients appreciate this and like you for it.
This is at the heart of our newsletter strategy.
Sure a very small group won’t want to receive newsletters but they can opt out and you can market to them differently. You don’t stop what is a fantastic marketing strategy because of a very small percentage of your database (or the senior partner) doesn’t like it. You should do what works for the majority of clients and in our experience law firm clients from all States and from any firm type – commercial or personal legal services and regardless of size click and read our newsletter articles.
I never have time to do the marketing
Well you are in the majority if you have said this. So much so we estimate that every client or prospective client has said this to us.
You know that won’t change this year so we suggest you outsource it if you cannot manage this on an ongoing and regular basis.
It is also worth taking into account how much it costs the firm in time to do the marketing work. For most lawyers marketing does not come naturally so calculate or consider the cost of lost production in attempting it. From what we have been told it would cost a law firm many times more to produce what we do once let alone on a regular basis.
My partner can’t see the value in spending money on newsletters
Perhaps you should read the recent case study we did on increasing file openings because of our newsletter. Some people see our service as a cost whilst others who see the value, see it as a revenue driver.
We allow firms to start on a paid trial of our newsletter for 4 editions over a six month period so they don’t feel locked into a long contract. To date we are delighted to say not one firm has opted out of that trial after it concluded.
Our database is in a mess
Well again you are safely in the majority here if this sounds familiar.
Some principals have said to us that it will take months or years to fix up the firm’s database. Well if this has been heard in your office you may never do any effective marketing for as long as it takes to sort this out.
Naturally you can’t afford to let that happen so you are better off to start marketing now to a segment of your database – even if it is a small part. Just start with that group and have the maintenance work done concurrently with your marketing program.
We know of firms that keep telling us they have some months yet to get their database in order. The reality is that they are not placing sufficient resources into it and the consequence is likely to be that they will enjoy the same year they had the previous year for as long as this happens.
Many firms need a helping hand to harvest email addresses out of the computers and systems. We have developed some step by step guides for this and we have clients who have been able to quickly build a database when they thought it was too small or not possible.
Law News+ is our ‘Set-and-Forget’ newsletter system now implemented with so many different types of law firms all around Australia ranging from brand new solo practitioners, to solicitors in modest premises, to highly sophisticated large CBD firms that represent multi nationals and high net worth individuals….and every other style and category in between!
Our monthly cost to produce a newsletter varies depending on firm size but starts from as little as $350 per month. This is about one hours’ charge out rate and is less than it would cost if the firm was to attempt it alone. Plus our reporting software enables you to see exactly who has opened what articles so you can follow up with those clients and stimulate demand!!
Want to try it?
To know more simply click here to email me and we will call you and show you a gallery of actual newsletters we have sent on behalf of firm’s like yours.
Start the year with a smart and proven marketing strategy and enjoy the benefits.
0407 018 109
About the author
Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.