We launched ESQuisite Marketing to handle legal marketing in small law firms. Since our launch, we have seen some marketing trends among small law firms. The most glaring, from our viewpoint, is that marketing is not consistent, strategic, or a priority. Of course, this makes sense as the owner of a small law firm must practice law and run a business. Further, he or she is not usually trained in marketing. So, here is quick list of marketing items that small law firms should pay attention to a little more.
Nine Marketing Items to Consider
- Promote the activities that you are already doing. If you speak or get published, spread the word. We see lost value and opportunity when firms fail to squeeze out the marketing benefits from existing activities.
- Be proactive in your marketing activities. Too many small law firms are only reactive in their activities. For example, a social media campaign is reactive. People need to first connect and like, then they need to review their feeds to see your content. Repurpose this content to create an email campaign or create a newsletter.
- Create your unique brand. Too often, small law firms all look the same. Create a strategic plan to differentiate your firm from the pack. Some factors to consider are logos, colors, design, messaging, and content.
- Update your website. Small law firms tend not to updated their website for several years. In addition, we see websites with broken links, outdated photos, old news, and bad contact information. The website will often be the first stop for a potential client. Therefore, it probably is a good idea to show that you are still in business – wink wink.
- Be consistent. As busy lawyers, we know it is hard to keep at marketing. However, for many small law firms, there are just too many starts and stops. There is long periods of time between social media and blog posts, as examples. Like an outdated website, these lags can send the wrong message to your target audience.
- Make a plan and a budget. For a small law firm, we recommend a marketing budget of 5-7% of firm revenue. Strategically decide how you will spend this money, how you will measure return on your investments, and where you will spend your limited time. The failure to create a plan and budget will lead to frustration and paralysis.
- Do not wear too many hats. As mentioned above, you are running a business and practicing law. Obviously, you cannot do it all. Find help. Find good and professional help. If you are not doing items 1-6, then you really need help. We see the best-intentioned lawyers fall short because they just do not have enough time. Outsource functions, like marketing, that are important, but you are unable to make a priority. Likewise, outsource functions that are not in your skill set.
- Have realistic expectations. Similarly, to #7 above, we have been engaged by small laws with a clear path to move forward with strategic marketing tactics. The lawyers promise to do certain things such as writing a blog once a week. When the lawyer fails to uphold her or his end of the deal, frustration happens for us and the client. Said differently, expectations are not being met. You need to personally contribute when it comes to marketing.
- Be ethical. Lawyers can find themselves in hot water if they fail to live by the rules of professional conduct. When reviewing the marketing in small law firms, we find many items that run afoul of local ethics rules. When working with an outside company, be sure that they understand the ethics rules affecting the legal industry.
Do a Marketing Analysis
If you or your law firm struggles with these items, you may want to conduct a marketing analysis. This tool will help you prioritize your most pressing needs. We know that marketing in small law firms can be challenging. Above all, it is essential for success. Please contact us if you have any questions about legal marketing.