solicitor Marketing Tips for Law Firms
Get your marketing strategy on the right track, with Ben Trott’s top marketing tips for law firms.
May 31, 2006 15+ min read
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Thinking about a Solicitor marketing campaign for your law firm? It’s certainly not time to become a Grinch. If your goal is to position your firm as a leader in the legal marketplace, a few simple steps can help get you started.
“If your firm wants to make your marketing a significant part of the growth strategy, you really have to spend some time and effort thinking about it,” says Richard Benadrin, founder and CEO of New York City-based Benadrin Marketing. “And your first step is to conduct some market research and get an objective view of what the marketplace thinks of your firm.”
To keep your marketing efforts on target, consider these ten marketing tips from a marketing veteran:
1. Get to know the marketplace. Market research is about identifying who your prospective clients are. You need to know if they have problems in your particular market area, so you can target your advertising and marketing messages.
You can also figure out if you’re at a disadvantage in the marketplace. If you don’t already know how to speak a certain language, you’re probably at a disadvantage. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn, but you may have to hire a translator to reach the targeted clients.
Related: Marketing 101: How to Teach Your Law Firm to Sell
In another example, a law firm I interviewed earlier this year for a special section in The American Lawyer reported to me that it’s hard for its attorneys to explain how their firm operates to prospective clients. They’re hesitant to do so because they haven’t gotten very far in their marketing research.
2. Understand your competition. “Think like a detective, and begin to study your competition,” says Benadrin. He says his law firm routinely does research to understand the thinking of other law firms in our marketplace. “What is it about the firm that makes it stand out?” he says. “If the firm is overpriced, then it may not be a great deal. Some firms may have a great reputation for getting the job done, but they may charge too much.”
3. Identify the demographic of your prospects. What do they like to do? What are their age, gender and marital status? “We try to ascertain what kind of client they are, so we can tailor our marketing to them,”he says.
Find out what’s most important to the clients you want to attract. People who work out of the home, for instance, value speed, so they’re more likely to respond to a firm that has a web site that lets them put in their schedules and make appointments quickly. Related: Marketing: Profitable Ways to Build a Law Firm
4. Show how you’re different. That means looking at your competitors and learning what they do and what their strengths are. Your objective is to be different. “Think about the combination of your clients’ needs and the law firm’s capabilities,” says Benadrin. “Maybe you can do things better than your competitors.
” Does your firm have a better office environment? Are you better at presenting the legal theory behind a client’s problem? “We try to figure out how we’re different from other law firms,” he says.
5. Introduce your brand. A brand is what defines your law firm. What does it stand for? What is it all about? Develop an overarching brand statement that everyone working for your law firm understands.
Benadrin maintains a simple two-page marketing statement that’s printed on a whiteboard and posted in his office.
A brand is about personality as much as it is about products. When you sell a product, you are hoping to turn prospects into clients. But you’re also hoping to create a relationship with the customer that keeps them coming back for more. In a similar way, you want to establish a relationship with your clients. You’re working for them and not just selling a product. Your goal is to help your clients do what they want to do in order to solve their problems, no matter how they get there. Your goal is to do the work that’s required to help them.
That’s a better way to make money than trying to sell a product and never getting paid.