Marketing a law firm is a complex and highly competitive business. It is not a surprise why some law firms fail to thrive while many are barely surviving in the fiercely competitive legal services industry.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why many lawyers fail to market and grow their firms:
No time to market the practice
Almost every failed lawyer cites lack of time as the number one excuse for failing to implement a marketing plan for their practice. It is indeed true that lawyers are stressed for time and barely have enough of it to take care of their clients, let alone market their firms. Most hardly get time to spend with their families. However, most lawyers who claim to be too busy to market their practices are not aware of the long-term benefits of implementing a good marketing plan. Otherwise, they would delegate their marketing duties to an external firm or agency that is more conversant with legal marketing strategies.
Lack of a clearly defined purpose
You need to have a comprehensive marketing strategy to ensure long-term success and the growth of your legal practice. Your marketing plan should have clearly indicated goals and purpose. It should include objectives such as increasing your client base in a given area or niche, generating more business from your existing clients, expanding into other areas of practice, targeting a new audience and generating more leads. However, many lawyers fail in their marketing efforts due to lack of purpose and strategy. You can enlist the help of an experienced online marketer who’ll give you expert advice on how to create and implement an effective marketing strategy for your law firm.
Plans are created at the top level and hardly communicated to associates and support staff
Lack of proper communication is another reason why many law firms fail. Any marketing plan or strategy your law firm adopts should be implemented by all employees of the firm, from the managing partner to the receptionist at the front desk. However, some law firms tend to forget that associates and support staff have a role to play in the company’s marketing efforts. They hardly communicate their marketing plans to those at the bottom of the ladder.
Lawyers who would rather spend time on “real work” than market their firms
A lawyer who believes his time and resources are better spent on legal work than marketing will sooner or later be devoured by the competition. Many often make the mistake of underrating the importance of marketing and end up paying the price when the competition takes over and “real work” suddenly disappears. If legal work demands 100% of your time and energy, a professional agency specializing in legal marketing can be your best defense.
I studied to practice law, not to manage a business
This is a fairly common reason cited by lawyers who fail in the first few years of practice. There seems to be a general resentment for “business” among such lawyers. A good number of lawyers believe that their noble profession is distinct from business and other laws of economics. Issues such as sales, revenue, and increased productivity are viewed as bothersome concepts. Some even consider marketing as a likely cause of unfair competitiveness, client-stealing, and other commercial malpractices that they battle against in their profession every day. It may not be easy to practice law and manage a business at the same time but it is quite possible to treat your firm as a business and let an external company handle the marketing end of the business more efficiently.
Law firms survive on referrals, marketing is an unnecessary expense
There are many lawyers who claim that over 90% of their business comes from referrals, in most cases from fellow lawyers. What these lawyers fail to understand is the fact that the time and efforts used to gain the 90% of referrals from fellow lawyers, probably in a bar meeting, is actually time and resources spent on marketing. If the remaining 10% of clients did not come through lawyer referrals, then how many more clients would they get if they invested in marketing? Sadly, they choose to be complacent with the few referral clients they get until the day when friendly lawyers stop sending more clients and it’s probably time to close shop.
There are many more reasons why lawyers fail than can be listed here but they all point to one thing – inability to market their firms aggressively in a fiercely competitive industry. This is a problem that can be overcome by enlisting the help of a professional marketing company. A legal services marketing company will have proven strategies that produce positive results consistently. The company will set up and implement your legal marketing systems, increase your client base, boost your firm’s revenue, and more importantly, free up your time so you can concentrate on what you do best, practice law.
How your law firm can benefit from services of a legal marketing company
The practice of law is generally a very demanding profession. A lawyer often has to contend with long hours, challenging intellectual work, lots of research, the usual adversarial negotiations, and seemingly endless courtroom proceedings. The practice is nonetheless a business just like any other and every lawyer needs to sell their services to clients. The need to market law firms has created a legal marketing industry that focuses on helping legal practitioners attract more clients and grow their firms. These companies are run by digital marketing and business development experts who are experienced in all forms of legal marketing strategies.
The days when you could advertise your law firm simply by placing an ad on Yellow Pages or design a colorful TV ad are long gone. Today’s consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to find the best legal services in their cities or states. In order to reach these internet-savvy consumers, it has become almost mandatory for every law firm to have a robust and well-organized digital marketing plan. Digital advertising has also grown more technical, making law firms rely even more on the marketing services of companies that specialize in the legal industry.
It goes without saying that every law firm worth its name should at least have an online presence in form of a website, blog, or a social media profile. A law firm without an online presence does not stand a chance in today’s competitive world of legal business. A digital marketing service specializing in promoting legal service providers will be very helpful in analyzing and critiquing your website. They’ll tell you what you need to do in order to optimize your website for search engines and how you can improve your conversion rates. The company handles all your online marketing needs such as building lead generation landing pages, managing your Pay-Per-Click campaigns, social media marketing, online reputation management, your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and every effort needed to attract more leads and clients to your office.
Every law firm should have a solid marketing plan that should not only be implemented fully but constantly reviewed after a given period of time. Many law firms do indeed have great marketing plans but unfortunately, the plans end up gathering dust in a drawer or somewhere in the firm’s server.
Most lawyers fail because they never saw the need to grow their client base in the first place. Others fail because they believe they are great service providers who are too busy to market their firms. However, it doesn’t make financial sense to be the best service provider in your city when you don’t have paying clients. What you need to do is to invest more in marketing if you hope to attract more leads and clients. A digital marketing company specializing in promoting legal services will help you find ways of getting more clients and taking your business to the next level.