Establishing and maintaining an effective law firm marketing program is hard. I wish it was easy, but the reality is there are many factors to consider, many options to review and considerable time and money that needs to be invested before you can say with any confidence “We have a good law firm marketing strategy and program.”
That’s why I often warn clients against being distracted by “magic bullet” law firm marketing. We all do it, we see something new, a new approach or system and we focus all our efforts in that area. Invariably this is to the detriment of other, often more productive and higher return on investment options. A one dimensional marketing strategy is rarely successful.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a classic example.
Don’t misunderstand me. I absolutely believe you should be putting time and effort into securing the best possible google ranking for relevant search terms.
Getting your keywords right on your website, generating new content, disseminating that content for maximum value, building links back to your website – these are all worthwhile parts of your law firm marketing strategy and will help your google position.
Many SEO “gurus” argue that an entire business marketing strategy can be based solely on a good google ranking. They’d argue that you should spend more a month with them than you spent on your firm’s first website and that if you reach the top of your desired search terms you’ll be a profitable, sustainable business. Just sitting back watching the clients roll in.
But if that’s all you’re doing in your marketing plan and you’re pinning the growth and survival of your firm on it – you’ve got a problem.
I’m picking on SEO a bit here, mainly because its topical and my clients receive regular direct approaches from questionable providers. But there are other examples. I’ve seen firms and individuals with a view that they can rely sole on Yellow pages, networking groups, charitable clubs, old boy associations or billboards as a marketing plan.
You’re right John, so what should I do in my marketing plan?
- As with many things in life, balance is critical. Don’t just rely on SEO, don’t just rely on Yellow Pages, don’t just rely on your reputation as a “good bloke”. A genuine marketing strategy has many elements which support each other to produce a result greater than the sum of its parts.
- Generating content (articles, videos, podcasts, guides, how to’s) is always a worthwhile exercise if you’re a professional advisor. But don’t generate it simply for SEO purposes. Do it to genuinely engage with and inform your current and future clients. Don’t forget to email it to current contacts and remember that plenty of people still like good old fashioned paper copies.
- Add new ingredients to the mix. Consider yourself the MasterChef of your marketing plan. No recipe is ever perfect and neither is your marketing plan. SEO, social media, video content, webinars are all part of the marketing recipe that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Take a critical approach and think about how much time, effort and money you want to spend on each of them.
- Build a marketing program that suits your business. If you’re a solo property lawyer in a regional centre who knows everyone in town but hates public speaking your marketing program should be very different from a junior lawyer in a large personal injuries practice with high public profile.
And you can always ask for help. You know where to find me.