The Ultimate Guide to Law Firm Marketing
Okay, before we dive into our Ultimate Guide to Law Firm Marketing, let’s make one thing clear. We know you’ve read lots of articles, all claiming to be the “end all be all” to law firm marketing tips. You get excited, sit down and prepare yourself to learn lots of inside tips on how you can improve your advertising campaigns. However, about 5 minutes into the read you realize that the article is nothing more than a self-fulfilling marketing ploy, used by an advertising agency, to get you to call them rather than teach you anything useful.
Honesty is the best policy; we would LOVE for you to call us. Let’s go a step further, we would love for you to hire us and pay us a ton of money to be your advertising agency. However, we’re in the business of performing, and we only desire to be paid when we’ve actually performed and brought you new cases. So, today, we’re going to touch on the things we believe are vital for you and your law firm to obtain new cases. We are also going to touch on branding, growing and protecting your reputation, as well as understanding and identifying your true target audience.
Grab a pen and paper, a coffee or if you’re like most of us in the office, the stiffest and strongest energy drink you can find, and let’s dive headfirst into the ultimate guide to law firm marketing.
What is the Goal of Your Law Firm Marketing Campaign?
So, you’ve been pitched by an advertising agency. You like what they have to say, you’ve done some background checks, things seem to pan out so far. The rep you’ve talking to says the things you want to hear, and you’re beginning to drink the Kool-Aid. You talk to your partners, everyone seems to be on board, and now you’ve signed and paid and you’re waiting for the leads to starts flowing in.
Then, two months later, after no calls, no new clients, you wake up. Upset, pissed off, and downright angry, you call your rep to tear them a new one. However, your rep is a professional at spinning. And in fact, they have documentation to throw in your face. How can you be so upset, so unappreciative? Your website has gained in organic rankings. You now show on the first page of Google. You have new content and new directories. So much amazing work has been done.
Here is where the rubber meets the road, and where you yourself screwed up big time. Remember, you’re an attorney, you know better than to just take people at face value. And your marketing company is going to throw that in your face. How did you royally pull off a “Mark Sanchez Butt Fumble” of your own? Simple, you let your marketing company pitch you one thing, but sell you another. What is the goal of your law firm marketing campaign? You believed, because you were verbally sold this, that the goal of the campaign was to bring you NEW business. However, the PAPERWORK you signed talks about bogus milestones.
This is a bait and switch, but you fell for it. See, too often lawyers forget to actually put their marketing agency on the spot. The goal of a law firm marketing campaign is to MARKET the LAW FIRM. Period. And, a marketing campaign that DOES NOT bring in NEW quality cases is a WASTE of money. End of discussion. So, as we begin the next part of our ultimate guide to law firm marketing, please note that our tips are designed to bring you new cases. And, if you hire us, and pay us lots of money (joking, but not really) we will prove to you that we can perform. That means you’re not wasting money, you are not paying a bill, you are investing in your law firm to obtain a return. Let’s improve your law firm advertising campaign.
Types of Goals and Why Setting a Goal is Vital to Your Law Firm Marketing Campaigns Success
If you’ve ever played around with Google AdWords then you’ve probably had to pick a goal. There are lots of different types of goals. Maybe the goal of your marketing campaign is to build positive press, or to help push down some negative noise online. Sometimes a goal can be as simple as improving your organic positions (we don’t recommend this for law firms as it won’t make you money). However, for ALL of the law firms we’ve talked to and work with, their number one goal is the same 100% of the time. They want to obtain more new cases per month. To make it even more simple, they all want to make more money per month. And, they are hoping and praying that a well-devised law firm marketing campaign can provide them the leads needed to “bring home the bacon”.
Setting a goal is vital because you need a target to hit. You are not always going to get a bullseye, but if you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land amongst the stars. If you set a goal, and you and your marketing team are on the same page, you have a road map to follow. More importantly, you can track your progress and make changes where applicable.
Getting New Cases from Your Law Firm Marketing Campaign
As we mentioned above, there are lots of different types of campaign goals. For today, we’re going to focus on getting new cases from your law firm marketing campaign. After all, if you want to make more money, you need more business. Now, the tips and tactics we’re going to discuss today are all things you can do all by yourself. You do not need a marketing agency to do this for you. No law firm marketing company, no law firm search engine optimization agency, has any type of secret sauce. It simply comes down to rolling up your sleeves and doing the work.
With that said, here are our top tips to obtaining more leads and better cases. If you have questions at any time, or if you want to discuss a potential advertising campaign with a team member, click here. You can also call us at (818) 877-7701.
Identifying Your True Competitors
If you’re an attorney who’s practiced more than 5 minutes, then you’ve been pitched by ad agencies before. Every marketing rep who’s called you has talked about the importance of beating your competition. However, have any of them ever actually helped you identify who your true competitors are? Just because some law firm marketing SEO company sales rep “Google searches” a keyword like “personal injury attorney” and they show you ALL of the firms above you, doesn’t mean they ACTUALLY found your true competition.
Identifying your true competitors is vital. First, it lets you know who is eating up all of the cases you want. Second, and most importantly, it gives you (and your marketing company) a blueprint to follow. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Point being, if three other law firms are gobbling up all the car accident injury cases in your market, let’s find out what they are doing WELL and then find a way to BEAT them at their own game. That’s how you identify which law firms are really your competitors.
Identifying Your Geographical Marketing Range
We work with lots of major law firms, with offices throughout single states and even multiple states. Why are we bringing this up? Simple, we want to talk about identifying your geographical marketing range. Let’s use Los Angeles as an example. Say your law firm is located in Encino, CA. A city suburb of Los Angeles. Encino is too small to target as a solo geo. Meaning, if you’re looking to gobble up new cases, you won’t have enough “fish to catch” in the pond of Encino. So, you’re going to need to go outside of Encino, and into other “ponds” to catch fish (new cases).
Makes sense, right? Well, not so fast. Sometimes we work with law firms that want to target say a whole state because they have offices throughout the state. This may or may not be productive. Even with today’s circumstances of COVID-19, when it comes to legal matters, your clients are going to want to sit down with you in person, face to face. With that said, what is the point of spending money on a certain city or area, if you do not have a physical office there?
We’ve had to explain to clients before that even though they may want to target an area due to potential client traffic, it may blow up in their face if the mindset of the potential client is to work with a local firm. Simply put, don’t put money into a geographical market if you’re not sure if you can catch the fish you’re fishing for.
Spending Enough Money for a Law Firm Marketing Campaign to Work
This one is huge. Point blank, you need to open to spending enough money for a law firm marketing campaign to work. You cannot provide water pistols to your soldiers and expect them to win a war for you. If you’re serious about obtaining new cases, you need to be willing to spend money to fund an aggressive campaign. Period.
Changing the Way You View Your Marketing Spend
As we mentioned above, you need to spend money to make money. However, budgeting a successful law firm marketing campaign budget goes beyond that. You and your associates must change the way you view your marketing spend. Most lawyers, prior to working with our agency, viewed their monthly marketing spend as a bill. Better yet, they looked at paying their bill like going to the dentist. Painfully.
That’s because the marketing company they were working with was milking them, and draining them, month after month. The marketing company became an expense, not an investment. We don’t work that way, and no successful advertising agency does. That’s because you MUST look at and view your marketing budget as an investment. This is all about ROI. If you gave your marketing company a thousand dollars, and for every one thousand you spent on ads, you got back three thousand, how many times would you do this per month? Think about “them apples” right?
Investing in Multiple Forms of Advertising
What is your favorite food, your favorite movie? When Friday night rolls around, do you reach for a nice cabernet, are you into scotch or fine tequilas? Maybe you pass on the “adult beverage” and instead you indulge in extreme activities like rock climbing or surfing. Our point is this, everyone likes different things. Guess what, so do your potential clients.
Some clients may jump right to Google and click and call the first law firm they find. Others may do research and want to read testimonials and reviews and look into you as an attorney prior to calling. There are clients who do not trust online ads, and maybe they go with local law firms they’ve seen on billboards and bus ads, and TV commercials. You NEED to be willing to invest in multiple types of marketing campaigns, so that regardless of where a potential client searches, they find you.
Television Advertising for Attorneys
When it comes to the “800-pound gorilla” of marketing, TV wins. It’s true, tried, and tested. Again, stop shooting yourself in the foot by thinking you cannot afford TV. You truly can’t afford to NOT do it. TV helps build your brand and build TRUST better than any other form of marketing. Best of all, we can show you ways you can run successful television law firm marketing campaigns at very affordable prices.
If TV is number one, Google AdWords is most likely second (at least for now, more on this in the next section). PPC allows you to go from ZERO to HERO on Google in a few hours. You can run an exact match campaign, broad match campaign, a smart campaign, MAP ads. Okay, you get the point. You MUST run Google AdWords if you want to win the online lead generation game for your law firm. Period.
Google Local Services Ads for Lawyers
Okay, so for now, we listed Google AdWords as the number two law firm marketing platform for you to invest in. And we stress, “for now”. That’s because Google Local Service Ads for lawyers is the hottest new product, and it’s becoming far more productive than standard AdWords. We were one of the first law firm marketing companies to talk about this new platform, and we’ve been helping attorneys through the sign-up process better than anyone out there. Click here to learn more about Google Local Service Ads for attorneys and how they work.
Traditional and Digital Radio Ads
Everyone loves a good jingle. They are catchy, we sing them out of nowhere, and they create the best “earworms”. No, not the slimy creatures living in the dirt, but instead a marketing memory. Your clients drive, take the bus, work out, cook dinner, relax in the backyard, and normally listen to music while doing all of those things. Radio ads stick, work, and they have lasted the test of time. Buy them.
Direct Mailers, Bus Ads, and Billboards
We classify direct mailers, bus ads, and billboards as print advertising. Like TV and Radio, they are old-school ad tactics that still work today. In fact, we think they work better than ever. Any child with a computer can set up a digital online campaign. People know that. Digital does catch the “goldfish” mentality clients, but it does not carry the same branding power as print marketing.
Get your face and your firm on a billboard, buy direct mailers, and slap your logo on a bus. Watch how fast your brand grows and your direct website traffic will also jump through the roof.
Growing and Protecting Your Reputation
Marketing is supposed to put your law firm in front of potential clients who are in need of your services. However, your brand and reputation are what seal the deal. Investing money into marketing but NOT investing money into growing your brand and reputation is like buying the most expensive and powerful fishing reel, going to the lake with the most fish biting, but then not putting any bait on your hook. It’s flat-out a waste of time and money.
There are lots of different ways you can grow your law firms’ brand, as well as the reputation of your attorneys. Here are some of the ways we help lawyers improve their rep, grow their name recognition, and protect the firm against any type of negative press.
There are a plethora of attorney directories out there. AVVO, Martindale-Hubbell, FindLaw, Lawyer Legion, we can go on and on. They all do pretty much the same thing, list your contact info. Seems pretty hokie, and they are, but they do have value. First, they do help improve your NAP score, which helps for Local Maps and SEO. Most importantly though, they display your client reviews and your peer reviews. Make sure you and your fellow attorneys keep up with your directories. It can go a long way to landing a big client.
Google reviews are easy to get, and they go a long way in building trust with potential clients. Google shows how many stars you have and allows potential clients to read reviews. They even highlight the reviews on the top of your Google My Business page. In fact, a major factor with ranking high enough in the new Google Local Service Ads carousal is based upon your reviews.
Client Video Testimonials
New potential clients are worried about a legal matter. Hence, that’s why they are considering your services. What better way to build confidence in their decision to retain you for legal counsel than to HEAR from OTHER past clients with similar legal issues? Simply put, get off your behind and GET your past clients to provide you with proper video testimonials. Or, hire us and we will handle all of this for you.
Press Releases and Law Firm Updates
Have you won a major award such as the AV Preeminent status from Martindale? Did AVVO bestow upon you a perfect 10 out of 10 rating? Maybe you and your firm took down a major trial victory and won millions for a client. Publishing press releases and law firm updates on your site, and off-page as well, spreads the word around the web that you’re the “Top Gun” in your field.
Selecting the Right Law Firm Marketing Company
We hope you enjoyed the ultimate guide to law firm marketing. As always, we encourage you to think outside the box. There is nothing any advertising agency does that you cannot do all on your own. The question is, where is your time more valuably spent? We think it’s in court, dealing with files, and helping those who have real legal concerns. After all, that’s why you became a Doctor of Law, isn’t it?
Look, selecting the right law firm marketing company isn’t easy. And, we may or may not be the agency for you. If you’re interested in learning more about law firm marketing, ways you can obtain more quality cases, or if you just want to talk shop about a potential campaign, give us a call. We love helping lawyers learn more about ways they can improve their lead generation campaigns.
Our Corporate Offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm local time. Our California Branch is located at 6320 Canoga Avenue, 15th Floor, Suite 1558 Woodland Hills, CA 91367. Our Texas Branch is located at 130 North Preston Road, Suite 22B, Prosper, TX 75078. We have additional sales offices in San Diego, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ.