Some of the most common queries we hear from sole practitioners or owners of boutique practices are about where to start and how to market their small law firms. Small law firms do not have the marketing budget of bigger firms, so they are left with the option of doing the marketing themselves or tasking small projects out. However, when law firms set out to do the marketing themselves, they run into a few issues due to insufficient knowledge of how to approach their marketing in a way that will resonate with potential clients.
One issue that we often see in law firms is that they start marketing campaigns but lose momentum due to being busy meeting with clients, back and forth with other lawyers, preparing for Court and other general admin tasks. In the end, marketing becomes the lowest priority, and it drops to the bottom of the to-do list.
If you are looking for ways on how to effectively market your law firm, I have written this article that lists five helpful tips that will help you whether you are looking to market your firm through social media, via email, through strategic partnerships or other means.
Tip 1: Create Batches of Content Ideas
Creating a stack of content ideas in advance is far easier when compared to coming up with content every time you remember to post something on your website or social media channels. To achieve this, I suggest that you and your team (if you have them), brainstorm content in batches.
When brainstorming for content ideas, think about the potential questions that clients will want to know about their immediate circumstances, your firm, your people and how you resolve issues like theirs.
Start this process by creating key themes, or themes that are connected to different practice areas that you want to promote, and list as many ideas as possible. Ask your team to not worry if there are duplicate ideas, just try and brainstorm in short, punchy timeframes. We use a timer in our office to reduce hesitation and get the brain going. Then, we group these ideas into similar or related topics and see what could be put together or be its own separate theme.
The next step is to flesh out the key messages and find out how your target audience would prefer to consume this information. Short and sweet, concise posts are a great place to start. Even if some areas are really complex, your job is to show that you have the solutions. Don’t make the mistake of trying to explain ALL of the reasoning or backstory because that creates overwhelm (or boredom). If your posts create interest and trust in your ability to resolve problems, you are on the right track.
The final step is to consider this question, “Do people know what to do next?” This is where a call-to-action is important. This is an essential step to include in your content and should be explicitly mentioned at the end of a post to guide your audience to what they should do next. The next step might be for them to read another post, watch another video, read a blog you’ve written or call you for a chat. By demonstrating that you have other related information they can learn more from, reinforcing the message that you solve problems, like those they are experiencing, every day.
I recommend blocking out some time once a month or each quarter in your calendar to brainstorm ideas, organise and flesh out the messages you want to offer.
Momentum is often lost because one session is often done at the start of a year and then it isn’t revisited. I recommend you schedule a monthly or quarterly session in your calendar now.
Tip 2: Create a plan to organise your marketing content
I’m confident you will have come across a number of marketing content calendars if you have been in business for a little while. Content calendars are great because there are times where specific posts will be well-received and have perceived value by your prospective clients. For example, there may be information that you could share that would be beneficial when published at the end of a financial year, at Christmas or as children are going back to school after the holiday break. You can realise a bigger impact from your efforts if the delivery is timely. Think about all of the events or significant dates that are important to your target audience and note them down. Then consider what questions would be helpful to answer around each of those themes and plan away!
Tip 3: Use tools to schedule posts
There are a range of tools available to schedule images, video, text and everything in between. A popular option is Buffer, which is helpful if you want to schedule on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. If you already use the Australian start up Canva for your image design work, and you only wish to schedule to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr & Tik Tok there is a calendar scheduler in there on the pro plan. And tell your friends who work for a registered not-for-profit, as they can access Canva at no cost.
Pro tip: When using tools like this, it’s important to ensure you don’t ‘set and forget’. Do not think that when you post content it will automatically get likes and comments. What helps posts or content of any kind stay higher up in people’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn feed is through engagement. That is, people responding to your posts and YOU (or a representative of your business) replying to those posts. This will indicate to the platform that there is engagement on that post and additional dialogue like responding to people’s comments can help with that.
Allocate someone to monitor the comments and ensure that person knows your law firm’s voice and tone; how you would like them to respond or communicate.
Tip 4: Get a Marketing Coach or Advisor
Sometimes momentum is lost because you lose faith in your approach. With the help of an experienced marketing coach, you have access to strategic advice and support that will help you keep accountable and more likely to achieve your marketing goals.
If you are like most lawyers and law firms, you get busy and when that happens, marketing often falls to the bottom of the priority list. It can be very helpful to have someone on your side, thinking along with you and keeping you on track and accountable.
Tip 5: Hand it over for a professional to take it over
It is often the owner or a dedicated team member who is doing the social media marketing for their law firm. But for many lawyers and firms, marketing will only get done if it is made a priority. If it’s not possible for you to stay on top of your law firm marketing, consider handing it over for a professional to take over. And if that is just not in your budget right now, plan forward for it.
Have conversations around costs and consider it in your budget for the year ahead and create a plan to factor in this as a business expense going forward.
If social media posting is part of your marketing approach, avoid getting caught up in the ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ side of things. If you are talking about heavy topics, or topics that are sensitive or highly personal, it is sometimes unlikely that people are going to comment on your posts on social media. In this situation, think of this work as brand awareness and trust-building initiatives. If you have people who consume your marketing content who refer work to you, this is particularly powerful as you are displaying your expertise (in simple language of course) and keeps your firm on top of referrers’ mind as long as you remain consistent in your presence.
Related Articles: How do law firms get clients?
If you would like support with your in-house marketing or you do not yet have the budget to have our team do it for you, you may be interested in strategy and coaching sessions with our Director, Mel Telecican.