Small law firms and attorneys who decide on hanging a shingle are no different from any other small business in the sense that their success will strongly depend on their marketing efforts. The marketing approach that must be taken by the legal community, however, differs from most other small businesses. Here are five marketing strategies to help you drive your practice:
1 – An Adequate Website
The incredible growth and popularity of online social networking has lead some marketing professionals to recommend small business owners to limit their online presence to Facebook and Twitter. While those two networks are the epitome of social media, small law firms should not ignore the powerful marketing appeal of a website.
Social media is great for messaging and networking, and to that extent Facebook and Twitter serve those two purposes very efficiently. Attorneys should use social media to drive online traffic to their site. A small law firm’s website serves as a virtual shingle and office on the Internet. Everything that is meaningful to the firm and its clients must be contained in the website, from branding to content and from contact detail to useful information.
There are several factors involved in making a website adequate for a law firm. Compliance and Search Engine Optimization are just two of those factors. It is highly recommended that attorneys seek the assistance of web design professionals who are experienced in site development for the legal community.
2 – Chamber of Commerce Membership
Signing up with the local Chamber should be high on the list of solo attorneys and small practices. In today’s world of viral marketing and subliminal product placement, a Chamber of Commerce membership may sound like an old-fashioned strategy, but it is highly effective.
Chambers of Commerce exist for the purpose of serving the interest of the business community, and one of the ways they accomplish their mission is by marketing. Chambers are constantly involved in marketing their member businesses and driving awareness among local residents with publications and events.
3 – Email Marketing
Electronic mail is one of the oldest components of the Internet, and to this day it remains the most widely used. Clients who are business people or who work in offices are always checking their email, and thus marketing to them via this medium is ideal.
While some small-scale email marketing campaigns can be handled by attorneys, the proliferation of spam on the Internet requires that legal practitioners seek professional assistance with more ambitious campaigns. The last thing an attorney needs is to be flagged as a spammer by the strict junk filters in modern email clients.
4 – Social Media Marketing
A recent report published by data analytics firm Social Media Examiner indicates that most businesses view social media marketing as a tool that increases exposure, traffic and search engine rankings. It is important to remember that those three increased factors are related to the first strategy on this list –an adequate website.
5 – Organizing Events for Clients
Client events can be considered as real-life social networking functions. They usually require a fair amount of work due to the planning and organization involved, and any expenses must be covered by the law firm’s coffers –although they can easily qualify as tax-deductible business expenses.
The key to a successful client event is to balance the marketing aspect with a measured amount of entertainment. Attorneys must keep in mind that business clients can be very attuned to marketing ploys, and thus an event shall be planned in a way that does not come across as pandering.
It may be tempting for small law firms and solo attorneys to attempt to tackle the strategies listed herewith themselves, especially during periods of budgetary constraints and few clients, but such efforts cannot compare to the success that marketing professionals can bring.
Teresa Brown is a freelance writer and blogs for Chamber of Commerce Directory. She enjoys finding new marketing strategies for her business!