The world of marketing remains a bit of a mystery for many legal professionals. We know enough about it that many of us become do-it-ourselfers for our websites, blogs and even our branding.
Nonetheless, there is much we can learn from true marketing professionals.
To that end, I have the pleasure today of introducing the first in a series of videos on Marketing for Lawyers and Legal Professionals I’ve done with Sandra Bekhor of Bekhor Management and Toronto Marketing Blog. Sandra’s firm provides marketing and practice management services nationwide to lawyers and other professional practitioners.
In this installment, Sandra discusses marketing for lawyers and provides 5 tips on taking your firm’s marketing endeavours to the next level:
Here are Sandra’s key tips from the video:
1. Track where your client enquiries are coming from.
- Generate data on what’s working for your firm today by asking your intake staff to ask new clients how they became aware of your firm and by including a question on your intake questionnaire that asks this same question. And, of course, remember to thank your referral sources.
2. Analyze your marketing budget (and spend wisely)
- Be aware of how much you are investing in each of your marketing initiatives over the course of the year, and determine which of those initiatives are delivering a good return. If an initiative isn’t working, discontinue it. If you are seeing success, consider how to extend and build on that success.
3. Decide what you want your marketing to generate for you, and use marketing to shape the practice you intend to build.
- Consider the “80/ 20 rule:” 20% of your practice drives 80% of revenue. Decide what you want more of, and direct your marketing efforts toward those outcomes. Develop a sense of who your “ideal” target client is, and target those clients.
- This applies to each individual lawyer. Take a look at your practice – the kind of work you are doing and the kind of work you’d like to be doing. Focus your marketing efforts on reshaping your practice to align with your professional aspirations and goals.
4. Develop a plan
- After analyzing what has already been working, deciding where you want to get to and establishing your budget, you will have compiled much necessary information to feed and direct your law firm’s marketing plan.
- While there are many steps to getting there, ultimately your marketing plan is an action plan. It tells you what projects you should be working on – develop a logo or tagline, expand your engagement on social media, arrange speaking engagements, or update your website, as examples.
- It will likely include marketing activity that the entire firm will participate in, as well as personal level activities that are customized to each lawyer’s strengths and interests.
- If a stated goal is to open x new files in a preferred area of practice or to drive y dollars in revenue by end of year, your plan will also help you determine how many of these marketing activities will need to happen (and at what frequency they must happen) to make your goals a reality.
5. Implement your plan before the ink dries
In fact, start implementing even before you finish the plan.
6. Bonus Tip (from me): Involve Marketing Professionals
- Marketing professionals bring objectivity, understanding of the marketplace and an assortment of strategic and creative skills to any law firm marketing initiative.
- But perhaps most importantly, marketing professionals can help law firms to identify and clearly articulate their authentic identities and strengths. They then can work with us to translate these articulated strengths into marketing initiatives aimed at building the kinds of practices we all genuinely aspire toward.
It’s not quite as simple as “if you build it they will come,” perhaps.
But if you build it and market it appropriately and professionally – and your firm delivers the quality of service it promises to deliver – you are likely to have a very successful career in the practice of law.
For the professional practice of today, I’d suggest, marketing has become one of the necessary – and unavoidable – components of such success.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto