I’m sure you’re familiar with this story, no matter when you graduated law school:
I graduated Georgetown Law in 2001. Never, in my three years there, did a professor mention how to attract and retain clients. Never, outside of a discussion of legal ethics, was advertising discussed. I went to a leading white shoe law firm after that. I rarely even saw clients there. It wasn’t until I went to a smaller firm a few years later that I realized there was an art to developing a brand that would attract clients and encourage them to sign retainer agreements.
While attracting clients through in-person networking is an essential skill, there are so many other options that capitalize on the internet’s ability to work for you while you do other things, such as, say, practicing law. However, marketing firms often approach strategy from a one-size-fits-all mindset (“you need to spend $10,000 per month on PPC ads for this keyword”), or are only reactive, engaging in marketing practices based on whatever a firm says it wants. Meanwhile, there are a wide variety of marketing strategies that can be adopted based on a firm’s practice area, budget, short-term goals, and long-term goals. Choosing the right strategy only comes from understanding the legal profession, in general, and the unique challenges faced by your firm.
For starters, I listen from a place of experience. I practiced law. I know what it means to wade through reams of discovery documents or to fight off the opening argument jitters. Every client I work with starts out with a no-fee initial consultation, either online or in person, in which I listen to the client’s goals and challenges. Then, that client and I work to determine the right course of action, the right mission plan to achieve that goal, given the client’s individual circumstances.
Then, I execute that mission.
For some clients, that may mean something as simple as creating content for a public relations push, such as press releases and blog posts. For others, it may mean targeted ad campaigns on social media and search engines. Others still may require a complex strategy that includes the redesign of their logo and website, development of social media content campaigns, and management of pay-per-click ad campaigns.