Law firms rarely ever fail for lack of talent. They fail due to a litany of bad business practices, inefficiencies, infighting and hubris, as well as a number of other reasons that have nothing to do with the intelligence or talent of the lawyers themselves.
In today’s hyper-competitive legal services marketplace, it is not enough to be smart or even to do a great job for your clients. You must find a way of differentiating yourself and your firm so that prospective clients have a reason to choose you over your competitors. And everyone who works in your firm must be engaged in this process.
Here are 10 things your firm should be doing to market your legal services:
- Encourage cross-selling among attorneys. If you have multiple practice areas and lawyers who specialize in each area, then those lawyers should be cross-selling your services. Make sure all your attorneys understand your total offerings.
- Get your staff involved in marketing. Your legal services marketing efforts should touch every member of your staff, since they are your ambassadors when it comes to passing along your expertise to their contacts.
- Implement a program for keeping in touch with former clients. This is a no-brainer. Add them all to your monthly e-newsletter list and establish a system for sending out keep-in-touch emails that doesn’t require any babysitting from busy lawyers.
- Be sure all your lawyers engaged in business development. To keep your lawyers engaged in developing new business, implement a training program on your marketing messaging and encourage them to get out and network.
- Keep your website current. An out-of-date website tells prospects that your firm is out of date. Be sure you are adding fresh content and that your site works well on mobile devices.
- Manage your online reputation. Reputation management is critical for law firms. You should have this task assigned to someone (internal or external) who regularly conducts online searches for your firm name and attorney names. If something bad pops up, you should have a process for dealing with it effectively.
- Keep your attorney bios up to date online. Every attorney should have a complete and current bio with a professional photos on your website, LinkedIn, Avvo, etc.
- Maintain an active blog. A blog is one of the best ways for you to market to your niche, highlighting your practice areas and pumping out fresh content that showcases your expertise in each.
- Provide added value to clients. Providing clients with value above and beyond what they are paying for will keep them coming back.
- Micro-manage the client experience. Do clients have to wait when they show up for an appointment? Are you offering them something to drink and making them feel at home? If not, you need to take another look at how your firm treats clients because they are measuring you not just against other law firms but against every service provider they know. And if they don’t like the fit, they won’t be back.