Without a solid marketing strategy, it’s easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, many law firms don’t know how to identify and correct their errors. Before you spend another penny of your marketing budget, take some time to reassess your tactics.
1. You Lack a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Without a strong marketing strategy, it’s easy to waste time and money on inconsistent and ineffective initiatives. Sometimes, companies throw their budget at the proverbial wall and hope that something sticks, and while you can approach marketing on an ad hoc basis, it’s not in your best interest.
There’s a difference between a marketing strategy and the tools you might use to implement it. Your marketing strategy is your roadmap and foundation; it identifies your core audiences, sets standards, and frames your marketing choices. Your website, social media profiles, pay-per-click ads, podcasts, and email campaigns are great tools, but none of these elements composes a strategy in and of themselves.
Without a marketing strategy, it’s hard to ensure brand consistency and foster quality leads. For example, suppose your law firm purchases a generic, late-night cable television ad. It doesn’t include much information about your personal injury practice, because a big-box referral service created it from a stale template. Instead, it simply tells viewers to call you with their car accident questions. You and your partners figured you could easily recoup the few thousand dollars you invested if you got one good case. However, most callers have undesirable cases — or no case at all.
When you have a well-defined marketing strategy, you and your team will understand who you want to reach and the best tools with which to do so. Your messages will be consistent with your brand, offer compelling information, and nurture leads. When someone initiates contact with you, there’s a better chance they’re exactly the type of client you’re looking for because they know exactly who you are and what you do best.
2. You Don’t Know Your Audience
Most businesses know their clients’ stories, their challenges, their idiosyncrasies, and their goals. But have you ever thought of them as a marketing audience, or more accurately, a series of marketing audiences?
Effective marketing is targeted at specific audiences who you know value your services and who you consider ideal clients. Typically, you will develop a series of “personas,” idealized characters that reflect your audiences’ preferences, motivations, and demographics.
When you’re building your personas, don’t just data-mine your files. You should also look for areas of potential growth and underserved populations. Ask your leads and clients questions, and listen carefully to their responses. Find out how they discovered your company, why they chose you, and what they appreciate most about your services. Do they recommend you to friends and family? Once you’ve answered these questions, review this information and other client data to identify common traits.
Once you have developed well-defined personas, you can create marketing messages that speak to each audience segment. Consider how your personas would search for your services and what might entice them to click on your contact form or other calls-to-action.
3. You Treat Your Services Like They’re a Commodity
There are thousands of law firms offering personal injury, tax, estate planning, and business services. And many of them use similar branding and messages: Pictures of people in suits! Free consultations! Millions recovered! This sort of messaging can quickly become white noise and will rarely differentiate you from your competition. It can also make your firm look like a commodity that’s nearly identical to your competition, charges similar rates, and offers comparable results.
“The longer someone spends reading your blog, watching videos, and downloading white papers, the more likely they’ll fill out your contact form or give you a call. An educated lead is more likely to match one of you.”
Your firm is unique, and your messaging should be as well. You might approach cases differently, have specialized credentials, or your staff might go above and beyond to make your clients feel welcomed and empowered. Your personal experiences or passions might add a depth of understanding or empathy that your competitors lack. These are your value propositions. Take advantage of your strengths.
You should demonstrate your added value on each page, post, email, and ad. This requires a lot of introspection, research, and effort. You should identify why your services are unique and desirable, and craft messages that clearly and concisely explain your value propositions. Then, share these messages in all marketing materials and client interactions.
4. You’re Too Self-Centered
You certainly should talk about how awesome your law firm is and share its success stories, but alongside these promotional pieces, offer thought leadership. Legal marketing sometimes seems like it’s all about the cult of personality, but most clients aren’t looking for a name — they’re looking for a product or service. They’re also looking for information, guidance, and an interpersonal relationship.
When most clients start searching for law firms, they’re typically looking for basic information. They want to know how to file a claim, draft a document, or learn about their rights. Sharing knowledge not only shows your competence, it also encourages prospective clients to spend time on your website. The longer someone spends reading your blog, watching videos, and downloading white papers, the more likely they’ll fill out your contact form or give you a call. An educated lead is more likely to match one of your ideal personas, since they found your content appealing and informative.
5. You Don’t Value Data and Research
A good marketing strategy requires competitive research and data points. Market research involves studying your competitors’ brands and messages. What are they doing right? What weaknesses can you exploit? How can you differentiate yourself?
You also should assess the effectiveness of your content and tactics. This might involve using A/B testing, data analytics, SEO evaluations, and other activities. Data will also help you establish a digital baseline that will help you understand the relative impact and cost-effectiveness of your revised marketing tactics.
Finally, never rest on past success. Marketing, especially digital marketing, is constantly evolving. Unless you regularly assess your website’s performance and compliance with the industry’s best practices, you might be losing leads — and clients.
Feeling Overwhelmed? Learn How LaFleur Marketing Can Help Improve Your Marketing Strategy.
Most lawyers would rather practice law than focus on legal marketing, but that’s where we come in. At LaFleur Marketing, we help law firms, healthcare organizations, and other businesses reach their ideal clients through well-designed websites, brilliant content marketing, and customized marketing strategies. Contact us online or at (888) 222-1512 for more information.