When to Hire a Legal Marketing Consultant for Your Firm
Marketing your law firm is a critical part of running a successful business. The legal marketing landscape is highly saturated, competitive, and constantly changing. So it can be difficult for law firms to keep up with the latest market trends and employ effective marketing strategies to stay competitive. A legal marketing consultant can provide your firm with the guidance you need to create and implement an effective marketing strategy to enhance your online visibility, grow your leads, and increase your marketing return on investment.
The Importance of Legal Marketing to Stay Competitive
You need to find a way to differentiate your firm from your competitors because, right now, potential clients have many options. Legal marketing must be strategic, targeted, and tailored to the firm’s target clients’ needs. With the right legal marketing strategy, firms can build a strong reputation, generate new business, and position themselves as leaders in their field.
What is Legal Marketing?
Legal marketing aims to educate and empower the public about legal issues and promote legal services. Legal marketing is a broad term that encompasses various activities, including social media, advertising, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
Law firms will run Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, advertise on social media, or promote their business listing on directories like FindLaw or Avvo. They may focus on improving their website’s SEO to attract more leads from online searches. Firms can use social media platforms like Meta (f.k.a, Facebook), Twitter, and LinkedIn to share news and updates about their practice and engage with their followers.
There are many different marketing channels that firms can use to promote their legal services, but the most common channels include the following:
- Social Media: Connect with potential and existing clients, and build your network.
- Advertising: Reach a large number of people quickly through paid advertising online.
- Content Marketing: Attract new clients, build awareness, and showcase your thought leadership via blog posts, articles, and eBooks.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Local SEO is a process that helps firms rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Email Marketing: Nurture potential and old clients by emailing helpful information.
Why is Marketing Your Law Firm Important?
In today’s increasingly competitive legal marketplace, having a well-planned marketing strategy is essential for law firms of all sizes. By creating a solid brand and raising visibility, legal marketing can help firms to attract new clients and build name recognition. Legal marketing can also support overall profitability by generating leads and assisting firms in maximizing their investment return. In short, legal marketing plays a vital role in the success of any law firm.
What is a Legal Marketing Consultant?
A marketing consultant helps law firms develop and implement marketing strategies. This can involve developing law firm marketing efforts to create branding materials. In addition, these consultants often have a deep understanding of the legal industry and can provide valuable insights into how to appeal to potential clients. As a result, they can play an essential role in helping law firms grow their business.
How a Marketing Consultant Can Support Your Law Firm
A legal marketing consultant can be a valuable asset to any law firm by providing marketing support without adding additional staff and attracting new clients by increasing visibility for the firm. As a result, a marketer can play an essential role in supporting and improving the operation of a law firm.
From your law firm’s website design and management, and search engine optimization, to social media marketing — a legal marketing consultant can support your firm in building a reputable brand. By outsourcing some of the non-legal work, a law firm can focus on its core competencies and improve its overall productivity.
Legal marketing consultants can work with you to identify your target market, assess your competition, and develop a plan to reach and engage your target audience. They can also guide branding, website development, social media, and other marketing initiatives. In addition, the consultant can help you track and measure your marketing efforts to ensure that they are effective and produce positive results.
Does My Law Firm Need a Marketing Consultant?
If you’re not actively working on your firm’s marketing efforts and tracking the progress, then you may need a legal marketing consultant to set your firm on the right track. Marketing is wasted spend if you don’t track your marketing efforts.
One key indicator you need to bring in a marketing expert is if your firm has experienced a decline in new client intakes. If your firm struggles to generate new leads, you must quickly identify the root cause of your decline in new clients and devise a plan to turn things around.
Another sign that your firm may need help is if you’ve noticed a lack of online visibility. Maybe your website isn’t driving as many leads, or your advertising campaign doesn’t seem to be working. A marketing advisor can audit the law firm’s website and identify areas where it can be improved. They will also be able to develop an effective digital marketing strategy to help increase your online visibility.
How to Tell When You Need a Marketing Consultant
Law firms face a unique set of challenges when it comes to marketing. They must be able to differentiate their law firm brand from competitors and reach prospective clients while adhering to strict ethical guidelines.
Consider your current marketing efforts. If you are not seeing results or meeting your growth goal, it may be time to bring in some outside help. How saturated is your local market? If they are actively marketing their services and winning new business, you’ll likely need to do the same to stay competitive. Working with a marketing advisor can be an excellent way to take your law firm to the next level without hiring more staff or stretching bandwidth. You can keep your costs down while gaining more business.
How to Hire a Marketing Consultant
By reviewing past marketing data, creating a needs assessment, and carefully selecting a marketing consultant, law firms can set themselves up for success. With the right consultant in place, firms can see a significant return on their investment.
Review Past Marketing Spend and ROI
Before making decisions about your marketing budget, review your past marketing spend and ROI for trends and patterns. This will give you a good sense of what has worked well in the past and where you might need to make some adjustments.
If you’re not analyzing your efforts against your business development goals, you won’t know if you’re on track to meet them. Adjustments may need to be made to ensure success. The analysis will reveal the most successful channels, allowing you to allocate spending more effectively in the future. Failing to analyze your campaign could mean wasting time and money on channels that aren’t producing results.
Conducting a Needs Assessment
After reviewing the data, you should create a needs assessment to determine your law firm’s needs. A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining unmet needs and developing plans to address them. This assessment should consider the firm’s current marketing efforts, desired outcomes, and marketing budget. Needs assessments are vital for service providers, as they help ensure that resources are allocated to benefit those who need them the most.
Where Can I Find a Good Law Firm Marketing Consultant?
Law firms should consider experience, creativity, and availability when vetting potential consultants. Finding someone who is a good fit for the firm’s culture and shares the same values is also important. Search for legal marketing consultants online, check with the legal marketing association, or ask colleagues for recommendations.
Once you have a few options, you can conduct free consultations with different agencies or consultants to see their recommendations, pricing, and how they partner with clients.
Characteristics of an Excellent Legal Marketing Consultant
When searching for a legal marketing consultant, law firms should consider working with someone who is niched and specializes in legal services. This will ensure that the consultant understands the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing a law firm.
The consultant should also be aware of the latest trends in legal marketing and be able to provide tailored advice to all of your practice areas.
Law firms should avoid working with consultants who also work with their competitors. This could lead to conflicts of interest, and the consultant may not be able to provide unbiased advice.
A flexible contract should be a key consideration, as it will allow you to adapt your marketing strategy as needed. This flexibility is crucial in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. A flexible contract will give you peace of mind knowing that you can make changes as your business evolves.
One of the most important is the ability to use your website rather than a proprietary platform. Be wary of marketers who want you to migrate your website to a proprietary platform, and ask questions about what happens to your website when/if you cancel your contract.
A good marketing consultant will deeply understand SEO and how to maximize your law firm’s website. They will be able to work with your website to create a unique online presence that will set you apart from your competitors.
Nina Lee authored this article.