Want to see your law firm gain and retain more clients in 2023? Get ahead of the game by preparing a strong legal marketing strategy now. Review your marketing plan, goals, and tools to start the year on the right foot.
Evaluate your existing marketing plan
Before you can determine where your firm is heading tomorrow, you have to know where your firm stands today—and a thorough review of your firm’s marketing processes and outcomes will help you gain a better understanding. Before making any changes to your current legal marketing plan, break out your firm’s analytics data. Ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- Are the results of your current efforts meeting the objectives you’ve set?
- Where did your marketing efforts perform best in 2022? Where did they underperform?
- Consider looking at marketing for different practice areas, geographical regions, marketing platforms, and other variables
- Do the marketing tools you currently use cost more revenue than they generate?
- What feedback have you received from clients? What do reviews, testimonials, and other forms of input speak to the efficacy of your marketing?
Once you’ve compiled the information, use it as a guideline for the future. If you’re satisfied with the results you’re getting, that’s a clue to keep heading in the same direction. If not, make adjustments accordingly.
And if you don’t have analytics data available, figure out how you can start collecting it. The benefits of an all-angles look at your existing marketing approach are extensive and well worth the investment.
Set clear goals
Legal marketing efforts can easily become muddled when your goals are too broad. Give your legal team a sense of direction with detailed goals. They’re easier to work toward, and just plain “SMART.”
SMART goals are:
“Generate more leads” won’t cut it here. Which practice area should new leads be interested in?
Having quantifiable goals makes it easier to track your law firm’s progress toward achieving them. To borrow from above, how many more leads do you need to generate?
Every marketing goal you set should be attainable for your firm. Striving to meet objectives that are too lofty sets your legal team up for burnout. Consider what is right for your practice—if you’re a solo practitioner, don’t set goals designed for an Am Law 100 firm.
It is imperative that your firm’s marketing goals relate to broader goals for your firm. Don’t waste an abundance of resources on tactics that won’t move the needle toward your overall vision for your firm.
Make sure every marketing goal has an end date. Once it passes, revisit your analytics and adjust your marketing efforts as needed.
Have a plan
Once you have your firm’s goals in place, it is time to implement a plan to reach them. Yet, a surprising number of firms are winging it. In fact, one American Bar Association survey determined that less than half of law firms have a marketing budget.
Your law firm’s marketing plan takes your goals beyond wishful thinking by laying out the exact process and strategies necessary to reach them. Basically, it acts as a roadmap to future growth for your firm. Among other things, your legal marketing plan should include your “brand story,” which is the message and values that all of your marketing efforts should portray to clients.
It should also outline the tools and resources—including people—your firm needs to move toward your objectives. For example, if you hope to use content marketing to generate new leads, you’re going to need a content management system and a plan for creating and distributing content. If you’re planning to use drip campaigns to nurture leads gained from social media, you’ll need an email list and email marketing platform.
Don’t forget to detail which team members will be responsible for which marketing tasks and how often.
Reuse quality content
Is your law firm’s marketing budget slim? Refreshing and reusing old content is a great way to keep your marketing efforts fresh without going over budget. Even if your firm can easily afford a steady stream of brand new content, it’s still worth keeping the old content up to date. In some cases, doing so could help boost your website’s search engine rankings.
If your firm’s marketing content has not changed all year, it’s time for a content audit. To start the process, review all of your existing content for accuracy, quality, and relevance. The legal landscape is constantly evolving—and an outdated website could make it look like your attorneys don’t keep up with new legislation.
After you correct any outdated or false information, consider recent trends and changes in your practice area. Are there any logical ways to adapt those in your content? If so, do that now. Consider adding additional helpful information to expand on existing blog posts.
Finally, review the formatting and search engine optimization of your current content to ensure they align with recent best practices.
Automate your systems
Automation works wonders to manage marketing tasks in a more efficient and productive manner. There are a variety of marketing automation tools available for law firms, but legal client relationship management (CRM) software—like CosmoLex CRM—is particularly useful for streamlining legal marketing systems and client intake.
Legal CRMs allow firms of any size to make a larger impact with less effort. They make it possible to communicate with clients more frequently and informatively (without the need for attorneys to stop working on billable tasks) through drip campaigns, text message marketing, sales funnel workflows, and other forms of marketing automation.
Keep in touch with current and former clients
New and potential legal clients get a lot of attention, but current and former clients are also highly valuable. When client-attorney relationships are well-established, there’s plenty of opportunity for repeat business.
In addition, a client who feels that your firm is genuinely invested in their satisfaction is more likely to make a referral or leave a positive review—and a legal CRM can be handy for requesting both.
Don’t give up on “lost” leads
Legal leads are lost for all types of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with a client’s interest in your firm.
For example, a lead may have had a change in financial circumstances or a personal matter that delayed their ability to pursue their legal matter. Either way, marketing materials tailored to the individual can be useful for engaging them again.
Reinvigorate cold leads in your firm with:
- Automated text messages
- Pre-recorded voice calls
- Video messaging
- Email drip campaigns
Moreover, you can use your legal CRM to send emails and/or texts immediately after a missed call or email. This will let prospective clients know that your firm is interested in their business and will reach out as soon as possible.
Use the right tools
If the features of your marketing software are buried beneath complicated workflows or require steep learning curves, it won’t do your firm any good. Instead, look for easy-to-use legal marketing tools that:
- Integrate with your legal practice management software
- Provide reliable and free customer support
- Are affordable for your budget and offer predictable fees
- Don’t require multiple subscriptions or log-ins
- Uphold the legal industry’s standards for protecting client information
CosmoLex supports your firm’s growth
CosmoLex’s practice management software and the new CosmoLex CRM function in tandem to enhance your day-to-day workflows and manage client relationships more efficiently.