Answers to Three Common Law Firm Marketing Questions

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office managementHere's a guest blog post by Stephen Fairley, the CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation's largest law firm marketing company specializing in lead conversion for small law firms and solo practitioners. Over 8,000 attorneys nationwide have benefited from learning and implementing the Rainmaker Marketing System.

Our last Rainmaker Retreat legal marketing seminar for 2013 was held recently in Los Angeles.  We got several questions that may be top-of-mind for you as well when it comes to marketing your law firm, so I thought I would share some of those here:

I don’t want to put myself on social media because I might get a negative review.

We hear this concern a lot. But the truth is, reviews are critical. If you went to Amazon to buy a product and you didn’t see any reviews, your gut reaction is probably not a positive one. Think about the last time you did purchase something on Amazon; there were probably a mix of both positive and negative reviews, but you still purchased the product.

So long as the majority of your reviews are positive, a negative review every so often is bound to happen. If you truly care about offering the best client experience possible to those who hire you, don’t you want to know when someone is not satisfied? Unfortunately, many people will not tell you directly that they are unhappy -- when you give them a platform to voice their experience with you, you can begin to uncover some of the areas in your law firm that need improvement.

Often if you reach out to the upset individual, your gesture will go a long way. We’ve even had clients who told us when they reached out, the individual was so impressed that the firm didn’t just sweep it under the rug that they ended up either removing the negative review or adding to it and telling people what a turnaround the firm caused by not ignoring the issue. 

legal marketing

I’ve hired people to write blogs for me but I spend more time editing them than I would if I wrote them myself.

Everyone in this room has one word in common: perfectionist. For most attorneys this is true. And this trait can be powerful and really help you succeed. But when it comes to marketing, I want you to remember this: Done is better than perfect.

There is no such thing as a perfect blog post, or website, or e-newsletter or video. The point is to get relevant and valuable information out to your prospects, clients and referral partners. Think about how valuable your time is. Do you charge $150, $200, $300 or more per hour? It does not make sense to spend an hour or so of your time writing a post when you can hire someone to do it for you for far less. And it also doesn’t make sense for you to edit and wordsmith the article the individual writes for an hour or more because your time is too valuable.

Of course, it is important to have valid and correct information in the article and to communicate in an educated and compelling way, but you have to let go of this notion of perfection. You are, in most cases, not writing to other attorneys who are going to be judging the article in a way you are, so loosen up a bit and just recognize people want to navigate their legal situation easily. Often how you would write an article -- because you eat, live, sleep and breathe your practice area -- will not translate well to the general public looking to find a solution to their problem.

Why is it so important to identify my ideal target market? Don’t I shrink my potential client pool when I do that?

We have many attorneys who are fearful of going after a niche because they think they will lose out on a ton of business. But you must think about it differently. Society is so bombarded with advertising and marketing these days that we have become rather numb to it. Mass marketing messages such as “if you need a divorce hire me” no longer work because the message is drowned out by the thousands of others firms and attorneys yelling that from the rooftop.

However, if you truly learn who your ideal client is -- such as their age, gender, martial status, education level, assets, income, home owner or renter -- you begin to position yourself in a way that you can craft a message that these individuals connect with and feel is 100% geared to them. Think about the last time you spoke to someone who really seemed to understand your situation. You felt cared for, understood, and chances are if they were selling something, you felt more inclined to buy that product or service simply because you felt a connection and believed this product, individual or service would alleviate your problem and offer a solution.

Lastly, if you know who your ideal target market is, you won’t waste time and money trying to go after people who don’t need you or who would never hire you. 

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Allan Hooper - January 5, 2014 11:55 AM

In addition to identifying the target market,lawyers also need to understand how to communicate with that market. It's different online - people skim read. they do not need a lawyer to write 5,000 words citing loads of cases to see the lawyer is an expert on a topic. In fact, content with case examples and practical takeaways is better to show expertise, it indicates the lawyer has dealt with similar situations and offers solutions. Lawyers need to understand that the mystique is well and truly gone - clients and others can find out about the law themselves online - what they now want is solutions.

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