What is law firm marketing?
There are two primary ways law firms market their services. At a consumer level, law firms use paid advertising on television, radio, and in print to connect with potential clients. At the corporate level, law firm partners are charged with bringing in new business through networking and other types of outreach.
How law firm marketing works
Online marketing matters
The legal field is broad, with consumer clients, corporate clients, and a complex array of challenges. Law firms push their brands primarily through their websites and other online channels, which clarify areas of expertise, legal and academic qualifications of partners and associates, and victories they've achieved for clients.
Law firms develop niches; one win in a particular niche leads to another, or a new client. Over time they build up a body of knowledge about a topic -- environment, real estate, product liability, etc. -- and streamline their marketing to associate their brand with the right niche.
A track record of winning cases is the gold in law firm marketing plans. "We did this for x client and we can do this for you" is what potential clients want to hear. Law firms frequently post press releases when they win high-profile cases and leverage press coverage to reach out to potential new clients.
Why law firm marketing matters
Competition is stiff
There are a million lawyers, so creating differentiation from the competition is essential. Firms must communicate clearly about why they are the right choice for a potential client and how they will deliver a successful outcome.
The importance of reputation
There's a reason the term "ambulance chaser" exists. It's used when lawyers or firms ignore branding consequences and just go after a buck. Firms need well-thought-out marketing plans to ensure their brands reflect strong ethical values as well as quality work for clients.
Happy clients talk. Unhappy clients talk more. Firms need a marketing plan that accounts for all the ways a client or potential client might be talking about them, especially online. Most marketing is proactive, but a chunk of it is reactive, and firms need to understand how to be reactive.