Law Firm Marketing for Small Law Firms - Strategist
Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Law Firm Marketing Category

It you build it, they will come. Maybe. If you build it right. And there's a lot that goes into building a law firm website "right": SEO, graphics, mobile-friendly layout, content, conversion optimization, and a whole lot more.

But don't jump off that building yet. Just like those with DIY motivation can learn to tile a bathroom floor, those who want to create their own websites can do so, and you don't even need to know code. But you will need some tools. And a whole lot of time and motivation.

Let's start with those tools:

For many lawyers, marketing means handing out a few business cards, maybe setting up a website, and that's it -- if you build the firm, they will come. And once you've established a practice and a reputation, this might be enough to keep you afloat.

But it's rare to find a lawyer who doesn't want (or need) more clients. And with a smarter, better-informed marketing plan -- one that accounts for online and offline trends, and one that is customer service-focused -- you will get more clients. The key, though, is to work smarter -- to know marketing and to do it well.

For a great introduction to all of this, look no further than FindLaw's newest free eBook: Legal Marketing 101: A Guide for Small Law Firms.

Free pens are so 1995. Who writes things on paper anymore? And calendars? We have these things called smartphones -- they handle our appointments.

No, if you want to really impress clients with freebies, you'll need to be different. Step your game up. Take your law firm swag game up to 2015 levels, ya dig?

And what could be better than matching your firm-branded freebies with your practice area? We've got a few crazy ideas, and want yours as well.

The Internet is full of annoying things: annoying people, annoying design tweaks, annoying error messages...

Not all of them are ill-intentioned, however. Some of them are actually meant to be helpful -- especially the design errors. But if you do any of these five things, odds are that I (or more importantly, your potential clients) will run in the other direction. Quickly.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a law firm publishes content on its Facebook page, but it appears in no one's News Feed, does it make an impact?

We've talked about Facebook going "pay to play" recently, but according to a blog post by the company last month, the change toward de-emphasizing promotional posts from pages (unless you pay for advertising) may be rapidly accelerated to the point of invisibility for those who refuse to fork over francs to Facebook and for those who are transparently spamming the feeds of folks who "liked" their law firm's page.

In short: If unpaid Facebook posts are part of your law firm's marketing strategy, then it may be time for you to "defriend" the social network.

There's Google My Business, a local directory that also has Google reviews baked in. There's Apple Maps Connect, which is its own local directory with ratings and reviews. And you know you need to keep your eye on Yelp, the mother of all review sites.

Now Facebook wants to join the party too! Introducing Facebook Places, another local directory that you might use some time when your Yelp app won't load. The Web-based service (it hasn't yet been baked into the mobile app) simply prompts you to "Discover great places in every city." Enter a location and wham, bam, boom: You get cool stuff to do, all with reviews by real Facebookers.

Again, it screams "Yelp competitor," and really, it is. And you need to keep your eye on it.

Marketing is one of those things that people think they can do on their own. A couple slogans, a sign, and boom -- you're done. But marketing turns out to be harder than it looks. That's why some law firms have dedicated marketing managers -- experienced people who make it their full-time job to advertise the law firm.

It's a good idea to have a marketing manager (and here are some good reasons), but the question for today is, what do you look for in a marketing manager? Here are a few considerations to get you started:

You've undoubtedly walked by a billboard featuring a smiling lawyer in a suit, with a caption claiming that he'll fight for you, along with a checklist of things he'll help you fight for. Then there's a phone number at the bottom. Maybe it includes a silly nickname.

Have you ever wondered about billboards -- known in The Biz as "outdoor advertising"? Opinions vary about outdoor advertising; it's either a great, cost-effective idea or it's a vestige of an earlier time (and wouldn't you rather launch a social media campaign?).

If you're thinking about getting a billboard ad for your law firm, take some of these thoughts into account:

That's right -- our expanded holiday season means that Christmas starts at Thanksgiving and ends somewhere around Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And with Thanksgiving less than three weeks away, you may want to start thinking about your law firm's holiday cards.

Holiday cards are a time-honored tradition -- something you can send to clients, family members, and adversaries alike to help celebrate the holiday season. But before you get your office staff to don reindeer antlers and pose for a funny picture, here are a few things you may want to consider:

There was once a time where nobody used Google. Yeah, it existed. We used things like Lycos and AOL. But that all ended decades ago, right?

Seriously, Google is the Internet. This should not surprise you. If you wanted to look up orange monkeys right now, you'd probably go to Google. Nearly everybody has a Gmail account. Google's offerings dominate most of their respective markets because they are so damn good and simple.

Google is where your clients are. And it is where you need to be. Check out these five ways your firm can get the most out of Google: