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Marketing Your Law Firm

Apr 27, 2008
In many small to mid-size law firms, marketing initiatives are sporadic at best, as the day-to-day demands of running the firm and handling client's needs take priority.

But to get results, law firms need a well-defined plan with specific goals and strategies -- just like any other successful business. You can assess your current marketing situation by answering these important questions:

* What are you currently doing to get new clients, and how well it is it working?
* What could you be doing better to generate new business?
* Have you achieved marketing goals previously set for your firm? (if applicable)
* What is the competition doing, and how is it affecting your business?

Armed with the answers to these questions, you can begin to set your marketing objectives. While clearly stating your marketing goals provides a framework for your marketing strategy, you don't need to get overly detailed at first. Just state your goals and set milestones along the way.

As you summarize your marketing strategy, you'll need to make decisions about important aspects such as your target market, your competition and your brand.

Decide what types of clients you are going to target - Choices include new clients, current and former clients, other attorneys, other professionals, contacts, and community groups.

Determine what sets your firm apart from your competitors - In other words, what is your Unique Marketing Advantage (UMA)? List the reasons why clients would want to hire you over the competition.

Decide how you are going to brand your firm - What type of image will you strive to convey? How do you want prospects and clients to feel when they deal with you?

To put your marketing strategy into motion, consider the options available for your promotional marketing mix. These may include print advertising, online advertising, public relations efforts and legal seminars. You'll need to weigh the cost of each one against its potential value, and then decide how it fits into your overall strategy.

Here are some of the most commonly employed promotional tactics used by today's top law firms:

* Online marketing (expanded or enhanced site content, blogs, search engine marketing, online advertising banners, and site sponsorships or affiliations)
* Email marketing (including e-newsletters)
* Print or online legal directories
* Print or online yellow pages
* Client meals and entertainment
* Event sponsorships/community events
* Giving or hosting seminars
* Public relations/media outreach/writing articles
* Local or outdoor advertising (such as local billboards, print ads, TV, or radio ads)

Finally, you must be sure to ask your clients for information vital to marketing: Why did they choose you over your competition? Were they satisfied with your services? How can you improve their experience next time? You just may learn something to make your marketing efforts even more effective. Once those new clients are flowing in, you must be sure to visit RealDealDocs to cut your drafting time in half by searching over 10 million legal documents and clauses drafted by top law firms for free.
About the Author
Mark Warner is a Legal Research Analyst for RealDealDocs.com. RealDealDocs gives you insider access to millions of legal documents drafted by the top law firms in the US. To find Legal Agreements, click here. Free Search!
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