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4 Reasons Traditional Advertising Doesn't Work for Law Firm Marketing

Aug 5, 2008
One thing is certain: if your law firm is going to continue to grow, it must grow its client base as well. Clients come and clients go but not all clients come back again. As a rule of thumb, people try to avoid putting themselves in situations that even require an attorney. Most repeat clients only need your services on a spatial basis and that is not enough work to create the growth you want. This is the reason you have implemented your law firm marketing program; to accommodate this growth required in your client base.

Is the law firm marketing program you are currently following filling that void adequately? Chances are, not as well as you would like. The question is why is not producing like you had hoped? Does this frustration seem all too familiar to you? If so, you are not alone. The growing pains of expanding any law practice go with the territory. Now you must decide where to go from here. If your law firm marking plan is based on a traditional advertising model, that may be a large part of the problem you are experiencing. This type of advertising simply doesn't work well for law firm marketing.

Traditional advertising as a law firm marketing plan drains your budget, costs many hours of time and leaves your waiting room virtually empty. Does this frustration seem all too familiar to you? If so, you are not alone. The growing pains of expanding any law practice go with the territory. Now you must decide where to go from here.

Successful marketing requires diligence, patience and some good old-fashioned creativity in order to turn prospects into clients. For this reason, you must first determine who are your most likely clients and determine the best way to reach them.

Legal clients are seeking a trained professional who can learn the facts, present them to others and convince the offending party that their clients deserve what is being asked of them. Legal clients are not the same as those targeted by a car salesman or an insurance company. Legal clients have specific needs that can only be met by your law firm.

Here are four reasons why regular advertising methods don't work for you and what you can do to change it:

1. In many cases, the owner of the law firm who placed the ad ends the campaign too early. Advertisements take a long time to produce noticeable results. If you have only just begun to advertise your legal services, you cannot expect clients to come knocking at your door after the first week or two. Until they begin seeing your marketing efforts
consistently, they have no idea that you even exist.

2. It is vital that you find ways to measure and compare the results of your law firm marketing efforts. Paying no attention to how your marketing efforts are working for you is just a waste of your time and money. You must test campaigns against each other to discover which ones work well and which ones you should abandon. Unfortunately, results from advertising are notoriously difficult to measure. Therefore due diligence is required to separate the seed from the chaff. This goes for the actual determining of who will be a good prospective client and who is just a bad prospect.

3. Often, the downfall of an advertisement is that it misses its purpose. This purpose is to create a desire within your target market to buy your product or service over and over again. It is not to make people laugh, win awards, use special effects or to be clever.

4. Many companies tend to advertise only when they are desperate for new clients. Your law firm marketing has already fallen short of its mark if you have reached the point where you need new clients in order to stay afloat. The best time to advertise and reach more target markets is when you really don't need them. When you are at the top of your game and have a case back-log, this is when you would do well to seek additional clients.

A lawyer who shows genuine interest and concern for a client's needs and is willing to work them into a busy schedule is much more likely to win over a new client than one who is barely treading water and has no cases in the works. A quiet office, an empty calendar and no phones ringing tell prospective clients that you aren't busy because you aren't that good.

The best way to continue putting forward your best efforts in the realm of successful law firm marketing is to ask yourself this question: If you were looking for a good, skilled and reputable lawyer, where would you begin looking? Think long and hard about the answers that first come to mind. These are likely the places most people seeking legal counsel would go to first; that is where your marketing efforts must also be prominent.
About the Author
Stephen Fairley is CEO of The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms generate more and better referrals and create a 7 figure law practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Attorneys: claim your FREE legal marketing CD '7 Keys to a 7 Figure Law Practice' at www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com
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