Marketing for Your Law Firm

Brian James Rawson
November 13, 2023

Marketing probably wasn’t your first concern when you got your law degree. But, though marketing and law may seem like two vastly different subjects, they’re more closely linked than you may think. In fact, whether you’re a doctor or an artist or an attorney, marketing is essential to what you do. 

Marketing is Essential to Law 

Now, you may be thinking, “Of course a marketing agency would say something like that,” but just stick with us for a second. See it’s not just you. Marketing is essential to every business, professional service, and nonprofit. In fact, there isn’t a single organization that can exist without marketing because marketing is really conversations. 

Marketing isn’t overpriced commercials or modern art logos. Marketing is word of mouth. It’s sparking conversations between you and your clients, and it’s starting conversations between your clients and their friends and family. Marketing is how every organization gets any customers and clients at all. For instance, you can start the most impressive law firm, but if no one ever hears about it, talks about it, sees it, or finds it, then it doesn’t matter. 

In fact, like a fish can’t escape water, you can’t escape marketing. You’re doing marketing whether you know it or not or whether you call it “marketing” or not. Every time you talk to a client, it’s marketing. Every time you tell someone what you do, it’s marketing. Every time you send an email, it’s marketing. Again, marketing is conversations and word of mouth, and it’s pretty hard to run a business if you never talk to anyone. So, no matter what you call it, if you’re talking to people, you’re marketing. 

Marketing Achieves Your Goals

But, there is a razor thin dividing line between regular conversation and marketing conversation. Regular conversations don’t have a plan, agenda, or goal (…usually), but marketing does. But, before you start picturing Don Draper-types making diabolical plans in closed rooms, the agenda and goal of marketing is very simple and pretty innocent. Your marketing goal is to grow your business. That’s it. Marketing simple uses conversation and word of mouth to help you reach that goal. Marketing is simply a tool to help you grow your business. 

We very intentionally use the word grow here, because “grow” can mean anything. Yes, often growth means increasing your sales and profit, but not always. Growth can take many shapes and forms. For instance, maybe growth for you is more awards or press interviews. Maybe it’s more staff or locations. Maybe it’s more time off and time to pursue your passions without sacrificing your work. Said simply, growth is unique and personal to you. 

Marketing is Research and Strategy 

But what makes marketing so good at growing your business? The engine that drives good, effective marketing is research and strategy. 

Just like winning a court case requires diligent research and a concise strategy, so does marketing. Good marketing carefully researches your clients, your team, and your competitors, and from that research, marketing crafts a clear strategy to communicate who you are to the right people in the right way in the right place at the right time. 

So, if goals are what separate regular conversation from marketing, then it’s these two things, research and strategy, that separate beginner marketing from expert marketing. Just like the quality of a product comes down to the quality of its parts, the quality of your marketing comes down to the quality of your research and your ability to synthesize that research into an effective strategy. 

What is Market Research? 

But what does good market research and marketing strategy look like? Well, first, good market research consists of three sections: your team, your clients, and your competitors. Then, each section is split in half with one side being logistics and details and the other being emotions and psychology. 

For instance, do you really understand your team? (even if it’s a team of one). On the logistics side, what do you actually do? Can you summarize what you sell and provide in 5 words? in 20 words? in 500 words? Sure, you can say something like, “I provide immigration law services.” But what does that really mean? More importantly, can the person you’re trying to convince to hire you easily picture what that means? 

Or on the emotional side, what is your team’s ethos, values, and personality? What makes your team different than the thousands of other law firms out there? What makes you you? 

And this is just the first section of market research. Next you need to research your clients and your competitors. Just like you research the logistics and psychology of your team, you then need to research the same things with your clients and your competitors. (But we won’t do that here otherwise this article will turn into a novel. However, we do have a whole series on market research, so if you’d like to learn more, check that out: here.)

What is Marketing Strategy? 

Where good market research is the “who” and “what,” good marketing strategy is the “when,” “where,” and “how.” In short, marketing strategy is all about being “right.” Good marketing strategy ensures you’re talking to the right people in the right way in the right place at the right time. 

For instance, you may have an amazing elevator pitch and know exactly how to communicate who you are and what you do, which is great! But what if you’re talking to the wrong person? You can have the best talking points in the world, but if you’re talking to the wrong person, it doesn’t matter. 

Just like a good attorney knows when they need to talk to the judge or the jury or their client, a good marketing strategy lets you know exactly who you need to talk to and who don’t need to talk to. For example, a good marketing strategy lets you know if you should advertise on Facebook or Instagram, if you should attend this networking event or that one, and if should open a new office in this part of town or that part of town. 

And each “right” in your marketing strategy works like the example above. For instance, we already know that a good attorney knows when they need to talk the judge instead of the jury. But, a good attorney also knows the best time and place to talk to the judge (like a special appointment in their chambers), and they know the best way to speak to the judge. They know to use expert terms and specific legal jargon when speaking to the judge, just as they know to drop all of that when they’re speaking to the jury or their client. In a similar way, good marketing strategy lets you know who to talk to as well as when to talk them, where to talk to them, and how to talk to them. 

How to Apply Better Marketing to Your Law Firm 

So, yes, you’re doing marketing whether you realize it or not, and whether you like it or not, you can’t escape marketing. Marketing is all about talking to people, and you can’t run a business without…well…talking to people. So instead of avoiding marketing or putting it on the back burner, why not harness it? If you can’t escape it, why not use it and utilize its full potential? 

Well, to do that, you need high quality research and strategy, which, of course, you can do yourself. We’re not the only people who can do this. Anyone with enough time to learn psychology, communication, design, sociology, and research methodology can be a great marketer. 

So yes, you can do your own marketing, but do you have the time to do your best marketing? For instance, we can do our own legal work. We can write our own contracts and work agreements, but do we have the time to be great lawyers, to learn all the intricacies of the legal system and micro-details of each statute and regulation? … No way. We barely have enough time to do simple “ok” legal work. So, do you want your marketing to be just good enough, just simply “ok”? Or do you want it to be great? 

Well, if you do have the time, we do have hours of podcast episodes, YouTube shows, and articles to help you learn everything you need to know to be a great marketer. (Check those out: here.) 

But if you don’t have the time, give us a call, and give yourself the time and space you need to be the best expert you can be in your field by letting us be the best expert in ours. No matter what your personal goals are, no matter how you want to grow your business, we’re here to help you turn your goal into a concrete reality. Again, marketing is essential to what you do, so get the essential support you need. Plus, it takes less than one minute to start your project with us. To start, simply use the link below.

Start your project: here

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