We were delighted to be asked to form part of a panel of legal sector business development experts at the recent Law Society Civil Litigation Autumn Conference, tasked with delivering some practical tactics that law firms can employ to win more business from new and existing clients.
As if speaking to a room full of lawyers isn’t nerve wracking enough, we were on immediately after Lord Justice Jackson and Kerry Underwood, Senior Partner at Underwoods Solicitors, both discussing fixed recoverable costs in detail. Two more accomplished public speakers you will not find.
Undaunted, our session began with a 5 minute ‘elevator pitch’, during which we delivered ‘10 top tips’ for marketing your law firm in the digital age.
Following that, questions were invited from the floor along with others that had been pre-submitted by delegates.
The questions asked on the day were along the lines of what we are always asked by prospective clients during initial consultation. We enjoyed answering the questions and contributing to the debate some of our answers led to. We’ve published below some of the questions asked along with our answers. Hopefully you will find them to be of interest, and we’d be delighted to discuss any of the points raised with you further.
How can you stand out from the crowd of law firms on the high street with a limited marketing budget? Is it necessary to spend ‘big-bucks’ to make an impact?
Before you spend any money, it’s vital that you understand where your audience is and what the most effective channels for reaching them are. No matter what your budget is, you want to make sure that you are using it smartly.
For sure, depending on your area of practice and location(s), the level of budget required to gain and maintain online prominence can vary quite dramatically, but in our experience, smaller firms can compete with their larger, more illustrious neighbours for prime online real estate by spending smarter. To help you do this, if you are looking to outsource marketing support, finding a provider that understands the business of law is key.
What’s the starting point? How do I get to grips with our firm’s marketing strategy to make a difference?
The key word here is strategy. It’s vital that you have in place a marketing strategy that is aligned with your overarching business objectives before you start spending any money.
At the outset of any new client project, we carry out what we call a ‘vision meeting’ with them. During this meeting we discuss how the firm views itself in terms of brand, its value proposition, tone of voice, target audience, areas of practice to prioritise, how enquiries and sales pipeline are handled etc. This allows us to build a clear picture of the firm in question and how we can best leverage our resource to help them achieve their objectives. The outcome of this meeting is the delivery of a project ‘bible’ which includes a defined plan, measurable KPIs and reporting parameters.
So, to begin with, make sure you have a plan to follow and a measurement framework in place so you know whether your activity/spend is indeed making a difference.
Is social media worth the effort and, if so, how would you recommend using it and which media would you recommend using?
In our experience, the most effective use of social media within the legal sector comes from individual fee earners who have a real passion for their specialism and use appropriate platforms to debate issues and knowledge share in a non-salesy, non-marketing way. This can be a great way for individual fee earners to build their own personal brand and well as enhance the brand of their firm over time.
In terms of which platforms are best, the big three are the most obvious places for you to have a presence. LinkedIn (particularly if you are a B2B lawyer), Twitter and Facebook. I would note that we have seen some positive results with paid social, particularly with LinkedIn and Facebook. These types of campaigns are quick to set up, reasonably cheap to implement and you will very quickly get a feel for whether its working for you or not.
What are the components of an effective website?
It’s our firm belief that your law firm’s website should be an effective business development tool and not just an aesthetically pleasing online brochure. As the internet becomes an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, your website needs to offer a certain level of sophistication in design and user experience that internet users expect from a website in 2017.
When developing your law firm’s website, some key considerations should include:
- How your site presents to search from a technical SEO perspective
- Developing in-depth, authoritative content
- Including prominent trust indicators (such as legal directories or awards badges) and appropriate calls to action
- Ensuring that your site is viewed as a work in progress that requires ongoing care and attention
- Ensuring that the mobile experience is positive
- Choosing a content management system that is flexible and scalable and that will allow your site to develop with your business
- Underpinning your site with a measurement framework that will allow you to make decisions based on data
How much promotion is too much promotion? Or is there something better we should be doing to attract clients?
Our own Dave Kerr recently published an article about how UK solicitors could learn a thing or two from the way US attorneys market themselves. The article was for the most part tongue in cheek. We’re not for one moment suggesting that you create a video of yourself chasing an ambulance down a street filmed in the style of the original Adam West Batman series, for example! However, being a risk-averse bunch, there is still a general reluctance to shout from the rooftops about what a great job you do for your clients.
The internet is a great place to develop new business opportunities. Of course it is, or we wouldn’t have a business. However, we also work hard to develop and maintain relationships with a UK wide intermediary network, attend relevant events, look for PR opportunities etc.
So, again, it’s about understanding where your audience is, and being there to greet them.
But don’t be afraid to tell the world how great you are.
Moore Legal Technology – Dedicated to your law firm’s success
For further information on any of the areas covered above please contact Chris on 0333 130 8040 or email .