When the subject of marketing and advertising come up, most law firms instinctively think of TV ads, billboards, newsletters and the like – i.e. marketing tools that while effective, are usually expensive. These expensive techniques have their place, and when done correctly, can offer strong payback for firms that can afford them. However, not everyone can, especially in a slumping economy. Still – law firms need to aggressively market themselves, because competition is fierce. The good news is – there are several marketing techniques that are low cost, that can be used by firms who are trying to save money in a down economy or by any firm as part of a larger marketing program.
BARD’s Top 5 Low Cost Law Firm Marketing Tools:
A newsletter program has an important role in marketing to potential referrers and past clients. Plain and simple, newsletters keep you and your law firm top-of-mind with the recipients – as long as you are sending them on a regular basis, and following some basic rules of newsletter production. eNewsletters perform a similar role. They also can keep you top-of-mind with referrers and potential referrers.
eNewsletters have a few very significant benefits over printed newsletters. There is a larger chance that they are read by the intended recipients, and they cost much less to distribute. The downsides are that they don’t enable as strong branding as a well designed newsletter, and their distribution is regulated by Spam guidelines. But good eNewsletter production and implementation can address these issues.
Blogs may have been overhyped during the past couple of years, but the fact remains that a well-written blog tailored to a specific audience will be found and will be read. A well-written blog is viral – it will be read by others, many of whom have blogs of their own. These bloggers will link to your blog, and people will link to their blog. Blog syndication along with the viral effect of a well- written blog can lead to several thousand (if not more) interested readers. And blogs are very low cost.
You probably run into dozens of people every day, some of which may need your services today, or will need them in the future (or have clients or friends that need your services). Are you maximizing these encounters? If you go to a Bar function or other meeting, make an effort to talk to people other than those you know and always talk to. Work on your ‘elevator pitch’, bring business cards, and be outgoing. Above all, offer to help people that you meet. Whether it’s providing an introduction to someone that you know or providing advice to help solve their problem, meeting someone new and demonstrating that you can provide value is a surefire way of making a positive impression and being remembered.
4. Focus on Past Clients
As many attorneys will attest, past clients are often the best referral sources. This said, it is amazing how many law firms do not focus on past clients – other than sending the ubiquitous holiday cards. For those law firms, now is a good time to update your client database. Verify their most recent addresses and phone numbers. Gather their email addresses.
Develop a strategy of meaningful, consistent communication with past clients (2 to 4 times a year). If you have not done so recently, it is a good exercise to survey your past clients. You might be amazed at the R.O.I. that this exercise provides in terms of new referral cases for your law firm.
5. Public Relations
PR has two strong advantages as a marketing mechanism for many law firms. First, it can be substantially lower in cost than most forms of marketing or advertising. (While PR strategies can be quite elaborate and expensive, for the typical law firm, PR is a low cost alternative.)
Secondly, whereas advertising is a message created and paid for by the advertiser, PR coverage is generated by independent parties who typically have high credibility – the media (whether television, radio, print, or online). Consumers do not see media coverage as advertising, yet you are being promoted.
These tools and many others are low cost and can be used to great effect by almost any law firm. Like all things that can bring value, success requires a plan and consistent follow-through. Beyond All Reasonable Doubt Marketing is experienced in developing and executing strategic marketing programs for law firms of all sizes and varying budgets – and learning more costs you nothing but the time it takes to contact our agency.Call BARD at 1-888-922-7398 or send an email. Thank you.