Now Is the Time for Breakout Marketing
A review of current trends makes it sound as if the legal profession is about to collapse. Recent headlines include "Demand Is Down and Affecting Rates, Revenue and Profits," "Legal Process Outsourcing Companies Expect 84% Annual Growth" and "The Traditional Law Firm Model Will Disappear."
To borrow a phrase from then-living author Mark Twain, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
Actually, the changes and turmoil in the profession bring a great opportunity to lawyers: the chance to carry out a breakout marketing campaign that will distinguish the firm from its competitors.
It is not during the best of times that great legal brands emerge (think of the failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf), it is in the worst of times that the long-term survivors make a name for themselves. Ask yourself these questions:
- How will your firm deliver and add value? Most people immediately think of fees; the proper place to focus is results. Nothing generates more referrals or impresses new clients more than great results. Write case histories for your law firm website — one-paragraph stories about a client's problems and how your firm solves them. A lawyer should research the firm's indelible successes for clients and promote them online, on social media and in newsletters.
- How will clients find you? Now is the time for lawyers to build and optimize their mobile websites. Clients are using mobile devices more than ever to find lawyers. According to a 2013 Nielsen report, 94 percent of U.S. consumers have a mobile phone. As Robert J. Ambrogi wrote in the ABA's Law Practice magazine, "Twenty-one percent of consumers used smartphones, and another 12 percent used tablets to search for an attorney, according to a survey commissioned by LexisNexis and conducted by the Research Intelligence Group. That survey was conducted in March 2012, so the actual number of consumers using mobile devices to search for an attorney is likely to be even greater these days."
- How will you better understand and embrace technology? Now is the time to thoroughly execute a social media strategy. Many business clients use LinkedIn according to Greentarget, and Facebook is popular with consumers. Lawyers should learn where their clients are active and promote on those channels. It's time to explore QR codes and the creation of mobile apps as well.
When I read that managing partners see more price competition, more commoditized legal work and more non-hourly billing — I don't see the end of the legal profession. Instead, I notice smart law firms breaking out with memorable brands, creating eye-catching technology and publishing websites that show how good the law firm is. Today isn't the end; it's the beginning of the next phase in law firm marketing.
LexisNexis has experts at creating and writing lawyer websites. Call 866-799-3717 today or click to request a free evaluation of your firm website.
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