How to Create a Law Firm Marketing Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

A law firm marketing plan can improve your business in countless ways.

A properly laid out law firm marketing plan will show you how to attract new clients, retain old clients, and increase the number of clients you have on retainer.

Your law firm marketing plan should not feel overwhelming or take up too much time. You need to create something that takes the least amount of time but provides the most benefit.

This article will guide you through the entire process of creating a marketing plan for your law firm, step-by-step.

First, You Need to Know What Your Law Firm Stands For

#1. Get clear on your law firm’s mission and goals.

Your first step is to get clear on your mission and goals. How do you want your law firm to contribute to the world? What is your purpose? Why do you want to be in business?

Ask yourself why you want to start a law firm. What problem are you solving? What are some ways that other lawyers haven’t solved this problem? What is the difference between your solution and theirs?

You may be thinking that this is not important but it is key to set out a USP for yourself and your law firm brand.

After you have done pondering about the above questions, write it down.

Step 1: Write down your law firm’s mission statement.

A good mission statement should be short, but it should also express why you are in business and what you stand for.

Step 2: Develop a vision statement for your law firm.

A vision statement is a long-term view of what you want your practice to look like in the future. Think about where your mission statement along with your business plan can lead you in the next 10 years or so.

Step 3: Get clear on the goals and objectives of your law firm.

Your goals and objectives will help you determine what activities will help you reach your vision and mission statements. They will also help focus your efforts so that they are aligned with your overall business strategy for success.

Trying to go ahead and get clients without being clear on your goals and objectives prevents your law firm from developing a strong brand, which is crucial for future success.

Here is how you can get clear on your mission and goals:

Ask yourself what kind of work do you enjoy doing most? Is there any way that you could expand this type of work into a full-time business? Would it be possible for someone else in the office to take on some of these tasks while still allowing you time for other kinds of work?

#2. Know your Law Firm’s Potential Clients

You need to know who are the people who might hire you as an attorney or use your services as a legal consultant or advisor?

This information can be obtained from several sources including industry research reports, trade association publications, court records and direct contact with potential clients through networking groups or other professional organizations with which you may have membership or association (e.g., bar associations).

While there is a lot of market research involved in this step, it isn’t about targeting a specific demographic or advertising to particular people. It’s about knowing what type of person would benefit from what you have to offer.

It’s best you use the lean startup approach for your law firm. Instead of going all in trying to create your brand for an ideal customer profile, that you don’t even know exists, it is better to create a proof of concept for your services and ask people if they are interested in it.

If you receive a positive response, go ahead and offer your services for a discount or dirt cheap in the form of a MVP test, to figure out if there is actually a marketable demand for your law firm’s services in the niche that you are trying to service.

But before that, you first need to know –

Where do Your Law Firm’s Potential Clients Spend their Time?

In order to reach potential clients, you need to know where they spend their time online.

This can be tricky if you don’t have any experience in marketing or data science. But there are plenty of tools available to help you make this easier.

For example, Google Analytics can give you insights into what pages people are viewing on your website and how long they stay there — both useful pieces of information for finding out who are your potential clients, what they are most interested in as well as creating an effective strategy for attracting new clients.

Search social media to find out more as to individuals who share similar types of content or individuals who are interested in similar issues.

This will help you create a mental model for your customers and help you learn more about the thoughts, beliefs, wishes and aspirations that your customers have.

What do Your Potential Legal Clients Need Help with the Most?

Now that you know who your ideal clients are, look at what legal problems these individuals are having in general, then look at how many people have those same problems and finally ask yourself if those people would be willing to pay for your services if they knew about them.

This way, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of content you should create for your website and blog so that it targets specific keywords related to legal issues and concerns.

You can even figure out what your potential clients need help with the most by asking them directly or through surveys and questionnaires and even live interviews.

Why Would Your Ideal Legal Clients Hire You Over Someone Else?

Your law firm’s USP is essential in creating a rock-solid law firm marketing plan. It is what sets you apart from the competition. It’s what makes you memorable, and it should be based on these three factors:

#1. Your Unique Expertise

What do you do differently than other law firms? How do your clients benefit from the services that you provide? How do you solve their problems?

#2. Your Unique Branding

Who are you as a business? Are there any unique aspects to your branding that make you stand out from other businesses?

#3. Your Unique Culture

What is the culture at your law firm like? Does it reflect who you are as an individual and as a company?

Once you have created an unique selling proposition for your law firm, you can now boast of your law firm as being separate from the crowd. Be sure to showcase your USP everywhere in all your marketing messages, whilst being considerate of the 3Ps of Marketing and avoiding marketing myopia from settling in.

#3. Know Your Law Firm’s Niche

Finding a niche for your law firm is an important step in establishing your law firm’s marketing plan. A niche is a subgroup within your target market that has needs and wants that are different from the rest of the group.

For example, if you’re a criminal defense attorney who represents teenagers charged with serious crimes, such as murder or rape, you may want to narrow your target market to young men between the ages of 15 and 18 who live in an urban area. This would be an example of targeting a specific niche within your overall target market.

When choosing a niche for your law firm, it’s important that you choose carefully. You’ll be spending a lot of time developing products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of this group. If your choice doesn’t make sense or doesn’t seem like it will work out well for you, then just pivot your practice to a different niche.

Having an expertise in one niche is better than offering services all over the place. That just shows your law firm practice as being unfocussed – a luxury you can’t afford especially with a new or upcoming legal practice.

Study What Your Law Firm’s Competitors Are Doing to Improve Your Legal Marketing Plan

If you’re part of a law firm, then you’re probably familiar with the importance of understanding your competitors. It’s not just about knowing who they are and what they do, but also how they use marketing to build their business.

If you don’t know who your competitors are, it’s time to take a look at them. You can either do an online search or ask around in your community.

Once you have a list of firms that operate in your area and/or do similar work, it’s time to study them and see what they’re doing right and wrong!

To develop and improve upon your law firm marketing plan, study these three key areas:

1) Website Content of Your Competing Law Firms

What kind of information does their website offer? Is it clear and concise? Does it include helpful articles and tips for clients?

Does it include testimonials from satisfied customers? If so, how many? And are those testimonials written by actual clients or just employees?

Also check if you can easily find contact information for someone at the firm if you want to ask questions or learn more about the services offered.

2) Social Media Presence of Your Competitor Law Firms

Which social media platforms does this particular firm use most often? Do they post regularly on each platform? Do they have their own social media pages?

You also need to check for the social media tools used by the firms, and if the firms have any social media consultants on board. Try to find out the ROI of the law firm’s social media campaigns and the type of audiences that the social media campaigns cater to.

3) Paid Advertising used by the Competing Law Firms

What keywords does your law firm’s competitors bid on? How successful are their bids?

Try to find out the PPC rates for the bids and what is the potential customer acquisition ROI out of the paid ads using third party PPC research tools like KeywordCompetitor, SEMrush, Adbeat etc.

Which Social Networks are Right for Your Law Firm Marketing Plan

There are a lot of social networks out there, and they all have different audiences. This article will help you figure out which networks are right for your law firm’s marketing plan.

First, let’s talk about the different types of social media:

Facebook – Facebook is the largest social network in the world with over 2 billion users. It’s also the most popular platform for sharing content and interacting with other people. It’s great for connecting with potential clients and getting them excited about your brand.

However, it’s organic reach is pretty dismal and you can’t hope to reach new clients without paying for ads on the platform.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is used primarily by professionals to connect with other professionals in their field or industry. They do have groups that allow people to share content but they’re usually more professional than personal in nature.

If you’re looking to network with other attorneys, professionals or potential clients in your area of practice, then LinkedIn is definitely worth joining!

Related Read: How to Build Leads on LinkedIn Consistently

Twitter – Twitter is an excellent way to communicate directly with customers and followers without having to type long responses every time someone reaches out to you.

It also offers a unique opportunity for engagement because people can respond directly to your tweets if they want more information or want to engage further.

However, it’s filled with spam bots and offers a rather small ROI for most brands and advertisers. It’s mainly used for branding and staying on top of customer minds by businesses instead of trying to get clients via the platform.

Instagram and Tiktok – While some consider it to be unsuitable for law firms, although some lawyers did say they found success using Instagram reels!

Know How You Will Measure Success for Your Law Firm’s Marketing Campaign

If you’re like most lawyers, you probably have a laundry list of things you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. You may want to attract more clients, increase your visibility, or even just take some time off from billable hours.

But how do you know whether your marketing campaign is successful? If you don’t have specific goals in mind, then it’s hard to measure whether or not your efforts are paying off. Without goals, it’s difficult to know when to stop or change direction on an ongoing basis.

The good news is that you don’t need a PhD in statistics or marketing research to determine whether or not your firm is succeeding with its marketing efforts. In fact, there are plenty of simple ways that lawyers can measure their success without having to hire an expensive consultant or spend hours analyzing data points.

Examples on How to Measure the Results for Your Law Firm’s Marketing Campaign

To help you track your success, here are some ideas for measuring the impact of your campaign:

Include a call-to-action in every piece of content. A call-to-action is a phrase or sentence that asks the reader to take action. It can be as simple as “Call us today” or “Click here now.”

Track how many people click through from each piece of content by using Google Analytics and other analytics tools. This will help you determine which content was most successful at driving traffic to your website.

Tracking Influencer Marketing Results for Your Law Firm

Influencer marketing is another method of building trust with potential clients and gaining visibility in the marketplace. You can reach influencers on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, or via email newsletters they write themselves. 

Influencers can also be journalists who write about topics related to your practice area or geographic location (such as local newspapers).

In order for this strategy to work, though, you’ll need a compelling story about why someone should hire you over other law firms that offer similar services in their area. When a new client hires you for your services, ask them how they got to know about your business.

If they say that it’s via an influencer, note it down. Then divide the total customer value brought in via the influencer campaigns from the cost of the influencer campaign and there you have it – your law firm influencer campaign ROI.

Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

Your law firm can not grow without a strong digital marketing strategy.

It’s sine qua non.

A strong digital marketing strategy includes everything starting from content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and email outreach, building your email list, sales prospecting, building more leads etc.

Here’s an in-depth guide on how to use digital marketing for your business.

Automate Your Law Firm Marketing

It’s a headache having to divert your billable hours to marketing your law firm – I get it.

Well, thankfully you don’t need to. Just hire a good digital marketing agent you can trust and he / she will take care of majority of the marketing campaign.

Of course, it is advisable that you still keep command of the direction you want the marketing campaign to follow so as to ensure the marketing does not lead to an unwanted direction wherein you are forced to compete in a target market that you don’t intend to be in.

There are also a lot of automated marketing tools available that can make your life easier. But, here is a set of steps you can take to reduce your marketing efforts by around 70% right off the bat.

1. Set up an automated email newsletter. Send out weekly or monthly newsletters to your list of contacts and keep them up-to-date on what’s happening at your firm, upcoming events and more!

2. Add social media scheduling tools to your marketing strategy. Schedule posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn so that you’re always reaching new clients — even when you’re busy with other things.

3. Automate lead capture forms on your website so people can fill them out without having to talk to anyone at the firm right away (unless they want to).

This helps keep things simple for visitors while still showing them that you’re interested in building a relationship with them long term — which is exactly what they want when they visit a law firm’s website anyway!

Wrapping up the Guide on Creating a Law Firm Marketing Plan

While it may be tempting to move ahead and implement tactics so as to get more clients, it can be fatal in the long-run and get you cheap and low quality clients in the short-run.

Creating a law firm marketing plan will help you get target higher value clients in any niche that you enter while at the same time ensuring that you do not waste any effort in targeting your marketing campaign for markets or individuals who do not fall in your niche, expertise or practice area.

That’s it. Hope you found the article insightful. If you did, do leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. If you have any questions, send me an email and I’ll get right back to you.

Read Next: Industry Report: How Law Firms are Marketing Themselves

author avatar
Adhip Ray
Adhip Ray is the founder of WinSavvy. He has a legal, finance and data analytics background and has provided marketing consultancy to startups for over 5 years. He has been featured at multiple publications in multiple niches including HubSpot, Addicted2Success, Manta, FitSmallBusiness, Databox, IndiaCorpLaw, Bar and Bench and more!

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