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Legal Marketing Tactics to Drop in 2017 for Small Firms

Running a startup law firm requires the ability to focus on different facets of the business at once. Too much emphasis on hiring the best and brightest might mean less budget for marketing, while renting out a large suite can mean less funds for joining relevant networking organizations. The success of your firm is a balancing act and you’ll need to think and rethink every single decision in terms of how they ultimately impact company growth. When it comes to marketing efforts, too many small firms are off the mark. Here are some legal marketing tactics to drop in 2017 for small firms that want to utilize resources in the most effective manner:

Trying to do it all

overworked business man

You may have stellar multi-tasking abilities but using every single marketing tactic that comes across your desk is a bad idea because it puts your time and resources in jeopardy. The best thing you can do is implement a few marketing ideas at a time to give you the ability to monitor their performance and understand them completely. Once you get comfortable enough, you can find ways to automate or manage each method to free up your time. Or, if you find one or two methods are not right for your goals, eliminate them completely and move on to different ideas.

Using marketing strategies that do not support the big picture

If you decide to use a marketing tactic just because it sounds easy, you may be missing the mark with your target clients. Your marketing strategy must be aligned with clearly defined business goals and objectives. It is easy, even understandable, to get caught up in the notion that doing something is better than nothing, but you need to know what end goal you are striving for in order to utilize the most effective marketing strategies. The desire to retain 10 new clients per month will require different marketing methods compared to the goal of being featured in your local paper.

Ignoring the customer journey

Before the Internet, customers identified law firms through the Yellow Pages and their decision to work with a firm largely depended on how the staff treated them and how satisfied they were by answers to their questions. These days, research and contact is likely to be made via online methods. To appeal more accurately to prospects, your firm must pinpoint the different messages required at different stages of a customer’s journey – the Awareness stage, the Consideration stage, the Decision Stage, and the Advocacy stage. Understanding how a person gets from one point to another helps craft your message, mode of delivery, and level of automation to win their business.

Overselling and not focusing enough on your audience

Selling is not a problem, but overselling can make your firm seem desperate. You should absolutely share details of the firm’s accomplishments and highlight how many years of experiences your associates have to offer. But focusing on how great you don’t indicate how you can help potential clients with their specific troubles. Use your marketing efforts to address your client’s needs while emphasizing how your credentials would be a great fit to help solve their problem.

Taking yourself too seriously

While the purpose of marketing is to get customers in the door and grow the business, prospects want to feel like they know you and can trust you with their problems. Infuse empathy and personable traits into your marketing tactics to avoid being seen as just another cold company that is all business, all the time.

Using too much legal jargon

contract agreement

Unless your target clients are fellow attorneys or law firms, do not use content that is full of complex terminology or technical concepts. Chances are, your prospect does not have comprehensive (or even basic) legal training. Explain the same ideas in layman’s terms to avoid scaring people away. The failure to write compelling and interesting content in a manner clients can understand means you are helping your competitors win business.

Failing to select a core practice area

It is difficult to implement effective general marketing campaigns. If you are willing to take any and every type of case that comes your way, targeting clients with specific messaging will be a challenge. Narrowing down your practice area does not mean limited opportunities. In fact, doing so actually makes your business more appealing and accessible. Not only will you stand out from the crowd of generalists, but focusing on one type of law also strengthens your entire marketing strategy. Your budget and time will go into reaching specific clients, instead of every single person who has a legal issue.

Keeping your marketing efforts separate from each other

Prospects are looking for legal help across different channels. For example, they may start off with a search engine query, end up on your website, check out your Twitter and Facebook pages, go to Yelp to read customer reviews, and then look for videos from your firm on YouTube. Keeping your efforts isolated by channel means an inconsistent experience for a potential client. Instead, streamline your messaging on all channels to create unifying phrases, usernames, and call to actions.

Putting the majority of your marketing budget on one big campaign

going all in in poker

While it is definitely a challenge to allocate funds for too many marketing tactics, putting your budget toward one big campaign is risky, especially if it does not achieve the results you were hoping for. Marketing campaigns are no longer quarterly or monthly initiatives – they are dynamic and ongoing to accommodate customer expectations. The worst thing you can do is use your entire budget on one project, and then struggle to fill the gaps in your marketing efforts for the rest of the year.

Not interacting

It’s not enough to have social media profiles and post content on your blog a few times a week. You must also interact to create a favorable online presence. Social media required two-way communication and even the must success global brands are expected to engage with customers. If someone comments on your blog post, follow up by addressing their questions or providing additional details. You may also want to conduct search queries to specifically seek out people who need legal help. Respond to their questions or comments in a professional manner and they are likely to click on your username to learn more about you and the firm.