Comprehensive, Ethical & Interesting Legal Marketing (Part A)

Legal marketing is hard work. To run a solid, effective legal marketing campaign you need to have several systems in place, know your target audience (your ideal client), and have the determination to work for what you want. The biggest part of building an effective marketing campaign is developing a plan and sticking to it. Most lawyers who attempt my system and fail simply gave up too soon to reap the benefits.

Your Legal Marketing Campaign Needs to be Comprehensive

When you think about legal marketing I hope it's not limited to a Yellow Page ad, a website and some business cards. If your marketing campaign is that narrow-minded, you're doomed to a cycle of unattractive cases and one-time clients. There's no one way to do legal marketing effectively, and there's no one step in a marketing campaign.

A comprehensive legal marketing campaign is one that doesn't just get clients in your door, but keeps them involved well after you've settled their case
. Your marketing campaign should follow a client from the moment of contact all the way through their case and then beyond. Your client database should be doing the bulk of that work for you, automating your legal marketing and knowing who's getting what.

Don't stop interacting with a client just because their case is over
. Follow-up with your newsletter, keep them informed of goings on in your law firm. Just because they don't need you now doesn't mean they or a friend won't need you down the line. A marketing campaign is a longer process than a one-hit effort and you need to make sure your name is the first to come to mind when your clients hear "lawyer."

Your Legal Marketing Campaign Needs to be Ethical

There are concrete rules set in place by your state bar and by the state law regarding legal marketing. While these rules must be adhered to, they also shouldn't take the effectiveness out of your marketing campaign. Many of these rules are ill-written, or out of touch with what they're really trying to achieve.

Take for example the Kentucky State Bar's position that your law firm's monthly newsletter must be submitted for approval 30 days prior to mailing. This not only delays your timely content, but also infringes on the First Amendment, imposes a fee with every review, and unnecessarily delays your marketing campaign. Yet this pre-approval doesn't apply to blogs - where's the rationale in that?

You do need to be mindful of outright slander and blatantly misleading statements - these will get you in ethical hot water no matter what, and with good reason
. However, when it comes to some of the broader, less specific rules from the bar, there's always a good strategy to be found for working with them.

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Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.