Unfortunately, you cannot achieve a good law firm by merely doing good work. While having a robust referral network can provide a steady stream of profitable clients, your law firm’s growth will inevitably reach its limit and become stagnant.
Most law firm marketing strategies rely on a client remembering that the law firm exists and the particular services that are offering. When a client remembers this, they will contact the law firm when they need that particular service. You cannot rely on a person’s ability to recall your law firm and contact you. You need to target a specific audience that actively needs legal services and give them a strong reason to contact your law firm.
Why You Need to Market
To be completely honest, your law firm cannot thrive without a strategic and consistent marketing system.
In law school, lawyers are not taught about practice building, team management, or marketing. They are told, “do good work and the cases will come.” This message further reinforced by peers outside of law school.
This had led to a stigma around words like “marketing” and “profit” because they imply that you are putting yourself and the health and stability of your law firm before the client. This isn’t untrue. My priorities are my family first, my team second, and the client third. This is because if my family life and my team are not thriving, then I cannot provide the best service to any of my clients.
Now, let’s jump into some practical marketing tips that you can employ in your law firm today.
Education-Based Direct Response Marketing
Let’s break this down into two parts, the first being direct response marketing.
An advertisement that follows direct response marketing strategies elicits a response from the viewer and then tells them a specific action to take. Direct response marketing targets a smaller, high-value audience. This is different than traditional marketing, which relies on reaching a broad audience in order to increase brand awareness.
Your marketing strategy must give people a reason to respond. One of the most effective ways to elicit a response from the reader is to create an irresponsible offer.
This leads us to the education-based marketing component. As it sounds, this type of marketing leverages information as a tool to increase leads (and therefore clients). Depending on your practice area, your ideal client might be learning about the policies and procedures surrounding the legal service for the very first time and is unsure about what they need to do.
When you show up in front of a potential client, not to pitch them on hiring you, but to simply explain the legal process and provide unbiased guidance, you will not only stand out against your competition, but you will build trust with the potential client.
This isn’t a foreign concept to most lawyers, because offering a free consultation can be a form of educational marketing. You are offering to teach a potential client about the legal process and answer any questions they may have for free.
A Free Consultation is Not an Effective Marketing Strategy
Lawyers often believe offering a free consultation is necessary because (likely) every competing law firm in their area offers one. This creates fear because we think, well, why would anyone contact my law firm if they can go talk to XYZ law firm for free?
The real problem with a free consultation is the very fact that nearly ever law firm uses the offer as their main marketing strategy, making it not unique in the slightest. Your law firm cannot differentiate itself from the countless other law firms in your area by spreading the same message as every other law firm.
It’s not about who shouts the loudest; it’s about who shouts something different.
There are ways to differentiate your free consultation offer by using proprietary language or offering a unique experience. On the other hand, we’ve seen members of Great Legal Marketing receive more calls for potential client consultations when they begin charging for it. Remember, your time is valuable and you should not be giving it away for free.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the best marketing strategy for your law firm, below are 15 free educational offers that you can utilize in direct response marketing for your law firm.
15 Free Offers That Are Not a Consultation
- Case review
- Website articles
- How-to guide
- Video series
- Weekly email newsletter
- Case evaluation
- Practice area-specific checklist
- Client information package
- Mailed, monthly newsletter
- Insurance policy review
- Live seminars
- Contract/lease review