How to Get Started on Your Law Firm's Marketing Schedule
Most firms do their marketing on an ad-hoc basis. Then, when work dries up, they get busy trying to market their law firm and throw money at whatever marketing offer comes their way. As a law firm owner, you are going to have offers from agencies, radio stations, print media, and digital marketing firms every week. There is always someone that is happy to take your money. However, not all marketing works, and I hate seeing law firm owners throw their money away on marketing activities that are fruitless.
It is much better if you are proactive and have a plan for your marketing for the following year.
You know what they say….. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!’
Before setting out your marketing calendar of activities, here are a few tasks you need to do to prepare for your law firm marketing plan.
1. Collate a Target List
This target list is essential as it will help you in only 12 months grow many more valuable relationships with people who can refer work to you. The list should be a win, win list. People that you can create relationships with because you can each benefit from the relationship.
The benefits may be that you can refer work to each other, assist with queries, or ask a friend questions. The people that go on this list and people that you want to get to know, people that you already know, and anyone that may be able to refer work to you because they share a similar client to you but don’t offer the same service as you. These are also potential businesses where you could speak to their team about what solutions your firm offers as a CPD-style learning event. Or visa versa.
On this list, include their name, phone number, business name, website, email, and social media contacts. I suggest that you create a list of 52 people for the year. That is one contact to get to know or have a touch point with each week. This is very achievable.
2. Collate a list of events held throughout the year
What local opportunities are there to either attend events or sponsor events in your area? These could be breakfasts, fundraising events, sporting events, sports teams such as the kids club events, annual larger balls or gala’s, conferences, women’s groups, golf events or special events.
Have some fun with this, and consider what events you would like to support and enjoy attending.
3. Find a table or two
Research and find a couple of suitable venues where you could host lunches throughout the year. It is best that you find a restaurant or venue that has a private dining room option.
Get their booking policies and menu so you know what the costs might be to hold an event for your firm.
Taking potential referrers to lunch builds relationships, which is a powerful way to create bonds and referrals.
4. Make Social Media Friends
When you are relaxing, get your fingers tapping and make friends on social media. Ensure that you are friends on all the platforms with your list of 52 and anyone else with whom you can create relationships. This, of course, includes potential future employees.
5. Write 52 Headlines For Articles
This sounds like it would be hard, but it isn’t. You only need 10 to 15 minutes, when you are in the zone it is incredible what you can pump out.
The goal here is that you will have 52 headlines so that you can easily produce content each week based on that headline. Think frequently asked questions, myths about your area of legal practice, facts, stats, problems people face, how to overcome the problem, solutions to the problem, and any other headline that comes to mind.
6. Write A List Of PR Targets
With the headlines that you create, you will be writing articles, doing videos or podcasts, or a mix of all of the above if you become great at repurposing your content creation. These articles can go on your website, youtube, LinkedIn, and social media as well as other media outlets or websites that are not your own.
What are some media outlets that would be helpful to your business? What local newspapers are there, magazines, online publications, podcasts, other people's websites or blogs? Write a list of 12 targets and challenge yourself to get an article out each month.
7. List Your Firm Keywords
It is really important that when you are writing articles for your law firm, particularly when it comes to content creation for your firm's website that you do so intentionally.
In the digital world, this means using and focusing on relevant keywords. This comes down to what search terms people are looking for when they go to Google. It is pointless writing articles that are not specifically going to attract the right kind of work for you. For example, my law firm practices family law. There is no point in us writing about getting your Will done after divorce if we don’t offer estate planning services. Or having articles on our website regarding child support when we don’t make any money in our firm from child support matters.
Keep your articles relevant to what people are searching for and what services you offer. In order to do this you need to know what your top keywords are. You can find those on Google here.
8. Email Marketing Groups
List out the email marketing groups you could create to amp up your email marketing in 2023. If you have not started your law firm email marking, now is the time. This is a great way to stay top of mind for referrers, potential clients, and past clients.
Your headline list and the articles that you are going to create throughout the year are the perfect way to stay in touch with your lists.
9. List and Diarise Awards Events
Winning awards is a great way to bring awareness to your brand and helps to position you as an expert in your industry. Often you don’t know when awards are on until they are already happening. Most but not all awards need you to self-nominate, or you can ask someone to nominate you. The majority of them then require that you submit an application. Awards usually don’t just happen, they do require a bit of planning and work submitting information.
Put a list of all the awards you could enter for the year 2023. These could be general industry awards, specific practice area awards, or general business awards.
Ensure that when you put your marketing plan together for the year you are also including the awards submission dates so that you don’t miss them.
Marketing Your Law Firm Is Fun!
Now that you have done some research and have a few targets on your list, it is time to put everything into action. Get out an excel spreadsheet and get ready to create your actual marketing plan for your law firm using all of the information that you have gathered.