If you own your own law firm, you already know that law school didn’t prepare you to run a law practice. Sure you learned how to conduct legal research, write memorandums of law, and define “consideration.” But, as we’ve discussed in the past, the ins and outs of running a law firm is something that isn’t included in most law schools’ curriculums.
That means it’s up to you to fill in the gaps and figure out how to manage a successful law firm. As you no doubt quickly realized after hanging your shingle, one of the keys to a successful solo or small firm law practice is to ensure that you’ve got a steady stream of clients coming in the door. In other words, you need to know how to market your law practice.
Legal marketing, while not the most popular topic amongst lawyers, is an important skill to hone. After all, without clients, you wouldn’t have much of a law practice. So it’s important to learn how to market your practice both effectively and affordably. Here are 3 tips to help you do just that.
1. Learn the basics of law firm marketing. You weren’t taught about legal marketing in law school, so you’re going to have to learn the fundamentals on your own. The good news is that there are lots of in depth, affordable resources available–and some are even free.
First, start reading a few legal marketing blogs on a regular basis, such as Kevin O’Keefe’s Real Lawyers Have Blogs, the legal marketing posts on Lawyerist, the marketing posts on Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse blog, Nancy Myrland’s blog, and Cordell Parvin’s blog.
Then, read a book or two on lawyer marketing. The American Bar Association regularly publishes great books on marketing. A few of the most recent publications to consider include:
- How to Capture and Keep Clients, Second Edition: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers – Jennifer Rose
- Marketing Success: How Did She Do That? Women Lawyers Show You How to Move Beyond Tips to Implementation -Afi S. Johnson-Parris and Dee A Schiavelli
- The Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyer’s Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace – Stephanie Kimbro.
And don’t forget about webinars! At MyCase, we offer lots of great educational webinars, many of which focus on legal marketing. You can watch recorded videos of past webinars here.
2. Use the right tools for online marketing. Traditional offline marketing and networking is still a mainstay for many law firms, but these days online marketing is equally important. That’s why so many of the resources listed above focus on online marketing.
Once you’ve learned the basics of online marketing, make sure you use your time interacting online wisely. After all, time is money–especially for lawyers.
Here are a few tools that will help you ensure that your online efforts are streamlined and efficient:
- Feedly – an RSS feed reader that is a browser add-on (also available as a mobile app) that allows you to subscribe to blogs and news sites
- Prismatic – a web and mobile app that locates relevant content for you by crawling social networks and the web for content
- Buffer – a free browser add-on and mobile app used to schedule and share content via different social media sites and provides useful engagement analytics
- Hootesuite or Tweetdeck – both offer browser add-ons and mobile apps that serve as your social media dashboard, allowing you to post from and track your social media interactions.
3. Know when to outsource. Finally, as the old adage goes: it’s important to know what you don’t know. Because one of your most valuable assets is your time, don’t waste it on marketing tasks that are well outside your skill set. Make sure to determine whether your time would be better spent on other aspects of your practice and if so, don’t hesitate to outsource some aspects of your law firm’s marketing to the experts.
Consider consulting with a legal marketer to come up with a tailored online strategy for your law firm. Some of the bloggers and authors listed above, including those who have presented at MyCase webinars, provide legal marketing services and are a great place to start.
Also, consider outsourcing website development. Developing a website on your own can be a complicated and time consuming process. That why most lawyers leave web development to the professionals. Doing so saves time and money in the long run.
There are lots of website developers to choose from so do your research and ask for referrals. And don’t forget to check out MyCase Websites, either! We offer affordable, customized websites for lawyers. Contact us today to get started.