Create a Law Firm Marketing Strategy Plan in 7 Easy Steps

law firm marketing strategy plan

How do you create a law firm marketing strategy plan that succeeds in 2022 and beyond?

Whether you are a small or big law firm, you need proper marketing and brand visibility if you are going to get more conversions from your leads.

More conversions means more new cases you will take on!

The goal of this article is to provide you with a list of steps so you understand at a high level what is required in order to execute a viable law firm marketing strategy with a successful action plan behind it.

A big part of any law marketing strategy involves producing legal content for your website, blog, and social media accounts. So you’ll be hearing the term “Law Firm Content Marketing” as well.

Before we get into the steps below please keep the following in mind:

  • If you are a bigger law firm and doing your marketing in-house, how you decide to scale up your marketing strategy is entirely up to you.
  • If you are a smaller law firm (under 50 employees), it’s highly recommended you hire a marketing agency. Your life will be much easier because they can guide you on all the correct moves for strategizing your plan.

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s get started.

STEP 1: Create Engaging and Quality Copywriting Anywhere Content Is Required

The success of your law firm marketing plan will majorly pivot on one thing, having engaging and valuable content that will inspire your clients and get them to remember your brand.

Think about the following:

  • Want to attract more followers to your Social Media accounts?
  • Want to have better SEO success with Google?
  • Want to have visitors stay on your website longer, read your blog content, then share it out? Or better yet, have your visitors take action and fill out your contact form or call you on the phone?

You’ll have a higher chance of converting web visitors with quality content that is engaging and easy for them to read.

Content is the written word your brand puts out to the world. It appears on your Website, Social Media, Press Releases, Blog Articles, and the lines you say in your YouTube Videos.

Your content is not just online either; it’s the words you use when networking with people in person or talking on the phone to close a deal.

To launch your content strategy on the right path, start by researching all the types of content your competitors are producing first. Then create something better that is unique to your brand and the types of clients you want to attract to your law firm.

STEP 2: Your Law Firm’s Website Probably Needs a Redesign

Your law firm’s website is the biggest marketing asset you’ll invest in for your law firm. A website that not only looks professional but will also get a new client to call you requires the expertise of a designer, copywriter, and a programmer.

Web design agencies can provide you with all of the experts we just mentioned. This will save you a lot of time not having to search for each one separately.

It’s also highly recommended that you work with an agency that has experience designing law firm websites. This way you can save time by having an expert walk you through the exact process for creating an award winning website for your industry.

If you need help with your website design project you can always reach out to us here at Real Authority Media, we’ll review what you are trying to do and let you know the best options to take.

DIY Approach

If you want an alternative and don’t want to work with a web agency, you can also try a freelance web designer from 99Designs.

If you go with 99 Designs, it can work out well for the design but you will still need to hire a law firm copywriter to write up the content for all your web pages ahead of time.

Also, depending on the designer you choose, they may or may not have an additional programming service you can utilize. Don’t worry however, if you need to hire a programmer, you can find pretty good ones on UpWork.com.

Just make sure you thoroughly research who you are hiring and check out their reviews!

Once you finalize a design you’ll be given some graphics files which you can then deliver to the programmer you just hired to code your new website design.

Do This Before Starting Your Web Project

Before you talk to an agency or take a DIY approach to design a new website for your law firm it’s important to research your local competition first.

Take notes about what you like and don’t like about their website. Observe the order of the homepage from top to bottom. Most of the Main Benefits should be near the top of the page. All the awards should be displayed near the top half of the page as well.

When you are done with your notes, save them and make sure you review them with your web designer. You also want to share the websites you reviewed.

This will help give the designer a clear starting point to help you start a fantastic design for your law firm.

IMPORTANT! We Recommend You Only Consider Using a Self-Hosted WordPress Site

When you self-host your own WordPress website you have 100% control and access over it. 

You have control of the platform that runs the code which presents the pages of content you see in your browser.

When you have control, it doesn’t mean you have to maintain the hardware or platform your website runs on. It means you have the freedom to choose your own web-hosting service (platform) which will power your WordPress site.

If you are ever unhappy with your web-hosting service provider, you can easily move your WordPress site to a new provider. It’s easy to move WordPress because it’s an open-source website software package that will run on 90% of the web-hosting services that are out in the market.

The reason you want the freedom to run a Self-Hosted WordPress site is because it allows you to switch marketing agencies more easily if you are not happy with the job they are doing. If you allow your marketing agency to lock you in some proprietary website platform, you’ll be forced to leave it behind and will be stuck building a whole new website.

Locking someone in a proprietary system is unethical if you ask us, and we will never service our law firm clients in that way!

We hope you got something out of all the information in this step. Remember, you don’t have to be a computer geek to have a great looking law firm website that performs well.

STEP 3: Getting Started on Social Media

There are many options for branding your law firm using Social Media.

At a minimum, we recommend selecting at least one or two social media platforms to sign up for, but you can do more.

Don’t worry about growing all of them at the same time. Just actively use one or two to get started. The other social media accounts you sign up for are good to have as a placeholder for reserving a username which is relevant to your brand name.

Not to mention, a social media profile is also a great opportunity to build backlinks for your website with a web 2.0 property!

Another benefit is that your social media profiles will make your brand name look good in the search results when someone does a brand search on you.

Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use?

The top Social Media sites good for branding your law firm are FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Facebook is a great option if your law firm is targeting people over the age of 35 and you want to either run FaceBook ads or Target people to your blog articles.

Twitter is a great option for linking your blog posts, building your brand, and tweeting various pieces of advice to an overall general audience. It’s not a recommended option if you want to advertise, however.

Linkedin is perfect if you want to reach a professional audience in any age group. You can easily join groups, build a page, and promote your blog articles. Lots of law firms are slowly starting to realize the benefits of having a presence on Linkedin.

YouTube is great for posting videos about your law firm’s services, or making a video to discuss some information you just created in a blog post. You can easily include a link back to your website in each video you upload. If you want to run a video ad and target it to your local area, YouTube is great for this!

Pinterest will be a good option to help build links back to your blog posts. It’s best to think of Pinterest as a visual search engine. So if you create interesting infographics and Pins to promote your brand, people will engage and give you views. Pinterest also has a slightly younger audience with a more female audience than male.

Instagram is a good option as well for your firm. You can post pictures and videos of your lawyers, office, and your staff. You just can’t post links with each posting, but you can post one with your bio.

Some younger lawyers are also on Tik Tok, if your clients are younger that might be an option for you as well. However, we currently don’t engage or recommend Tik Tok to our law firm clients due to the ongoing privacy concerns with the FCC.

What Should You Post On Social Media?

Deciding what to post on social media is hard for a lot of people when they first start out, especially law firms.

To get started with your social media, we see a lot of our clients posting photographs, infographics, videos, and links to their blog. They incorporate this into a scheduler with a calendar and then respond to comments and likes etc.

It’s best to first learn about a social media platform by following people and seeing what they are posting. Pay attention to what types of posts get a lot of attention and likes, etc.

Search for other law firms and see what size following they have and what they are posting.

Then from there, you can start posting content you think people will find valuable.

Generally, you don’t want to over promote your law firm’s brand by directly selling your legal services on social media, instead provide valuable information. Then let your followers warm up to what you are selling and buy when they are ready.

Overall, If you want to directly sell on social media, it’s best to do a paid advertising campaign and just run ads. You’ll get to target your demographics and be a priority for the platform to show your ads.

STEP 4: Online Reviews, Law Firm Awards, and Business Associations

  • Online Reviews will show your new prospective clients that you have a good rapport with your existing clients.
  • Law Firm awards will help you show off your achievements to prospective clients who visit your website’s homepage.
  • Belonging to some business associations will further help to build trust and show your clients you are engaged with organizations outside of your own.

Let’s expand on this a bit more.

Online Reviews

You should actively engage in getting reviews for all the cases you work on. There are tons of review sites these days and it would be impossible to manage all of them, so we advise people to just pay attention to the top three that everyone uses.

The main review sites you should engage with are Avvo, Google, and Yelp. If there are some other sites in your legal industry where your competitors are receiving reviews you can add those too.

In our experience, the review sites people use will vary greatly depending on your law practice type and your local service areas.

If you discover that a customer left a bad review for you on another review site that is lesser known it’s good to respond to that review or find out more about why it was left. If you can’t identify why it was left there is a possibility it is a fake review.

This does happen and is pretty common these days. You’d think your competitors or ex-employees would not leave you a bad review, but it does happen. That’s why the online reputation industry is exploding right now.

We have our law firm clients use Bright Local to manage their reviews and engage clients for new reviews. When you engage clients for reviews you can have an opportunity to help them before they blindly leave you a bad review without first speaking to you about what the exact problem is.

You’ll always need to know the problem your client is having in order to work out a solution with them. It’s always best to find out about the problem before they write a review about it.

If your law firm mostly gets referrals, prospective leads will still check your reviews and activity online with a Google search in most cases. So having a well-managed review process will make your brand look positive overall for all the leads that find you.

Good online reviews help you close more deals!

Law Firm Awards

If you Google “Law Firm Awards” you’ll find no shortage of companies, review sites, and business associations offering some kind of reward for law firms of all types.

The awards that are available are either local or nationwide.

A good starting point for which ones you might consider is researching some of the awards your competition has posted on their website.

Next, do some research and have your marketing manager/agency make a list of different awards to consider for your firm to apply for.

Here’s some awards your law firm might consider going after:

The American Bar Association – The American Bar association has special projects which help young lawyers get awards so that they can be recognized for their efforts. This is a great place to start looking. Some example awards include the The Outstanding Young Military Award and The Top 40 Young Lawyers Award.

Law.com – The National Law Journal division for law.com offers a lawyer award every year. Here’s an example of who won last year. It’s a professional excellence award and you have to be nominated for it. If you know a lawyer you’d like to nominate, here’s a link to submit their information.

CCAWARD.com – The Consumer Choice Award has been around since 1987 so it has a long history of recognizing excellence in the services provided by small businesses. If your law firm is providing services to the end consumer in Canada, this will be a good option for you.

Financial Times – The FT North American Innovative Lawyers Award is well recognized and has three strands to it. These include Individuals, Law Firms, and In-House Legal Teams. RSGI is a partner in presenting this award as well.

Law Firm 500 – Law Firm 500 is an award that recognizes a law firm’s growth. The growth is not measured by revenue either. So it gives a smaller law firm the same advantage as a bigger firm to win it. They even provide training and growth strategies to help you get the most out of growing your law firm. When a customer sees you having fast growth, it shows you have momentum and a good reputation. And most importantly, that you are doing well for your clients!

Super Lawyers – Super Lawyers publishes a top list of lawyers for each state in the United States. Each attorney goes through 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Over 70 practice areas are considered for those firms who are nominated.

Professional Business Associations

Local Chamber of Commerce

In just about every city, there is a local chamber of commerce you can join. They’ll normally have ribbon cuttings, monthly mixer events, networking events, and other opportunities for you to engage with your local community. When you become a member you’ll be added to a local business directory and given a seal you can put on your website.

Networking Groups

There are many small business networking groups out there that specialize in referral marketing. When you are a member of a recognized networking group, you can add something to your website about it.

A popular one which is known worldwide is called BNI. Some other smaller local groups can also be found on the event organization site MeetUp. You’ll have to allocate some time to show up to these events and build connections. If you don’t have the time, it’s probably best to skip networking groups.

Rotary

Rotary is a community organization that is recognized worldwide. Its members include neighbors, friends, business leaders, and other active members of the community to promote growing local communities, saving the environment, and fighting disease.

When you are involved with Rotary you can show trust with your clients because you are involved in the community outside of your law firm.

Better Business Bureau

The BBB sees itself as a marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other. When you are an accredited business of the BBB you can put that badge on your website and boost your credibility to easily capture new clients.

Legal Associations

Legal associations are really popular and there are tons of them to choose from. For lawyers, this includes ones like your local bar associations or even the national bar association. You can put on your website that you are a member of these associations.

For a big list of legal associations and ideas to expand your connections with other like-minded legal professionals, check out this List of Legal Professional Associations and Organizations by Job Star.

As you can see from all the options you have for online reviews, awards, and legal associations, it’s easy to get involved and market trust through your website and your law firm’s brand.

STEP 5: Create a Lead Generation Strategy by Promoting Your Law Firm’s Brand

In order to have the public see your law firm’s brand name, phone number, and website you’ll need to create a process for promoting your name. This is probably one of the hardest parts of executing your law firm’s marketing strategy.

There are many ways of promoting your legal brand.

  • You can use paid advertising on Social Media, Direct Mail, or Google Ads.
  • You can also try a more organic approach like SEO, Organic Reach for Social Media or YouTube, and Networking with others in your industry to exchange referrals.
  • Word of mouth marketing with your clients is also very powerful, but normally does not kick in right away for a new law firm.

Below, we are going to cover a list of the paid and organic options that are available for building and promoting your law firm’s brand.

Before we get started please keep the following points in mind.

  • In order to have any of these tactics provide any real results, you need to put a lot of time and energy into them to provide any real results.
  • To get those results, it’s best to select one tactic and go all in on it. Figure out how to master it before investing a lot of time or money for getting another tactic to work.

With that out of the way, let’s start with the options for paid promotion and advertising first.

PAID ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

With paid advertising and promotion, there are many websites, social media platforms, and offline options you can implement. Let’s review some of them.

Review sites like Yelp, Google, Avvo, etc.

The main review sites we see being used for most of our law firm clients are Yelp, Avvo, and Google Business. If you are getting a lot of engagement with a local audience on one of these review sites it would be a great idea to test running some ads on that site.

If there is another review site that your clients use (other than the ones we’ve mentioned here) see what that site offers for ads and test it out.

Google Ads

Google has display ads, pay-per-click, and a local ads program called “Google Screened”. It’s definitely the new yellow pages for law firms to advertise with. However, because it works so well for a lot of law firms it’s a very expensive option to use. Many law firms will implement an SEO Campaign instead to get a better longer term ROI.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is a great option for promoting click traffic to your website or getting leads directly off the platform. The issue however is that it can be expensive and requires a deep understanding of how to target people so you can get conversions.

It takes a lot of upfront investment to make it worthwhile. Ever since privacy and tracking have become a big concern for people, it’s harder to target the right people.

YouTube Ads

We mentioned YouTube ads earlier. If you are using Google already to advertise, then you’ll have easy access to run some video ads on YouTube. However, in order to make a quality production video, you’ll need to hire someone to script, film, and edit a video commercial for your firm.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is still a very effective option for law firms to mail out postcards or letters to a targeted address list. The key here however is testing out different ideas and investing enough time to track the results.

TV / Radio

If you are in a big city like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and the like, TV and Radio ads just might work for you. Tune in to a popular local news channel on the radio for example, if you hear your competing law firm running an ad over the air, there’s a good chance it’s a good option and worth a try for you to do the same. 

BillBoards

If your city has billboards by the highway this might be an option for your law firm to advertise. Especially, if you see another law firm in your area doing the same thing. In the San Francisco Bay area, occasionally you’ll see a billboard ad directing people to the law firm’s website.

This is a great strategy for building traffic to your website and sending engagement signals to Google.

ORGANIC OPTIONS

Local SEO Campaign

Is SEO right for your law firm? To answer the question you need to ask yourself if your customers will go to Google to find you, or will they find you more based on referrals?

Do some keyword research with Google’s Ads Keyword Tool to verify people are actually searching for your legal services online in your local area. Did you find some promising data? If you did, a Local SEO campaign will be a great investment for you.

Some other good SEO Keyword Tools include SemRush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest.

National SEO Campaign

If your law firm has a national presence with local offices all over the United States you will benefit from a National SEO Campaign. It will be best to target both local services keywords and long-tail topic keywords that relate to your law firm’s practice areas.

The ROI on SEO is incredible, but you have to run your campaign like a marathon and not a sprint.

Networking

Previously we mentioned joining networking groups or business associations like the Chamber, Rotary, BNI, or a Legal Professional Organization.

Every time you have the opportunity to speak and engage with other people you are networking. Because you are out in the public promoting your brand it will build trust faster and get you more referrals.

While you are doing this, don’t forget to take interest in other businesses as well. You’ll want to build trust with them so you can also refer business.

Free Legal Directory Listings

There are lots of free legal directories out there for law firms. Some include Findlaw, LegalZoom, Justia, and Superlawyers. These sites will allow you to build a backlink back to your website and have the possibility of generating leads for you.

In order to get better placement in these directories, you may have to pay a monthly fee so make sure it’s worth it before signing up for a premium listing.

Social Media

Previously we mentioned Social Media was a big part of your organic strategy. It’s good to engage on at least a few of the social media platforms we mentioned earlier. Such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

By posting regularly, it will help show new clients you are active with your online community. Social Media is also good for driving engagement signals to Google for your SEO Strategy.

Word of Mouth Marketing

If you offer a quality and valuable legal service to your customers, they will refer you to other people they know sometime in the future. This type of marketing and advertising converts very well and drives the highest ROI for your marketing budget because it does not cost you anything.

So, always remember to treat your clients well and provide an exceptional experience for them!

As we stated before: This list of ideas is not meant to be all executed at the same time. It’s meant to provide you some insight on how your law firm can implement a few of them and test things out. In the long run, it’s beneficial to research and execute each idea to its full potential so you can test its viability in your law firm’s industry and location.

If you need help choosing and figuring out a marketing execution strategy, it’s advised to outsource some help from an agency, a freelancer, or hire a marketing professional in-house.

Lastly, the owner of the law firm can always network and focus on your quality of services to make sure you get a nice steady stream of referral work. You don’t need to hire outside help for that and it has the best ROI of any advertising/marketing strategy.

STEP 6: Tracking Conversions and Analytics Reporting

In order to see the bottom line of your online marketing investment, you’ll want to track your conversions and learn how people found you online.

There are many different places this data is tracked and recorded.

For example, each ad campaign you run whether it be on Facebook or Google will have some data to share with you. If you are running an SEO campaign, you’ll be able to find your SEO keyword data in the Google Search Console.

If you’re curious about looking at the most visited pages on your website you’ll need to be running Google Analytics.

In addition, every social media platform you sign up for should provide you with some basic data on views, impressions, and how many people are engaging with you. Even if you are not running ads.

Analyzing this data from all of these different sources and compiling into a meaningful report is no easy task. For our clients, we utilize an analytics solution called Agency Analytics.

We also use tools such as Bright Local and Call Rail to provide additional data points.

The end result is It helps us filter views and organize thousands of data points to present a nice overview report to our clients, which highlights where leads were generated and how many conversions were made.

So if you decide to do your own tracking, you’ll need to utilize some of the tools we just mentioned to make your data points are manageable.

STEP 7: Review and Pivot Your Law Firm Marketing Strategy As Needed

Every so often you’ll want to review your existing law firm marketing strategy and change the things that are not working for you.

If you find yourself performing better on Linkedin but not getting much traction with Twitter for example. It might be best to put more time and resources into Linkedin so you can master its full potential.

The same could be true for advertising on Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads.

If your law firm’s budget does not allow you to hire an expert needed to master a particular marketing strategy, then skip it and go with a strategy that will work for your budget. This is why a lot of our clients choose Blogging and SEO over running an expensive PPC Campaign.

Going forward, you will always be reviewing and pivoting your law firm’s marketing strategy with the changing trends and your business goals. So keep reviewing and don’t be afraid to make changes so you always get the most ROI on your marketing budget.

Final Thoughts

Thank you so much for taking the time to review our law firm marketing strategy guide. We put a lot of time and effort into creating this for you. Throughout this guide, we also linked to other related topics on our blog. We hope you take the time to review those pages as well.

Running a marketing campaign for any size business can be a lot of work which requires you to wear many hats. If you have any law firm marketing questions that need to be answered you can contact us anytime for help.

We’ll do our best to answer your question, or point you in the right direction to get the answers you deserve.

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