Marketing Tips for New,
Small Law Firms
unprecedented series of law firm layoffs has thousands of lawyers
looking for work. Many are hanging out their own shingle for the
first time either as solo practitioners or as part of two- to five-partner
“micro” firms. To turn the pink-slip trend into a profitable
new business quickly in this tough economy, every non-billable hour
needs to generate leads and build business. The following are Internet
marketing tips for budding sole practitioners and micro practices:
Print yellow page advertising alone won’t cut it. The investment
for a one-time, print display ad is an expense unsupported by demonstrated
or measurable data. Investment in online marketing will likely yield
more qualified leads and enable easier measurement of ROI as compared
to a similar investment in print advertising or print directories.
in a professionally designed and developed website.
A polished, professional website is a must-have for anyone launching
a new firm, regardless of size. In 2008, 32 percent of solo attorneys
and 20 percent of firms with two-to-five attorneys did not have
a website, according to a 2008 Harris Interactive study on marketing
among small law firms. Don’t be one of these unfortunate few.
When prospects seek an attorney, they want someone with obviously
good credentials, but they also want to know what kind of person
their attorney is. Pepper in some personal data about schools, hobbies,
and outside interests.
video on your site.
Develop an introductory video of the managing partner that showcases
personality as well as expertise. Post the video in the web (and
YouTube) and even consider a TV spot down the road.
listed in and link to online directories.
Identify all online directories available for posting attorney and
firm profiles. This includes attorney specific portals and social
networking sites. Link to these on your website and don’t
forget to add your firm’s website to each online listing you
an expert. You practice law and let others grow
your business! Consider outsourcing your internet marketing campaign
to qualified experts. First, ask for a consultation and determine
a comfortable budget (earmark usually 2-5 percent of monthly budget
as a good start point). Let the experts generate leads for your
your website. Search engine optimization experts
can be tremendously helpful in improving online visibility and optimizing
a firm’s organic search rankings. Select a search marketing
team that offers transparent and results-driven metrics.
in pay-per-click advertising.
No firm is too small to reap tangible benefits from pay-per-click
campaigns. Ensure your marketing experts select appropriate keywords,
based on analysis, that are geographically and topically suited
to your firm. This strategy helps favorably position small firms
to directly compete with larger firms in your market.
and use appropriate metrics. Learn how success and
ROI are measured in an online marketing campaign. While you don’t
need to be an expert, you do need to understand the difference between
organic and paid search, as well as “clicks,” “impressions,”
and conversions.” Tracking leads is an appropriate metric
used by only 20 percent of attorneys. Click
here to get more tips on how to track leads.
responsive! While your internet marketing team brings
in qualified leads, put a system in place to respond to each one.
Make a phone call, send an e-mail in response to an inquiry, or
schedule a meeting. Keep these leads in a simple database so when
you’re ready to send the first newsletter from the firm, clients
and prospect lists are easily accessible. Don’t forget to
reference the LexisNexis
marketing checklist to get the marketing wheels turning!
Regan is vice president of Law Firm Marketing Services at LexisNexis.