For those who do not make the law their career, the natural assumption is that all lawyers make money hand over fist. However, as sole practitioners and those working in small firms can attest to, the fight to generate business can be challenging. Therefore, being adept at marketing is essential – even for sole practitioners and small law firms.
Marketing as a concept can seem like a foreign notion to many lawyers, however, for sole practitioners and small firms to generate business and mindshare, developing a marketing strategy to promote your services is extremely important in a tight business environment.
Yes, for some legal practitioners, the thought of having to initiate a marketing campaign may fill some with dread. However, an effective initiative can be achievable, cheap and very effective. Yes, really.
So, allow us to explain how even the smallest practices, can score wins by enacting an effective marketing strategy.
Beginning your marketing initiativeOnce you’ve made the decision to start a marketing campaign, the natural question is: ‘Where do I begin?’
It’s understandable that small practices won’t have a large amount of money to throw around on an all-encompassing campaign via traditional media channels. Therefore, they have to be more strategic in their approach, and as a consequence, small practices should have an understanding of what speciality they wish to be renowned for and build on that, as Trish Carroll, founder of Galt Advisory explains: “For small to medium sized firms, it’s important they have a clear understanding of what they want to be known for and build upon that concept… Small firms need to be clear on their areas of practice, how they should operate, and have an awareness of who they are.”
You’re never too small to turn your practice into a brand
Even for the sole practitioner, brand development should be a consideration and in a competitive legal market, developing a unique brand can separate you from the field, says Trish:
“It’s extremely important that law firms engage in brand development and what I’ve found…is that the smarter practices are really starting to understand the importance of having a brand that can be a point of distinction. The main advantage of brand development is that it can be seen as a point of differentiation, and provided that the niche is something that can be built upon, such firms can be true specialists and the ability to grow will be substantial.“
However, developing and managing a brand extends beyond the superficial and encompasses a number of additional aspects as Trish points out, “firms should be mindful that brand management is not just about the visual features, but rather it refers to all aspects of the practice, including client engagement, service, interaction, and even how partners manage, and lead their own people. The fundamental aspect of brand management is alignment, because everything will be geared around the values of the brand.”
By focusing your marketing efforts on what your firm does well, can help in your attempts to win more clients.