Legal marketing services for solicitors
Just like law firms, legal marketing services come in all shapes and sizes. So, if you are looking for external support to build your practice and grow your law firm, then the first question you will need to consider is:
What sort of legal marketing services do I need?
The type of marketing support that you might need will depend upon where your firm is in its business lifecycle:
- A startup law firm is likely to need help with its brand development, building a website and potentially some launch PR.
- If your growth strategy is based on organic growth from within the existing client base and network of introducers, then you might want to bring in a consultant to provide training on busines development skills, networking, or implementation of a CRM system. If you are looking for external growth, then you may wish to engage a digital marketing expert to help with search engine optimisation or online advertising. You might be getting more ambitious in your PR activities, and need help with expert legal content, such as a ghostwriter.
- Maturity can bring a different set of challenges as systems and procedures may not have kept up with the firm and the lawyers within. As well as the legal support services mentioned above, you might need some external input from a consultant from time to time – such as a facilitator on an annual retreat, or maybe someone to provide a fresh perspective on a strategic project or to help with a renewed vision.
- The decline of a firm can also require PR support as media communications need to be handled sensitively.
As you can see from the list of options above, different legal marketing services require different sets of skills. Do you need someone with strategic experience, or do you need someone with expert digital skills?
So, before you start thinking about engaging any provider of legal marketing services – as an employee, a consultant or as an outsourced service – then it is worth spending some time clarifying your objectives.
One tool which might help with this is our DIY Law Firm Marketing Audit.
What is the difference between marketing and business development services?
In simple terms, marketing activities are those which raise profile, and which generate new contacts, opportunities and enquiries (also called lead generation) – for example:
- writing an article which causes someone to make an enquiry;
- managing and promoting the website, which generates enquiries; or
- organising an event which leads to new contacts.
Business development activities are those which take the contact, the opportunity or the enquiry forward until it becomes an instruction – for example:
- responding to an enquiry with a phone call and a quotation;
- following up a contact from an event with a coffee or a meeting; or
- submitting a formal tender to win new business.
Where can I find a good legal marketing consultant?
Of course, there is Google, but how do you decide between the many consultants that offer their services on the internet? Fortunately, it is not too hard to do a little due diligence - by looking at their website and LinkedIn, you can answer a few important questions:
- How much experience do they have of the legal sector? Is this a general marketing agency which is trying to target lawyers but does not have any in-depth experience?
- What sort of legal marketing experience do they have? Has the consultant worked in one of the top law firms – not necessarily in terms of size, but in a firm whose marketing you admire? Ere they involved in a wide range of marketing activities, or did they specialise in specific activity, such as CRM or events.
- Do they have an appropriate marketing qualification? Look for the Chartered Institute of Marketing or the Public Relations and Communications Association.
- Find out who else they have worked for and take references. Did they do a good job? Did they achieve results? Did they stick to the budget?
Of course, personal chemistry is also important. Usually, you want to work with someone who understands your objectives and fits the personality of your firm – or maybe you want someone to really challenge your thinking and push you out of your comfort zone.
How we can help
Berners Marketing provides law firms with legal marketing services which help to build your professional reputation, and often based upon expert legal content. So, this includes:
- helping you to agree branding and key messaging;
- devising communications strategies and programmes;
- producing high quality legal content, uploading to website and sharing on social media;
- creating and distributing client newsletters and e-shots;
- planning website development, including drafting web pages and lawyer profiles; and
- branding your social media accounts and keeping them fresh and lively.
We usually work alongside web development agencies or SEO agencies, providing the expert content to populate a fabulous website.
What we don’t do
We don’t do the following, but can probably introduce you to someone who does:
- anything that involves coding;
- strategic business development and training – for tis we can introduce you to some of our colleagues in the Law Consultancy Network;
- legal directories;
- cold calling; or
- pay per click or online advertising.