Get the latest insight from legal industry experts on the keys to law firm marketing — from the fundamentals to emerging trends.
Whether for better or worse, the pandemic has impacted most law firm business development. Some practice areas evaporated while others exploded. In-person business development opportunities were dramatically limited, some adapted well to digital formats while others couldn’t. Some of us were affected directly by the illness, many with new responsibilities as caregivers, also often impacting our bottom line.
Experts in the legal profession have rounded out 2020 and started the new year offering great insight on how to approach law firm marketing in 2021. Below are some essentials.
Budgeting & Planning
What Does Your 2021 Marketing Plan & Budget Look Like? (Micah Buchdahl, ABA Law Practice Today). Covers advice such as “never stop never stopping,” beware of bad optics, backload the budget, beware of online fatigue, and much more, including ultimately, to Keep Doing the Simple Things:
It’s more about time than money, but don’t stop doing the things that are simple and expected. Maintain your website, blogs, and social media presence. You still should be doing some combination of webinars, podcasts, or related CLE programming—either self-produced or through a third-party provider. Complete RFPs and RFIs that make sense. Publish something somewhere. For consumer-facing firms, the marketing is much more status quo—prospective clients are still slipping and falling, getting divorced, buying houses, and dying (needing wills, I mean, perhaps now more than ever). Don’t let a little distance and uncertainty keep you from maintaining or growing your position in the marketplace.
Making It Rain | Eva Davis (Rachelle J. Canter, ABA Law Practice Today). Shares top 3 tips for successful rainmaking (authenticity, industry knowledge, and relentless followup), the role of entrepreneurship, marketing activities, rainmaking “war stories”, how to close the sale, and more, including the final thoughts:
Your career can be a very hard and long journey, so it is critical to find an area of law and clients you really like. It’s also critical to form a wide-ranging network to support you on that same journey who serve different roles–some as your own personal board of directors who can be an honest sounding board when making career moves; others who can serve as referral sources, industry experts, or deal leads, and even others who can provide you with speaking or branding opportunities.
Checklist: Essential Elements of Law Firm Websites (Catherine Reach, NC Bar Association). “Whether you are creating your firm website or updating it, keep this checklist of essential elements and best practices in mind to make sure that you are putting your best (digital) foot forward when someone visits your domain. There are thousands of great articles and experts on law firm website design, but make sure you have these basics.”
- Fast Loading
- Responsive Design
- Click to Call
- What Problem(s) Do You Solve?
- Use Standard Placement
- A Picture
- Effective Colors
Firmly Understand Traffic, Engagement, and Leads (ABA Law Practice Today). Encourages readers to develop a robust content strategy with an honest look at the effort it involves, aptly timed as we’ve shifted online during the pandemic.
When your law firm is just starting, you’ll focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand whether you’re going down the right path. KPIs can include website engagement, keyword rankings, and traffic. If your KPIs are reaching applicable standards—like a spike in traffic for pages that have intent—you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting leads.
8 Legal Practice Areas Growing in 2021 and Beyond (Attorney at Work, January 2021). Offers insight on market trends:
The BTI Consulting Group’s 19th Annual Survey of Top Legal Officers reveals growth in at least eight practice areas:
- Private equity
- Class-action litigation
- Employee-related litigation
- Banking (Paycheck Protection Program/CARES Act investigations)
- Tax law
- Employment law
Attorney at Work’s Top Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Posts of (Last) Year (Attorney at Work, December 2020). Features fundamentals along with strategies to adapt to pandemic-related change, including:
- “Scale: The Three-Step Formula to Grow a $1 Million+ Legal Practice” by Jay Harrington
- “What Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy?“ by Mark Homer
- “Five Tips for Networking From 6 Feet” by Camille Stell
- “Three Things to Do When There’s Not Enough Work” by Teddy Snyder
- “Six Business Development Strategies for Lawyers” by Sally Schmidt
- “LinkedIn Profile Update: How to Stand Out in 4 Simple, Achievable Steps” by Tea Hoffmann
- “Local Marketing: 5 Tips to Get More Clients Now and After the COVID-19 Shutdown” by Mike Ramsey (Plus video)
- “A 30-Day Business Development Plan for Lawyers” by Jay Harrington
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