Marketing your practice is an integral part of having a law practice. Whether you are in a larger firm that requires you to bring in or maintain a particular book of business or are in a smaller “eat what you kill” environment, business development and marketing will continue to be critical throughout your career. However, lawyers practice law and have studied law, so serving as a marketer is often uncomfortable.
“If marketing is like playing golf — you put in the time to refine your swing, play the long game and don’t panic if you hit the occasional sand trap — then legal marketing is like playing golf with no handicap and only a five iron. There are extra rules for your websites, unique challenges for your advertising and a whole lot of legal lingo that your average site visitor probably won’t understand,” according to a Forbes blog post.
In addition to the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern lawyer advertising, lawyers have to contend with challenges like ensuring they are not using “legal-ease” or vernacular that will only be understood by other legal professionals. Law firm marketing is still relatively new, as its only been in the last 30 years or so that the ethical rules have allowed for more direct client targeting. Smart marketers who have found their niche are using marketing vehicles that connect them directly to their target audience – ie their desire client base.
There is no doubt that most lawyers get a good deal of their business from referrals, but the internet is also a huge player in the legal marketing game. According to a 2012 survey, 3 out of 4 consumers who are looking for an attorney turn to the internet at some point in the process, whether it is to find an attorney directly or to find out more about an attorney who they have been referred to by a friend, family member or professional contact. So, in addition to other advertising and marketing vehicles you might consider, like print and radio advertising, online marketing needs to be a part of the mix.
Here are some strategies for maximizing your online marketing budget:
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