3 Reasons Why Small Law Firms Fail (and how to avoid them)
It’s no secret that small law firms have a hard time succeeding. The legal industry is, after all, a saturated market. But there’s another reason why so many small law firms fail, and that’s because of their marketing efforts (or lack thereof). Let’s take a look at three of the biggest marketing mistakes small law firms make and how to avoid them.
Not Niche-ing Down Enough
A lot of small law firms try to be everything to everyone, and as a result, they end up appealing to no one. You can’t be all things to all people, so it’s important to niche down and focus on a specific area of law that you accel in. By catering your marketing efforts to a specific target audience, you’ll be able to attract more clients that are actually looking for the services you provide. For instance, if you look at some of the most successful law firms near you, you’ll notice that each of them is niched down to one particular field of law. Here are a few reasons why a “general” law practice is harder to market than one specified field. 1- You have to market to the world as opposed to one specific set target audience. This ends up costing you tons of money and it is not even remotely close to being effective. 2- When someone is looking for a criminal divorce attorney, they do not want to go to someone who primarily handles family law cases. If those two reasons aren’t enough to convince you that you need to decide on a specific niche, then I don’t know what will. Save money and be effective by picking the area of law you want to practice.
Relying on Word-of-Mouth Marketing Only
In today’s digital age, word-of-mouth marketing just isn’t enough. Yes, it’s still important, but small law firms need to do more than just rely on referrals from existing clients. They need to actively market themselves online and offline if they want to attract new clients. This means having an up-to-date website, being active on social media, and even running ads (online and offline). Even if someone refers you to a potential client, if you do not have a professionally designed website, they will likely be quick to go find someone who does. Your website allows you to build a virtual rapport and a trust with the potential client, and is used like a business card on steroids. You might pass out just a handful of business cards in the month, but your virtual business card, your website, has the potential to reach hundreds or even thousands of website visitors per month. You need to make sure your website contains all of the information people are looking for and ensure there are several avenues for the visitor to leave their contact information, book an appointment online, or directly contact your office through chat, text, email, phone, etc. I have come across attorney websites where their name isn’t even listed on the website. Several sites that don’t offer a chat widget, or a way for a client to leave their information. If you’re paying to have your website live on the internet, don’t you think you should leverage that with the ability to collect as much information on all of the visitors. Here’s a free tip you can take home today: Create a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something of value that you give away for free in return for the visitor to leave their name, phone number, email address etc. This lead magnet can be an e-book, checklist, access to videos, etc. Not only can you keep this lead magnet on your website, but you can also add this you all of your social media accounts which will either drive more visitors to your website or give you the ability to generate a “warm” lead from someone who’s interested in your services.
Not Investing Enough in Their Marketing Efforts
Many small law firms make the mistake of thinking they can get by with DIY marketing solutions or hiring someone who is just starting out in the field. But the truth is, if you want your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to invest in them. This means hiring experienced professionals who know what they’re doing and are up-to-date on the latest trends. One of the biggest reasons why small law firms fail is because they either try to do everything themselves or they pay the cheapest company they can find to help provide mediocre (at best) results. Attorneys who are starting out or are running a small law practice but want consistency and growth, need to work with not only professional marketing agencies, but professional legal marketing professionals who are experienced in how to grow a law firm, know what works, and aims to save their client money by providing effective strategy to help their client grow their law firm.
Small law firms have a hard time succeeding for many reasons, but one of the biggest is because of their marketing efforts (or lack thereof). If you want your small law firm to succeed, avoid making these three common marketing mistakes: not niche-ing down enough, relying on word-of-mouth marketing only, and not investing enough in your marketing efforts. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to attracting new clients and growing your business.
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