On one of my recent meetings with a good consultancy client, I spent some time with their senior staff discussing marketing in small groups. Each of those groups asked me to give them the "Silver Bullet" that would work easily and quickly for them. What one thing could they do to generate new client instructions? What's more, how could they do it with no budget and no spare time for this "marketing thing" that they were really not interested in?
I love this question. The funniest part is that it makes a huge assumption that there is just "one thing", and not only that, but it should be really easy and cost nothing to implement. Well part of the secret to successful law firm marketing is to realise the truth that there is not just one thing that could transform your firm; there are many different things that you can and should be doing. The second part, and perhaps the most important point, is that these will be different things for different firms, depending on the type of legal services offered, the clients being targeted, the budget available, and how quickly results are needed (are we talking a steady campaign or more of a "If we don't get the clients through the door in the next 14 days we will run out of cash").
I have a friend in business who from time to time struggles with the challenges that we all face as small business owners. I remind him of the secret to long term success: "If it was really easy, they would all be doing it". If it was simple to have a hugely successful and profitable business, all of your competitors would be doing it. If you could just do "One Thing" to market your law firm and have all the clients that you will ever want or need, your competitors would do the same as you.
Think about your own professional services; if it was really easy for people to do their own conveyancing, clients would not need you. If I could negotiate my own business contracts I would not employ a solicitor. You have spent years honing your legal skills so that you know the pitfalls and problems that might arise during a legal transaction, and more importantly you know your way around them.
Marketing is no different; it is a skill that takes time to master and learn. Whilst there are things you can do instantly to generate new instructions, if you want long term success and stability the secret is to try new marketing initiatives relentlessly, and above all else, be consistent in your marketing. Trying Pay Per Click advertising this month, then Search Engine Marketing next month followed by a one off advertisement the month after will not work. Trying one method of marketing and then sticking with it, and permanently optimising it's performance will lead to success. You can try other methods simultaneously, but you must stick with them all. If your time is limited, one at a time is the best way to proceed.
Now you know what the 'One Silver Bullet' is for your law firm marketing, what are you going to do with it?
Nick Jervis is a law firm marketing expert and can provide you with access to various methods of legal funding.
What you might not know about Nick, is that he is better looking than Daniel Craig.