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Law Practice Magazine

The Marketing Issue

Marketing Is Essential

Mary E Vandenack


  • In today’s competitive landscape, law firms need a multifaceted marketing approach tailored to resonate with both potential clients and prospective employees.
  • Marketing is not solely for business development; it also plays a crucial role in brand recognition, client attraction and employee engagement.
  • An online presence is non-negotiable, necessitating user-friendly websites, visually appealing content and optimization for search engines to establish the firm as a thought leader.
Marketing Is Essential

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When I founded a law firm nearly 20 years ago, I discovered how important it is to understand effective marketing. Effective marketing is crucial for law firms to thrive. Once upon a time you could simply hang a shingle and rely on word of mouth. Today, law firms must strategically position themselves in front of potential clients, demonstrate expertise and build trust within their target market. It is important to have a multifaceted approach to marketing that includes digital strategies as well as some of the traditional professional development approaches.

The common misconception is that marketing is only for the purposes of business development. This is incorrect. Marketing is about establishing a brand that is recognized in the area in which your law firm practices and functions. Marketing is important for client recognition but also important for recruiting and engagement of employees. In a time where the right employees can be difficult to hire, establishing a brand via marketing strategies is significant in attracting and retaining employees.

The foundation of successful marketing is to be clear about your audience. For a law firm this audience includes potential clients, necessitating an understanding their demographics, preferences and challenges. The law firm audience also includes prospective employees who become aware of the brand and recognize the law firm as a place that they would like to work. Marketing should be tailored to resonate with the target audience.

It is easy to dismiss the importance of an online presence, but it has become a non-negotiable marketing strategy for law firms. A law firm's online presence should be user friendly, visually appealing and routinely optimized for search engines to assure maximum visibility. This online presence should establish the law firm as a thought leader in its particular practice area.

Content marketing is an important tool for law firms to establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields. Lawyers at a law firm can share insights and analysis of legal developments as well as practical tips using blogs, videos, social media and webinars. Doing so not only attracts potential clients but also fosters trust and credibility.

Effective marketing requires an understanding of key performance indicators (KPIs). It may be great that your law firm is growing, but do you really understand why you are successful? Perpetuating your success requires that you understand your KPIs and know how to repeat them or modify them as appropriate to continue your success. Just as it can be easy to make assumptions about who is referring you business, rather than actually having evidence as to who is, you can make assumptions about effective marketing that may not really be getting the job done. Develop and use metrics.

It is important in law firm marketing to keep ethical considerations in mind. Each state bar association has guidelines and rules governing attorney advertising. It is important for the law firm to ensure that all marketing materials are compliant with the rules that apply.

I always enjoy the Law Practice issue dedicated to marketing, and as usual, our issue is filled with practical advice to assist law firms in their marketing efforts.