The liberalisation of the legal services industry in the UK has had a dramatic impact on how services are marketed. With the industry now open to supermarkets and other high street providers, traditional legal firms have had to up their game considerably, particularly when it comes to how they market their services. Firms that have previously relied solely on their reputation have had to get savvy about modern communications.
New startups in the industry have the advantage of not having to unlearn the complacent attitude and culture that traditional firms were often encumbered with. But the industry is more competitive than ever.
So whether you are starting your own legal firm or you want to shift your marketing efforts up a gear, here are some strategies to consider to successfully grow your legal practice.
For most firms, local advertising remains critical. And traditional formats are still important. Those could include billboards, posters, park benches, television, or radio.
One of the simplest ways of improving your local reach online is to ensure that your firm is verified with Google My Business. This provides an advert in the margin of online searches, with an overview of your services, opening hours and reviews.
Sponsorship is another valuable method of local advertising for legal firms. Having your identity connected with a local sports team or charitable event costs little and spreads your name and associated goodwill and loyalty. Unless you are a large firm, most cases you will get and work with will typically be localized, dealing with people and businesses in your immediate vicinity or close-by neighborhoods. Ensuring that your firm is seen as a supporter of the community will establish your firm with the people you are helping in a multitude of ways, reinforcing the idea that you are there to represent them.
Digital Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing strategies are even more important than physical advertising these days for most firms. This is especially the case in legal specialisms where competition is particularly high, for example, personal injury law marketing. With a digital strategy you can target your audiences to see your ads more often, as well as utilizing search engine optimization to ensure that your website comes up on the first page of relevant search results.
Social media platforms can add value to traditional communications and allow you to develop a powerful brand personality. But you need to ensure that you have a robust social media strategy and well-trained staff managing those communications as making mistakes on social media can very quickly spread negative views of your company and undo all your good work.
The other advantages of digital marketing strategies is that they are flexible, quick, and responsive and they can be more cost effective and accurately targeted than other advertising campaigns and strategies.
Networking remains an important form of marketing for professional services firms. As you establish your business, attend as many professional networking events as possible and aim to connect with different businesses and professionals, not necessarily tied with legal practices, or at least not those that are direct competitors. Instead, aim to connect with businesses of a wide variety, letting them know about the services you provide. Most towns and cities have business communities where members come together for regular networking events. In a competitive market, being personable and mutually supportive gives you a vital competitive edge. Where all things are reasonably equal, people will choose to do business with people they know and like.
Performance And Word of Mouth
At the end of the day, one of the best ways to help your business and legal practice grow is to prioritize your work and showcase your success. If you take pride in your legal services, having a strong rate of success, you will have customers that are more likely to return to you as clients, seeking you specifically when they need advice or representation in the future. Additionally, clients that have a positive opinion of your services will be more likely to recommend you to friends or family, which is critical in the growth within any community. People trust their families and friends, and if the practice has provided satisfactory services, this translates to referrals and better business. Make your work and your success a priority, and people will take notice.
Remember that it takes time to grow any company successfully. You need to have patience, regardless of the strategies you utilize to help you expand. Focus on delivering a quality service, authentic community engagement and up-to-the-minute digital savvy and that will translate to a quickly developing firm that is prepared for success.