Law Firm Advertising: First Steps

Want to grow your firm, attract more clients and be more profitable? Law firm advertising may be the answer, whether your law firm is composed of two or 200 lawyers. Advertising strategies vary depending on your goals, your ideal prospect and your budget. But the first steps to effective advertising are the same. Whether you’re considering advertising for the first time or you’re an advertising veteran, the following list can help you achieve success.

1. What do you really want?

Before you consider any advertising strategy, know exactly what you’re after. Wanting “more clients” is not enough. Be specific! Set some goals. How many clients do you want from your advertisement? How much will you spend? How long will your ads run? How many strategies will you run at the same time? How will you measure success?

2. Who is your ideal client?

When you know your ideal client, you will know where to advertise and how to advertise. And you will know when you’ve achieved success. If you don’t know your ideal client, you may end up letting your practice control your life, taking you and your law firm in directions you never wanted to go.

To identify your ideal client, consider demographic and psychographic information. Demographic factors include age, occupation, income level, education and other objective characteristics. Psychographic characteristics, less objective but equally important, include personality traits, attitudes, values and lifestyle choices.

3. How many prospects do you want each day/week/month?

A steady stream of prospects from your law firm advertising might sound exciting, but someone has to do the intake work, ask the right questions and “close the deal”. If you are a practicing attorney and you screen your own prospects (not necessarily a bad idea), you have to juggle intake with legal work. If your firm hires intake staff (i.e., sales reps), you may be more scalable and can handle more prospects.

Your intake procedures should be as streamlined as possible. Many law firms successfully screen prospects over the telephone. Others prefer a face-to-face screening. Using checklists and questionnaires can help you identify ideal prospects, decrease time spent on initial consultations and ensure consistency. You will also have plenty of great information to use when evaluating the success of your law firm advertising strategies.

4. Who tracks results, and how?

Advertising is more art than science and each advertisement carriers the risk of failure or underperformance. A handful of concurrent law firm advertisements reduces the risk of failure but each individual strategy requires careful tracking and analysis. If you don’t track and analyze, you may be spending good money on bad ads and never know it.

It takes time to teach staff how to track and analyze and monitor their performance. Who will do the tracking? Who will aggregate and analyze the data? Who will calculate the cost of acquisition for each advertisement to know how much money each prospect and each client costs the firm?

5. What are your advertising options? What is your budget?

Once you understand what you really want (in minute detail) and who your ideal client is (in minute detail), you can start evaluating various advertising options. Does a website fit your objectives, and will it reach your prospects? Does a pay-per-click campaign make sense now that you understand your ideal client’s lifestyle choices? Maybe your prospects read the the Wall Street Journal, or maybe the local weekly newspaper is their source for community news.

Attorney Boost as an Advertising Strategy

If your objectives include short-term results on a pay-for-performance basis, and your ideal client is online, we’d like to be part of your advertising strategies. We deliver quality verified prospects to attorneys in a variety of practice areas through targeted paid search and constant search engine optimization. To see how we can help grow your practice, register your free account today and we’ll help get you started.