Small Law Firm Marketing

What’s the difference between small law firm marketing and the big law marketing? Three big differences are money, audience and geographic coverage. Like many other industries, a marketing approach needs to be appropriate for the size of the law firm and messages should be targeted to the intended audience where the audience will hear it. A firm with 10 lawyers will have a much different strategy than a firm with 100 lawyers.

Some large firms have their own internal marketing department. Some outsource it. Either way, a larger firm with a larger reach and a larger marketing budget requires a larger marketing effort. Larger doesn’t always mean better but it usually means more.

Effective small law firm marketing is not impossible to achieve. In fact, small firms often find it easier to stand out from the big firms. The internet has leveled the playing field in some respects and is eroding the effectiveness of conventional advertising. Traditional marketing still may be considered a staple in small law firm marketing, its importance is waning and may be eclipsed by the need for effective online marketing. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when considering small law firm marketing:

  • Visibility and personality. You can’t possibly get to know all 100 lawyers in a large firm (and who would want to?). But you can promote each one of your 10 lawyers in a small firm. This visibility online and off-line can portray your firm as specialized, available, focused, etc. Furthermore, your overhead costs may be less than your big counterparts, so your fees might be less. Don’t let that go unnoticed. Take advantage of your size.
  • Each member of a small law firm is a marketing tool. Specific marketing efforts can be assigned to each member of the team. If you’re too big, you can’t manage this type of coordinated and segmented marketing, but if you’re a small firm you’ll see the synergistic effect of just the right number of cooks in the kitchen.
  • Within your small law firm marketing, there’s a great opportunity to display the firm’s ethos to potential clients. Larger firms tend to lack individuality and may come off as intimidating. This is a powerful tool that the small guys have over the large firms.
  • Laser targeting is your friend. Big firms need volume, so they tend to caste a large marketing net. Not the most cost-effective method of marketing. You, on the other hand, can focus your marketing efforts with laser-like efficiency, giving you a higher return for every marketing dollar you spend (which translates to more profits in your pocket at the end of the day).

Small law firm marketing is as much an art as a science. But you have advantages that can let you compete just as effectively (if not more) than the big firms. Consider who your ideal client is and target those prospects. Don’t ignore the power of small. Highlight your personalities. Spread specific tasks amongst your members who can all speak with a united voice. You’ll be glad you’re small and flexible.