6 Keys to Creating a Strategic Law Firm Marketing Plan
Are you sitting back comfortably in your cushy leather chair because you just landed a dream client? Fantastic! Congratulations! Just realize that this is one client and that won't keep your business afloat. You still need several good repeat clients in order to stay in business. You must get out there and find them, but how? Not only that but how much time, money and other resources is it going to take to get it done? The last thing you want to do is lose momentum now that you are on the move.
While it's wise to always be thinking ahead to what your next move will be, there is no reason to cloud up and rain on your good fortune of today. Enjoy your victory and know that tomorrow will be taken care of with the right preparation. There is a simple way to insure that you have new clients next week, next month and even next year. An excellent way to do this is by developing a working law firm marketing plan. Determine your next step and where you intend to be a month from now.
The whole process will probably take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, from start to finish. This depends on time availability and how much energy you have already put into thinking about all of the pertinent issues. Much of this time will be spent researching and rethinking your original plans and ideas.
There are many ways to write a marketing or business plan, some of which are more helpful than others. Here are six of the critical components you need to create a solid law firm marketing plan.
Executive Summary and Company Overview
This will be a one page overview of your marketing plan. It will also be a complete overview of your entire law firm designed so that a person totally unfamiliar with your business can easily and quickly know exactly:
* What is your company mission statement?
* What are your company goals and objectives?
* What are your law firm's marketing strategies?
* What services are you offering?
* Who is your target market?
* How can you solve their problem?
Services and Products
This is what your law firm will offer to your prospective clients. Describe which services you will offer and to whom you will offer them. Explain why you are offering that particular service to that specific market. Be clear about which services you are offering to which markets. Create a very detailed list of all of the benefits your services will provide.
Who will buy your products or services? This is probably the most important section of your marketing plan. You can have the highest quality service and the least expensive product with the most features. But, if you cannot clearly identify who your ideal target market is, you will never build a successful law firm. It is very important that you avoid the two most common mistakes when determining who your target market is. These mistakes are targeting a market that is too big and targeting the wrong market.
Identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Look at your business venture as objectively as possible to determine what strengths you have and what weaknesses you need to be aware of. You also need to determine what opportunities you need to explore and identify any potential threats to your plan.
Positioning, Competitive Advantage and Unique Selling Proposition
Why should people pay for your services? What skills, abilities and experience can you offer that they cannot receive elsewhere? List every unique point you can offer your clients. This is what will sell them on hiring you over your competition.
What are your credentials? Why are you able to build this specific business? This is where you focus on making yourself and your law firm look as fantastic and wonderful as you possibly can. Brag and make yourself look like the only logical choice for an attorney. Then brag some more. A word of caution: make sure you are as good as you claim or your clients will see right through your facade in no time at all.
A few other very important factors should be outlined in your law firm marketing plan. Determine who your competition is. You must develop your law firm marketing strategies. Determine how people will be able to find you. Be sure they will develop a good and lasting memory of who you are and the image you portray.
Set a financial plan in motion. Before you can build your law practice you must be able to establish a plan of action for expected and unexpected expenses. You also need a contingency plan. If everything goes wrong and you have to start over, what is your back-up plan?
Creating a successful law firm marketing plan is the first step toward a successful law practice. Have a written plan of action that you can set in motion and accomplish each task step-by-step until you have reached your goals.
About the Author
Stephen Fairley is CEO of The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms generate more and better referrals and create a 7 figure law practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Attorneys: claim your FREE legal marketing CD '7 Keys to a 7 Figure Law Practice' at www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com