Law Firm Marketing Blunders to Avoid

August 2, 2021

Lawyer looking frustrated by law firm marketing
Compared to the types of problems lawyers typically deal with, marketing may not seem too significant. But making these mistakes can still be costly for any law firm.

Great law firm marketing

Lawyers tend to be very good at many things, but law firm marketing isn’t always one of them. While you may believe that your firm has more important things to worry about, you won’t be able to achieve any of your business goals without people knowing who you are. Marketing is a must. And not just any marketing, but great marketing, free from the following common mistakes.

Top 6 law firm marketing mistakes

1. Not Doing Anything

The first marketing mistake that many law firms make is not marketing themselves at all. Often this is because there exists a negative connotation with law firm marketing, an idea of tacky American-style TV ads that don’t reflect well on the lawyers at all, often even creating an impression of being an “ambulance chaser.”

But it’s not enough to just list yourself in the phone book and wait for the phone to ring. Marketing is a must. The good news is that there is so much more to law firm marketing than just television commercials. It is not only possible but also entirely within reach to plan and execute a marketing strategy that helps you achieve greater exposure while also maintaining your professionalism, good reputation, and authority.

2. Having the Wrong Goals

…One of the most critical early steps of developing a law firm marketing plan is identifying which work is right for you

Many people think the goal of marketing is to get more work. But that’s a misconception. The real goal of marketing is to get the right work. Work that is a good fit for your firm and will allow you to be more profitable but with less stress. That means that one of the most critical early steps of developing a law firm marketing plan is identifying which work is right for you. If you skip this step and jump straight into marketing, you’ll not only be wasting resources, but it may even constitute a danger for your organization.

3. Not Doing Market Research

The market for legal services is surprisingly diverse. Yet most lawyers approach marketing basing their decision-making off of conventional stereotypes of who the typical legal client might be. This is a major mistake. The reality is that until you engage in targeted, professional market research, you don’t know your target market nearly as well as you think you do. There is no shortcut to finding out their demographics, their needs, and what they respond to other than going through the market research process. It is incredibly worthwhile.

4. Only Trying it Once

…Marketing is not a one-time act; it’s a long-term process.

When you see marketing as a singular event or act, it’s called single shot advertising. This means airing one commercial, paying for one web search ad, putting up one batch of posters, and so on. And, to put it plainly, it is an absolute waste of time and money. Because the bottom line is that marketing is not a one-time act; it’s a long-term process. It takes extended exposure over time for customers to actually remember your brand, let alone begin considering taking the action of contacting you or entering your sales funnel. So settle yourself in for the long term if you want to see real results.

5. Copying Other Law Firms

Sure, taking inspiration from successful peers can be a winning strategy. But copying other law firm marketing is a formula for mediocrity. Another firm’s marketing strategy works for them because it is explicitly designed around their brand, their history, their clients, and their strengths – not yours. To excel in a competitive market, you need to differentiate yourself. If you don’t know what makes you different from – and better than – your competitors, you won’t be able to create a successful marketing plan.

6. Going at it Alone

As an independent, capable law firm, you may believe that you can do this whole marketing thing all by yourself. But you wouldn’t dream of trying to cater your own events, wire your own electricity, and courier all of your own parcels just because it keeps your overhead low. The reality is that doing too much yourself in the name of cutting costs is just shooting yourself in the foot. In fact, you already know that overhead increases are justified if and when they contribute to profit increases. So instead of refusing to invest any money in marketing at all, your goal should be to manage your overhead relative to the type of work you do and the revenue you can generate from it. This way, your ROI will be positive and you’ll have less work on your plate.

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