Five Common Law Firm Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

At Spotlight Branding, we’ve worked with hundreds of solo & small-firm lawyers across the country. As you can probably imagine, in that time we’ve worked with some attorneys that are fantastic at marketing themselves and their practice. We’ve worked with some who really struggle in this area. And we’ve worked with plenty who fall somewhere in between.

I thought I’d take a few minutes today and share some of the most common mistakes that we encounter. Are you making any of these mistakes?

1 – No Defined Objectives. The vast majority of lawyers we speak to don’t have a written marketing plan. Many of them haven’t even given serious thought to their marketing – let alone taken the time to define their objectives and map out a path for achieving them. You need to have objectives. The more specific, the better. How many new clients/cases do you need per month? How many consultations must you schedule to earn that business? Where are those consultations going to come from… referrals, networking, internet advertising, direct mail, radio? If you don’t have a plan, you’re drifting aimlessly.

2 – No Analytics. What’s working and what’s not working with regards to your marketing? Can you even answer that question? For a lot of lawyers, the honest answer is no. You’re investing time and money into marketing and business development. So it’s critical that you’re measuring success in each area. Over time, this allows you to refine your strategy – to invest resources into campaigns that are working, and to cut your losses when things aren’t working. If I’ve learned anything in regards to marketing, it’s that everything doesn’t play out the way we expect it to. Some of the ideas that I think are brilliant don’t pan out. Other ideas perform far better than I would have expected. The only way you can truly understand your marketing performance is by tracking your marketing performance. And then you adjust accordingly.

3 – Missing Out on “Low Hanging Fruit.” We see this all the time – lawyers want to jump straight to advanced, expensive, and speculative marketing campaigns before they’ve mastered the fundamentals. The best example is referrals. The average attorney is only receiving about 1/3 of the referrals they could be receiving from people they already know. Closing that “referral gap” is a huge deal – imagine doubling or tripling your referrals! And it’s not hard to make it happen – a regular e-newsletter and an effective social media presence make a huge difference. But a lot of lawyers would rather talk about SEO or other speculative lead-gen strategies that may or may not work. There’s obviously nothing wrong with creative and sophisticated marketing – but start with the basics, and expand from there!

4 – No Systems. A consistent flow of new business requires consistent marketing – and that means you need to put systems in place. Many lawyers I speak to tend to do their marketing in random spurts, and it’s usually panic-based when they realize that their pipeline has dried up. To avoid the “boom and bust” cycle it’s important to create systems and to work with your team and your outside partners to ensure that the systems are being executed. Whether it’s social media, your e-newsletter, your networking strategy, blogging, PR, or whatever else it may be – put systems in place to make sure they’re happening consistently. Otherwise… it won’t happen.

5 – “Bright Shiny Object” Syndrome. This is similar to #3 above. Don’t get distracted by the latest buzzwords or ideas that you hear about at conferences or online. Don’t get me wrong – you should definitely continue to innovate and to learn. But what tends to happen is that attorneys get excited about something new, and so they abandon what they’ve been doing, even if it’s working. Part of this is a desire for a “magic bullet” that is going to be the solution to all of their challenges. Part of it is human nature – we all tend to get excited about new things. But if you’re constantly chasing that bright shiny object, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Trust the plan you’ve created. Pay attention to your analytics so you know what’s working and what’s not. Innovation is great, but not at the expense of consistent performance!

If you found this post helpful, please share it!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone
The following two tabs change content below.

Daniel Decker

Daniel Decker is a co-founder and Partner at Spotlight Branding. In addition to helping lawyers stand out from the crowd, he spends his time writing, dreaming up new marketing strategies, and coming up with catchy subject lines. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing sports, guitar, politics, and Minnesota sports.

Latest posts by Daniel Decker (see all)

View Our Work with Client Examples

View Our Work with Client Examples

Click below to see some of the work we have done for other lawyers.


Testimonials

Testimonials

See what other attorneys say about their experience with Spotlight Branding:

“My law firm has been using Spotlight and John Hinson for about 6 months. We are very happy with their level a…
William O'LearyLegacy Planning Law GroupJacksonville, FL
“I would call myself a website connoisseur. I review lists like, ‘Top Ten Lawyer Websites of the Year.’ I had …
Jane MuirGersten & Muir, PAMiami, FL
“As the owner of a growing law firm, it is impossible to spend the amount of time necessary to keep up my firm…
Amy HoffmanAPH Law, PLLCPuyallup, WA
“Since hiring Spotlight Branding, I have seen significant measurable results. My referrals have steadily incre…
Chris ClarkThe Law Office of Chris Clark, PLLCCharlotte, NC
“Top notch company to keep you in front of your clients. Spotlight Branding has been with us from day one and…
John TottenJohn M. Totten, P.C. Attorney at LawAthens, AL
“Spotlight Branding designed our web site and now provides our ongoing  web marketing. The Spotlight Brandi…
Ray GarciaLaw Offices of Ray Garcia, P.A.Miami, FL
“I hired Spotlight Branding to recreate my website, which I had built myself. Spotlight Branding actively soug…
Bob Boeshaar Law Offices of Robert V. BoeshaarSeattle, WA
“Spotlight Branding has been terrific. They know their stuff and do great work. We have been with Spotlight fo…
Gregory McCollumGreg McCollum Complete Legal Defense TeamMyrtle Beach, SC
“Spotlight Branding is very responsive, proactive and easy to work with. Great results. I highly recommend th…
Anis SalehSaleh & AssociatesMiami, FL
“My firm has been using Spotlight Branding for over 2 years and our firm’s gross income has more than doubled …
Vanessa VasquezVasquez de Lara Law GroupMiami, FL
“From start to finish, Spotlight Branding has exceeded my expectations.  Their team of professionals jumped r…
Lori HulbertHulbert & Associates, LLCSterling, CO
“When I started with Spotlight Branding, I was a year into having my own practice.  After utilizing Spotlight’…
Brett TremblyThe Trembly Law FirmMiami, FL
“Excellent Service!! Spotlight Branding has been vital in helping us grow. They always respond quickly to ques…
Jose BenitezThe Trembly Law FirmMiami, FL
“I could not be more pleased in working with Spotlight Branding! They really caught my vision for my website, …
Christina HollwarthHollwarth Law Firm, PLLCLongview, TX
“I have recently worked with Spotlight Branding on creating a revised website for my firm. They were very easy…
George HoughProActive Legal Care Law OfficePalm City, FL
“Our law firm has been using Spotlight Branding for all of our internet marketing for nearly two years. The te…
Brielle MarkWeisberg Kainen Mark, Attorneys at LawMiami, FL
“I have had a great experience with Spotlight Branding. I work with John and his team and they always follow u…
Thomas InkelaarInkelaar LawOmaha, NE
“There is so much that Spotlight Branding has done for me over the last year to make my business that much bet…
Melissa PearceLaw Office of Melissa M. PearceMilford, MI
“Best company ever! John is awesome and he does a fabulous job. I am very grateful to have him and his team wo…
Jeffrey HensleyHensley Legal Services, PLLCTulsa, OK
“Spotlight Branding helped me create a blog that was awarded the 4th best in the country for my practice area.
Barry WaxLaw Offices of Barry M. WaxMiami, FL
“Can’t say enough about Spotlight Branding and the work they do for me, particularly my account representative…
Neil TyraThe Tyra Law FirmRockville, MD
“Excellent service and always on time! I can directly attribute a substantial percentage of our business growt…
Ethan DunnMaxwell Dunn PLCSouthfield, MI
“I have worked with a number of other online marketing firms over the last few years and Spotlight Branding ha…
Lewis LanderholmLanderholm LawPortland, OR
“I have been extremely pleased with Spotlight Branding. My website is beautiful and I LOVE it! Big applause fo…
Kayleene WriterLaw Offices of Kayleene H. Writer, PLCIrvine, CA
“Spotlight Branding took my idea and made it into a wonderful brand. The development process was quick and eas…
Jaime TophamTopham Family LawGrantsville, UT