For the Law Firm Marketing expert, the proper balance between expertise and flair is essential. A firm that lacks flair may lack interest and adulation. On the other hand, a firm that lacks expertise may not have enough clients to maintain and build their name.
All of these are products of the challenge posed by your client’s needs and wants. Lawyers, once they have acquired the skill set to win clients and retain them, must find out what works best for their client’s particular circumstances. The firm, in other words, must devise strategies to match the client’s objectives with the skills they have.
In an effort to hone their skills and knowledge, a potential client may send their firm a three-page letter with some information. Of course, what is required of the lawyer is a willingness to respond to their client’s queries. But, sometimes, the firm may have a better understanding of the client’s needs and ask a lawyer to devise a marketing plan specifically for their client.
While this may seem like an extreme example, it is an effective way of establishing communications with a marketing specialist. The marketing practitioner will likely offer solutions that address the client’s specific needs and desires. They might offer guidance on how to market the legal services the firm provides or how to sell the services of the firm.
While there is certainly some disagreement over the merits of this strategy, most firms have an investment in their practice, many times at the expense of their budgets. For these reasons, the attorney must learn how to tailor their solutions to the unique needs of each individual client. If the lawyer understands this, he or she can maximize the firm’s services. But if the lawyer doesn’t understand the differences between their role as a marketing professional and their role as a consultant, it is likely that they will sacrifice the former and jeopardize the latter.
But to develop a personal skill set, a lawyer must be willing to put in the time and work. One lawyer might be able to spend two hours talking with one client about the challenges that the client faces. The next day, the same lawyer may have spent ten hours talking with the same client, trying to find out how to improve their situation.
Just as the client has different needs, so does the marketing practitioner. Most importantly, the style of the law firm, whether it is large or small, should reflect the knowledge and experience of its marketing specialist. This means the firm must provide them with appropriate training, both on the basics of advertising and marketing, and on the proper use of technology.
In a way, the communication style of the firm is a reflection of the law firm itself. Just as the firm develops its own style, so too does the marketing professional. As such, the firm’s marketing strategy is a representation of the firm itself.
A successful marketing program is one that attracts clients to the firm. Because the firm is in charge of choosing the legal counsel and is the voice of the firm in the marketplace, the firm is the key to success. In order to do this, the firm must provide a message that stands apart from the rest. Yet, the firm also must manage to execute the message effectively.
When a marketing expert first arrives at a law firm, they are often given a portfolio of services offered to other firms. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to get the firm’s name out in the marketplace, but, until the marketing professional has been thoroughly trained in the firm’s style, the portfolio must serve as a guide. The portfolio helps the firm to develop its own style, not to change it.
This should not be considered a reason to abandon the style of the firm. Once the marketing professional has a little experience, the firm may make necessary changes in their marketing approach. Yet, the marketing professional must always be cognizant of the firm’s existing reputation.
To be successful, a firm must listen to the wishes of its clients and then adjust their marketing program to fit the needs of their clients. The firm, in other words, needs the marketing professional to get them noticed. clients, after all, will be seeking legal counsel from a firm that wants to win their business.