If your law firm is struggling with growth, chances are it may be due to ineffective marketing. With a proper marketing strategy, you can see sustainable growth and profitability. But if you don’t know what you are doing, it’s easy to waste money without seeing any results. That’s why you should always develop a plan before you invest any money into marketing for your law practice. In this post, we will provide a free law firm marketing plan template which you can use to devise your growth strategy.
Law Firm Marketing Plan Template
Below are the key elements of a law firm marketing plan, and an explanation of each. You should spend some time going through each step of the template and physically write out your plan before you spend a dollar on any type of marketing.
I. Executive Summary
The executive summary is a brief overview of your marketing plan. It should be a few sentences in length and highlight the main goals of the marketing plan, and what it will take for you to succeed.
II. Target Audience
Marketing only works when it reaches the right audience at the right time. That’s why identifying and defining your target audience is one of the most fundamental steps to creating a marketing plan.
At this step, you should spend some time developing ideal client personas which highlight the characteristics of an ideal client. Think about who they are and what characteristics they have which make them good clients for you.
Put them into groups based on these characteristics, and try to match up each group with a particular type of service you provide.
III. Value Proposition
Your value proposition explains the services you offer and why they are valuable to your clients. Think of it as your unique selling point.
This section will help you differentiate your firm from competitors. Take note of some of the biggest competitive threats you see in the market, and describe why your firm’s processes or services are better than the rest.
Perhaps you are more tech savvy, maybe you place a special emphasis on customer service, perhaps your services are more affordable, or maybe you are more high-end and only serve high net-worth clientele.
Whatever it is, write down your unique selling points and think about how you will convey them to your prospective clients through your marketing.
IV. Market Positioning Statement
Your market positioning statement is a single sentence that conveys the firm’s value proposition to the world. Think of it as your law firm tagline.
Do not just write a broad, general statement like “Passionate Attorneys Helping Clients Solve Legal Issues.”
This is far less effective in marketing materials than a more descriptive statement like “Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving Small Business Owners.”
The market positioning statement should precisely describe your services and who they are intended for in a succinct, easy to understand way.
People who read it should know immediately if you are the right person to help them or not. Take your time with this step, and carefully craft the language you want to use.
It should be the official statement used on your website homepage and all other marketing materials. Everyone at your firm should have it memorized and use it whenever describing the firm.
V. Services & Pricing Strategy
Determining your pricing is not just about making money. It’s also a key part of your marketing plan because it determines what types of clients you will attract and how you will serve them.
Outline all of the services you provide and explain how you will charge for them in detail. Will you bill hourly? Will you use flat fees? Subscription billing? Something else?
Make a list of the specific services you offer and determine a flat fee price or hourly rate for each. Defining your services in this way makes it much easier to market and sell them to clients.
VI. Promotion Strategy
Creating a promotion strategy is one of the most important parts of a marketing plan.
The promotion strategy is where you define the specific marketing channels where you will focus your energy and spend your budget. Promotion is what probably comes to mind for most people when they think about marketing.
There are a lot of options to choose from. The right one for your firm will depend on your target audience, your value proposition, and your services and pricing. Here are some options to consider:
You might reach out to industry magazines, blogs, or journals to get a story published about your firm. This can help build your reputation and establish yourself as an industry leader.
2. TV and Radio
These channels are not cheap, but for certain practice areas with very high value cases (e.g. mass tort, personal injury), TV and radio can be effective because you can reach the largest number of people per unit of budget.
3. Physical/Print Advertising
Classic advertising strategies like billboards, bus stops, newspapers, and brochures can still work for certain types of law. The downside is that they can be much harder to measure than online methods.
4. Content Marketing
This would include things like your law firm blog, articles on Avvo, answers on Quora, publications on LinkedIn, videos on YouTube, etc. The internet has become the go-to resource for legal information. You can drive awareness for your firm by producing helpful content to answer common legal questions that people search for online.
5. PPC Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising on Google and other search engines can be highly effective for certain areas of law. You only pay when somebody responds to your ad by visiting your website or calling your office after searching on Google. Check out Google Advertising 101 for Lawyers for more info.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website to show up in organic (i.e. not paid) search results. SEO is an advanced topic, but at the most basic level, you should prominently display your address and contact information, and optimize your website by publishing pages with relevant titles and keywords that people are likely to be searching for online. See our guide about local SEO for law firms to learn more.
7. Social Media & Email Marketing
Sharing content on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and sending out periodic newsletters to your audience with helpful content can be excellent ways to keep in touch with your entire network and stay top-of-mind. Read our guide on starting a law firm newsletter for more tips.
8. Events & Seminars
For certain types of law, networking and putting on live events can be highly effective promotion strategies. For instance, estate planning firms might consider hosting free educational seminars about protecting your wealth. You can drive awareness and build up a list of targeted prospects at each event.
Choosing the right promotion strategy can be tricky, but it’s one of the most important decisions you can make.
View our post about the best law firm marketing strategy for every practice area to get more info on this topic.
VII. Conversion Strategy
Your promotion strategy will generate awareness and capture leads, but that’s only half the battle. How will you get these leads to convert into actual paying clients? This is where your conversion strategy comes into play.
Spending money on marketing without a conversion strategy in place is very risky and you’ll be far less likely to see a positive ROI. Yet, this is also the part where many lawyers fail, so you should spend extra time perfecting this process.
In this section of your marketing plan, define your approach to outreach, lead nurturing, follow up, consultations, client intake, etc.
There’s a lot to plan here, but the general idea is to have a systematic approach so each prospect receives adequate attention and nothing slips through the cracks.
VIII. Referral & Retention Strategy
Landing your first client through your new marketing plan feels great. But your work is not done just yet.
To truly maximize the value of your marketing plan, you should also have a strategy to generate referrals and repeat business.
Referrals will always be an important source of new business for attorneys. It’s also significantly easier and more cost-effective to get repeat business from an existing client than it is to land another new client.
Spend some time thinking about what you can do to drive referrals, get positive reviews, and generate repeat business from existing clients.
Even something simple like adding all your clients to an email newsletter can help you achieve this goal.
IX. Budgets & Financial Projections
Last, but certainly not least, comes your marketing budget and financial projections. You can’t be successful unless you have a firm grasp on the numbers.
You should set a total monthly budget which you are willing to invest, and then identify all the potential costs you expect to incur. This might include hiring outside service providers, advertising costs, web hosting, software, etc.
Develop a reliable system to measure your marketing KPIs:
- Total marketing spend
- Total leads generated
- Conversion rate
- Average client acquisition cost
- Average revenue per client
- Total ROI
Before you start, take a look at your historical data on the revenue you earn per client and the total expenses your firm incurs to serve each client.
If you earn an average of $2500 and spend $1000 per client, you should not spend more than $1500 to acquire a new client, or you’ll end up losing money.
Run some basic projections like this to determine how many leads and clients you will need to generate per month in order to cover your total marketing expenses and make a profit.
Marketing should never be done haphazardly without proper planning beforehand. Sure, you might get lucky in some instances, but you’re more likely to end up wasting time and money without seeing any results.
Use this free law firm marketing plan template to define your goals, identify the right strategy, and set an appropriate budget, and you’ll well on your way toward a profitable campaign.
By thoroughly defining a marketing plan upfront, you’ll have a much greater likelihood of seeing success and achieving steady, sustainable growth for your firm.