What are the Top Marketing Challenges Facing Law Firms?

Solutions to the biggest marketing obstacles facing legal experts

Let’s face it…most law firms aren’t the most tech-savvy of businesses.

In fact, the legal industry is notorious for being laggards when it comes to embracing new technology. This becomes apparent when you consider that prior to the pandemic, most firms still used paper filing systems.

What’s more, digital marketing for law firms is more complicated compared to other businesses because governance, compliance and rules for the promotion of legal services are much more stringent.

When it comes to attracting new clients, the stakes are incredibly high too. As a result, it can be challenging for law firms to attract new clients—and even harder to keep them.

According to the 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report by Thomson Reuters, 30 percent of small law firms (categorized as firms with 0-29 lawyers) cited “advertising or marketing” as one of their top 3 challenges. This report surveyed 708 small law firm owners and a panel of 73 small firm lawyers across the United States.

If you are among the many small firms concerned about advertising and marketing, then perhaps it’s time to hire an attorney marketing expert before your firm falls behind in the race to attract new clients, grow your practice and outperform your competitors.

What are the most common digital marketing challenges for law firms?

Today’s online economy constantly pushes the bar higher for law firms. While many traditional challenges remain, such as developing a trusted reputation and attracting clients with high-value cases, new issues arise when talking specifically about digital marketing.

For example, when it comes to attracting new clients online and growing your client base, law firms must find a way to position themselves and their websites in a way that stands out from competitors—namely by achieving higher rankings in the search results.

Here are the 3 most significant marketing issues that law firms face today:

1. Niche-specific marketing

Challenge: Law firms come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got the small boutique firms, the big corporate giants and everything in between. Some firms focus exclusively on certain practice areas such as personal injury law, family law, tax law or criminal defense, while others take a broader approach by accepting most types of cases.

So how can lawyers target the right audience based on what cases they want?

Solution: Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing can be an invaluable digital marketing tactic when seeking niche cases. Google Ads is one of the top paid advertising platforms law firms can use to create highly targeted copy for specific niches and keywords.

Since every law firm is unique, there is no standard PPC marketing strategy that works for all law firms. For this reason, you’ll need a custom paid advertising strategy in place to see results.

2. Following up with leads

Challenge: Another challenge legal professionals face is how to effectively manage, track and follow up with the leads they get. Although many firms maintain at least a basic online presence nowadays, some still rely heavily on traditional methods for generating leads such as listing their business in the yellow pages or plastering their ad on a billboard or bus. The problem becomes setting up a system to manage the leads your firm receives from various digital and traditional sources.

Solution: Getting qualified leads is hard enough, but converting them into paying clients is an entirely different story. On average, it takes a law firm 6 to 8 “touches” to close a deal and sign a contract. Legal practitioners must stay on top of their game at all times and constantly be in touch with their leads. A dynamic and robust CRM (customer relationship management) system can be an essential tool for helping firms better manage clients, work and priorities.

3. Keeping up with competitors

Challenge: In the modern legal world, competition from other law firms is inevitable. As a result, many attorneys and firms have trouble keeping up with their competitors—particularly in the digital marketing space. This is partly because it’s easier for prospective clients to shop and compare online through various legal directories. As a result, many lawyers are unable to keep up with the latest trends and technology that could give them just the edge they need.

Solution: First, it’s important to fully understand your market. There are many marketing research tools to find out who your competitors are and find out which law firms in your city are doing the best job of ranking at the top. Next, see what they’re doing differently than your own firm to get some ideas of how to improve your own practice’s marketing strategy.

Legal marketing isn’t for beginners

Law firm marketing is laden with obstacles, missteps and potholes if you fail to properly understand the digital marketing environment. Fortunately, there’s still a simple solution that can help you overcome all of these top legal marketing challenges and more.

Hire an experienced law firm marketing agency.

Lawyers are experts in legal matters, but most don’t have the time, energy or desire to master the nuances of digital marketing. You’re probably busy with a lot of administrative tasks that come along with managing a law firm, so it’s easy to get behind in marketing and social media efforts.

Some marketing strategies may work well for one firm but not for another firm. For example, an SEO strategy that focuses on building links may work well for a general practice law firm’s website, but it’s not a cure-all. Link building could be less beneficial to a niche practice website since it competes within a specific niche.

The best solution is a custom one—and that’s where Brown Bag Marketing comes in! Our experienced legal marketing experts can help you overcome any challenges your firm faces and help you get the best results. Contact us today to get started!