A law firm marketing plan is essential to growing your practice. With a law firm, this can present a unique challenge. Like all businesses, immigration law firms need the right strategy and tools to grow, take on more clients, and improve their services. At the same time, law firms offer unique services, and the legal framework in place makes marketing more challenging.
Even if your immigration law firm does not have a marketing plan, then chances are you are already doing something to promote your business. What if we told you that we could help you put together a comprehensive marketing plan that could help you streamline the marketing activities to maximize your number of new clients and improve your firm’s reputation?
Ravecode Solutions helps immigration lawyers reach more people, reunite families, and change people’s lives for the better. Immigration law is a profession where you can make a difference and help dreams come true. Do not let insufficient marketing efforts keep you from growing your law firm and helping more people.
Why Do you Need a Marketing Plan?
Although not as detailed and time-consuming as a business plan, a marketing plan is essential to a law firm’s growth. It provides a concise and strategic direction for the marketing activities you will carry out. It helps your immigration law firm define its goals, identify actions that will help you reach them, and detail tasks and responsibilities for executing them.
If you would like to avoid wasting money and resources on marketing activities that will not impact your law firm’s bottom line, it is time to put together a marketing plan. Think of a marketing plan as a business tool that you can lean on to increase leads and new clients, improve your law firm’s reputation and brand awareness, and maximize the marketing dollars you are spending.
Finally, putting together a marketing plan is not rocket science. You do not need dozens of pages and strategies, but rather a concise and straight-to-the-point marketing plan that outlines the goals, strategies, and marketing tactics your firm will use to grow.
The Basics of a Law Firm Marketing Plan – Why, What, and How
While there is no fixed structure or framework for creating a marketing plan, the consensus is that every marketing plan should be able to answer three questions, “Why?” “What?” and “How?” These three simple questions will help you organize a marketing plan, so it has a logical flow, and is easy to follow. At the same time, this structure ensures that any activities included in the plan play an essential role in reaching your goals.
The question “Why?” should help you outline the reasons you are creating a marketing plan. This section of the marketing plan should clearly state what you hope to achieve through marketing and how it will improve and grow your immigration law firm. An example goal could be something broad like:
- Establish our law firm as the leading provider of immigration law services in the region.
Or something more precise like:
- Acquire at least 5 new clients every month through marketing activities
A solid marketing plan should have a healthy mix of general goals and more precise quantifiable goals that are easy to track. This mix will ensure that you always keep your eyes on the prize, while still making daily efforts to get there.
To answer the question “What?” you can put together a list of strategies and methods you plan to use to reach the goals you outlined in the previous section. This is the part of the marketing plan you will spend the most time on. An example of a strategy is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. By optimizing your firm’s website for SEO, you can increase the amount of traffic your website will receive and generate more leads and new clients.
After outlining the goals and strategies you will use to grow your immigration law practice, it is time to execute your marketing plan. This section of the marketing plan should answer the question “How?” and assign adequate human and time resources to perform the necessary tasks. Here you will also outline how you will track all marketing activities and marketing budget spending.
Key Strategies and Components a Law Firm Marketing Plan for an Immigration Lawyer Should Have
Technological advancements and the internet’s growth place immense pressure on all businesses to develop a strong online presence. Therefore, online marketing activities will make up the majority of your marketing plan in 2020. Offline marketing activities are still important, though, and are a unique opportunity to connect with more traditional audiences and improve your business’s reputation.
A marketing plan is not a one-size-fits-all type of document and will vary greatly depending on your law firm’s structure, goals, and planned marketing activities. It is essential to create a marketing plan that is easy to follow yet covers all the necessary aspects and marketing activities relevant to your goals.
Here, we list some of the crucial online and offline marketing strategies and activities that should be a part of a successful immigration law firm marketing plan in 2020. Each activity has a clearly defined role and contributes to the overall goals in a unique way.
Offline Law Firm Marketing Activities
Word-of-mouth and referrals are still some of the most important sources of new clients for law firms. Therefore, it is essential that immigration law firms actively participate in networking to increase their reach and improve their reputation. At the same time, networking is great for keeping in touch with the partners already in your network.
Some examples of networking activities are:
- Being active in the local community and immigration-related events
- Participating in professional associations and membership organizations
- Maintaining and improving professional relationships with clients and partners
- Offering pro bono legal advice and counseling to potential clients in need
- Reaching out to colleagues, offering help and cooperation
Successful networking can do wonders for your immigration law firm’s reputation and help generate new leads and clients.
Print Media, Billboards, Signs, and Business Cards
Print media has been on a steady decline for the better part of the last two decades but still plays an important role, especially in smaller local and regional markets. A strategically-placed print ad in the local papers, or covering a dense foot-traffic area with signs or a billboard, could do wonders for your visibility and increase leads.
Suppose you are engaging in networking and trying to create a strong reputation in the local community. In that case, you can use small print forms like flyers, brochures, and business cards and place them at the places of interest within the community, especially places that people needing immigration law services might frequent.
Radio & TV Ads
Compared to print media, radio and TV are significantly more expensive and require a bit of analysis to fit into the budget for most small and medium-sized law firms. A radio station popular with the local immigrant population could be the right place for an ad if the budget permits it. Beware of marketing agencies trying to push media ad packages your way. The return on investment on those tends to lag behind other forms of marketing activities.
Online Law Firm Marketing Activities
Before engaging in any other online marketing activities, an immigration law firm must have a website in 2020. It is the center and the base of all of your online marketing activities. It should provide potential clients and partners with the necessary information about your practice simply and concisely.
Most of your other online marketing activities will, in one way or another, redirect back to your website, so make sure that your website:
- Is easy to navigate and loads quickly on all platforms
- Is optimized for viewing on mobile phones and tablets
- Includes the necessary contact information for getting in touch with you
- Offers testimonials from past clients
- Is optimized for search engines and easy to find on google
- Has a personal touch
- Is clearly structured with separate sections for all fields of your practice
It would be best if you considered hiring professionals that already have experience in creating a website for law firms.
To gain traction online and improve the traffic to your website, generating useful content to potential clients should be near the top of your list of priorities. Nobody expects you to produce a massive amount of content, but rather a regular stream of relevant and useful content that will speak to your target audience with calls to action. Cases studies also helps and is something that successful law firms includes in their content marketing.
By generating content in the form of blogs, articles, and guides on the topic of immigration law, you are also providing resources and tools that can help you improve your search engine optimization, build a strong social media presence and generate new leads for your practice areas.
Most law firms that are successful in this area have an active blog on their website where they post relevant content weekly. The focus is on providing useful information and building a reputation by providing general news and changes in the immigration law to practical advice and tips for potential clients.
Another form of content is video. The popularity of YouTube and similar platforms offers ample opportunity to present yourself and your law firm to potential clients by making videos with useful information and relevant content about immigration law. At the same time, it gives a personal touch and a face to your business.
SEO(Search Engine Optimization)
Search engine optimization is key to improving the ranking of your law firm’s website on Google. It is also a continuous, long-term process that yields results over time. SEO includes identifying the keywords related to your practice, optimizing the website and all of its pages for those keywords, and generating content that includes those keywords.
SEO requires patience but also knowledge on how to please the search engine algorithm and improve search ranking. Suppose you want your law firm’s website to appear among the top organic searches for immigration law in your area regularly. In that case, you should consider hiring SEO experts that can help you achieve that over time. SEO has to be a part of all of the content you produce and any information you want to publish on your website.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is on the opposite spectrum from SEO. It allows businesses to advertise their products and services directly to potential clients even though they might not have had a strong online presence in the past or have good search engine ranking. The most popular form of PPC advertising is Google AdWords. Google makes sure that all of their AdWords ads appear among organic search results and even look like them.
The costs of PPC advertising tend to be lower per lead or new client than traditional forms of advertising. Yet, to be successful, a business has to have great landing pages that effectively turn potential leads into clients. Unless your website is optimized and your landing pages are informative and compelling, do not bother running PPC ads.
If you are having trouble getting up to speed on this, hiring outside help to create PPC ads and develop landing pages is the best option.
Regarding return on investment, email marketing is by far the best option for most business owners. To be successful at email marketing, you have to build a database of current, past, and potential clients’ email addresses. There are many ways to do this, including offering free advice or a brochure about immigration law topics for those who sign up for a mailing list.
Once you have a database in place, you can send emails that can include links to relevant content and announcements, offer deals on your services, or provide useful information to potential clients. A monthly newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with the people in your email database and spark interest in your services.
Finally, social media networks are a great way to complete your online law firm marketing strategies and activities, as they provide you with the opportunity to create large audiences interested in your practice. At the same time, pushing content and information to a large audience has never been easier than with social media. Most immigration law firms should consider having a Facebook page, Google+ profile, and a LinkedIn page.
Bear in mind that followers on social media want honesty and genuine business interactions, so refrain from bombarding your audience and followers with marketing messages without providing quality content and useful advice for them.
Hopefully, this guide brings you a step closer to understanding the importance of a marketing plan as the key driver for growth.
At Ravecode Solutions, we specialize in helping immigration law firms position themselves to enhance their reach, acquire new clients, and grow their practice.
We have built our system specifically for immigration law firms. Our signature Law Firm Success Formula gives you a roadmap that guides you through separate milestones to generate more leads, automate sales, and increase conversions and profits.
We believe that an immigration attorney can significantly impact immigrants’ lives and help them make their dreams come true. If you need help, we would be happy to talk and see how we can help you make a bigger difference.