When starting a legal practice, everything happens on a smaller scale at first. That’s quite normal, of course, but over time and with success comes expansion, and expansion means more types of professionals need to be added to your team.
New associate lawyers, legal secretaries and clerks, as well as HR professionals, IT specialists and, yes, a marketing team. While it’s true that marketing teams for law firms are still a relatively new idea, they have already proven their value in helping law firms grow and flourish using the very special kinds of marketing techniques and approaches that they require. Here are some important things to consider when building your marketing team:
Knowledge and Experience of Law Firm Marketing
This one may feel obvious at first, but it’s important to recognise that someone with only 3 years of law firm marketing work behind them might actually be more valuable than someone with 8 years of general marketing experience. Law firms require a unique approach when it comes to marketing, and conventional experience doesn’t always translate well into the legal field.
Law firms are selling a service, it’s true, but it’s not something you aim to sell in as much bulk as possible. Chasing quality cases and high-profile litigation might be more important, or targeting certain types of legal service needs in the community — e.g., family law, estate law, etc. — might be more important.
An Understanding of Your Services and Market
Members of your marketing team have to have very solid knowledge of what it is that your law firm does, who it serves and what it needs to do to serve that market to the best of its ability. Different types of legal services need to be marketed in different ways. There’s no “one size fits all” kind of approach available.
Legal issues tend to be ones of great sensitivity for people, so charging into a marketing space all guns blazing sometimes has a negative impact.
Led by a Creative Manager with Strong Initiative
As you’re building your marketing team, you’ll need to be sure to hire a manager of great vision and initiative. Lawyers and other legal staff in the firm are busy and don’t have the time or resources to manage marketing matters, which means they have to leave it in capable hands. Experience alone here isn’t enough. There is a need for leadership, responsibility and the will to start and finish key projects.
As quirky and unique different law firms may think they are, to most ordinary people they all look basically the same. It takes a very creative marketing leader to clearly demonstrate the USPs, reputation and other positive traits of one law firm over another.
Writing and Communication Skills are Paramount
As fundamental skills go, writing and communication are without a doubt the most important. Legal services can be complex, as can explaining legal work to the public in a marketing sphere. Being able to take these intricate ideas and communicate them to a non-expert audience is something that your marketing team members will all need to be able to do.
Knowledge of Digital Media
Many law firms have operated for long periods without the help of a strong digital presence, but that doesn’t mean they can continue to ignore the need for one as time goes on. Having people on your team who have ideas on how to engage the community using popular social media platforms is paramount. They need to communicate your firm’s unique selling propositions, showcase recent successes, and build the firm’s reputation as a trustworthy legal authority in the community.
Without the trust of the community, your law firm has nothing!
Interesting Related Article: “What is marketing? Definition and meaning“