Most lawyers are highly intelligent, ambitious men and women who have experienced great success in their fields of legal specialty, yet many lawyers continue to struggle with the business and marketing side of their law practices. For a small firm, not being able to manage the marketing side of their law practice has resulted in untold frustration and lost revenue.
Not surprisingly, the types of problems lawyers face in marketing are the same types of problems they face in managing their practices. In a way, the two are inextricably connected. As a general rule, those law firms who were able to be masterful in marketing their practices were also masterful in managing them.
The relationship between marketing and management is no coincidence. Marketing is a highly dynamic activity that requires focused and engaged management. It also demands that law firms adopt a unified approach in seeing their law practice within the context of its operational totality.
In truth, marketing is not just about advertising, branding and producing impressive law firm brochures; it’s a consolidated view of your entire business process. Understood this way, law firm marketing need not be relegated to the single goal of client acquisition; instead it can be the foundation and driving force behind the law firm’s entire business—all of which can be expressed through the law firm’s management, culture and leadership.
When it comes to law firm marketing, most law firms admit that low morale is common among both associates and partners. Despite the financial rewards of bringing in new clients, most lawyers dislike the responsibilities that came with marketing their law practice. When lawyers are asked about their long-term business goals and how they planned to reach them, few lawyers are actually able to articulate a specific plan. Most lawyers would simply rather be left alone to practice law and let others do the managing and marketing of the firm.
As a general rule, most partners are neither able to describe how their firm goes about setting marketing goals nor are they able to explain how they might reach their goals. Not surprisingly, most first year and midlevel associates tend to feel disconnected from law firm marketing as well.
Associates typically only have vague sense of what marketing means at their firm. Some associates see being involved with marketing as a rite of passage to making partner. Others see marketing as entertaining clients while others view the marketing process as what partners do when they renew their country club dues.
No matter how you define law firm marketing, one thing is certain, without a concerted and organized effort to get your marketing process in order, the struggle with marketing and managing the small-to-medium size law firm will continue to be an uphill battle.
For information on law firm marketing, law firm advertising, and law firm branding services, visit GotTrouble.com