Law Firm Marketing Strategy (2024)

Law Firm Marketing Strategy

Who I Am.

Multi-Award Winning Lawyer and for my work at the intersection of law and innovation I have been the recipient of:

  • Australia Leadership Award
  • Human Rights Law Award
  • Winston Churchill Fellowship

Started Practice Proof in 2007 following a sabbatical working with the Center of Court Innovation in NYC.

Worked as Global Digotal Strategist for Erin Brockovich on mass torts in United States.

My team and I since 2007 have grown law firms internationally across all facets of brand, design, marketing and technology.

Relevant certifications, Accredited Brand Archetypes. Certified StoryBrand Guide, Accredited Belbin Team Roles Facilitator.,

The Foundations of Effective Law Firm MarketingStrategy

Let’s face it, the traditional model of legal practice is being disrupted by technological advancements, changing client expectations, and increased competition from both traditional firms and alternative legal service providers. In this dynamic environment, having a well-crafted, comprehensive strategy is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity for survival and growth.

This comprehensive guide deriving from over 20 years experience running and building legal practices, including executing mass tort campaigns, presents a holistic approach to law firm strategy, drawing on the insights of several influential business thinkers and strategists. By integrating these diverse perspectives, we’ve created a framework that addresses the unique needs of law firms while leveraging proven business principles. Before getting into the specifics of our framework, it’s crucial to understand the key thinkers whose work forms its foundation and why their insights are particularly relevant to law firms.

Jim Collins: The Pursuit of Greatness

Jim Collins, author of seminal works such as “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” has profoundly influenced how we think about organizational excellence. His research-driven approach identifies the characteristics that distinguish truly exceptional companies from their peers. For law firms, Collins’ work offers several key insights:

1. The Hedgehog Concept: Collins argues that great companies focus on the intersection of three circles: what they can be the best in the world at, what drives their economic engine, and what they are deeply passionate about. For law firms, this concept can guide the selection of practice areas, client focus, and overall firm direction.

2. Level 5 Leadership: Collins identifies a type of leader who combines personal humility with professional will. This leadership style is particularly relevant in law firms, where managing partner-level egos and fostering a collaborative culture are often challenges.

3. First Who, Then What: The idea that getting the right people “on the bus” is more important than determining the direction first resonates strongly in the talent-driven legal industry.

4. Culture of Discipline: Collins emphasizes the importance of disciplined people, thought, and action. In the often chaotic world of legal practice, this principle can help firms maintain focus and efficiency.

Verne Harnish: Scaling Up

Verne Harnish, known for his book “Scaling Up” and the Gazelles growth methodology, provides practical tools for growing businesses. His work is particularly relevant for law firms looking to expand beyond their current size or market:

1. The One-Page Strategic Plan: This tool helps firms distill complex strategies into a clear, actionable format. For law firms juggling multiple practice areas and client types, this can provide much-needed clarity and focus.

2. The Four Decisions: Harnish emphasizes that growing companies must excel in four areas: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. These areas align closely with the key challenges many law firms face in scaling their operations.

3. Rhythm of Communication: Regular meeting rhythms (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) ensure that strategy remains top-of-mind and execution stays on track. This structured approach can be valuable in law firms where billable hours often take precedence over strategic activities.

Geoffrey Moore: Crossing the Chasm

Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” focuses on the challenges technology companies face in moving from early adopters to the mainstream market. While originally written for tech firms, its principles are increasingly relevant to law firms, especially those introducing innovative services or technologies:

1. The Technology Adoption Life Cycle: Understanding the different needs and behaviors of innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards can help law firms tailor their services and marketing approaches to different client segments.

2. The Chasm: Moore identifies a gap between early adopters and the early majority. For law firms introducing new service models or technologies, recognizing and strategizing to cross this chasm is crucial for widespread adoption.

3. Whole Product Concept: The idea that mainstream customers expect a complete solution, not just a core product, can guide law firms in developing comprehensive service offerings that address all aspects of a client’s needs.

Al Ries: The Law of Focus

Al Ries, along with his co-author Jack Trout, popularized the concept of positioning in marketing. His work on focus and specialization is particularly relevant in the increasingly fragmented and specialized legal market:

1. The Law of Focus: Ries argues that the most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind. For law firms, this principle can guide decisions about specialization and market positioning.

2. The Law of Category: If you can’t be first in a category, create a new one. This idea can inspire law firms to carve out unique niches or create new service categories that set them apart from competitors.

3. The Law of Perception: Marketing is not a battle of products, but a battle of perceptions. This principle underscores the importance of brand building and reputation management for law firms.

Meredith Belbin: Team Roles

Meredith Belbin’s work on team roles provides valuable insights into creating balanced, high-performing teams. In the context of law firms, where effective collaboration is essential but often challenging, Belbin’s insights are particularly valuable:

1. Nine Team Roles: Belbin identified nine distinct team roles, each contributing differently to team success. Understanding these roles can help law firms build more effective practice groups and management teams.

2. Balance Over Individual Brilliance: Belbin’s research suggests that balanced teams outperform those with a concentration of similar types, even if those types are considered “high performers.” This insight can guide hiring and team composition decisions in law firms.

3. Strengths and Allowable Weaknesses: Belbin’s model recognizes that each role has both strengths and “allowable weaknesses.” This nuanced view of individual contributions can foster a more understanding and effective team culture in law firms.

Donald Miller: StoryBrand

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework provides a powerful approach to clarifying brand messaging. For law firms struggling to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, this framework offers several benefits:

1. Client as Hero: StoryBrand positions the client as the hero of the story and the firm as the guide. This client-centric approach aligns well with the service-oriented nature of legal practice.

2. Clear Problem and Solution: The framework forces firms to articulate clearly the problems they solve for clients and how they do so, cutting through legal jargon to communicate value effectively.

3. Clear Call to Action: By emphasizing the importance of a clear call to action, StoryBrand can help law firms convert more website visitors and leads into clients.

Integrating These Perspectives

While each of these thinkers brings valuable insights, the real power comes from integrating their ideas into a cohesive strategy. For law firms, this integration can address several critical challenges:

1. Differentiation in a Crowded Market: By combining Ries’s focus on positioning, Collins’ Hedgehog Concept, and Miller’s StoryBrand framework, firms can develop a unique market position and communicate it effectively.

2. Scaling Challenges: Harnish’s practical tools for growth, combined with Belbin’s insights on team composition, can help firms manage the complexities of scaling their operations.

3. Innovation Adoption: Moore’s framework for crossing the chasm can guide firms in successfully introducing new services or technologies, moving beyond early adopters to achieve mainstream acceptance.

4. Cultural and Leadership Challenges: Collins’ work on Level 5 leadership and culture of discipline, combined with Belbin’s team role theory, can help firms build strong, collaborative cultures that drive success.

5. Strategic Clarity and Execution: The combination of Collins’ focus on finding a firm’s “hedgehog,” Harnish’s One-Page Strategic Plan, and Miller’s messaging clarity can help firms develop and communicate clear, actionable strategies.

Why This Matters for Law Firms

The legal industry is at a crossroads. Traditional models of practice are being challenged by new technologies, changing client expectations, and increased competition. Firms that successfully navigate this changing landscape will be those that embrace a holistic approach to strategy, combining time-tested business principles with innovative marketing techniques and cutting-edge technology.

This comprehensive approach ensures that your strategy:

– Is grounded in a clear understanding of your firm’s core purpose and values
– Leverages your team’s strengths effectively
– Positions your firm uniquely in the market
– Communicates your value proposition clearly to potential clients
– Provides a roadmap for sustainable growth

Moreover, in an industry often resistant to change, firms that adopt this strategic approach can gain a significant competitive advantage. By thinking holistically about strategy—from team composition to market positioning to client communication—firms can create a sustainable model for success in the evolving legal landscape.

The framework presented in this guide is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, it provides a structured approach for thinking about your firm’s strategy, one that can be tailored to your specific circumstances, market position, and goals. By working through each phase of the framework, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of your firm’s strengths and challenges, a clearer vision for its future, and a concrete plan for achieving your goals.

As you proceed through this guide, remember that strategy is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing process. The legal market will continue to evolve, and your firm’s strategy should evolve with it. Regular review and refinement of your approach, guided by the principles outlined here, will ensure that your firm remains competitive and continues to deliver value to your clients in the years to come.

The Forces Driving Change

In Australia, the United States, Canada UK and the Asia Pacific there are hundreds of thousands of law firms. As lawyers, we’re quick to demarcate the numbers into practice areas, followed by geographical reach. This makes the extent of competition a little more, not by much though, palpable.

At this point, notoriously law firms will break the numbers down further, possibly to suburbs and add another layer by drawing a yardstick as to who they believe are better lawyers than them. After doing this excavation, the far majority of law firms will now consider marketing simply as an activity that seeks to re-orientate the masses of people looking for legal help to their firm and not their competitors, despite not having a clue as to why they deserve those clients.

The legal industry is undergoing a tectonic shift that has now gone into overdrive because of COVID-19. Law firms who once would never have considered a more agile business model and emerging technology within a very short period of time, possibly days, became a legal practice that they could never before imagined. Consequently where we’re at is likely to be the “new” normal. Sure, there are short-sighted law firms who won’t leverage the opportunities that COVID-19 has given and will eagerly return to what they once were, but it will prove perilous.

Let’s get practical for a moment. Prior to COVID-19, the legal industry was alive with changing business models and the convergence of a massive amount of technology seeking to change every aspect of how legal practice works. Anecdotally, 5 years ago there were approximately 250 legal start-ups, now conservatively there is in excess of 5,000. On top of this has been an exponential increase in the number of legal practices emerging across all practice areas and geographical regions.

Enter COVID-19 and it’s been like throwing fuel on a fire.

In this context, it’s not difficult to see that the real work of a law firm at this very moment in time is less about marketing and more about positioning. The latter is a massive topic in of itself and doesn’t warrant being entertained in full amid this content, but it is saved to say, that if your law firm jumps to marketing tactics without considering it, everything you do from this point on will be undermined.

As mentioned at the outset, there are of course plenty of law firms out there who want the “magic bullet” and for them, there are plenty of agencies who claim they have it. 100 leads in 30 days or you don’t pay, and a variety of other incarnations and they will always be attractive to those law firms with a churn and burn approach to building their business.

You see, for well over 15 years, we’ve seen consistently great results for law firms who are acutely aware of the changing landscape and consider marketing as a derivative of nailing brand positioning, among other things.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Introduction

Years ago I came across Dr Mark Rehn (BE PhD MBA FAICD FIEAUST FIMCA CMC) whose work is focussed on business excellence. He’s akin to the likes of Jim Collins who wrote the exceptional, “Good to Great.”

Mark demarcated the key phases of any business as being:

  1. Position the Business
  2. Get the Job
  3. Do the Job
  4. Get Paid.

Mark argues that regardless of your business, its size, your industry, you can apply the same framework consistently to each.

I make mention of this purely because following decades of experience, Mark, like many others of his ilk always emphasize the importance of positioning, or strategy.

In my experience after many years working with growth focused legal practices (are there any others ;)), those that grow sustainably are those who work on positioning and brand at the outset. Those who flounder, burn money, waste time, likely years, rush to the “get the job,” phase of growth.

For example, after a number of years working with a firm (as simply a dep[loyment marketing partner) that was growing well, they appoint their 3rd Head of Marketing within the spate of a three year period. They similarly appoint their 3rd General Manager. They’re frantically trying to pull a lever to instant growth and despite a succession of people who have been commissioned to execute the objective, they fail every time.

They fail because they, like many other firms, they reached a chasm that they now must cross to the next phase of growth. What got them here, won’t get them across the divide, but yet they keep trying and trying and ultimately failing. Why? Because the “Get the Job” is relatively easy in comparison to the introspective work of “Positioning.” The former is significantly easier once the latter is nailed together.

If you’re on the same page, and you haven’t read Verne Harnish, you should. Harnish’s recommendations on strategy derive from a deep analysis of the “forces driving change.” Layer this work with Arie Ries book on “positioning,” and then Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” and what you’ll clearly understand is that what got you here, will not get you there!

I know this is probably not what you expected when you landed on this page. You, like most firms are looking for a strategy that you can simply plugin and away you go and then you will find hundreds of people needing exactly what legal services you’re selling and they’re ready to sign a client retainer.

This can happen, and we work and have worked with law firms who have experienced explosive growth (one went from 2 lawyers to a national legal practice), but they did positioning very well.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: The Framework

Leveraging the work of Verne Harnish, Jim Collins, Al Ries, Geoffrey Moore, and Meredith Belbin (Belbin Team Roles), I’ll now give you a Strategy framework that I believe is best practice.

The framework is divided into seven phases, each building upon the previous one to create a cohesive and actionable strategy.

Obviously this works a whole lot better when faciliated. I’m happy to help in this regard, leveraging my trained and certified expertise in Brand Strategy (Brand Archetypes), StoryBrand and Belbin Team Roles.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Building the Execution Team Using Belbin Team Roles

Bill Henderson, the editor of Legal Evolution, Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School said that the Belbin Team Roles to date, was the lowest-cost/highest-ROI tool in his toolbox when it comes to law firm growth.

So, what are the Belbin Team Roles.

Developed through extensive research in the 1970s, Belbin’s model identifies nine distinct team roles that contribute to a team’s success. These roles are not tied to specific job titles or hierarchies but instead reflect the different ways individuals can contribute to team objectives. Understanding and leveraging these roles can significantly enhance your law firm’s effectiveness in strategy development, client service, and overall performance.

After 15 years of growing law firms, invariably the journey will begin by presenting to a partnership team who are never united with the direction of the firm, it’s brand and consequently marketing strategy. Often there are those within the room looking to exit the firm in the next few years and have very differing views from the newly appointed partner who sees the opportunities amid the dynamically changing landscape. At times, we acknowledge that the ultimate law firm marketing strategy will be massively compromised by the flux of where people are at, but getting 70% of the way there is better than nothing. The remaining 30% is often held in abeyance or slowly chipped away incrementally over time. Getting 70% there though will not likely be a derivative of just having that partnership team in the room.

In this context, it’s worthwhile to consider if the people in the room are the right people to be in the room. Sure, inviting everybody and anybody into a strategy is like herding cats, but in the same vein, having the wrong people in the room can significantly stunt a potent strategy.

There is one firm that I worked with for over 5 years. The Managing Partner was stale, or colloquially put, “fat and happy,” and he was (and probably still is) a dictator. So, despite 5 other partners with a bent towards innovation and growth, it was always cut off at the pass by the man at the top, who in effect was killing this firm slowly. It goes without saying, that as I’m writing this, I check in on their staff numbers and they have significantly dwindled. A real shame for a firm that had very good prospects of real, tangible growth.

Anyway, when implementing a complex strategy, having the right team in place is crucial. Dr. Meredith Belbin’s Team Role Theory (of which I’m a Accredited Facilitator) provides a framework for creating balanced teams that leverage diverse strengths. Here’s how to apply this concept in building your strategy execution team within your firm:

1. Understand the Nine Belbin Team Roles:

– Plant: Creative problem-solver and idea generator
– Resource Investigator: Explores opportunities and develops contacts
– Coordinator: Clarifies goals and delegates effectively
– Shaper: Dynamic and thrives on pressure to drive action
– Monitor Evaluator: Strategic thinker who provides logical analysis
– Teamworker: Cooperative and promotes harmony within the team
– Implementer: Turns ideas into practical actions
– Completer Finisher: Ensures thorough completion and attention to detail
– Specialist: Provides in-depth knowledge in a key area

2. Assess Current Team Members:
– Use Belbin’s Self-Perception Inventory or similar tools to assess the natural roles of your current team members
– Encourage team members to also get feedback from colleagues (Observer Assessments) for a more comprehensive view

3. Identify Gaps in Team Composition:
– Based on the assessment results, identify which roles are well-represented and which are lacking
– Consider the specific needs of your strategy implementation. For example, a highly innovative strategy might require more Plants, while a complex operational strategy might need more Implementers

4. Build a Balanced Team:
– Aim to have a mix of all nine roles represented in your execution team
– Remember that individuals can often play multiple roles, so you don’t necessarily need nine different people
– Prioritize filling gaps in critical roles for your specific strategy

5. Assign Responsibilities Based on Roles:
– Align team members’ responsibilities with their strongest Belbin roles
– For example, assign a Resource Investigator to manage external partnerships, or a Coordinator to lead cross-functional initiatives

6. Develop Team Awareness:
– Conduct a workshop to help team members understand their own roles and those of their colleagues
– Encourage open discussion about how different roles can complement each other

7. Address Potential Conflicts:
– Be aware of potential clashes between certain roles (e.g., Shapers and Teamworkers might have conflicting approaches)
– Develop strategies to manage these potential conflicts constructively

8. Regularly Review and Adjust:
– As the strategy implementation progresses, regularly review the team’s effectiveness
– Be prepared to make adjustments to team composition or role assignments as needed

By applying the Belbin Team Role theory, you can create a well-rounded execution team that leverages diverse strengths. This approach helps ensure that all necessary perspectives and skills are represented, from creative thinking and analysis to practical implementation and attention to detail. A balanced team based on Belbin roles is better equipped to handle the multifaceted challenges of implementing a comprehensive law firm strategy.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: the Foundation of Strategic Transformation

The second phase of our law firm strategy framework, “Foundation and Self-Assessment,” draws heavily from the work of Jim Collins, particularly his seminal books “Built to Last” and “Good to Great.” Collins’ research-driven approach to understanding what makes companies truly exceptional provides a solid foundation for law firms seeking to transform their operations and achieve sustainable success.

Collins argues that great companies are built on a core ideology consisting of core values and purpose. This ideology acts as a guiding force, providing stability amid change and helping to attract and retain both clients and talent who resonate with the firm’s fundamental beliefs and aspirations.

In “Built to Last,” Collins and his co-author Jerry Porras emphasize that core ideology is not something a company can simply invent. Instead, it must be discovered through careful introspection. This is why our framework begins with a workshop involving partners and key stakeholders. The goal is not to create a mission statement that sounds good, but to uncover the true driving force behind the firm’s existence.

The concept of “it got us here, but will it get us there” is inspired by Marshall Goldsmith’s book of a similar title. It acknowledges that what made a law firm successful in the past may not be sufficient for future success. This mindset is crucial as firms navigate the rapidly changing legal landscape, where traditional models of practice are being challenged by technological advancements and changing client expectations.

The identification of core values is a critical step in this process. Collins found that visionary companies have 3-5 core values that remain constant over time, even as their strategies and practices evolve. These values serve as a litmus test for decision-making and help create a cohesive culture. The examples provided (Integrity, Innovation, Client-Centricity, Collaboration, Excellence) are common in the legal industry, but Collins would argue that the specific values matter less than how deeply they are held and how consistently they are lived.

The anonymous survey to assess adherence to these values is a practical application of Collins’ concept of “preserving the core while stimulating progress.” It helps ensure that the firm’s actions align with its stated values, fostering trust and consistency.

Moving to the Current State Analysis, the SWOT framework (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a classic strategic planning tool, but its application here is informed by Collins’ research. In “Good to Great,” Collins emphasizes the importance of confronting the brutal facts of your current reality. This honest assessment is crucial for law firms operating in a rapidly changing environment.

The financial performance review and client satisfaction assessment align with Collins’ emphasis on disciplined thought and action. By analyzing hard data and seeking candid feedback, firms can gain a clear picture of their current position and identify areas for improvement.

The Market Position Evaluation draws from both Collins’ work and Michael Porter’s concepts of competitive strategy. Collins would argue that understanding your position relative to competitors is crucial, but that truly great companies focus more on outdoing themselves than on outperforming others.

The Talent Assessment section is heavily influenced by Collins’ “First Who, Then What” principle. Collins argues that getting the right people in the right positions is more important than determining the direction of the company. This is particularly relevant in the legal industry, where human capital is the primary asset.

Finally, the Client Portfolio Analysis incorporates elements of the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) and concepts from customer relationship management. While not directly from Collins’ work, this analysis aligns with his emphasis on disciplined thought and focus on what drives the economic engine of the business.

Throughout this phase, the underlying theme is one of rigorous self-examination and honesty. Collins repeatedly emphasizes that great companies are characterized by their ability to confront the brutal facts of their reality without losing faith in their ultimate success. For law firms, this means taking a hard look at their current position, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and being willing to make difficult changes where necessary.

Moreover, this phase sets the stage for the strategic decisions that will follow. By establishing a clear understanding of the firm’s core purpose and values, current market position, internal capabilities, and client relationships, firms can make more informed choices about their future direction.

As we move forward in the framework, these foundational elements will inform every subsequent decision, from setting strategic goals to developing marketing messages. They provide the context necessary to ensure that the firm’s strategy is not just theoretically sound, but deeply rooted in the firm’s reality and aspirations.

In essence, this phase is about building self-awareness at an organizational level. It’s about understanding not just where the firm is, but who it is at its core. This self-knowledge, Collins would argue, is the bedrock upon which truly great organisations are built.

As we proceed to the next phases of our framework, keep in mind that this foundation will be continually referenced and reinforced. The core ideology uncovered here will serve as a touchstone, guiding decisions and helping to maintain consistency even as the firm adapts to changing market conditions. It’s this balance of stability and adaptability that Collins identifies as a hallmark of enduringly great companies, and it’s what we aim to help law firms achieve through this strategic framework.

1.1 Defining Core Purpose and Values

– Organise a workshop with partners within your firm and key stakeholders to articulate the firm’s mission statement. Agitating a concept of “it got us here, but will it get us there.”
– Identify 3-5 core values that genuinely reflect the firm’s culture.
– Example values: Integrity, Innovation, Client-Centricity, Collaboration, Excellence (sure, they’re pitchy, but become less so work you granulate them)
– Conduct an anonymous survey to assess how well the firm lives up to these values.

1.2 Current State Analysis

– Perform a SWOT analysis:
– Strengths: e.g., strong reputation in specific practice areas, innovative use of technology
– Weaknesses: e.g., high turnover rate, outdated IT infrastructure
– Opportunities: e.g., emerging practice areas, untapped market segments
– Threats: e.g., increasing competition from alternative legal service providers, AI, commoditised legal solutions, changing client expectations etc
– Review financial performance:
– Analyze revenue growth, profitability, and utilization rates over the past 3-5 years
– Identify trends and areas for improvement
– Assess client satisfaction:
– Conduct client surveys or interviews to gather feedback
– Analyze Net Promoter Scores (NPS) if available

1.3 Market Position Evaluation

– Identify top 5-10 competitors and create a comparison matrix of services, pricing, and market perception
– Conduct a brand perception study among clients and prospects
– Analyze the firm’s market share in primary practice areas
– Review current pricing strategy and compare it with market benchmarks

1.4 Talent Assessment

– Conduct a skills inventory of all legal and support staff
– Identify gaps between current capabilities and market demand
– Evaluate partner productivity using metrics like origination, realization rates, and client satisfaction
– Review and update succession plans for key leadership and client relationship roles

1.5 Client Portfolio Analysis

– Segment clients by industry, size, and profitability
– Identify the top 20% of clients that generate 80% of revenue (applying the Pareto principle)
– Calculate client acquisition costs and lifetime value for different segments
– Analyze client retention rates and conduct exit interviews with lost clients to understand reasons for attrition

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Charting the Course for Greatness

Phase 2 of our law firm strategy framework, “Strategic Direction and Goal Setting,” draws inspiration from two influential business thinkers: Jim Collins and Verne Harnish. This phase is about translating the self-knowledge gained in Phase 1 into a clear, ambitious, and actionable strategy for the future.

Jim Collins’ “Hedgehog Concept,” introduced in his book “Good to Great,” forms the cornerstone of this phase. Collins discovered that companies that made the leap from good to great all had a deep understanding of what he calls their “Hedgehog Concept.” This concept, named after Isaiah Berlin’s essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” is about doing one thing exceptionally well.

The Hedgehog Concept is found at the intersection of three circles: what you can be the best in the world at, what drives your economic engine, and what you’re deeply passionate about. For law firms, this concept is particularly powerful. In a profession often characterized by generalization, the Hedgehog Concept pushes firms to identify their unique strengths and focus their efforts accordingly.

The process of discovering your firm’s Hedgehog Concept is not quick or easy. It requires deep reflection and honest discussion among partners. The questions posed – what can we be the best at, what drives our economic engine, and what are we passionate about – may seem simple, but they often lead to profound insights and sometimes difficult realizations.

For instance, a firm might realise that while it’s competent in many areas of law, it has the potential to be truly world-class in a specific niche. Or it might discover that its true passion lies not in a particular area of law, but in serving a specific type of client. These realizations can be transformative, leading to a sharper focus and clearer strategy.

Once the Hedgehog Concept is identified, it serves as a guiding principle for all strategic decisions. It helps firms resist the temptation to chase every opportunity, instead focusing on those that align with their unique strengths and passions.

Building on this foundation, we introduce the concept of the “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG), a term coined by Collins and Jerry Porras in “Built to Last” and further developed by Verne Harnish in his work on scaling up businesses. A BHAG is a long-term goal that is both ambitious and clear – it should be easily understandable and exciting to all members of the firm.

The BHAG serves several important functions. It provides a unifying focus for the entire firm, aligning efforts and inspiring commitment. It also forces firms to think beyond their current capabilities, encouraging innovation and growth. For law firms, which often operate on shorter time horizons, setting a 10-25 year BHAG can be a transformative exercise.

Harnish’s influence is also seen in the emphasis on breaking down the BHAG into more manageable 3-5 year strategic objectives and annual goals. This approach bridges the gap between the firm’s long-term vision and its day-to-day operations. By setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives, firms can ensure that their ambitious vision translates into concrete action.

The One-Page Strategic Plan, a tool developed by Harnish, brings all of these elements together in a concise, easily communicable format. This plan serves as a powerful alignment tool, ensuring that everyone in the firm understands not just the what of the strategy, but the why and how as well.

In essence, this phase is about creating a clear line of sight from the firm’s core purpose and values, through its unique strengths and passions, to its long-term vision and short-term actions. It’s about setting a direction that is both ambitious and true to the firm’s identity.

For law firms navigating an increasingly complex and competitive landscape, this clarity of purpose and direction can be a powerful differentiator. It allows firms to make strategic decisions with confidence, allocate resources effectively, and inspire both clients and team members with a compelling vision of the future.

As we move forward in the framework, this strategic direction will inform all subsequent phases, from team optimization to marketing and implementation. It provides the North Star that will guide the firm’s journey towards sustainable success and market leadership.

2.1 Applying the Hedgehog Concept (Jim Collins)
– Facilitate a series of partner meetings to answer three key questions:

1. What can we be the best in the world at? (e.g., specialised litigation in a specific industry)
2. What drives our economic engine? (e.g., long-term client relationships, efficient service delivery)
3. What are we deeply passionate about? (e.g., solving complex legal challenges, promoting justice)
– Identify the intersection of these three circles to define the firm’s unique position
– Example: “We can be the best at providing innovative legal solutions for technology startups, driven by our passion for fostering innovation and our ability to deliver efficient, value-based services.”

2.2 Developing a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) (Verne Harnish)

– Set a 10-25 year vision that is ambitious yet achievable
– Example BHAG: “By 2040, become the go-to law firm for technology companies in North America, known for our innovative legal solutions and technology-driven service delivery.”
– Ensure the BHAG aligns with the Hedgehog Concept and inspires the entire firm

2.3 Setting 3-5 Year Strategic Objectives

– Define 3-5 key objectives that move the firm towards its BHAG
– Example objectives:
1. Increase market share in the technology sector by 20% within 3 years
2. Develop and launch 3 new technology-enabled legal services within 4 years
3. Achieve a Net Promoter Score of 80+ among technology clients within 5 years
– Ensure objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)

2.4 Annual Planning

– Break down 3-5 year objectives into annual goals
– Set quarterly milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each goal
– Assign ownership and accountability for each goal to specific partners or teams

2.5 Applying the One-Page Strategic Plan

– Use Verne Harnish’s One-Page Strategic Plan template to consolidate the firm’s:
– Core Values and Purpose
– BHAG and 3-5 Year Strategic Objectives
– Annual and Quarterly Goals
– Key Initiatives and Accountabilities
– Share this one-page plan with all members of the firm to ensure alignment

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Carving Out Your Unique Space in the Legal Landscape

Phase 3 of our law firm strategy framework, “Market Positioning and Differentiation,” draws upon the insights of several influential thinkers in marketing and business strategy. This phase is crucial in translating the firm’s internal understanding of its strengths and goals into a compelling external proposition that resonates with clients and distinguishes the firm in a crowded marketplace.

The concept of a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is central to this phase. While not attributed to a single author, the idea of a clear, compelling UVP has been emphasized by numerous marketing experts, including Philip Kotler and Seth Godin. For law firms, a well-crafted UVP can be a powerful tool in communicating the firm’s distinctive offerings and attracting ideal clients.

The “Law of Focus,” introduced by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their seminal work “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” underpins the strategy of specialization. In an increasingly complex legal market, the ability to dominate a specific niche can be a significant competitive advantage. This approach aligns well with the Hedgehog Concept discussed in Phase 2, encouraging firms to concentrate their resources on areas where they can truly excel.

The idea of “Creating a New Category” draws inspiration from the Blue Ocean Strategy developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. This concept encourages firms to look beyond existing market boundaries and create uncontested market space. For law firms, this could mean developing innovative service models that address unmet client needs, potentially opening up new revenue streams and positioning the firm as a pioneer in its field.

The emphasis on brand identity and storytelling incorporates elements of Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework. This approach helps firms craft a narrative that positions the client as the hero and the firm as the expert guide, resonating more deeply with potential clients and differentiating the firm in a meaningful way.

Pricing strategy, while a fundamental aspect of marketing, takes on special significance in the legal industry where traditional hourly billing models are increasingly being challenged. The push for innovative pricing models aligns with the value-based pricing concepts advocated by experts like Ron Baker in the professional services sector.

The inclusion of Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Life Cycle and the concept of “Crossing the Chasm” brings a crucial perspective to firms introducing innovative services or technologies. Understanding the different needs and behaviors of client segments along the adoption curve can help firms tailor their offerings and marketing approaches more effectively. The recognition of the “chasm” between early adopters and the early majority is particularly relevant for firms pushing the boundaries of legal service delivery.

Collectively, these elements form a comprehensive approach to market positioning and differentiation. They encourage law firms to think beyond traditional parameters, considering not just what services they offer, but how they offer them, to whom, and why clients should choose them over alternatives.

This phase is about making strategic choices – choosing where to focus, how to innovate, and how to communicate the firm’s unique value. It’s about translating the firm’s internal strengths and aspirations into a compelling external proposition that resonates with target clients.

For law firms navigating an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving market, effective positioning and differentiation can be the key to sustainable success. It allows firms to attract ideal clients, command premium pricing, and build a strong, recognizable brand in their chosen niche.

As we progress through the framework, the positioning and differentiation strategies developed in this phase will inform all subsequent marketing and business development efforts. They provide the foundation for crafting compelling messages, developing targeted marketing campaigns, and ultimately, delivering unique value to clients.

In essence, this phase is about carving out the firm’s unique space in the legal landscape – a space where its strengths align with client needs, where it can truly excel, and where it can build a sustainable competitive advantage. It’s about moving beyond being just another law firm to becoming the law firm of choice for a specific set of clients or needs.

3.1 Defining the Firm’s Unique Value Proposition

– Craft a clear and compelling value proposition that addresses:
– Who you serve (target clients)
– What you offer (services)
– How you’re different (unique benefits)
– Example: “We provide technology startups with innovative legal solutions that combine deep industry knowledge, cutting-edge legal tech, and flexible pricing models to accelerate their growth and minimize legal risks.”

3.2 Applying the Law of Focus

– Choose a specific area of law or industry sector to dominate
– Example: Specializing in intellectual property law for artificial intelligence companies
– Reallocate resources to build deep expertise in this area
– Develop a targeted marketing campaign to establish thought leadership in the chosen niche

3.3 Creating a New Category

– Identify unmet needs in the legal market that align with the firm’s strengths
– Develop an innovative service offering or delivery model to address these needs
– Example: Creating a “Regulatory Navigation as a Service” for fintech startups, combining legal advice, compliance technology, and ongoing monitoring

3.4 Developing a Strong Brand Identity

– Work with Practice Proof to refine the firm’s visual identity and messaging
– Develop a brand story that resonates with target clients and differentiates the firm (StoryBrand – I’m a Certified StoryBrand Guide)
– Create brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all touchpoints

3.5 Pricing Strategy

– Develop innovative pricing models that align with the firm’s value proposition
– Example: Subscription-based legal services for startup clients
– Create a clear pricing communication strategy, emphasizing value over hourly rates

3.6 Applying the Technology Adoption Life Cycle (Geoffrey Moore)

– Identify where the firm’s services fall on the adoption curve
– For innovative services, focus initially on innovators and early adopters
– For established services, tailor approaches to early majority or late majority clients

3.7 Identifying the Chasm

– Recognize the gap between early adopters and the early majority for innovative legal services
– Prepare strategies to bridge this gap, such as developing more comprehensive service packages or focusing on risk reduction for mainstream clients

Phase 4: Go-to-Market Strategy Development

4.1 Target Market Definition

– Develop detailed ideal client profiles based on the firm’s positioning
– Prioritize market segments based on growth potential and fit with the firm’s strengths

4.2 Service Offering Refinement

– Align practice area offerings with target market needs and firm capabilities
– Develop service packages that address specific client pain points
– Example: “Startup Growth Package” including incorporation, IP protection, employment contracts, and initial funding round support

4.3 Channel Strategy

– Determine the most effective channels to reach target clients
– Develop a multi-channel approach, such as:
– Direct outreach to venture capital firms and startup incubators
– Content marketing through industry-specific publications
– Sponsorship of tech conferences and events
– Strategic partnerships with accounting firms and business consultancies

4.4 Segmenting the Market Using the Technology Adoption Life Cycle

– Develop personas for each relevant segment of the adoption curve
– Tailor marketing messages to resonate with each segment
– For early adopters: Emphasize innovation and competitive advantage
– For early majority: Focus on proven results and risk reduction

4.7 Choosing a Beachhead Market

– Identify a specific, narrowly defined market segment to focus on initially
– Example: AI startups in the healthcare sector within a specific geographic region
– Develop deep expertise and tailored solutions for this beachhead market

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Charting the Path to Market Dominance

Phase 4 of our law firm strategy framework, “Go-to-Market Strategy Development,” integrates insights from several influential marketing and strategy thinkers to create a comprehensive approach for bringing your firm’s unique value proposition to the market. This phase is crucial in translating the positioning and differentiation strategies developed in Phase 3 into actionable plans for reaching and engaging your target clients.

The concept of defining a target market draws from the work of numerous marketing experts, including Philip Kotler and Theodore Levitt. In the context of law firms, where the temptation to be all things to all clients is often strong, clearly defining ideal client profiles is a critical step in focusing resources and efforts effectively.

Service offering refinement aligns closely with the “jobs to be done” theory popularized by Clayton Christensen. This approach encourages firms to look beyond surface-level service descriptions to understand the fundamental needs and challenges their clients are trying to address. By packaging services in ways that directly address these “jobs,” firms can create more compelling and differentiated offerings.

The multi-channel approach to reaching clients reflects the modern marketing landscape, where potential clients interact with firms through various touchpoints. This strategy draws from the integrated marketing communications concept developed by Don E. Schultz and others, emphasizing the importance of delivering consistent messages across all channels.

The incorporation of Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Life Cycle into market segmentation and messaging strategy is particularly relevant for law firms introducing innovative services or technologies. This approach recognizes that different client segments have different needs and motivations, requiring tailored messaging and value propositions.

The concept of a “beachhead market,” also drawn from Moore’s work, provides a focused approach to market entry. This strategy allows firms to concentrate resources on dominating a specific, well-defined market segment before expanding to adjacent markets. For law firms, this could mean focusing on a particular industry, company size, or geographic region where the firm’s unique strengths can create significant value.

Collectively, these elements form a comprehensive go-to-market strategy that bridges the gap between the firm’s internal capabilities and the external market opportunity. This phase is about making strategic choices about where to compete, how to package and deliver services, and how to effectively reach and engage target clients.

For law firms navigating an increasingly competitive and fragmented market, a well-crafted go-to-market strategy can be a significant differentiator. It allows firms to focus resources effectively, align service offerings with client needs, and communicate value propositions in ways that resonate with specific client segments.

This phase is particularly critical for firms introducing innovative services or technologies. By understanding the adoption curve and tailoring approaches to different client segments, firms can more effectively bridge the gap between early adopters and the mainstream market, overcoming the “chasm” that often derails innovative offerings.

As we progress through the framework, the go-to-market strategy developed in this phase will inform all subsequent marketing, sales, and service delivery efforts. It provides a roadmap for how the firm will bring its unique value proposition to market, engage with target clients, and ultimately drive growth and profitability.

In essence, this phase is about translating strategy into action. It’s about making the critical decisions that will determine how your firm engages with the market, acquires clients, and builds its reputation in chosen niches. By developing a clear, focused go-to-market strategy, firms can move beyond reactive business development to proactively shaping their market presence and client base.

5.1 Developing the “Whole Product”

– Identify the core legal service or innovative solution the firm is offering
– Determine additional services or resources needed to create a complete solution (product)
– Develop partnerships or in-house capabilities to deliver the “whole product”

5.2 Positioning for the Mainstream (StoryBrand)

– Craft messaging that appeals to pragmatists in the early majority
– Emphasize reliability, proven results, and risk reduction
– Develop case studies and testimonials that resonate with mainstream clients
– Example: “Our Regulatory Navigation Service has helped 50+ fintech companies achieve full compliance, saving an average of $500,000 in potential fines and 20% in compliance-related costs.”

5.3 Creating the Bowling Alley

– Identify niche markets within the mainstream that can be conquered sequentially
– Develop specific solutions and messaging for each niche
– Use success in one niche as a springboard to enter adjacent niches

5.4 Building the Tornado

– Prepare for rapid scaling if the firm’s solution gains mainstream acceptance
– Develop systems and processes that can handle increased demand:
– Implement scalable technology solutions
– Create standardized onboarding processes for new clients
– Develop a talent pipeline to quickly bring on additional staff
– Create a strategy for quickly capturing market share during periods of high growth

5.5 Navigating Main Street

– Plan for the eventual commoditisation of once-innovative services
– Develop strategies to maintain profitability as services become standardized:
– Continuous innovation to stay ahead of the curve
– Develop premium, high-touch versions of commoditized services
– Leverage technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: The Crucible of Execution

Phase 6 of our law firm strategy framework, “Implementation and Execution,” is where the rubber meets the road. This critical phase draws upon insights from a variety of management thinkers and practitioners who have focused on the challenges of turning strategic plans into operational reality.

The concept of organizational alignment echoes the work of Michael Porter, who emphasized that strategy is as much about what an organization chooses not to do as what it chooses to do. Communicating the strategic plan firm-wide and developing a change management approach reflects insights from change management experts like John Kotter, who stressed the importance of creating a sense of urgency and building a guiding coalition.

Resource allocation is a fundamental aspect of strategy execution, as highlighted by management theorists like Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. Their concept of strategic intent emphasizes the need to align resources with strategic goals, even when those goals stretch beyond current capabilities.

The balanced scorecard approach to performance measurement was developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. This multifaceted view of organizational performance goes beyond financial metrics to include customer satisfaction, internal processes, and learning and growth. For law firms, this holistic approach to performance measurement can provide a more comprehensive view of progress towards strategic goals.

Talent development as a key component of strategy execution aligns with the resource-based view of strategy, associated with scholars like Jay Barney. This perspective sees an organization’s unique bundle of resources and capabilities – particularly its human capital – as the source of sustainable competitive advantage.

The emphasis on continuous improvement draws from quality management philosophies like Total Quality Management (TQM) and methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma. These approaches, while originating in manufacturing, have been adapted successfully to service industries, including professional services.

The concept of “Chasm Crossing Execution” directly references Geoffrey Moore’s technology adoption lifecycle model. For law firms introducing innovative services or technologies, understanding and navigating the chasm between early adopters and the early majority is crucial for achieving mainstream success.

Collectively, these elements form a comprehensive approach to strategy implementation that recognizes the multifaceted nature of this challenge. It’s not just about executing tasks, but about aligning the entire organization – its people, processes, and resources – behind the strategic vision.

For law firms, the implementation phase is often where strategies falter. The day-to-day pressures of client work can easily overshadow strategic initiatives. Moreover, law firms’ traditional partnership structures and decision-making processes can sometimes impede rapid, decisive action.

This phase is designed to overcome these challenges by creating clear accountability, establishing robust performance measurement systems, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. It recognizes that strategy execution is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process of alignment, measurement, and adjustment.

The inclusion of “Chasm Crossing Execution” is particularly relevant for firms introducing innovative services or technologies. It acknowledges that the path to mainstream adoption often involves a critical juncture – the chasm – where many innovations fail. By focusing on a beachhead strategy and preparing for rapid scaling, firms can increase their chances of successfully crossing this chasm.

As we progress through the framework, the implementation and execution strategies developed in this phase will be crucial in turning the firm’s strategic vision into reality. They provide the mechanisms for translating high-level goals into day-to-day actions, measuring progress, and making necessary adjustments along the way.

In essence, this phase is about making strategy a living, breathing part of the firm’s operations. It’s about creating the systems, processes, and culture that will enable the firm to consistently execute its strategy, adapt to changing circumstances, and ultimately achieve its strategic goals. Without effective implementation, even the most brilliant strategy remains just a plan on paper. This phase ensures that your firm’s strategy becomes a catalyst for real, meaningful change and sustainable success.

6.1 Organizational Alignment

– Conduct a firm-wide meeting to communicate the strategic plan
– Develop a change management plan to support strategic initiatives
– Create cross-functional teams to lead key strategic projects

6.2 Resource Allocation

– Review and adjust the firm’s budget to align with strategic priorities
– Invest in necessary technology and systems to support the go-to-market strategy
– Ensure appropriate staffing levels, potentially hiring or retraining staff to fill skill gaps

6.3 Performance Measurement

– Implement a balanced scorecard approach to track key metrics across:
– Financial performance
– Client satisfaction
– Internal processes
– Learning and growth
– Develop dashboards for real-time monitoring of KPIs
– Establish monthly review meetings to assess progress and make adjustments

6.4 Talent Development

– Conduct a skills gap analysis based on the new strategy
– Develop training programs to address identified gaps
– Implement a performance management system aligned with strategic goals
– Create career paths that support the firm’s long-term objectives

6.5 Continuous Improvement

– Establish feedback loops to capture insights from clients and staff
– Implement a process improvement methodology (e.g., Lean, Six Sigma) to enhance efficiency
– Foster a culture of innovation through initiatives like innovation contests or dedicated R&D time

6.6 Chasm Crossing Execution

– Implement the chosen beachhead strategy
– Monitor progress in penetrating the chosen market segment
– Adjust tactics based on feedback and results
– Prepare for rapid scaling if the chasm is successfully crossed (we worked with a start-up that went from 3 people to a national practice).

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: The Rhythm of Strategic Renewal

Phase 7 of our law firm strategy framework, “Review and Adaptation,” embodies the principle that strategy is not a static document but a dynamic, evolving process. This phase draws inspiration from various management thinkers who have emphasized the importance of strategic agility and continuous adaptation in rapidly changing business environments.

The concept of regular strategy reviews aligns with the work of management theorist Henry Mintzberg, who distinguished between intended and emergent strategies. Mintzberg argued that while organizations need a clear strategic direction, they must also remain flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and opportunities. The quarterly and annual review cycles provide structured opportunities to assess the balance between strategic consistency and necessary adaptation.

The emphasis on adaptive strategy resonates with the ideas of organizational theorist Karl Weick, who introduced the concept of “sensemaking” in organizations. Weick emphasized the importance of continuously interpreting and responding to changes in the environment. For law firms operating in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world, this adaptive approach is crucial.

The inclusion of the Technology Adoption Life Cycle in the review process reflects the ongoing relevance of Geoffrey Moore’s work, particularly for firms introducing innovative services or technologies. It recognizes that a firm’s strategic position is not static but evolves as its services move through different stages of market acceptance.

Collectively, these elements form a comprehensive approach to strategic review and adaptation that acknowledges the dynamic nature of strategy in today’s fast-paced business environment. It’s about creating a rhythm of strategic renewal that allows the firm to maintain its strategic focus while remaining responsive to changes in the market, technology, and client needs.

For law firms, this phase is particularly critical given the rapid changes occurring in the legal industry. Traditional business models are being challenged by new technologies, changing client expectations, and the entry of non-traditional competitors. In this context, the ability to regularly review and adapt strategy can be a significant competitive advantage.

The structured approach to review and adaptation outlined in this phase helps overcome common challenges in law firm strategy execution. It provides a framework for balancing the need for consistent direction with the flexibility to respond to new opportunities or threats. It also helps ensure that strategy remains a living process, continually informed by real-world feedback and results.

As we conclude the strategy development and implementation framework, this final phase serves as a bridge between strategic cycles. It ensures that the insights gained from execution feed back into the strategy development process, creating a virtuous cycle of learning and improvement.

The statement “If your firm did this (most won’t), you’ll be significantly ahead of the game” underscores the potential competitive advantage of this comprehensive approach to strategy. In an industry where many firms still operate reactively or with outdated strategic approaches, a firm that embraces this dynamic, adaptive approach to strategy can indeed gain a significant edge.

The transition to “Get the Job” signals a shift from strategy development to tactical execution. It recognizes that while a solid strategy is crucial, it’s ultimately the ability to win and deliver client work that determines a firm’s success. This holistic view, linking high-level strategy to day-to-day execution, is what sets this framework apart and positions firms for sustainable success in a challenging market.

In essence, this phase is about creating a culture of strategic thinking and adaptation throughout the firm. It’s about embedding strategy into the rhythm of the business, ensuring that strategic considerations inform day-to-day decisions and that day-to-day realities inform strategy. By doing so, firms can maintain strategic focus while remaining agile and responsive to the ever-changing legal landscape.

7.1 Quarterly Strategy Reviews

– Conduct quarterly meetings to assess progress against strategic goals
– Review key metrics and adjust tactics as needed
– Celebrate successes and learn from failures

7.2 Annual Strategic Planning

– Conduct an annual review of the strategic plan
– Update the plan based on market changes and firm performance
– Refine long-term goals and set new annual objectives

7.3 Adaptive Strategy

– Stay attuned to market trends and disruptive forces in the legal industry
– Be prepared to pivot or adjust the strategy in response to significant changes
– Maintain a balance between strategic consistency and flexibility

7.4 Reassessing Position in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle

– Regularly evaluate where the firm’s services stand in the adoption curve
– Identify when it’s time to shift focus from one segment to another
– Adjust strategies as services move through different stages of market acceptance

And, that’s it for strategy! If your firm did this (most won’t), you’ll be significantly ahead of the game.

With that out of the way, let’s talk, “Get the Job.”

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Messaging

Now with your positioning work done, your law firm will have a massive amount of clarity about where it’s going. Now what’s required is the Law Firm Marketing Strategy, the roadmap if you like.

Now, again refrain from rushing towards tactics like, running paid ads to fill your pipeline. We’re not ready for execution.

Let’s focus on clarity of the new founded direction and making it make sense to the people who matter the most, existing and potential clients.

To do this, we’ll leverage the work of Donald Miller, the author of the ground-breaking, “Building a StoryBrand.” I’m a huge proponent and was trained and certified by Don himself in Nashville, United States.

The StoryBrand framework will help you create a clear, compelling message that positions your law firm as the guide to help your clients. Here’s how to apply the seven elements of the StoryBrand framework to your law firm’s new strategy:

1. The Character (Your Client)

– Identify your primary client persona based on your strategic planning
– Example: “Tech startups facing rapid growth and complex regulatory challenges”
– Remember, your client is the hero of the story, not your law firm

2. Has a Problem

– Articulate the external, internal, and philosophical problems your clients face
– External problem: “Navigating complex legal and regulatory landscapes”
– Internal problem: “Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about legal compliance”
– Philosophical problem: “Innovative businesses shouldn’t be held back by outdated legal frameworks”

3. And Meets a Guide (Your Law Firm)

– Position your firm as the experienced guide who can help solve these problems
– Demonstrate empathy: “We understand the unique challenges tech startups face”
– Show authority: “With 20 years of experience in tech law and a track record of helping 500+ startups succeed”

4. Who Gives Them a Plan

– Outline a clear, simple plan for how you’ll help clients overcome their challenges
– Example:
1. Schedule a strategy session
2. Receive a customized legal roadmap
3. Implement proactive legal solutions
4. Focus on growth while we handle the legal details

5. And Calls Them to Action

– Provide a clear, direct call to action for potential clients
– Primary CTA: “Schedule Your Strategy Session Now”
– Transitional CTA: “Download Our Free Guide: ‘5 Legal Pitfalls Every Tech Startup Must Avoid'”

6. That Helps Them Avoid Failure

– Clearly articulate the risks of not addressing their legal challenges
– “Don’t let legal oversights derail your startup’s success or lead to costly penalties”

7. And Ends in Success

– Paint a vivid picture of what success looks like when working with your firm
– “With your legal foundation secure, you can focus on what you do best – innovating and growing your business”

Now, I know these examples are heavily weighted towards legal practices with business law as a key focus, but the same can be done for any type of legal practice.

For example, you may be a family law practice. Let’s apply a StoryBrand approach.

StoryBrand Framework for a Family Law Practice

The Character (Your Client)

Primary client persona: Couples with children seeking an amicable divorce
Example: “Parents who want to prioritise their children’s well-being during and after divorce”

Has a Problem

External problem: “Navigating the complex legal process of divorce while maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship”
Internal problem: “Feeling overwhelmed, anxious about the future, and concerned about the impact on their children”
Philosophical problem: “Divorce shouldn’t have to be a battle that harms families and children”

And Meets a Guide (Your Law Firm)

Empathy: “We understand that even amicable divorces can be emotionally challenging, especially when children are involved”
Authority: “With 15 years of experience in family law and a focus on collaborative divorce, we’ve helped over 1,000 couples transition to successful co-parenting arrangements”

Who Gives Them a Plan

Schedule a family-centered consultation
Receive a customised co-parenting and divorce roadmap
Utilize our secure online platform for transparent communication and document sharing
Finalise your divorce and co-parenting plan with minimal stress

And Calls Them to Action

Primary CTA: “Schedule Your Family-Centered Consultation”
Transitional CTA: “Download Our Free Guide: ‘5 Steps to a Child-Focused, Amicable Divorce'”

That Helps Them Avoid Failure

“Don’t let a contentious divorce process harm your relationship with your children or your ability to co-parent effectively”

And Ends in Success

“Move forward as positive co-parents, providing a stable and loving environment for your children despite living in separate households”

Now, if you run multiple practice areas within your firm, then the strategy work needs to happen for each practice area and so too, the Storybrand framework applied.

A fundamental aspect of StoryBrand is the brandscript. It’s a foundational thread of which everything else sits. In other words, it’s akin to a elevator pitch.

Using the tech law example first, your brandscript may look like this:

At Alliance Legal, we understand that innovative tech startups like yours are changing the world. But we also know you’re facing complex legal challenges that can feel overwhelming and might even threaten your success. That’s why we’ve spent 20 years honing our expertise in tech law, helping over 500 startups navigate the legal landscape with confidence. Our proven four-step process creates a solid legal foundation for your business, so you can focus on what you do best – innovating and growing. Don’t let legal oversights derail your vision. Schedule your strategy session today and take the first step towards turning your big ideas into reality, backed by rock-solid legal protection.

With the family law practice, it may look like this:

At Jones & Smith Legal, we understand that for parents like you, divorce isn’t just about ending a marriage – it’s about beginning a new chapter of family life.

We know you’re facing the challenge of navigating a complex legal process while trying to maintain a positive relationship for the sake of your children. The stress and uncertainty can feel overwhelming, and you’re worried about the long-term impact on your kids.

That’s why we’ve spent 15 years perfecting a collaborative approach to divorce, helping over 1,000 couples transition to successful co-parenting arrangements. Our four-step process, supported by cutting-edge technology, guides you through an amicable divorce that puts your children first. We believe that divorce doesn’t have to be a battle that harms families with loads of collateral damage (not to mention outrageous legal fees accumulated over the years of fighting).

Don’t let a contentious divorce process damage your relationship with your children or your ex-spouse. Schedule your family-centered consultation today and take the first step towards a positive new chapter for your family. With Jones & Smith Legal, you can move forward as effective co-parents, providing a stable and loving environment for your children, even as you live apart.

Now, with the StoryBrand framework deployed, lets leverage it further to guide the next step towards executing your law firm marketing strategy.

Remember, if you need help with StoryBrand, regardless of where you are located in the World, I can help. Reach out to me.

Book A Demo

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: StoryBrand Everything.

Let’s backtrack for a moment just to see what we have traversed.

So far, we’ve developed a robust, multi-faceted approach to strategic planning and implementation for your law firm. This framework integrates insights from several business strategy thought leaders (Rehn, Harnish, Moore, Collins, Belbin).

Phase 1: Building the Right Team Using Belbin Team Roles

While individual expertise is undoubtedly important, the way your team members interact and complement each other’s strengths is crucial.

Phase 2: Foundation and Self-Assessment

– Define core purpose and values
– Conduct current state analysis
– Evaluate market position
– Analyze client portfolio

Phase 3: Strategic Direction and Goal Setting

– Apply Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept
– Develop a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)
– Set 3-5 year strategic objectives
– Create annual plans

Phase 4: Articulating the Strategy Using StoryBrand Framework

After developing the strategic direction, it’s crucial to articulate this strategy in a way that resonates with both internal team members and potential clients.

By articulating your strategy through this framework at this stage, you ensure that your market positioning, go-to-market strategy, and implementation plans are all aligned with a clear, client-focused narrative.

Phase 5: Market Positioning and Differentiation

– Refine unique value proposition based on StoryBrand narrative
– Apply Al Ries’ Law of Focus
– Potentially create a new category
– Develop strong brand identity
– Craft pricing strategy

Phase 6: Go-to-Market Strategy Development

– Define target markets
– Refine service offerings
– Develop channel strategies
– Create marketing and business development plans
– Design sales processes

Phase 7: Crossing the Chasm Strategy

– Apply Geoffrey Moore’s concepts to navigate challenges of moving from early adopters to mainstream market for innovative services

Phase 8: Implementation and Execution

– Ensure organizational alignment
– Allocate resources
– Implement performance measurement systems
– Focus on talent development
– Establish processes for continuous improvement

Phase 9: Review and Adaptation

– Conduct regular strategy reviews
– Maintain an adaptive approach to strategy

Now, with this revision done, let’s talk ongoing StoryBrand Implementation

With the strategy developed and initially articulated through the StoryBrand framework, this final phase focuses on consistently applying this narrative across all firm communications:

1. Website Overhaul:
– Redesign to reflect the StoryBrand narrative
– Ensure clear calls-to-action and user-friendly experience

2. Marketing Materials:
– Update all collateral to align with new messaging

3. Internal Communication:
– Conduct StoryBrand workshops
– Create messaging guides
– Provide role-specific training

4. Client Presentations:
– Structure onboarding process and associated collateral around the StoryBrand framework

5. Content Strategy:
– Develop content that provides value at each stage of the client’s journey

Now, before expanding a little more on StoryBrand, as previously mentioned, if you’re a diverse practice law firm, you’re going to StoryBrand each practice area. Likewise, it may be likely you will need to conduct a significant part of the initial strategy work. Sure, there will be overlap and that’s what you would expect. But obviously building a go to market strategy for estate planning will be fundamentally different from your commercial disputes and litigation practice area.

So, now let’s talk more about the build out of StoryBrand. If you’re a diverse practice law firm, treat each step as applicable to each practice area.

1. Website Overhaul: Redesigning Your Online Presence

Your website is often the first point of contact between your law firm and potential clients. It’s crucial that it clearly communicates your StoryBrand message and guides visitors toward taking action.

a) Homepage Redesign (and/or key practice area page):
– Hero Section: Create a compelling hero section that immediately identifies the client’s problem and positions your firm as the guide. Use a clear headline that speaks to the client’s primary challenge, such as “Navigate Complex Legal Challenges with Confidence.”
– Above-the-fold CTA: Include a prominent call-to-action button above the fold, such as “Schedule Your Consultation” or “Get Your Legal Roadmap.”
– Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the external, internal, and philosophical problems your clients face.
– Success Story: Include a brief client success story or testimonial that demonstrates the positive outcomes of working with your firm.

b) About Us Page:
– Empathy and Authority: Redesign your About Us page to focus on how your firm understands client challenges (empathy) and has the expertise to help (authority).
– Team Bios: Update team bios to reflect not just credentials, but also how each team member contributes to solving client problems.

c) Services Pages:
– Client-Centric Language: Rewrite service descriptions to focus on client benefits rather than legal jargon.
– Clear Process: Outline a simple, step-by-step process for how clients can engage with each service.
– Relevant CTAs: Include service-specific calls to action on each page.

d) Resources Section:
– Valuable Content: Create a resources section that provides free, valuable content addressing common client questions and challenges.
– Lead Magnets: Develop downloadable resources (e.g., guides, checklists) that require email sign-up, aligning with your transitional CTA.

e) Contact Page:
– Simplified Contact Form: Design an easy-to-use contact form that collects essential information without overwhelming potential clients.
– Clear Value Proposition: Reiterate your unique value proposition and what clients can expect when they reach out.

f) Navigation and User Experience:
– Streamlined Menu: Simplify your navigation menu to guide visitors to the most important pages.
– Consistent CTAs: Ensure that clear, consistent calls to action are present throughout the site.
– Mobile Optimization: Ensure the redesigned website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile devices.

g) StoryBrand-Inspired Visuals:
– Hero Images: Use images that represent your clients’ aspirations or the challenges they face.
– Process Infographics: Create visual representations of your problem-solving process.
– Before/After Scenarios: Illustrate the transformation clients experience when working with your firm.

2. Marketing Materials: Aligning All Collateral with Your Message

Consistency across all marketing materials is key to reinforcing your StoryBrand message and building a strong brand identity.

a) Brochures and Flyers:
– Clear Headlines: Use headlines that speak directly to client problems and desires.
– Benefit-Focused Copy: Rewrite copy to emphasize how your services benefit clients.
– Visual Journey: Use images and infographics that illustrate the client’s journey from problem to solution.
– Prominent CTAs: Include clear calls to action that guide prospects to the next step.

b) Client Onboarding Decks:
– Story Structure: Restructure your deck to follow the StoryBrand framework.
– Problem-Solution Format: Clearly articulate the problem your firm solves and how you solve it.
– Client-Centric Collateral: Focus collateral on client benefits rather than firm achievements.
– Compelling Visuals: Use graphics that support your narrative and make complex ideas accessible.

c) Social Media Profiles and Content:
– Bio Updates: Rewrite social media bios to reflect your StoryBrand message succinctly.
– Content Themes: Develop content themes that align with different aspects of your StoryBrand narrative.
– Visual Branding: Create templates for social media graphics that reflect your updated brand story.
– Engagement Strategy: Train your social media team to engage with followers in a way that reinforces your role as a guide.

d) Email Templates:
– Subject Lines: Craft email subject lines that speak to client problems or desires.
– Email Body: Structure email content to reinforce your StoryBrand message.
– Signature Updates: Update email signatures to include a brief value proposition and CTA.

e) Business Cards and Stationery:
– Tagline Update: If applicable, update your tagline to reflect your core StoryBrand message.
– Contact Info Prioritisation: Ensure the most important contact methods (based on your CTA strategy) are prominent.

f) Advertising Materials:
– Ad Copy Revision: Rewrite ad copy (digital and print) to align with your StoryBrand message.
– Landing Page Alignment: Ensure all ad landing pages are redesigned to continue the StoryBrand narrative.

3. Internal Communication: Reinforcing the New Direction

For your StoryBrand message to be effective externally, it must first be embraced internally. Ensuring your team understands and can articulate your new value proposition is crucial.

a) StoryBrand Workshop:
– Conduct a firm-wide workshop to introduce the StoryBrand framework and your firm’s new narrative.
– Engage team members in exercises to help them internalize the new messaging.

b) Messaging Guide:
– Create a comprehensive messaging guide that includes your StoryBrand BrandScript, key phrases, and how to apply the narrative in different contexts.
– Distribute this guide to all team members and make it easily accessible for reference.

c) Regular reinforcement:
– Incorporate your StoryBrand message into regular team meetings and internal communications.
– Use the narrative structure in internal presentations and reports to reinforce its importance.

d) Role-specific Training:
– Provide targeted training for different roles (e.g., attorneys, paralegals, receptionists) on how to apply the StoryBrand message in their specific interactions with clients.

e) Internal Brand Champions:
– Identify and empower “brand champions” within the firm who can help reinforce the new messaging and provide support to their colleagues.

f) Performance Alignment:
– Update performance review criteria to include how well team members embody and communicate the firm’s new narrative.

g) Internal Communication Channels:
– Revise internal newsletters, intranet content, and other communication channels to reflect the new StoryBrand message.

h) New Hire Onboarding:
– Integrate StoryBrand training into your new hire onboarding process to ensure all new team members are aligned from day one.

4. Client Presentations: Structuring Pitches Around Your Story

Applying the StoryBrand framework to your client onboarding can significantly enhance their effectiveness and persuasiveness.

a) Opening with Empathy:
– Begin presentations by acknowledging the client’s challenges, demonstrating that you understand their situation.

b) Problem Articulation:
– Clearly state the external, internal, and philosophical problems the client is facing, using language that resonates with their experience.

c) Positioning as the Guide:
– Introduce your firm’s expertise and experience in a way that positions you as the ideal guide to help solve their problems.

d) Presenting the Plan:
– Outline a clear, step-by-step plan for how you’ll help the client overcome their challenges.
– Use visual aids to make the process easy to understand and remember.

e) Addressing Potential Failure:
– Tactfully highlight the risks of not addressing their legal challenges, reinforcing the importance of taking action.

f) Painting Success:
– Vividly describe what success looks like for the client after working with your firm.
– Use case studies or anonymized examples to make this success tangible.

g) Clear Call to Action:
– End the presentation with a clear, specific call to action for the next steps.

h) Q&A Preparation:
– Prepare for Q&A sessions by anticipating questions and framing answers within your StoryBrand narrative.

i) Leave-Behind Materials:
– Design presentation leave-behind materials that reinforce your StoryBrand message and include clear next steps.

5. Content Strategy: Providing Value at Each Stage of the Client’s Journey

Develop a content marketing plan that addresses each part of the StoryBrand framework, providing value at every stage of the client’s journey.

a) Awareness Stage Content:
– Blog Posts: Write articles that address common problems your target clients face.
– Social Media: Share bite-sized insights and tips related to client challenges.
– Podcasts: Start a podcast series discussing industry trends and legal challenges.

b) Consideration Stage Content:
– Whitepapers: Develop in-depth guides on specific legal topics relevant to your clients.
– Webinars: Host educational webinars that showcase your expertise and approach.
– Case Studies: Share anonymized case studies that demonstrate your problem-solving abilities.

c) Decision Stage Content:
– Service Comparison Guides: Create content that helps potential clients understand the value of your services compared to alternatives.
– Client Testimonials: Gather and share detailed client testimonials that tell a story of transformation.
– Free Consultations: Offer valuable initial consultations that give prospects a taste of what it’s like to work with your firm.

d) Retention and Advocacy Stage Content:
– Client Newsletters: Develop newsletters that provide ongoing value to existing clients.
– Exclusive Webinars: Host client-only webinars on advanced topics.
– Annual Legal Updates: Provide yearly reviews of legal changes relevant to your clients’ industries.

e) Content Distribution Strategy:
– Email Marketing: Develop email sequences that nurture leads through each stage of the journey.
– Social Media Campaigns: Create targeted social media campaigns for different audience segments.
– Partnerships: Collaborate with complementary businesses or industry associations to expand your content’s reach.

f) Content Calendar:
– Develop a comprehensive content calendar that ensures a steady flow of valuable content aligned with your StoryBrand message.
– Include a mix of content types and topics to keep your audience engaged.

g) SEO Strategy:
– Conduct keyword research based on the problems and questions your target clients are searching for.
– Optimize your content for search engines while maintaining a natural, client-focused tone.

h) Content Metrics and Iteration:
– Set up analytics to track the performance of your content across various channels.
– Regularly review metrics and gather feedback to refine your content strategy.

Implementing your StoryBrand message across your law firm’s website, marketing materials, internal communication, client presentations, and content strategy is a comprehensive process that requires time, effort, and consistency. However, the results can be transformative.

We applied the StoryBrand framework to one client’s website and saw an immediate 35% increase in enquiries.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: SEO for Law Firms

An essential part of getting your law firm’s revised positioning and message to market is getting ranked for the search terms that people are entering into their respective search engine (Google, Bing etc).

SEO for law firms is a practice, like everything else that derives from your law firm marketing strategy. It begins with an identification of the primary keywords that you want your firm to rank for in search engines, most notably Google and Bing.

For example, let’s say your law firm is a personal injury law firm in Sydney, then keyword phrases like “personal injury lawyers Sydney” will be fundamentally important. (Shameless plug, this is possibly the hardest keyword phrase in Australia to rank for and our client ranks consistently between positions #1 and #2).

SEO is an extraordinarily complex and time-consuming practice, but the benefits ae immense. For law firms that need traffic for specific search phrases they only have 2 options available to them, SEO or Google or Bing ads. The latter works, but you’ll always be at the whim of what the auction price is for your keywords, in other words, your CPC (cost per click). In personal injury law, expect upwards of $85 per click.

Conversely, through SEO, you may be able to garner a great position for highly competitive keywords and therefore not have to join the growing masses of law firms forced to play in the auction.

In this context, you may be asking what actually is the work of SEO. SEO is a specialist skillset that traverses across multiple facets of a holistic law firm marketing agency. Good luck trying to achieve great SEO results if you’re working with a one-man-band or generalist agency that doesn’t understand the legal industry. Simply put, you’ll spend big dollars and achieve no results.

Putting it bluntly, SEO is super important because of the high-stakes, high-value nature of legal services. Potential clients often conduct extensive online research before choosing a law firm, making your online presence and visibility critical to attracting new business. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Google’s research in 2023, revealed that before someone buys from you, and legal services are no exception, they need 7 hours of engagement with your brand. 11 touch points of engagement. 4 separate locations of contact.

It follows that a robust SEO strategy for your law firm will ensure that you get seen with the right content at the right time.

Just to take this a little further, build your SEO strategy with what falls out of StoryBrand and ensure that it fits another one of Google’s methodologies. E-E-A-T is an acronym created by Google which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. While it is not a ranking factor but rather a component of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG) it provides and exceptionally good framework for your law firm to leverage to ensure great SEO. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

You can read lots here about the SQEG here.

So, keep this in mind when framing SEO for your legal practice. That said, SEO is inherently complex and the far majority of law firm’s won’t do it in house. At Practice Proof, we do if you need help. Our services are here.

But for now, let’s take a look at how we execute SEO for our clients with this framework.
1. Understanding the Law Firm Strategy (as above)
2. Keyword Research and Strategy
3. On-Page SEO Techniques
4. Technical SEO for Law Firm Websites
5. Content Strategy for Law Firm SEO
6. Local SEO for Law Firms
7. Link Building Strategies
8. User Experience and SEO
9. Measuring SEO Success
10. Staying Compliant with SEO Best Practice

1. Understanding SEO from your Strategy

The strategic groundwork that we have covered already informs every aspect of SEO implementation. It helps identify target audiences, shape messaging, and determine priority practice areas to focus on in your firm’s SEO efforts. The clarity gained from the StoryBrand process, in particular, guides keyword selection, content creation, and overall website structure. These are massive ranking factors, but also improve considerably conversion rates.

Without this strategic context, SEO efforts risk being disjointed or misaligned with the firm’s broader goals and messaging. By understanding the big picture, law firms can ensure their SEO tactics are not just technically sound, but also strategically aligned, resulting in more effective and cohesive online marketing that truly resonates with potential clients.

2. Keyword Strategy: Reflecting Your Firm’s Narrative

Keyword strategy is where your firm’s StoryBrand narrative and SEO efforts intersect. By aligning your keyword research and selection with your firm’s strategic messaging, you ensure that your SEO efforts attract the right clients and reinforce your brand positioning. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Don’t skim over this! Synergy is a beautiful thing when it comes to an effective law firm marketing strategy. There is something very cool when you see a law firm marketing strategy from start to finish have alignment.

Integrating StoryBrand with Keyword Research:

1. Character-Driven Keywords:
– Identify keywords that your ideal client (the hero in your StoryBrand framework) would use.
– Example: If your hero is a small business owner facing employment issues, target keywords like “small business employment lawyer” or “employee dispute resolution for startups”.

2. Problem-Focused Keywords:
– Target keywords that reflect the external, internal, and philosophical problems your clients face.
– Example: “wrongful termination help” (external), “navigate complex divorce emotions” (internal), “protect business reputation after litigation” (philosophical).

3. Guide-Positioning Keywords:
– Include keywords that position your firm as the expert guide.
– Example: “early-resolution focused family lawyer”, “aggressive criminal defense lawyers”.

4. Plan-Related Keywords:
– Incorporate keywords related to your problem-solving process or approach.
– Example: “step-by-step divorce process”, “comprehensive estate planning checklist”, “personalised legal strategy session”.

5. Call-to-Action Keywords:
– Target action-oriented keywords that align with your primary and transitional CTAs.
– Example: “schedule free legal consultation”, “download guide to protecting intellectual property”.

Keyword Research Process:

1. Brainstorming Session:
– Involve team members identified through Belbin roles as creative thinkers (Plants) and those with deep subject knowledge (Specialists).
– Use your StoryBrand script as a reference to generate initial keyword ideas.

2. Utilize Keyword Research Tools:
– Use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner to expand your keyword list.
– Look for keywords with a balance of search volume and competition level that aligns with your firm’s capacity and goals.

3. Analyze Search Intent:
– Categorise keywords based on the user’s search intent (informational, navigational, commercial, transactional).
– Ensure you have a mix of keywords that address different stages of the client journey.

4. Competitor Keyword Analysis:
– Identify keywords your competitors are ranking for that align with your narrative.
– Look for gaps in their keyword strategy that you can capitalize on.

5. Local Keyword Integration:
– Incorporate location-based keywords that reflect your service areas.
– Consider local terminology or colloquialisms that potential clients might use.

Developing Your Keyword Strategy:

1. Create Keyword Clusters:
– Group related keywords into clusters that align with different aspects of your StoryBrand narrative.
– Use these clusters to plan your content strategy and website structure.

2. Prioritise Keywords:
– Focus on keywords that most closely align with your strategic objectives and target market.
– Balance high-volume, competitive keywords with more specific, long-tail keywords.

3. Map Keywords to Content:
– Assign primary and secondary keywords to different pages and content pieces on your website.
– Ensure each key page targets a specific keyword cluster.

4. Integrate with Content Calendar:
– Plan your content creation around your keyword strategy, ensuring a steady flow of optimized content.
– Align keyword-focused content with your overall marketing calendar and firm initiatives.

5. Regular Review and Adjustment:
– Set up a schedule to regularly review keyword performance and search trends.
– Be prepared to adjust your keyword strategy as your firm’s focus or market conditions change.

By aligning your keyword strategy with your firm’s narrative and strategic goals, you ensure that your SEO efforts not only improve your search rankings but also attract the right kind of clients and reinforce your brand messaging consistently across all touchpoints.

3. On-Page SEO: Bringing Your StoryBrand Message to Life

On-page SEO is where your firm’s messaging and SEO tactics come together on your website. It’s crucial to optimize your pages not just for search engines, but also to clearly communicate your StoryBrand message and guide potential clients through their journey. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Key On-Page SEO Elements:

1. Title Tags:
– Include your primary keyword and firm name.
– Reflect your StoryBrand messaging (e.g., “Expert Estate Planning | Take Care of Tomorrow, Today | Smith Law Firm”).
– Keep titles under 60 characters to avoid truncation in search results.

2. Meta Descriptions:
– Write compelling, summary-style descriptions of 150-160 characters.
– Incorporate relevant keywords naturally.
– Use action-oriented language that aligns with your StoryBrand call-to-action.

3. Header Tags (H1, H2, H3):
– Use one H1 tag per page, typically matching or closely related to the title tag.
– Structure content with H2 and H3 tags, incorporating relevant keywords and reflecting your StoryBrand narrative structure.
– Use headers to guide users through the “story” of your content.

4. URL Structure:
– Create clean, descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords.
– Reflect your site’s hierarchical structure, which should align with your client’s journey.

5. Content Optimization:
– Create in-depth, valuable content that addresses user intent and reflects your expertise.
– Use target keywords naturally throughout the content.
– Structure content to reflect the StoryBrand framework: identify the problem, position your firm as the guide, present your plan, and call users to action.

6. Internal Linking:
– Create a logical site structure that guides users through your content.
– Use descriptive anchor text for internal links, incorporating relevant keywords where appropriate.
– Set up a clear path for users to move from informational content to conversion pages.

7. Schema Markup:
– Implement schema markup for law firms (e.g., LocalBusiness and Attorney schemas).
– Use FAQ schema to highlight common client questions and your expert answers.

8. Trust Signals:
– Display credentials, awards, and certifications prominently.
– Include client testimonials and case results (where ethically permitted) to reinforce your role as the expert guide.

Implementing StoryBrand in On-Page SEO:

1. Homepage Optimization:
– Clearly state the primary problem you solve for clients above the fold.
– Position your firm as the expert guide with a brief value proposition.
– Include a clear, prominent call-to-action.

2. Practice Area Pages:
– Structure content to first agitate the problem, then present your firm’s solution.
– Use case studies or client stories to illustrate successful outcomes.
– Include a specific call-to-action for each practice area.

3. About Us Page:
– Focus on how your firm’s experience and approach benefit clients, rather than just listing accomplishments.
– Tell your firm’s story in a way that reinforces your role as the trusted guide.

4. Lawyer Bio Pages:
– Highlight how each lawyer’s expertise helps solve client problems.
– Include personal elements that make the lawyer relatable to potential clients.

5. Blog Posts and Articles:
– Structure posts to address specific client problems and present solutions.
– Include clear next steps or calls-to-action at the end of each post.

6. Contact and Conversion Pages:
– Reinforce the benefits of taking action.
– Make the process of contacting your firm or requesting a consultation as simple as possible.

By integrating your StoryBrand message into your on-page SEO efforts, you create a website that not only ranks well in search engines but also resonates with potential clients and guides them towards taking action.

4. Technical SEO: Supporting Your Firm’s User Experience Goals (700 words)

Technical SEO is crucial for ensuring that search engines can effectively crawl, index, and rank your site. However, it’s equally important for providing a positive user experience, which aligns with your firm’s goal of guiding clients through their legal journey. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Key Technical SEO Considerations:

1. Website Speed Optimization:
– Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your site speed.
– Optimize image sizes and formats.
– Leverage browser caching and minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.
– Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster loading times.
– Aim for a load time of under 3 seconds to minimize bounce rates.

2. Mobile Responsiveness:
– Ensure your website is fully responsive across all devices.
– Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check your site.
– Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for key content pages to improve mobile load times.

3. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate:
– Install an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS.
– Ensure all internal links and resources use HTTPS to build trust with potential clients.

4. Site Architecture:
– Create a logical, hierarchical site structure that aligns with your client’s journey.
– Ensure important pages are no more than three clicks from the homepage.
– Use breadcrumbs to help users and search engines navigate your site.

5. XML Sitemap and Robots.txt:
– Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines.
– Use a robots.txt file to guide search engine crawlers and prevent them from accessing sensitive areas of your site.

6. Structured Data Markup:
– Implement schema markup for law firms and attorneys.
– Use LocalBusiness, Attorney, and FAQPage schemas to provide rich results in search listings.

7. Page Experience Signals:
– Optimize for Core Web Vitals (Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, Cumulative Layout Shift).
– Ensure interstitials don’t interfere with the main content, especially on mobile devices.

8. Canonical Tags and Pagination:
– Use canonical tags to avoid duplicate content issues, especially for location pages.
– Implement proper pagination for blog archives or long-form content split across multiple pages.

Aligning Technical SEO with User Experience and Firm Goals:

1. Speed and Accessibility:
– Fast load times and mobile responsiveness align with your goal of being an accessible, responsive guide for clients.
– Prioritize speed optimisations for key conversion pages and high-traffic content.

2. Trust and Security:
– SSL certificates and secure connections reinforce your firm’s commitment to client confidentiality and data protection.
– Prominently display security features to build trust with potential clients.

3. Intuitive Navigation:
– A well-structured site with clear navigation helps guide potential clients through their journey, from information-seeking to taking action.
– Use your site structure to subtly reinforce your firm’s areas of expertise and client-focused approach.

4. Enhanced Search Listings:
– Structured data markup can help your listings stand out in search results, showcasing your expertise and key information upfront.
– Use FAQ schema to directly answer potential client questions in search results, positioning your firm as a helpful resource.

5. Content Accessibility:
– Ensure all users, including those with disabilities, can access your content easily.
– Implement proper heading structures, alt text for images, and ensure sufficient color contrast.

6. Local Presence:
– For firms with multiple locations, ensure each location has a properly optimized page with unique content and local schema markup.
– Implement hreflang tags if your firm serves multiple language markets.

7. Site Search Functionality:
– Implement a robust internal search function to help users quickly find the information they need.
– Use search analytics to inform content creation and identify potential gaps in your site’s information.

8. Performance Monitoring:
– Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance and user behavior.
– Regularly review these metrics to identify areas for improvement and align with your firm’s growth objectives.

Implementing Technical SEO Best Practices:

1. Conduct Regular Audits:
– Perform comprehensive technical SEO audits at least quarterly.
– Use tools like Screaming Frog, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify technical issues.

2. Prioritize Fixes:
– Address critical issues that affect user experience or search engine crawling immediately.
– Create a roadmap for implementing other technical improvements over time.

3. Stay Informed:
– Keep abreast of changes in search engine algorithms and adjust your technical SEO accordingly.
– Stay updated on the latest technical SEO best practices.

4. Collaborate with Web Developers:
– Ensure your web development team understands SEO requirements and best practices.
– Involve SEO considerations in any website updates or redesigns from the outset.

5. Test and Iterate:
– Regularly test your website’s performance across different devices and browsers.
– Use A/B testing to optimize key elements like site speed, navigation, and conversion paths.

By focusing on these technical SEO aspects, you not only improve your search engine rankings but also create a website that provides a smooth, intuitive experience for potential clients. This aligns with your firm’s goal of being a helpful, accessible guide through the legal process, building trust and credibility from the very first interaction. Powerful stuff!

Importantly, all this said, at the time of writing this (June 2024), Google has announced a major algorithm update with the leveraging of its AI product, Gemini. It’s called Google AI Overviews, and you can watch a webinar that I did here. It will have major ramifications on SEO for your law firm.

What’s been mentioned here though is still the bedrock of great SEO.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Google Ads

Where most growth-focused law firms increasingly play is in the realm of paid search. A core tenet of how we effectively grow law firms is through a holistic law firm marketing approach that traverses multiple lead generation opportunities of which paid is fundamentally important.

By integrating the StoryBrand framework into your Google Ads approach, you can create campaigns that not only capture attention but also resonate deeply with your target audience’s needs and motivations.

When applied to Google Ads, this framework can help law firms create more compelling ad copy, landing pages, and overall campaign structures that guide potential clients through their journey from problem awareness to taking action.

In this section, I’ll cover:

1. Aligning Your Google Ads Strategy with StoryBrand Elements
2. Crafting Compelling Ad Copy Using StoryBrand Principles
3. Designing StoryBrand-Inspired Landing Pages
4. Structuring Your Google Ads Campaigns to Reflect the Client’s Journey
5. Measuring Success and Optimizing Your StoryBrand-Informed Campaigns

1. Aligning Your Google Ads Strategy with StoryBrand Elements

Remember, what we’re striving for is synergy with every facet of our law firm marketing strategy. In this case, alignment with StoryBrand ensures that your ads and landing pages work together to tell a cohesive story that resonates with potential clients. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Character (Your Client):
– Identify the specific audience segments you want to target with your ads.
– Create detailed persona profiles for each segment, including their demographics, pain points, and aspirations.
– Use these personas to inform your keyword selection and ad targeting options.

Example: For a family law practice, you might target “working parents considering divorce” as one persona.

– Clearly articulate the external, internal, and philosophical problems your clients face.
– Use these problems to guide your keyword research and ad copy creation.
– Ensure your ads speak directly to these problems to capture attention.

– External problem: “Navigating complex divorce proceedings”
– Internal problem: “Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future”
– Philosophical problem: “Wanting to protect children’s well-being during divorce”

Guide (Your Law Firm):
– Position your firm as the expert guide who can help solve the client’s problems.
– Highlight your firm’s expertise, experience, and empathetic approach in your ads and landing pages.
– Use ad extensions to showcase credentials, awards, or client testimonials that reinforce your role as a trusted guide.

Example: “Early-resolution focused family law experts with 20+ years of experience guiding families through separation and divorce”

– Outline a clear, simple plan for how you’ll help clients overcome their challenges.
– Use this plan to structure your ad campaigns and inform your ad copy.
– Ensure your landing pages elaborate on this plan to build trust and encourage action.

Example: “Our 3-step approach to amicable divorce: 1) Personalised consultation, 2) Collaborative negotiation, 3) Efficient resolution”

Call to Action:
– Develop clear, compelling calls to action for your ads and landing pages.
– Ensure these CTAs align with your overall StoryBrand message and the specific stage of the client’s journey.
– Use action-oriented language that encourages potential clients to take the next step.

Example: “Schedule your free, confidential consultation today”

– Paint a vivid picture of what success looks like for your clients after working with your firm.
– Use this vision of success to create aspirational ad copy and compelling landing page content.
– Highlight case studies or client testimonials that demonstrate successful outcomes.

Example: “Join the 95% of our clients who report a smoother, less stressful divorce process”

– Tactfully address the potential negative outcomes of not addressing their legal challenges.
– Use this to create a sense of urgency in your ad copy and landing pages.
– Be careful not to use fear-mongering tactics, which can be off-putting and potentially unethical.

Example: “Don’t let lack of proper legal guidance jeopardize your financial future or family relationships”

By aligning your Google Ads strategy with these StoryBrand elements, you create a foundation for campaigns that speak directly to your potential clients’ needs and position your firm as the ideal solution to their legal challenges. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

2. Crafting Compelling Ad Copy Using StoryBrand Principles

The limited space in Google Ads makes it crucial to craft ad copy that immediately resonates with potential clients. By applying StoryBrand principles to your ad copy, you can create more compelling and effective ads.

Headline 1: Focus on the Problem or Desired Outcome
– Speak directly to the client’s primary challenge or desired result.
– Use question formats to engage the reader and highlight the problem.
– Include location-specific information for local campaigns.

– “Struggling with a Complex Divorce?”
– “Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident”
– “Vancouver Business Law Experts”

Headline 2: Position Your Firm as the Guide
– Highlight your expertise or unique approach.
– Use language that builds trust and credibility.
– Incorporate key differentiators that set your firm apart.

– “20+ Years of Family Law Experience”
– “Results-Driven Lawyers”
– “Award-Winning Personal Injury Firm”

Headline 3: Present Your Plan or Call to Action
– Offer a clear next step or highlight your problem-solving approach.
– Use action-oriented language to encourage clicks.
– Emphasize the ease or benefits of taking action.

– “Free Consultation – Call Now”
– “3-Step Process to Resolve Your Dispute”
– “Get Your Free Case Evaluation Today”

Description: Elaborate on Your StoryBrand Message
– Address the client’s problem and desired outcome.
– Briefly outline your plan or approach.
– Include a clear call to action.
– Use character count efficiently to convey key messages.

Ad Extensions: Reinforce Your StoryBrand Elements
– Sitelink Extensions: Link to key pages that support your StoryBrand narrative (e.g., “Our Approach,” “Client Success Stories,” “Free Resources”).
– Callout Extensions: Highlight key benefits or unique aspects of your service (e.g., “24/7 Availability,” “No Win, No Fee,” “Personalised Legal Strategies”).
– Structured Snippet Extensions: Showcase your areas of practice or steps in your process.
– Call Extensions: Make it easy for potential clients to contact you directly.
– Location Extensions: Display your office address for local searches.

Best Practices for StoryBrand-Informed Ad Copy:

1. Speak to Pain Points: Ensure your ad copy directly addresses the external and internal problems your potential clients are facing.

2. Use Empathetic Language: Show that you understand the client’s challenges and emotions.

3. Highlight Expertise: Reinforce your role as the guide by showcasing your experience and credentials.

4. Present a Clear Solution: Briefly outline how you can help solve the client’s problem.

5. Create Urgency: Tactfully emphasize the importance of taking action promptly.

6. Use Power Words: Incorporate emotionally resonant words that align with your StoryBrand message (e.g., “protect,” “guide,” “resolve,” “empower”).

7. Maintain Consistency: Ensure your ad copy aligns with your landing page messaging and overall StoryBrand narrative.

8. A/B Test: Create multiple versions of your ads to test different aspects of your StoryBrand message and see what resonates best with your audience.

By crafting your Google Ads copy using StoryBrand principles, you create ads that not only capture attention but also speak directly to the needs and motivations of your potential clients, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

3. Designing StoryBrand-Inspired Landing Pages

Your Google Ads landing pages play a crucial role in converting clicks into clients. By designing these pages with the StoryBrand framework in mind, you create a seamless experience that guides potential clients towards taking action.

Key Elements of a StoryBrand-Inspired Landing Page:

1. Above-the-Fold Content:
– Headline: Clearly state the primary problem you solve or the desired outcome you deliver.
– Subheadline: Briefly elaborate on how you solve this problem or achieve this outcome.
– Hero Image: Use an image that represents either the problem or the successful outcome.
– Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a prominent, clear CTA that stands out visually.
2. Problem Statement:
– Clearly articulate the external, internal, and philosophical problems your potential clients face.
– Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make this section easily scannable.
– Consider using icons or small images to visually represent each problem.

3. Position Your Firm as the Guide:
– Briefly introduce your firm and its expertise.
– Highlight key credentials, awards, or experience that establish your authority.
– Include a short statement that demonstrates empathy for the client’s situation.
– Consider adding a photo of your team or office to build trust and connection.

4. Present Your Plan:
– Outline a clear, simple plan for how you’ll help clients overcome their challenges.
– Use a numbered or step-by-step format to make the plan easy to understand.
– Keep each step concise, using action-oriented language.

5. Call to Action:
– Repeat your primary CTA, making it stand out visually.
– Consider adding a secondary CTA for those not ready to commit (e.g., “Download Our Free Guide”).
– Ensure the action you’re asking visitors to take is clear and simple.

6. Address Potential Failure:
– Tactfully highlight the risks of not addressing their legal challenge.
– Frame this in a way that emphasizes the importance of taking action, without resorting to fear-mongering.

7. Paint a Picture of Success:
– Describe what life could look like for the client after working with your firm.
– Use vivid, emotionally resonant language to help the client envision this positive outcome.

8. Social Proof:
– Include client testimonials that speak to successful outcomes and positive experiences.
– Display any relevant awards, ratings, or credentials.
– If applicable, showcase case results or statistics that demonstrate your success rate.

9. FAQ Section:
– Address common questions or concerns that might prevent someone from taking action.
– Use this section to overcome potential objections and build trust.

10. Trust Signals:
– Display security badges if you’re collecting any information.
– Include links to privacy policy and terms of service.
– Show professional association memberships or certifications.

Best Practices for StoryBrand Landing Pages:

1. Maintain Message Match: Ensure your landing page headline and content align closely with the ad that brought the visitor there.

2. Keep It Focused: Remove any navigation menus or links that might distract from the primary CTA.

3. Use Compelling Visuals: Incorporate high-quality images or videos that support your message and build trust.

4. Optimize for Mobile: Ensure your landing page provides a seamless experience on all devices.

5. Speed Matters: Optimize page load time to reduce bounce rates and improve user experience.

6. Use White Space: Give your content room to breathe, making it easier for visitors to focus on key messages.

7. Implement A/B Testing: Continuously test different elements of your landing page to improve performance over time.

By designing your landing pages with these StoryBrand principles in mind, you create a compelling narrative that guides potential clients from their initial click through to taking action, increasing the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns.

4. Structuring Your Google Ads Campaigns to Reflect the Client’s Journey (

To maximize the effectiveness of your StoryBrand-informed Google Ads strategy, it’s important to structure your campaigns in a way that reflects the client’s journey. This approach allows you to create more targeted ads and landing pages that speak to potential clients at different stages of their decision-making process.

Campaign Structure Based on Client Journey:

1. Awareness Stage Campaigns:
– Focus on informational keywords related to legal issues (e.g., “How to Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim?”).
– Create ads that highlight the problem and position your firm as a knowledgeable resource.
– Direct users to informational landing pages or blog posts that provide valuable content.
– Use remarketing to stay in front of these users as they continue their research.

2. Consideration Stage Campaigns:
– Target keywords indicating the user is evaluating options (e.g., “best divorce lawyers in [city]”).
– Craft ads that emphasize your firm’s expertise and unique approach.
– Create landing pages that highlight your process and showcase success stories.
– Use remarketing to nurture these leads with more detailed information about your services.

3. Decision Stage Campaigns:
– Focus on high-intent keywords (e.g., “need a personal injury lawyer”).
– Design ads with strong calls-to-action and compelling offers (e.g., free consultation).
– Develop landing pages that make it easy to take the next step, whether that’s scheduling a consultation or submitting a contact form.
– Use remarketing to provide that final push to users who have shown strong interest but haven’t converted.

4. Local Intent Campaigns:
– Create separate campaigns for each geographic area you serve.
– Use location-specific keywords and ad copy.
– Ensure landing pages contain location-specific content and contact information.

5. Practice Area-Specific Campaigns:
– Develop individual campaigns for each major practice area.
– Tailor ad copy and landing pages to address the specific problems and desired outcomes for each practice area.
– Use practice area-specific extensions to highlight your expertise in each field.

Best Practices for Campaign Structure:

1. Use Tightly-Themed Ad Groups: Group closely related keywords together for more targeted ad copy.

2. Implement Negative Keywords: Exclude irrelevant searches to improve campaign efficiency.

3. Utilize Audience Targeting: Layer audience targeting onto your campaigns to reach users based on demographics, interests, or behaviors.

4. Adjust Bids by Device: Optimize your bids based on performance across different devices.

5. Use Ad Schedule Adjustments: Increase bids during times when your ads perform best or when you’re more readily available to respond to inquiries.

6. Implement Automated Bidding Strategies: Use Google’s machine learning to optimize bids based on your goals (e.g., maximize conversions, target CPA).

7. Regular Review and Optimization: Continuously monitor campaign performance and make data-driven adjustments to improve results.

By structuring your Google Ads campaigns to align with the client’s journey and your StoryBrand narrative, you create a more cohesive and effective advertising strategy that guides potential clients from initial awareness through to taking action with your firm.

5. Measuring Success and Optimizing Your StoryBrand-Informed Campaigns

To ensure the ongoing success of your StoryBrand-informed Google Ads campaigns, it’s crucial to consistently measure performance and optimize based on data-driven insights. This process allows you to refine your messaging, improve targeting, and maximize the return on your advertising investment.

Key Metrics to Track:

1. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Measures how compelling your ads are to your target audience.
2. Conversion Rate: Shows how effectively your landing pages are turning clicks into meaningful actions.
3. Cost Per Conversion: Helps you understand the efficiency of your ad spend.
4. Quality Score: Indicates the relevance and quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.
5. Average Position: Though no longer directly reported, you can use impression share metrics to gauge your ad’s visibility.
6. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Measures the revenue generated compared to your ad spend.

StoryBrand-Specific Metrics:

1. Problem Resonance: Track which problem statements in your ads and landing pages generate the highest engagement.
2. Guide Credibility: Measure how different presentations of your firm’s expertise impact conversion rates.
3. Plan Clarity: Analyze how variations in presenting your process affect user behavior and conversions.
4. CTA Effectiveness: Compare the performance of different calls-to-action in your ads and on landing pages.

Optimization Strategies:

1. A/B Testing:
– Continuously test different elements of your ads and landing pages.
– Test variations of your StoryBrand messaging to see which resonates most with your audience.
– Experiment with different ways of presenting your firm as the guide, articulating the problem, or outlining your plan.

2. Keyword Optimization:
– Regularly review search term reports to identify new keyword opportunities.
– Add negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches and improve ad relevance.
– Adjust bids based on keyword performance, focusing budget on the most effective terms.

3. Ad Copy Refinement:
– Use ad variations to test different aspects of your StoryBrand message.
– Analyze which problem statements or calls to action generate the highest CTR and conversion rates.
– Implement the most effective messaging across your campaigns.

4. Landing Page Optimization:
– Use heat mapping and user recording tools to understand how visitors interact with your landing pages.
– Test different layouts, content structures, and CTAs to improve conversion rates.
– Ensure your landing pages maintain a clear StoryBrand narrative while optimizing for user experience.

5. Audience Targeting:
– Refine your audience targeting based on performance data.
– Create custom audiences based on website behavior or customer lists.
– Use similar audiences to expand your reach to potential clients with similar characteristics to your best converters.

6. Bid Strategy Adjustment:
– Experiment with different automated bidding strategies to find the most effective approach for your goals.
– Regularly review and adjust your target CPA or ROAS to ensure you’re maximizing results within your budget.

7. Ad Extensions Optimization:
– Test different combinations of ad extensions to see which drive the best performance.
– Use extension performance data to inform your overall messaging strategy.

8. Device Performance Analysis:
– Analyze performance across different devices and adjust bids accordingly.
– Consider creating device-specific campaigns if performance varies significantly between devices.

9. Geographic Performance Review:
– Analyze performance by location to identify high-performing areas.
– Adjust bids or create location-specific campaigns based on this data.

10. Conversion Path Analysis:
– Use Google Analytics to understand the full conversion path of your clients.
– Identify which touchpoints are most influential in driving conversions and optimize accordingly.

Implementing a Continuous Optimization Process:

1. Set a Regular Review Schedule:
– Establish weekly, monthly, and quarterly review processes.
– Weekly: Check key metrics, make minor adjustments.
– Monthly: Deeper dive into performance, implement larger optimizations.
– Quarterly: Strategic review, major campaign adjustments.

2. Align Optimization with Business Goals:
– Ensure all optimization efforts are driving towards your firm’s overall objectives.
– Regularly reassess how your Google Ads performance is contributing to your business growth.

3. Stay Informed About Industry Changes:
– Keep up-to-date with changes in Google Ads features and best practices.
– Attend webinars, read industry blogs, and consider obtaining Google Ads certifications.

4. Collaborate Across Teams:
– Involve your content, SEO, and social media teams in your optimization efforts.
– Ensure insights from Google Ads inform your overall digital marketing strategy.

5. Client Feedback Integration:
– Gather feedback from clients who converted through Google Ads.
– Use this feedback to refine your StoryBrand messaging and overall campaign strategy.

6. Competitive Analysis:
– Regularly analyze competitor ads and landing pages.
– Identify opportunities to differentiate your messaging and offers.

7. Budget Management:
– Continuously assess budget allocation across campaigns and ad groups.
– Shift budget to high-performing areas while testing and optimizing lower-performing ones.

8. Seasonal Adjustments:
– Anticipate and prepare for seasonal trends in legal services. (for example, in family law matters, post Christmas tends to see a peak in demand)
– Adjust your messaging and budget allocation to capitalize on peak periods.

9. Quality Score Optimization:
– Regularly review Quality Scores for your keywords.
– Focus on improving ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected CTR to boost Quality Scores and reduce costs.

10. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO):
– Implement ongoing CRO efforts on your landing pages.
– Use tools like Google Optimize to run A/B tests and improve conversion rates over time.

By implementing these optimization strategies and maintaining a data-driven, iterative approach to campaign management, you can continually improve the performance of your StoryBrand-informed Google Ads campaigns.

Remember, the key to successful optimization is to always tie your efforts back to your overall StoryBrand narrative and the overall strategy that I’ve set out here.

The other thing that I find, is being anchored to a methodology will minimise the risk of your firm chasing the next big shiny thing. Spend an hour on YouTube researching how to grow your law firm with Google ads, and see what I mean. You’ll be lost and confused in little time.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Content Marketing

Now, I know I’ve touched on this previously, but it requires much more. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but “content is king.” I’ve lost count of the number of law firms that I’ve tried to persuade to write more content. And, yes, I understand it’s a challenge to extricate lawyers away from billing to write content for no immediate result. But, that has now changed with the advent of AI. Content production has never been easier, but with it comes a higher threshold to meet Google’s quality standards.

A content strategy is not negotiable if your growth focused. By combining the narrative power of StoryBrand, the engagement potential of multi-media content, the reach of omni-channel law firm  marketing, and the credibility factors of Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) methodology, law firms can create a content strategy that not only resonates with their target and existing clients but also performs well in search engine rankings.

Let’s look at these fundamentals.

1. Apply StoryBrand principles to your content strategy
2. Leverage multi-media content to enhance engagement
3. Implement an omni-channel approach to maximize reach
4. Align your content with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines

By integrating these elements, you’ll create a content strategy that tells your firm’s story effectively, engages your audience across multiple platforms, and establishes your firm as a trusted authority in your practice areas.

1. Applying StoryBrand Principles to Your Content Strategy

a) Identify the Hero’s Journey:
– Create content that addresses each stage of your client’s journey:
* Awareness: Educational content about legal issues
* Consideration: Comparative content about legal solutions
* Decision: Content that showcases your firm’s unique approach

b) Articulate the Problem:
– Develop content that clearly articulates the external, internal, and philosophical problems your clients face.
– Example topics:
* “5 Common Legal Mistakes Business Owners Make” (external)
* “Overcoming the Emotional Challenges of Separation & Divorce” (internal)
* “Why Fair Representation Matters in Criminal Defense” (philosophical)

c) Position Your Firm as the Guide:
– Create content that demonstrates your expertise and empathy:
* Case studies showcasing successful outcomes
* Lawyer profile videos that highlight experience and approach
* Blog posts that offer insights into complex legal issues

d) Present Your Plan:
– Develop content that outlines your process and approach:
* Infographics that visualize your legal process
* Video series explaining each step of a case
* Checklists or guides for navigating legal procedures

e) Call to Action:
– Include clear calls to action in all content:
* Free consultation offers
* Downloadable resources in exchange for contact information
* Invitations to webinars or seminars

f) Address Potential Failure:
– Create content that tastefully addresses the risks of not seeking proper legal help:
* Blog posts about the consequences of DIY legal approaches
* Case studies contrasting outcomes with and without professional legal assistance

g) Paint a Picture of Success:
– Develop content that illustrates positive outcomes:
* Client testimonial videos
* Before-and-after stories (within ethical boundaries)
* Data visualizations of successful matter results

2. Leveraging Multi-Media Content to Enhance Engagement

Incorporating a variety of content formats can help you engage different audience preferences and improve overall user experience. Here’s how to leverage multi-media in your content strategy:

a) Written Content:
– Blog Posts: Regular, in-depth articles on legal topics relevant to your practice areas.
– Whitepapers: Comprehensive guides on complex legal issues.
– FAQs: Easily digestible answers to common client questions.
– News Updates: Timely content on legal developments affecting your clients.

Best Practices:
– Use clear, concise language that avoids unnecessary legal jargon.
– Structure content with headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs for readability.
– Incorporate relevant keywords naturally for SEO benefits.

b) Visual Content:
– Infographics: Visualize complex legal processes or statistics.
– Charts and Graphs: Present data in an easily understandable format.
– Custom Images: Create branded visuals for social media and blog posts.

Best Practices:
– Ensure visuals are high-quality and mobile-responsive.
– Use consistent branding elements across all visual content.
– Include alt text for accessibility and SEO.

c) Video Content:
– Educational Videos: Short explainers on legal topics.
– Lawyer Profiles: Showcase your team’s expertise and personality.
– Client Testimonials: Share success stories (with client permission).
– Webinars: Host in-depth discussions on legal issues.

Best Practices:
– Keep videos concise and focused on a single topic.
– Include captions for accessibility and silent viewing.
– Optimize video titles and descriptions for SEO.

d) Audio Content:
– Podcasts: Regular episodes discussing legal trends or answering client questions.
– Audio Versions of Blog Posts: Offer an alternative way to consume your written content.

Best Practices:
– Ensure clear audio quality and professional editing.
– Create engaging episode titles and descriptions.
– Consider transcribing audio content for accessibility and SEO benefits.

e) Interactive Content:
– Quizzes: Engage potential clients while gathering information about their legal needs.
– Calculators: Provide tools for estimating potential damages or legal costs.
– Interactive Timelines: Illustrate the typical progression of different types of cases.

Best Practices:
– Ensure interactive elements are user-friendly and mobile-responsive.
– Use interactions to provide value and educate, not just entertain.
– Include clear instructions and purpose for each interactive element.

f) User-Generated Content:
– Client Reviews: Encourage satisfied clients to share their experiences.
– Q&A Forums: Allow potential clients to ask questions and showcase your expertise in responses.(on this, I built a massive swell of litigants for a class action in the United States. So good that the medical device that was the target, when Googled lead the searcher to the first result which was our client-generated content, Bayer, the second).

Best Practices:
– Moderate all user-generated content to ensure quality and compliance with ethical guidelines.
– Respond promptly and professionally to all user interactions.

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3. Implementing an Omni-Channel Approach to Maximize Reach

An omni-channel marketing approach ensures your content reaches potential clients across multiple platforms, creating a cohesive brand experience. Here’s how to implement this strategy:

a) Website:
– Serve as the central hub for all your content.
– Organize content logically by practice area and content type.
– Implement a responsive design for seamless mobile experience.
– Include clear navigation and search functionality.

b) Blog:
– Regularly publish in-depth articles on legal topics.
– Optimize for SEO to improve organic search visibility.
– Include social sharing buttons to encourage content distribution.

c) Email Marketing:
– Develop newsletters with valuable legal insights and firm updates.
– Create targeted email campaigns for different practice areas or client segments.
– Use email to distribute new content and drive traffic to your website.

d) Social Media:
– Choose platforms where your target clients are most active (e.g., LinkedIn for B2B, Facebook for B2C).
– Share a mix of original content, curated industry news, and engaging visuals.
– Use platform-specific features (e.g., LinkedIn Articles, Facebook Live) to maximize engagement.

e) Video Platforms:
– Create a YouTube channel for hosting and organizing video content.
– Share video snippets on platforms like Instagram and TikTok to reach younger audiences.

f) Podcasting Platforms:
– Distribute your podcast on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
– Create podcast-specific landing pages on your website for each episode.

g) Third-Party Legal Directories:
– Maintain updated profiles on platforms like Avvo, FindLaw, and Martindale-Hubbell (in the US) and Best Lawyers and Doyles in Australia.
– Share select content on these platforms to improve your visibility.

h) Speaking Engagements and Webinars:
– Participate in industry conferences and local events.
– Host webinars on relevant legal topics.
– Repurpose presentation content for other channels.

i) Print Media:
– Contribute articles to legal publications and local newspapers.
– Create print brochures and informational materials for in-person distribution.

Best Practices for Omni-Channel Content Distribution:
– Maintain consistent messaging and branding across all channels deriving from StoryBrand.
– Tailor content format and tone to suit each platform’s audience and norms.
– Use cross-promotion to guide audience members between different channels.
– Implement tracking to understand how users move between channels in their journey.
– Ensure all channels point back to your website for detailed information and conversions.

4. Aligning Your Content with Google’s E-E-A-T Guidelines

Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines are crucial for law firms:

a) Experience:
– Showcase your firm’s and individual lawyers’ years of experience in specific practice areas.
– Share case studies and success stories that demonstrate hands-on experience.
– Create content that reflects deep, practical knowledge of legal processes and outcomes.

Content Ideas:
– “Lessons from 20 Years of Family Law Practice”
– Video series: “A Day in the Life of a Criminal Defense Lawyer”
– Blog post: “5 Unexpected Challenges I’ve Faced in Personal Injury Law Matters”

b) Expertise:
– Ensure content is created or reviewed by qualified legal professionals.
– Provide in-depth, accurate information on legal topics.
– Stay up-to-date with legal developments and reflect this in your content.

Content Ideas:
– Detailed guides on specific legal procedures
– Analysis of recent court decisions and their implications
– Expert commentary on proposed legislation

c) Authoritativeness:
– Highlight credentials, awards, and recognitions of your firm and attorneys.
– Secure and showcase endorsements from respected legal organizations.
– Contribute to reputable legal publications and reference these contributions.

Content Ideas:
– Lawyer profile pages with comprehensive credentials and recognitions
– News section highlighting media appearances and expert quotes
– Page dedicated to firm awards and professional association memberships

d) Trustworthiness:
– Provide clear, accurate information about your firm, including contact details and office locations.
– Be transparent about your legal processes and fee structures.
– Promptly address any negative reviews or feedback professionally.

Content Ideas:
– Detailed “About Us” page with firm history and values
– Clear explanation of client onboarding process
– FAQ section addressing common concerns about working with a lawyer

Implementing E-E-A-T in Your Content Strategy:

1. Author Bios:
– Create detailed author bios for all content creators, highlighting their legal qualifications and experience.
– Link author bios to individual lawyer profile pages with more comprehensive information.

2. Citations and References:
– Include citations to reputable legal sources, statutes, and case law in your content.
– Link to authoritative external sources to support your arguments and provide additional context.

3. Regular Updates:
– Establish a process for regularly reviewing and updating existing content to ensure ongoing accuracy.
– Clearly display the date of publication and last update on all content.

4. Diverse Content Formats:
– Use a variety of content formats to demonstrate E-E-A-T:
* Detailed written articles for in-depth expertise
* Video interviews with lawyers to showcase experience
* Infographics to visualize complex legal concepts
* Podcast episodes featuring discussions with legal experts

5. User-Generated Content:
– Implement a system for collecting and displaying client reviews and testimonials.
– Moderate and respond to comments on blog posts and social media to demonstrate engagement and trustworthiness.

6. Transparency:
– Create content that explains your firm’s processes, values, and approach to client service.
– Be clear about the limitations of online legal information and when readers should seek personalized legal advice.

7. Credentials and Affiliations:
– Prominently display relevant legal certifications, bar admissions, and professional memberships.
– Create content explaining the significance of these credentials to potential clients.

8. Thought Leadership:
– Encourage lawyers to publish original research or analysis on legal trends.
– Highlight participation in legal conferences, seminars, and continuing education.

9. Local Expertise:
– Create content that demonstrates deep knowledge of local laws and court systems in your practice areas.
– Highlight involvement in local legal communities and pro bono work.

10. Collaborative Content:
– Partner with other legal experts or related professionals (e.g., financial advisors, psychologists) to create comprehensive, authoritative content on complex issues.

By integrating StoryBrand principles, leveraging multi-media content, implementing an omni-channel approach, and aligning with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines, law firms can create a content strategy that not only engages and informs potential clients but also establishes the firm as a trusted, authoritative source of legal information and services.

This comprehensive approach ensures that your content:
– Resonates with your audience’s needs and motivations
– Engages users through various formats and platforms
– Reaches potential clients across multiple touchpoints
– Demonstrates your firm’s experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness

Remember, an effective content strategy is an ongoing process. Keep returning to it, and obviously check that it hasn’t lost its way.

This can happen easily. One example was when working with a diverse practice law firm, we bedded down strategy, Belbin and StoryBrand, only to find that the new marketing coordinator didn’t like some of it, and unilaterally took it upon herself to uproot key messaging, and in essence the framework. Thankfully I got the firm realigned before it was too late, but you can see how swiftly things can turn.

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Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Wrapping Up

As we’ve explored throughout this guide to building an effective law firm marketing strategy, it requires a multifaceted approach that integrates various strategic frameworks and methodologies. By combining insights from thought leaders like Verne Harnish, Jim Collins, Geoffrey Moore, Al Ries, and Meredith Belbin, along with the narrative power of StoryBrand, I’ve created a robust blueprint for your law firm to follow.

The journey begins with understanding your firm’s core purpose and values, as emphasized by Jim Collins.

The concept of core purpose and values as a foundation for a company’s strategy is most prominently featured in his book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” which he co-authored with Jerry I. Porras, published in 1994.

In “Built to Last,” Collins and Porras introduce the concept of core ideology, which consists of core values and core purpose. They argue that this core ideology is a crucial element that distinguishes truly exceptional, long-lasting companies from their competitors.

Specifically, Collins and Porras describe:

1. Core Values: The organisation’s essential and enduring tenets, not to be compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency.

2. Core Purpose: The organisation’s fundamental reason for existence beyond just making money, which should last at least 100 years.

They emphasize that this core ideology should remain fixed while strategies and practices adapt to a changing world.

In Collins’ later work, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” (2001), he builds upon these ideas, discussing how companies that transition from good to great have a clear understanding of what they can be the best in the world at (part of what he calls the Hedgehog Concept), which relates to their core purpose and values.

Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up methodology provides the operational framework to translate this core purpose into actionable strategies. The One-Page Strategic Plan, a cornerstone of Harnish’s approach, helps law firms distill complex strategies into a clear, easily communicable format. This tool is invaluable for aligning your team, setting priorities, and maintaining focus on key objectives amidst the day-to-day challenges of running a law practice.

Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” concept is particularly relevant for law firms introducing innovative services or technologies. Understanding the technology adoption lifecycle helps firms navigate the crucial transition from early adopters to the mainstream market. This insight is invaluable in today’s legal landscape, where firms must balance traditional practices with innovative approaches to stay competitive.

Al Ries’s focus on positioning offers crucial guidance for law firms seeking to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. By identifying a specific niche or creating a new category within legal services, firms can establish a unique identity that resonates with their target clients. This focused approach not only aids in marketing efforts but also guides strategic decisions about service offerings and growth opportunities.

The integration of Meredith Belbin’s Team Role Theory into your firm’s structure ensures that you have the right mix of skills and personalities to execute your strategy effectively. By understanding and leveraging the natural strengths of your team members, you can create a more harmonious, productive work environment and improve overall firm performance.

However, having a solid strategy and the right team is only part of the equation. The ability to communicate your firm’s value proposition clearly and compellingly is crucial for attracting and retaining clients. This is where the StoryBrand framework proves invaluable. By positioning your clients as the heroes of their own stories and your firm as the expert guide, you create a narrative that resonates on a deep, emotional level. This approach not only differentiates your firm but also builds trust and credibility with potential clients.

The power of the StoryBrand framework extends beyond just marketing communications. When integrated into your overall strategy, it provides a cohesive structure for everything from website design and content creation to client interactions and service delivery. It ensures that every touchpoint reinforces your firm’s role as the trusted guide, helping clients navigate their legal challenges and achieve their desired outcomes.

It goes without saying that the implementation of this strategy must be supported by a robust online presence. This is where SEO, content marketing, and Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines are important to acknowledge. By creating high-quality, authoritative content that demonstrates your firm’s Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, you not only improve your search engine rankings but also provide genuine value to potential clients seeking legal information.

The omni-channel approach ensures that your message reaches potential clients across multiple platforms, creating a consistent brand experience whether someone encounters your firm through a Google search, social media post, or professional referral. By leveraging various content formats – from written blog posts and whitepapers to videos, podcasts, and interactive tools – you cater to different learning preferences and engagement styles, maximizing your reach and impact.

Certainly. I’ll rewrite the content incorporating your additional credentials as a Multi-Award Winning Lawyer recognized for driving innovation in law. Here’s the revised version:

All this said, it’s crucial to remember that strategy implementation is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. The legal industry is constantly evolving, with changes in legislation, client expectations, and technological advancements creating both challenges and opportunities. Successful firms must be agile, regularly reviewing and adjusting their strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

This is where the value of working with a specialised consultant. As a Multi-Award Winning Lawyer recognised for driving innovation in law, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and a Belbin Team Roles Facilitator, I bring a unique combination of practical legal experience, strategic insight, and change management expertise to the table.

My firsthand experience in navigating the complexities of the legal profession, coupled with my success in driving innovation, provides an invaluable perspective on implementing effective strategies in a real-world legal context. This practical knowledge, combined with my expertise in the StoryBrand framework, ensures that law firms can effectively communicate their value proposition in a way that not only resonates with potential clients but also aligns with the realities of modern legal practice.

My understanding of Belbin Team Roles, informed by years of leading and innovating within legal teams, allows firms to optimize their team structure in ways that are specifically tailored to the unique demands of legal work, improving both internal operations and client service delivery.

Furthermore, as the Founder of Practice Proof, I offer law firms a comprehensive solution that goes beyond theoretical strategy development. Practice Proof’s end-to-end approach to design, marketing, and technology addresses the unique challenges faced by law firms in the execution phase of their strategy. This approach is grounded in my firsthand experience of the practical hurdles firms face when implementing change. By providing integrated solutions, Practice Proof enables law firms to implement their strategies more effectively, ensuring consistency across all aspects of their operations and client interactions.

By working with a specialized consultant like me, who combines award-winning legal innovation experience with strategic expertise, law firms can benefit from:

1. Expert guidance in implementing the StoryBrand framework, ensuring their messaging cuts through the noise and resonates with potential clients, while remaining grounded in the realities of legal practice.
2. Optimization of team dynamics through Belbin Team Roles, improving internal efficiency and client service delivery, informed by real-world experience in leading high-performing legal teams.
3. Access to comprehensive design, marketing, and technology solutions through Practice Proof, enabling seamless strategy implementation tailored specifically to the unique needs of law firms.
4. A partner who not only understands but has successfully navigated the unique challenges and opportunities in the legal industry, providing solutions that have been tested and proven in actual legal practice.
5. Ongoing support and guidance to adapt strategies as the legal landscape evolves, backed by a track record of driving innovation in law.

In conclusion, by leveraging the insights of business thought leaders, the narrative power of StoryBrand, and the expertise of a specialized consultant with proven success in legal innovation, law firms can position themselves for sustainable growth and success in an increasingly competitive market.

The journey may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and tools, any law firm can transform its operations, enhance its market position, and achieve its strategic goals. The key is to take that first step, to commit to a process of continuous improvement and adaptation. With a clear strategy, the right team, and expert support from a consultant who has walked the path of legal innovation, your law firm can not only survive but thrive in the evolving legal landscape.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Action Plan

To help law firms implement the strategies and insights discussed, here’s a straightforward action plan outlining the next steps. This plan is designed to be implementable, but it’s important to note that working with a specialised consultant like me can significantly streamline and enhance this process.

1. Assess Your Current Position (Week 1-2)
– Conduct a SWOT analysis of your firm
– Review financial performance and key metrics
– Gather feedback from clients and team members
– Analyze your current market position and competition

Action: Schedule a strategy session with your leadership team. Consider engaging a consultant to facilitate this process and provide an objective perspective.

2. Define Your Core Purpose and Values (Week 3)
– Articulate your firm’s mission statement
– Identify and document core values
– Ensure alignment between stated values and firm culture

Action: Organise a workshop to involve all team members in this process. A StoryBrand Certified Guide can help frame this in a way that resonates with both your team and potential clients.

3. Develop Your Strategic Plan (Week 4-6)
– Apply the Hedgehog Concept to identify your unique position
– Set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)
– Create 3-5 year strategic objectives
– Develop annual goals and quarterly milestones

Action: Use Verne Harnish’s One-Page Strategic Plan template to consolidate your strategy. Consider working with a consultant experienced in this methodology to ensure effective implementation.

4. Optimize Your Team Structure (Week 7-8)
– Conduct Belbin Team Role assessments for all team members
– Identify gaps in team composition
– Realign responsibilities based on natural strengths

Action: Engage a Belbin Team Roles Facilitator to administer assessments and provide insights on optimizing team dynamics.

5. Craft Your StoryBrand Message (Week 9-10)
– Identify your ideal client (the hero)
– Articulate the problems your firm solves
– Position your firm as the expert guide
– Develop a clear plan and call to action

Action: Work with a StoryBrand Certified Guide to develop a compelling narrative that resonates with your target clients.

6. Align Your Online Presence with Your Strategy (Week 11-14)
– Audit your current website and online profiles
– Redesign your website all all key collateral to reflect your StoryBrand message
– Develop a content strategy that demonstrates E-E-A-T
– Implement technical SEO best practices

Action: Engage with a specialized legal marketing agency like Practice Proof to ensure your online presence effectively communicates your value proposition and meets best practices for SEO and user experience.

7. Develop Your Content and Marketing Plan (Week 15-16)
– Create a content calendar aligned with your strategy
– Plan for multi-media content creation (blog posts, videos, podcasts)
– Develop an email marketing strategy
– Plan your social media approach

Action: Consider outsourcing content creation to ensure consistency and quality. Practice Proof can provide end-to-end support in this area.

8. Implement Marketing Automation and Analytics (Week 17-18)
– Set up marketing automation tools
– Implement tracking for key performance indicators
– Develop dashboards for monitoring progress

Action: Work with a technology partner to ensure proper setup and integration of marketing tools with your existing systems.

9. Train Your Team (Week 19-20)
– Conduct workshops on your new strategy and StoryBrand message
– Provide training on new marketing and technology tools
– Ensure all team members understand their roles in strategy implementation

Action: Consider bringing in external trainers or consultants to provide specialized training.

10. Launch and Monitor (Week 21 onwards)
– Officially launch your new strategy and messaging
– Monitor key metrics and gather feedback
– Hold regular review meetings to assess progress
– Be prepared to make adjustments as needed

Action: Set up a regular cadence of strategy review meetings. Consider ongoing consultation to help interpret results and make data-driven decisions.

11. Plan for Continuous Improvement
– Schedule quarterly strategy reviews
– Stay informed about industry trends and changes
– Continuously gather and act on client feedback
– Regularly reassess team dynamics and roles

Action: Establish a relationship with a strategic consultant for ongoing guidance and support.

While this action plan provides a structure for implementing the strategies we’ve discussed, it’s important to recognize that every law firm’s journey will be unique. The complexity of integrating various strategic frameworks, optimizing team dynamics, and implementing new marketing and technology solutions can be challenging to navigate alone.

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Things that Derail Your Law Firm MarketingStrategy

Here are some things you have to loom out for along the way.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Check Your Law Firm’s Culture

You’re probably asking, why talk “culture” in the context of law firm marketing strategy. In growing law firms for over 16 years in Australia and the United States, nothing derails a great strategy and law firm marketing plan than bad culture that creeps in and derails everything.

We recently retired one of our clients for this very reason. The people in the firm were toxic and it all emanated from very poor, antiquated leadership. Consequently, we were approached by one of their competitors, who we soon started working with. We weren’t surprised to learn that the biggest source of work for this legal practice was disgruntled clients from the other legal practice, including a steady stream of people who sensed the toxicity of the culture during their first consultation. It gave us some tangible insight into the reason why despite growing traffic by 245% to this law firm through a comprehensive marketing strategy, file opens fell significantly short and the firm was always in a state of chaos.

We work with a number of organisational culture experts and encourage their involvement following brand strategy work to determine if in fact the strategy will be compromised by culture. In other words, once you know where the bus is going, you’re able to better understand who needs to be on it and who doesn’t.

In this context, one of the most powerful antagonists in decaying culture are UGRs. They’re the brainchild of Culture Expert, Steve Simpson. In our experience, invariably they, alone, can be the biggest growth killers for law firms.


The Numbers Behind Google Ads

Where most growth-focused law firms increasingly play is in the realm of paid search. A core tenet of how we effectively grow law firms is through a holistic law firm marketing approach that traverses multiple lead generation opportunities of which paid is fundamentally important.

Though in the context of Google Ads for law firm, effective strategy derives from a key understanding of not only legal practice but what works and what doesn’t. Put simply, we manage the Google Ads accounts of over 50 law firms that collectively spend well into the 6 figures each month, and collectively the data tells us an enormous amount. We have unprecedented insight into the “money terms” the types of Ad structures that work and of course, the bidding strategy. For those that have an understanding of Google Ads, at Practice Proof, we do not adopt a smart bidding strategy deployed by Google, but rather we manually manage all the accounts manually for our clients.

Over and above this, in recent times, we work with a third-party team of Google Ad experts who regularly undertake an audit of our client’s accounts. This provides at times insights from fresh eyes that keep our Google Ad accounts well-optimised and delivering benefits for our clients. Think of this approach like having a colleague of yours review an active file.

Google Ads like every other facet of law firm marketing emanates from your broader law firm marketing strategy. The messaging of your Ads and the corresponding landing pages all are a part of the tapestry of how you are positioning your firm in the marketplace.

Importantly, success with Google Ads, once they’re aligned to your strategy, is the choice of keywords that your firm will target, following which the crafting of ads, landing pages and bidding approach and structure to enhance your chance of success. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

Underpinning this of course, and just as important is the conversion tracking that your agency will deploy to prove ROI.

At Practice Proof, we use a diverse range of tracking methods, including Google products and third-party platforms like call tracking software etc to provide further depth of analysis.

Law Firm Marketing Strategy: Technology Integration

Integrating new technology into your law firm can be a challenge, but it can also bring significant benefits such as increased efficiency and productivity. Here are some steps you can follow to make the process smoother:

Identify the problem: Determine what challenges your firm is facing and what technology can help resolve those challenges. This could be anything from streamlining document management to automating repetitive tasks.

Evaluate the options: Research various technology solutions that are available and determine which one would be the best fit for your firm. Consider factors such as cost, ease of use, compatibility with existing systems, and user reviews.

Plan the implementation: Once you have selected the technology, create a plan for how you will implement it. This could involve training employees, updating processes, and integrating it with other systems.

Communicate the change: Make sure that everyone in your firm is aware of the new technology and understands why it is being implemented. This can help reduce resistance to change and ensure a smoother transition.

Implement and train: Implement the new technology and provide training to employees on how to use it effectively. This can include both in-person training sessions and written resources.

Monitor and evaluate: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the technology and make adjustments as needed. Collect feedback from employees and make any changes necessary to improve the system.

Continuously improve: Keep up with the latest developments in technology and evaluate new solutions as they become available. Regularly incorporating new technology can help your firm stay ahead of the competition and continue to improve efficiency and productivity. This is key in any law firm marketing strategy.

By following these steps, you can successfully integrate new technology into your law firm and reap the benefits it provides.

Our Law Firm Marketing Story

Practice Proof was founded by multi-award-winning lawyer Dan Toombs. A creative at heart, Dan changed laws, and practices within the Queensland criminal justice system. Later after working in New York with a legal innovation hub while on a Winston Churchill Fellowship, he founded the Queensland Criminal Justice Centre (QCJC) which was then the only technology-driven platform that educated Judicial officers, lawyers and allied professionals on the idiosyncrasies of working with marginalised people caught in the system. It consequently won numerous awards.

Later, Dan founded Queensland’s first community access points in Magistrates Courts throughout Queensland. Soon after he and his team of technologists designed and developed possibly Australia’s first online will kit. In its first 12 months, it provided 7000 free wills to people. Dan was later appointed to the board of Legal Aid Queensland assisting in the formation of their digital strategy.

Emanating from this accumulative work, law firms sought the assistance of Dan and his team to help in their digital transformation and consequently, Practice Proof came to fruition. Practice Proof started working with a diverse range of legal organisations in Australia and the United States. Dan and the Practice Proof team later worked with Erin Brockovich on the digital strategy and deployment of mass tort campaigns which evolved into significant class actions, one of which brought to its knees a major pharmaceutical company. The team also worked with Erin on the formation of her environmental issue-reporting platform, the Community Health Book.

Responding to the ever-changing legal industry Practice Proof today has become a full brand, design, marketing, and technology company

Need help?

If your legal practice needs help with a law firm marketing strategy, reaching out to the team at Practice Proof.

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Dan Toombs
Dan Toombs
Law Firm Marketing Expert