Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Being a lawyer is not limited to the art of practicing law. An element of marketing and branding exists in every profession where a practitioner is charged with assisting a client. For women attorneys, marketing and branding strategies represent a way to create a space for their firms to shine in an industry typically predominated by males.
In 2018, women lawyers only represented 38% of all lawyers in the United States, according to the United States Census Bureau. Still, an additional lack of marketing focus would convince most that that number is even lower. Legal marketing in women-led law firms represents a way to bridge that gap.
During a law firm’s quarterly assessments, marketing is one area that should be examined to see if the current strategy needs tweaking or scaling. These changes are not necessarily focused around the industry itself but instead within the firm and its relationship to existing and potential clients.
So, what strategies are available to women lawyers in Colorado, and how can they integrate them into a quarterly marketing plan?
Update Attorney Biographies
As a lawyer, your public biographies represent the first contact many potential clients will have with not just the firm you represent but with your personal brand. Your biography needs to relay information quickly and clearly to engage anyone looking for the services you offer.
Your name, business address, and phone number should be available wherever you are mentioned, especially on online platforms where it will count towards search engine optimization (SEO). Address and contact information can change over time, so ensuring that your current business contact information is up to date and consistent across all platforms is essential.
Curate Search Results Focused on Legal Marketing
One element of a lawyer or law firm’s brand that will most certainly change over three months is the searchable information available to the public. Whether through news reports, interviews, or the firm’s marketing content, the results that come up when a client searches your name online should be monitored and curated.
The easiest way to clean up one’s search results is to remove any information you can that has your name attached but does not directly relate to your brand or engaging with potential clients. This can include making non-firm social media accounts private, removing old blog content, replacing ineffective SEO keywords, and developing new content.
Investigating search results should also be done from a Google account with no prior search history related to your professional name or firm to better mirror the client search experience.
Assess the Firm’s Brand Strategy
It is easy to affiliate branding with the kind of saturation marketing that tends to only exist between multi-billion-dollar companies that can afford to flood billboards and take out expensive television ad space during prime times.
Branding, however, is simply the relationship a client has to your business. It is the sum of their experiences with your service and the people who provide it, and when that experience is multiplied to represent an entire client base – that is the level of brand management one should focus on for effective results.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on what your brand represents for both existing and potential clients. Make sure your marketing highlights the message your brand is trying to communicate with clients. Existing clients familiar with the brand will place greater emphasis on the accessibility of ongoing support and professionalism in delivering the service. While these are things potential clients search for too, their initial assessments are more likely to focus on their first impression of your law firm’s brand.
Cultivate Social Proof Within the Legal Profession
The most effective form of marketing is the marketing you only have to do once but will continue to serve your brand over time. The two best examples of this are word of mouth and social proof. Word of mouth is a brand’s ability to inspire its clients to advocate for it to others, and this is best achieved by following the prior strategies like really making a great first impression on a client.
On the other hand, social proof is how lawyers can win over potential clients by demonstrating the effectiveness of their expertise.
Whether through receiving awards valued within the profession, setting up a business page where satisfied clients can leave reviews, or securing interviews with prestigious platforms, social proof tells a client that others have seen a value in your service that could be available to them too.
Nurture Relationships with Current and Potential Legal Clients
Because branding is so closely tied to relationships, it is important for firms to take stock of how they are managing existing relationships and developing new ones. Surveys are an excellent way to gain information from clients, but they can feel impersonal for some. Therefore, phone check-ins and personal emails can be even more effective. Done once every three months, these can foster a sense of care without being too invasive.
For potential clients, this means taking a proactive approach. Following up on queries, advertising your services, and structuring initial engagements in a way that makes potential clients feel secure in your services is a great way to develop those relationships.
By implementing these strategies on a quarterly basis, women lawyers can set their firms up to not only bring in new clients but to retain existing ones, all while increasing visibility and strengthening their brands.
Meranda M. Vieyra is the owner of Denver Legal Marketing LLC. She is one of the most visible legal professionals in Colorado law with over 20 years of service in the Denver legal community. Her award-winning marketing firm has earned a strong reputation as the go-to for impactful, cost-effective legal marketing strategies. She has helped her clients secure coverage by well-known publications and has obtained local, national, and international awards on their behalf. Meranda enjoys working with solo practitioners and small law firms helping them attract recognition, promotion, and visibility to their practices. She also advises medium-sized and national law firms on business development and marketing strategy. Meranda is a lecturer and author on issues related to marketing including how lawyers can use LinkedIn effectively, how to develop a personal brand, and the promotion of legal services through community service. In 2018, she was honored to be named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Denver Business Journal and to be given the 10 Under 10 Award by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Alumni Association (top 10 alum of the decade). In 2019, Meranda was named in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and in the Top 100 young professionals in Colorado through the Gen XYZ Awards published by ColoradoBiz Magazine.
For more information, go to www.DenverLegalMarketing.com