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Reflections on 2020: What Worked for Marketing Your Small Law Firm and What Didn't?

There’s not much to say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already, so we’ll cut the introspection short. Instead, we’d like to focus more on something much more concrete and measurable: the marketing strategies that have brought your small law firm success in the past year.

Navigating the ever-changing terrain of the pandemic has proved challenging across every industry. In particular, attorneys have had to deal with court closings, case postponements, and fluctuating social distancing regulations--all while striving to stay engaged with their clients. Some of the business plans they’ve devised in response to COVID-19 have produced lukewarm results, while others have brought a surprising amount of success.

Let’s dive into a few of the latter.

Your Law Firm’s Growth Metrics

The first thing you want you to do when evaluating how effective your law firm marketing strategy is, is to look at the numbers. Use data from both paid and unpaid sources, as they can show you firsthand where your target audience tends to concentrate. Whether it’s reviewing your web traffic, revisiting targeted campaigns, or tallying up the number of leads you received from offline sources, you can get an excellent idea of what’s working and what’s not.

However, you’ll want to create a ballpark number for how much each online and offline source is worth to your business, both currently and in the future. While it’s hard to say for sure how these sources will affect your business in the future, you’ll at least have a better idea of where your marketing dollars are going. Moreover, your future campaigns will likely prove more successful thanks to their data-driven nature.

New Client Engagement Strategies

You’ve likely engaged with your clients on a personal level over the year, given how earth-shattering the pandemic has been for some of them. Fortunately, there’s a way to acknowledge these newly strengthened ties by sending out something as simple as holiday cards or New Year’s cards. This personal touch will be a nice reminder that you’ve appreciated them and all they’ve done for you and your business throughout this topsy-turvy year. A thoughtful, grassroots approach like this can go a long way to cementing staid and healthy client relationships.

There’s always room to grow in this area. You’ve more than likely had to reinvent the wheel a bit over the year when it comes to interacting with your clients. If you’d like to get a better idea of which new changes to your firm your clients liked and didn’t like, send out an end-of-the-year survey asking them for their thoughts and opinions on recent changes like video consultations. Having this data will only help you further sharpen your focus for the coming year.

Grow Your Social Media Presence

This pandemic has cemented social media as one of the most powerful marketing tools of all time. Naturally, you should take stock of user engagement in this area, too, as it may be the most effective way to reach prospective clients for years to come. Analyze your social media presence's effectiveness with the same metrics as your overall web presence that we talked about in tip one. Once you get an idea of what’s working here, develop strategies for next year to expand on that, and leave behind what isn't.

There are also a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when devising future posts: stock photography, writing and posting schedules, and special dates or celebrations that you should acknowledge (this last one may vary according to your firm’s sub-practice areas). The sooner you factor these into your social media strategies, the sooner you can start developing killer campaigns for next year.

Your Online Reputation

As the internet has exploded with business potential over the year, people have started to become much more aware of their “cyber footprint,” or the name they’re creating for themselves online with their posts and pictures. It’s not very different for attorneys, either, who may find themselves losing clients thanks to an outdated website bio or an old photograph.

Increase your law firm’s transparency and integrity by ensuring all the information on your website is as up to date as possible. A good, recent headshot and an updated biography are especially vital as some clients will judge your trustworthiness, competence, and reliability based on your website presence alone.

2020 Is Over

Even though 2020 has come to a close, it would be very naive--and perhaps downright delusional--to assume that all of the year’s problems would evaporate come the stroke of midnight on January 1st. The truth is, we’re more than likely going to feel the aftershocks of COVID-19 for years to come, so there’s never been a better time to take stock of what’s working for your business and revamp your future marketing strategies.


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.

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