How is marketing a law firm different from marketing a packaged goods business? Instead of creating desire for a product, you are creating connection with people.
So, it stands to reason that the basic structure of a marketing plan that say sells detergent doesn’t quite cut it for lawyers. Aside from the obvious difference in the implementation of the plan, there’s a critical step missing. The piece that outlines how to market the individual professionals participating in the plan (whether they are speaking, writing, networking or other) is called the personal marketing plan.
- The firm level marketing plan includes all the aspects of the plan that represent the firm as a cohesive unit, like the logo, website, business presentations, brochures, business cards, signage, stationery, company pages on social media, firm videos, newsletters… Essentially, all the elements that require a high degree of consistency and professionalism, across the board.
- The personal level marketing plan, on the other hand, includes the specific activities of each participating individual.
While the firm and personal levels of the marketing plan are distinct steps, there are many synergies between the two. So, for example, if the individuals participating in the plan were planning to be heavy users of social media, the firm level plan could include a modern web presence, a blog, a social media strategy and a PR strategy. If, instead, participants were planning to do a lot of speaking, the firm level plan could include proposal letters, research on venues, a power point presentation and a newsletter.
The beauty of formalizing personal marketing activities (which many lawyers actually get to, but on more of an ad hoc basis), is that they create a self reinforcing loop with the firm’s marketing efforts. Individuals are set up to succeed, by way of the firm’s activities. And, in turn, when the individual lawyers succeed with their personal plans, the firm’s efforts get a boost. And so on. And so on…
For more reading on marketing plans, see these past articles on SlawTips:
- Main Street..or Wal*Mart? Is It Time to Rethink Your Marketing Mix?
- 5 Tips on Marketing for Law Firms (Video)
Also, see the following articles by Sandra Bekhor at Toronto Marketing Blog:
- Lawyers, are you committed to your marketing plan?
- Marketing Plan – Definition
- Maximize Return on Marketing Investment with a Marketing Plan