There are many reasons to expand your law firm and add a new practice area. You may notice that your clients need more specialized services, economic changes may warrant a shift in practice areas, you may have a specialty you are passionate about, you may just want to increase revenue, or you might be burned out and simply want to change direction.
Regardless of your reasons to expand and add a new practice to your firm, there are some steps you can take to be successful, including evaluating your existing marketing strategies and structure and making necessary changes.
Evaluate Your Existing Marketing Strategies and Structure
Luckily, when adding to your established practice, you can use your existing structure. It is beneficial to look at what you’ve done and see what has worked and what has not worked in the past.
Come up with ideas for moving your existing marketing plan forward and adapting it to match your new practices. It is also a clever idea to look at what competitors in the new practice area are doing and what is missing in your competition’s marketing strategies.
Design a Fresh Marketing Campaign
It is wise to devise a marketing plan for each practice area you want to specialize in. You should target specific audiences. You may want to incorporate printed materials and online content, including:
- Educational information regarding clients’ needs and how you can help solve their legal problems
- Brochure of services offered and the advantages of using your law firm
- Frequently Asked Questions with answers clients need
- Biographies, including information about each lawyer, their education, experience, and success
- Client testimonials and reviews
- Compilation of published articles, law review entries, and publications featuring you or your law firm
Distribute and Share Your Marketing Materials
After you have created and assembled your marketing campaign materials, begin to disseminate the materials through various channels, including:
- Your law firm’s website
- Online advertising via social media and other search engines
- News releases
- Direct Mail
Improve and Strengthen Your Online Presence
An effective digital presence is the key to a business’s success. You will want to enhance your website by incorporating information and details about your new practice area. This will include the following:
Creating a New Page for the New Practice
You will want to add a new landing page focusing on your expanded practice area. You may want to include the following features on your page:
- Applicable keywords, including short and long-tailed ones, drive traffic to your page
- Frequently asked questions and answers
- A description of your specific expertise and qualifications
- Links to other relevant pages on your website and other valued sources
- Tone and language that matches the new practice area
- The language that is understandable and accessible to all users
- Title tags and meta tags reflective of the expanded practice area
Updating your Google Business Profile, Your Social Media Profiles, Legal Directories, and Your Website
- Make sure your Google and social media profiles are up to date and include your new expanded practice information
- Add new videos to Twitter and YouTube to highlight your expansion
- Your social media accounts need to reflect the new specialty practice or practices your firm now offers. Be sure to update LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube channels
- Be sure to add your new practice area to legal directories. Make your listing relevant by using unique descriptions of your practice areas for each listing so as not to be penalized by Google for duplicate information
- Your website will need to be updated, including the About Us page and landing pages for similar practice areas and your general practice area pages. Also, if your expansion includes new locations, this must be updated
Creating New, Relevant Blog Entries
- Consider incorporating blog entries to your website if you do not already post blogs regularly. If you have a consistent blog, add new relevant content regarding the new practice area. Consistent, trustworthy, informative blogs are a terrific way to drive traffic to your site and market your new practice.
Adding Testimonials and Reviews to Your Website
- It is advisable to ask happy clients to review your services. When potential customers read rave reviews about your law firm, they automatically find you trustworthy. It is common for businesses with no reviews to be overlooked.
Officially Announcing Your New Practice Area
- Announce your new practice area via email or newsletter. Post a blog highlighting the new practice area and/or use a banner to announce the new specialty on top of your website’s homepage.
- Once you have announced your new practice and updated your online profiles, you start networking in person. Arrange to speak at conferences or meetings. Attend specific events geared toward your new practice area. Talk to others in the industry, including businesses you may hope to target as potential clients. For example, network with realtors if your new specialty is real estate law, or speak with doctors if you specialize in disability law. Lawyers who specialize in your new area may be able to offer tips, including specifics about competing firms and judges. Another part of your networking effort should include asking for referrals from other lawyers. You may even want to enter into reciprocal referral agreements with other law firms so you will each refer clients to each other. Always check and follow the Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure you follow professional protocol when referring clients to others.
Cross Marketing of Services
- Cross-marketing within your firm is also an excellent idea. Referring your clients to other lawyers in your firm may inspire them to refer clients to you.
- Finding a professional mentor specializing in your new service may help provide insight and guidance into your new practice area. They may be able to help you devise a business plan and can mentor you through challenges with your expansion.
Digital Marketing Next Steps
- Expansion and growth should be a positive experience. Knowing how to market and set up an effective SEO strategy will lead to success. Create your strategy and simply start – there is no better time than now!
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at at firstname.lastname@example.org.