IndyBar: Practice Toolkit: ‘Round Here Buzz: Local Marketing Is Where It’s At for Law Firms

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Jared Correia

By Jared Correia, Red Cave Consulting

They say all politics is local; but so is most law firm marketing. And there are two primary reasons why that is the case. First of all, (most) law firms are bound by jurisdictional requirements to only practice in those states where the lawyers are licensed. Secondly, (most) law firms, like lots of small- to mid-sized businesses, rely heavily on referral marketing to drive referrals for their practices, and that means that those firms are necessarily limited to generating business through those persons they are in close enough proximity to talk with.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t spice up the traditional local marketing strategy in order to try something unique and different. And if you’re game for pulling the rug out from under what everybody else does, here are some innovative things you can try.

‘Halo’ markets. Lots of law firms are located near major cities or towns, and they expend a lot of effort marketing in those physical spaces and in trying to generate interest in their law firms via local search online. But that’s also where there is the most competition. If you’re trying to break in as a personal injury firm inside of a major city … good luck. But there are markets outside of major cities (and minor cities) that can be viewed as collections of towns, or regions, that are definitively underserved for legal needs. So, if you have some give on where you can live and work, consider more heavily researching the communities around you to see whether you can find spaces and places where lawyers are really needed, including for specific practice areas.

Local talk show. One of the best ways to really allow for local referrals to generate for your business is not only to stay connected to your referral sources, but also to platform them and to offer them the space to cement their expertise. So, start up what is effectively a local talk show, where you chat up your best referral sources. That can be a podcast or a video series or a set of webinars. Whatever it is, it will allow for your referrals sources to get some backlinks plus some additional juice on social media. It may be the most memorable thing they’ve ever done with a referral partner, plus the content will be evergreen. And while that is certainly a phenomenal way to generate more referrals, it’s also a great way to supplement your own content marketing program.

Fun-gible assets. Businesses still lean on seasonality for their marketing, but if everybody is doing a thing, it’s harder to stand out. So what if, instead of sending holiday cards, you distributed an e-greeting on Thurgood Marshall’s birthday? Or what if, instead of a summer barbeque, you invite referral sources to an axe throwing event on a random Tuesday evening? It’s all good — because it’s all different.

Do local, but also, do you.•

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