Digitally Legal: Marketing of Law Firms in the Digital Age
Since the invention of what we call ‘Internet’ to its integration in computers and now smartphones where every information is available with a touch of a finger, it is still unimaginable to see that most of the lawyers in India are still held back by the old methods of networking and communicating.
Potentially in terms of internet users, we stand as the second largest Internet market in the world with 635.8 million users expected by 2021. Which means the millennial generation lives and connects through various mediums in the digital space. But still many of the new generation lawyers believe that the business generated through referrals is sufficient enough to sustain them.
Gone are the days when a powerful background or luncheons could bring the respect and recognition to run a law firm/practice.
How one stands in the front of an audience who has never been interacted with, is the question everyone is asking.
It is all about the PERCEPTION! If a law firm/lawyer approaches a potential client, the first thing a potential client will do is the background check online, rather making calls to the known. The reviews, recognition received, client satisfaction, expertise in the field of practice, work culture etc. are certain factors that draw attention to every potential client in the funnel before he/she makes a final decision.
It is not that the lawyers/law firms are aware of it but they are neither serious about it. They are many of them who interact on social messaging apps as well as share their stories and life happenings on privacy infringing websites, but if the matter of bringing their work on a space accessible at places out of reach, the Budget is always TIGHT!
Yes, the profession does not allow them to advertise or solicit but no one is denying or stopping them to share knowledge of the field for which they chose the profession for. This is just one of the methods, but law firms can easily increase their visibility in the online space by getting their hands on Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Management and Digital PR.
All these activities do have the potential to reach the ultimate goal which every lawyer /law firm desires i.e. Lead Generation. Coupled with a marketing professional and continued for a required tenure, the legal marketing efforts will help them to expand their customer base further.
But heading to these efforts does not mean that law firms ignore the very need of their customers i.e. they seek their assistance for a solution and what they merely receive is the advice. It is not the perfection the clients seek but a ‘good enough’ basis to a solution.
One cannot afford to dissatisfy a client as it is no more a buyer’s market, as the buyer is not satisfied with what the firm is selling. One has to think what differentiates it from the other. Having a pool of talented lawyers, partnering with the clients, ease of handling of complex matters makes you stand at a different level from others or use of latest technologies, being the ‘first’ in the segment, expertise, client and project management stands you out?
To segregate themselves from the traditional sphere where businesses were maintained through strong relationships with the client, law firms need to shift their focus and question themselves “what is that makes our firm different from the rest?” Law firms should strictly comprehend on marketing budget and begin the exercise of their recognition in the digital space.