When researching a marketing plan for your law firm, Google will provide you with hundreds of options with 15 or 20 involved steps to follow. While that is great in theory, it makes the process of developing a marketing plan overwhelming.

Lets cut it down to three realistic items that are essential to consider and critical to your sustainable success. Bringing it down to the basics, here are the top 3 things you really need to consider and plan:

1. Your market (positioning)

If you are going to have a conversation, find out who you will be talking to. The most basic marketing theories all tie back to one person: the customer. Start your plan with your ideal client in mind and build from there. Will you be focusing on consumer law, estate planning, or some other angle?

If you want to go for the bonus points in this round, make a perceptual map with two key competitive features on the axis and place your competition within your grid. Then find a space that is unoccupied, and own it.

2. Your message (promotion: method, frequency)

You want to talk to your client, but what will you tell them that they have not already heard? Define your points of parity and points of differentiation—this will help you to know who your competition and allies will be.

What can you offer clients that makes you better and/or different at your chosen specialty than others? Once you decide what you will say, decide on a reasonable schedule for contacting your clients.

3. Your measurement (awareness and response)

Great, you’ve got a plan! But is it working? How will you know?

The beauty of the internet age is that you can now track and measure your clients’ response rates. The final step before you implement your marketing plan is to consider what your definition of success will be so you know when you have achieved it. Are you hoping to develop your client base, increase revenues, develop a brand for your firm or something different?

Finally, remember that all is not lost if your firm is well past the startup phase. It is always a good idea to have a plan, even if you’ve been living without one. Sometimes experienced firms have an easier time developing their plan since they are already familiar with their target market and what has or has not worked in the past.

(photo: bdjsb7)

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