How can you stand out in a crowded legal marketplace?
By Charlie Britten
13 Aug 2019
Such a task may not be so hard for the largest, best-known legal firms. Everyone has heard of big players like Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, DLA Piper and Clifford Chance.
These firms have the benefits of brand name, reputation and, of course, their own marketing departments with plenty of resources behind them. All that might make the task for the rest seem a very daunting one. How can a small or medium-sized enterprise really find a special niche and stand out?
Naturally, you will not do this by going head-to-head with the big firms. Any such ambition should be shelved unless or until you expand to become a major player yourself one day.
Instead, there are two main ways in which a smaller legal firm can stand out. One is to provide outstanding customer service. The other is to offer something ‘niche’, a unique selling point that makes you different from your rivals. The ideal is to provide a combination of the two.
How digital marketing can emphasise your USP
Digital marketing has a great role to play in emphasising your unique selling points, or USPs. One aspect of this might be that you offer something no other small legal firm in your geographical area specialises in. Alternatively, you might have an unusual company history, or simply deliver services in a different way, such as offering more online help or flexible hours.
Whatever your USPs, you can focus on them in your marketing. This should not just be about listing the services you can offer. To make your firm truly stand out, your content marketing and social media strategy should seek to tell a story, a story not of ‘what’ you do, but ‘why’. This means focusing on your passion for the areas of law you work in, the motivations you have, even the personal stories of your partners and why they want to help people.
How digital marketing helps create great service
Every marketer knows about the ‘buyer journey’, where potential customers make the transition to becoming actual customers and then continue to be so, due to the excellent service you have provided and keep giving them.
This is the best situation of all, as it not only means you have a happy, loyal customer buying your services repeatedly, but also someone who is a potential advocate. Their word-of-mouth can help bring their friends, family and colleagues to your door (or website). After all, people trust recommendations from others - especially people they know - more than the slickest marketing campaign. That’s why customer review sites are so prominent.
However, reaching this point does not happen automatically, or by chance. Marketers refer to this as the ‘delight’ stage, where efforts can be made to keep existing customers happy and coming back. Examples of this would include offering discounts and special offers, but it is also important to allow them to buy into your story.
The way that can be done is to offer social media engagements. This offers a great chance for happy customers to tell the world what a great service they had.
Of course, there is a flip side to this, because those who are unhappy can use the same medium to make criticisms, just as customer review sites can facilitate negative reviews.
However, by handling these issues well, you can generate goodwill and turn around a tricky situation. That way, you end up gaining praise for the way you dealt with the problem and turned a situation around.
Communication is king
The above example is just one of the ways in which digital marketing can play its part in developing better communication links between your firm and its client. Research has shown that most legal firms think they are good at communicating with clients, but fewer than half their clients think likewise.
Some of this communication is about basic people skills and consideration. For example, allowances should be made for clients with limited English language skills. Keeping customers updated with progress in their cases is another way to provide better service.
Steps like these, which go beyond carrying out the legal duties and offer extra value and help, can act as an exemplar of how your firm can provide something different and truly stand out.
Moreover, by focusing on how you regularly go the extra mile to offer such good service, you can use your content marketing and social media to embed these actions into your story. It helps bring to life your passion and commitment to great service.
How we can help
At BeUniqueness, we can offer high-level expertise in branding, content marketing and digital strategy building. With services tailored to your firm’s own individual needs, we can help bring your USP to life and enable you to stand out from the crowd.