Start Your Annual Legal Marketing Planning Now! (It’s Not Too Late)

Annual Planning

Marketing For Law Firms and Business Development is Changing

A lot of firms probably just dust off their old annual plans and make a few adjustments and call it a day.

If that sounds like you, you might have a problem.

The entire ball game is changing.

You know what?

Less than 5% of the Law Firms in the US work off of a strategic plan. Are you serious? And they still complain about not getting enough clients? 

You see, the problem is right here.

Don’t you worry. We’ve got a solution. 

We have 5 value-driven steps that will help you plan and execute better for your law firm.

We don’t believe in beating around the bush. Let’s get straight into it. 

Conducting an Assessment

Firstly, there are two types of assessments. Internal and external. Internal assessments are all about looking at the status quo (where you are today) and how you got there. 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Have you been meeting your goals?
  • What are the challenges you faced along the way?
  • What are the failures and successes you’ve had?

It’s taking an honest solid look at the past year to assess what worked and what didn’t. It’s also a good idea to track that for the previous three and five years. 

Well, the word “honest” has a lot of weight in this context. Your results speak for themselves, so don’t keep yourself in the dark by convincing yourself that everything is fine. You might not realize what *great* looks like in your firm.

You can reach out to us and we can help you figure that out.

The next question you need to ask is where you want to be in the future? Before you can start preparing and efficiently attain your goals, you must have answers to all of those questions.

So, how does the external evaluation look? Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • The Competitive Landscape
  • Economies and Markets 
  • Political, socioeconomic, and other external pressures
  • The various services you offer
  • What people think about those services and how they’re changing

Goal Setting

We’ve all been affected by the pandemic. Probably also your law firm. I’m sure you’ve assessed the resources available, how things have gone over the last year, and how much of it remains. It’s more crucial than ever to approach annual planning more strategically, with a new perspective, and to take into account everything that’s going on right now.

After we’ve completed all of the assessment work, we’ll be able to focus on setting goals.

You can define short-, mid-, and long-term goals, as well as the actions that will bring you to them.

Setting goals entails being realistic. You can’t imagine defeating your competition in a year. Setting goals should be done using the SMART technique. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Besides expansion and development, adding a practice area or restructuring services could also be goals to keep an eye on.

Some Specifics Related to Business Development and Great Legal Marketing

Before we get into road mapping, let’s take a look at key business development and marketing details that law firms frequently miss.

And that is Analytics.

Please, don’t talk to me about data; I’m a lawyer. *those lawyers who went into law to avoid math* Wait. So you’re referring to all lawyers? (Of course, I’m joking.)

It’s critical to comprehend how you developed your legal firm to where it is now. You might notice some changes over time in the numbers and have no idea why or how they work because you haven’t considered looking into them.

Google Analytics is a free tool to understand your virtual presence. This is also an excellent opportunity to review your SEO strategy and connect with legal directories or publications that specialize in content development.

You can reach out to these publishers and request analytics and data to see whether your efforts are materializing and how. Analytics are also useful when it comes to competitive analysis.

Roadmapping

Roadmapping has these elements:

  • Business Development
  • Strategic Online Marketing 
  • Resources and Operations 
  • Investment Plan of those resources 

An action calendar is the best thing to have. It’s essentially putting down on paper the various tasks required to achieve that goal in a systematic and organised manner over the course of a year.

We at Firm Forward concentrate on a few crucial points:

  1. Having career paths for all attorneys, staff, and employees at the company 
  2. Succession Planning 
  3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion – this is especially important because your competitors are likely to do the same.

Implementation

Calendars and management applications can help, but business development and legal marketing solutions must be outsourced to third-party legal marketing agencies or legal experts who can manage all of these systems.

It’s best to get these off your plate so you can concentrate on your lawyering. You may designate a point person at your firm, form a monthly collaboration, or have monthly marketing and business development meetings.

Ongoing Analysis 

These efforts must be measured and analyzed on a regular basis, and people must be held accountable for them.

You can pivot and make required modifications along the way, and you should have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. This is part of your crisis management strategy.

You can plan these analysis points throughout the year, with one done at least quarterly, and if you’d like some tools to assist you, feel free to contact us. We can provide you with annual business planning templates, action calendars, and just make sure to get things on paper, along with strategic and laser-focused planning.

Remember This

Don’t be one of the 95% of law firms that don’t have a strategic legal marketing plan in place.

Strategic planning does create an environment in which you can achieve positive outcomes.

Because of the global pandemic, annual planning looks different this year than it has previously, and we at Firm Forward are delighted to give these services to anyone who contacts us with the purpose of being successful. Get in touch today.

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