Marketing for Law Firms: 3 Critical Things NOT to Do

legal gavel.jpgMarketing to non-English-speaking or English as a Second Language (ESL) clientele opens up the possibilities for a much wider and diverse client base. However, not understanding the tactics needed to reach this market successfully can lead to disappointment. There are an estimated 37 million Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. alone, with another 10 million that speak one of the other top 8 non-English languages. There are benefits to understanding how to reach and communicate with this largely untapped market.

Marketing could easily be the most difficult part of operating a law firm. Given the power marketing holds in determining your success or failure as a law firm, it is an integral part as well.

Unfortunately, many law firms are unfamiliar with the “ins and outs” of a successful marketing campaign, and they throw money away on tactics that are ineffective or financially unsustainable. Not having a solid marketing strategy in place early in the process is a recipe for disaster. With that in mind, here are the most common ways law firms waste money when marketing to non-English and ESL customers.


Not Knowing Your Target Market

How well do you understand the habits and preferences of the market you intend to reach? Today’s technology has moved beyond the simple billboard approach to advertising. Now, you no longer have to place an ad and just hope that customers happen upon it at the right time, or miraculously remember your number when they need assistance.

Market research into the potential of your intended audience and the most efficient means for entering that arena is the vital first step many marketing newcomers overlook. Before you even think of purchasing either ad space, pay-per-click contracts or even fliers, take the time to learn where your target market obtains their information. For instance, almost two-thirds of YouTube viewers are from non-English-speaking accounts, and in the United States alone, just 40 percent of the people using Facebook are native English speakers.


Not Speaking Their Language

Perhaps you’ve thought to translate your ad into a specific target language, but where is the ad directing your clients to? Is your website available in that target language, and does it have an easy-to-find option for switching languages? And does your recorded phone message offer the option to switch languages early on? Conversion rates depend on finishing the process. Also, it is important that marketing for law firms has a message that resonates with your target audience. Note that the same message does not necessarily resonate with all potential target markets.

Not Tracking Your Results

You have a process that seems to be working, but over time you’re still losing traffic. What gives? Marketing is a living, breathing, organic experience. Trends come and go, markets change, and demographics shift. There are a host of tools at your disposal, with Google Analytics being one of the more powerful, which is wonderful especially considering that it’s free.

Make sure you understand and adjust your marketing strategy based on what is working and what isn’t. If a plan isn’t bringing you new leads, we suggest that you cut it and change direction. Next, find out what is bringing in those leads. The result of your findings may mean shifting strategy from time to time, but by following the numbers, you can adjust your strategy to minimize risk.



Understand your target audience and where they obtain their information (online, word-of-mouth, television). Target the channels that are most effective.

Speak the language of your target audience. Make sure to provide options throughout the conversion process to keep them engaged.

Track your results. Continuing to follow ineffective strategies is a significant waste of marketing dollars. Adjust your plan, engage your clientele, and reap the rewards.



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