Practicing law is not a battle. But understanding that you’re not the only law firm that needs the victory or settlement is crucial. Hence, knowing how to conduct a competitive analysis and why it is critical is a key success factor.
Let’s face it; whether you are an established law firm or just starting, competition will always be there, regardless of your practice area. And it’s a good thing, as it helps keep the quality of services high!
But that doesn’t guarantee that it will work for you. Unless you conduct a thorough competitive analysis for your law firm and strategize accordingly, you may struggle to stay in business. Collecting, analyzing, and reviewing information about similar law firms enables you to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, using that knowledge to stand out from the competition.
So, where do you begin, and what more is there to gain from the whole process? Keep scrolling, and you will find out!
How to Analyze Your Law Firm’s Competition
There are countless ways to dig into your law firm’s competition and know what they are up to. However, you want to keep it 100% professional, ethical, and legal – lest you brush shoulders with the very competitors you are looking to discover their tactics. Here are a few key factors to focus on:
- Who are your competitors, and how are they positioned?
- What are your competitors’ digital marketing strategies?
- What are their key resources and capabilities?
Who are Your Competitors, and How are They Positioned?
It is common knowledge; you can’t complete a fruitful competitor analysis without knowing who your real rivals are in the first place. When looking for your competitors, aim to find those within your practice area and locality. Leverage these tips to get accurate results:
- Select one area of practice at a time. You can pick divorce, personal injury, criminal law, etc., and conduct area-specific Google searches for lawyers in that practice. For instance, if you practice criminal law in Los Angeles, CA, you can do a Google search for “criminal justice lawyer in Los Angeles.” At this point, you want to note down all the lawyers that rank above you in the search results.
- Swap out “lawyer” for “attorney.” In this case, you’d search for a “criminal justice attorney in Los Angeles, CA.” Again, write down any new name that emerges above you.
- Finally, type in “criminal justice law firm near me,” and document all the attorney websites that appear ahead of yours.
But that’s not all; for each category, be sure to find five to six lawyers and law firms doing well and prepare a table or spreadsheet outlining the following:
- First name
- Quick summary of your understanding of them
- The markets they target
- Their pricing strategies
- Their practice areas
- Their primary marketing channels
- Their strengths and weaknesses
- The competitive advantage they have over your firm
What are Your Competitors’ Digital Marketing Strategies?
You have now discovered your competitors and a bit more information about them. Now it is time to learn why they rank above you. Hence, you want to dig deeper into their digital marketing strategies by analyzing the content on their websites, what they rank for, their online presence, etc.
For effortless content discovery, you can use free tools like Screaming Frog, UberSuggest, SEMRush, etc., to crawl your competitors’ websites and draw as much info as possible for further analysis. These include the keywords they’re ranking for, the links pointing to their websites, the amount of traffic to their sites, and more. Google Trends is also an excellent tool to help you generate quality content that matches and outsmarts your competitors.
You also want to visit your competitors’ social media pages to see how they present themselves and what users think about them. Take your time to review their interaction, the language they use in posts, and the platforms they utilize the most. This gives you a better idea of what strategies work and which ones to shun.
What are Their Key Resources and Capabilities?
How well do you know your rival law firm regarding its workforce, culture, skill sets (and skills gap), and legal practice technologies? While you can obtain most of this data from the comfort of your desk, it’s surprising that firms know so little about each other.
Another way to analyze your competitors’ resources and capabilities is by gauging their strengths and weaknesses. More so, you want to pay more attention to firms that invest in first-class legal practice software like LawBillity as well as training, process improvement, matter management, etc. The goal is to identify and improve areas where your firm is weaker than your rivals while maximizing your strongholds, making them unattainable by the competition.
Benefits of Understanding Your Law Firm’s Competitors
The primary objective for conducting a competitive analysis is to figure out how to outperform your law firm competitors in all aspects. Wouldn’t you agree? So, how does comparing your firm to the competition help you realize that? Here’s how:
- It helps you understand your competitors’ strengths. Understanding your rivals’ strongholds helps you work towards reaching their levels and surpassing them eventually. It helps you create a clear-cut road map of what needs to be done to elevate your standards to match your competitors’.
- You can quickly figure out your firm’s weak points. Understanding your law firm’s competitors is a sure-fire way to dig out weaknesses you barely knew you had. For instance, you could be lacking sufficient staff, enough clients, advanced legal software, a healthy cash flow system, etc.
- You get to identify attainable opportunities. Conducting competitive analysis also opens your eyes to opportunities that have not been tapped into yet. For example, if you are a real estate law firm, a proposed housing project within your locality could be an attainable opportunity.
- Competitive analysis is an eye-opener for potential threats to your firm. Threats come in various forms, including possible roadblocks to revenue growth, impending policies, slowdown/closure of a client’s business, cash flow issues, etc. The good news is, you can effortlessly avoid them or prepare the best alternatives, thanks to competitive analysis.
Need More Help Standing Out from the Competition?
Hopefully, this blog was insightful, and you picked up a thing or two about the significance of understanding your law firm’s competition. But there is no better way to gain a competitive advantage over your law firm rivals than having solid legal technology backing.
LawBillity our time management and billing software is one such technology solution that guarantees to help you outperform competitors. Its key features and capabilities include time tracking, expense tracking, accurate billing, online payments, detailed reporting, among others.
If you would like to see how LawBillity can help you beat your competitors by improving productivity and profitability, start a 14-day FREE trial today!