Competitive Intelligence, or CI, is not new to the legal profession, but its use as a strategic tool for small to mid-sized law firms is on the rise. Defined as the collection and analysis of actionable information about competitors to support strategic decisions, CI can be applied to estate planning law firms. You won’t need the services of James Bond, nor will you need a massive allocation of new resources. That’s because much of what your colleagues/competitors are doing is in plain sight.
Follow your competitor’s social media posts, including their blogs. Are they noticing trends that you are also seeing, but they are being more pro-active about promoting their knowledge? Do not copy their content; instead, consider how they are identifying trends or news items.
Every three months or so, visit the websites of the top estate planning attorneys in your area. Also, bookmark websites from estate planning attorneys who you know to be marketing leaders. Chances are their websites are being updated or are adding new features, like professional attorney videos. You don’t want your website to fall too far behind. If you see things that you like, talk with IMS (click here for a support ticket) to see if what they are doing has some application to your practice.
If your colleagues/competitors are appearing in local or national news media, consider why they are appearing in print/online and you are not. Are they writing articles for legal journals, feeding information to personal finance reporters or posting more frequently than you on estate planning topics? What are they doing that is raising their visibility that you are not doing?
Remember that CI includes more than just marketing. Other CI factors for an estate planning law firm include: identifying partnership opportunities with relevant not-for-profits, talent acquisition, legal technology, and development strategy.
For a lengthy discussion about CI for law firms, click on the title of this article from the Law Practice Magazine from the American Bar Association, How to Create and Use Competitive Intelligence: 45 Tips for Law Firms.