Feeling disgruntled with your newly released directory results? You’re not alone, we know from talking to law firms across the globe that most will have one or two rankings that they feel let them down. The effect of a not-so-great ranking can be less enthusiasm and buy-in from partners, and even more frustration from BD and marketing teams at the time it takes to make a submission.
As one head of BD told us, ‘I have to pick my battles, I need partner buy-in for so many projects, if I blow it all on directories I’ll get nothing from them for the rest.’
It’s these sentiments that lead many firms to question the value of the directories and their ability to keep participating. However, the rankings are a useful tool for raising profile and standing out in a competitive, global market. We’ve shared some tips to help strengthen your next submission, to ensure you get the best return for your efforts.
Of course every firm/practice has a very clear idea of where they should be ranked and why. However, it’s important to be realistic. If you’re not currently ranked at all then you’re not going to shoot straight to the top this year. Take a strategic view of what you can achieve year on year.
Writing a submission that states you’re the best in your field and that’s the end of it isn’t going to get you very far. The decisions about rankings are evidence-based – your submission needs to be packed full of examples that a researcher can use to justify moving you to where you should be.
Say what makes you different from other firms and how you fit with particular clients. Draft your submission as you would a bid submission – what does the reader need to know about your practice, work out what makes you stand out and prove it with evidence.
Researchers have mountains of submissions to get through so make their job easier. This means not copy and pasting blurb from your general marketing credentials but presenting key messages and evidence tailored to the reader.
If your submission in any way sounds like it could have been written by a handful of other firms, you need to tailor it. A pair of fresh eyes can help here, so ask a colleague or external support to undertake an independent and objective review.
Often left until the last minute, sometimes forgotten about, client feedback is key. Without positive reinforcement from clients you’re unlikely to get very far. Put some thought into the clients and contacts you choose – will they reply to a request for feedback, are they likely to name you over another team?
While there can be some leeway around deadlines if you start the process late, repeat last year’s practice area overview and throw together a list of clients and deals, you aren’t doing your team justice.
Great directory ranking shouldn’t be hard work. If you’d like our help with your next round of submissions then please get in touch.
Free guide: How to get the best return from a directories ranking – register for your copy