Even if you have studied marketing in college by the time you left law school everything you learned about marketing has changed. Every day the ways people are finding your law firm are changing and expanding. SEO, Social Media, Paid Search, Online Directories the choices are endless and the target is always moving.
I have spent the last ten years working with attorneys in online marketing and here are a few of the most common mistakes.
If your law firm is going to invest $5000 or $500,000 in legal online marketing you need to have a plan. Decide what practice area you are going to focus on, remembering to grow in the areas you want (and need) as well as making sure the bread and butter cases still come in.
Then what is an acceptable return on investment for your marketing investment, if you invest $12,000 and make $80,000 as a direct results is that good enough for you? This step of planning is where the rubber hits the road, it will measure the success of the program and the team you use to put it together.
Interview online marketing firms and advertising agencies. Use these interviews to learn about your options and pricing, then narrow the search and choose a legal marketing group that fits your firm’s budget and personality.
Poor planning is always the first error in all marketing, take the time and create a plan.
Budget- Penny Wise Website Foolish
I have seen national class action law firms and solo transactional lawyers make this mistake. Now I am not suggesting you spend more money, although sometime it is needed, what I am suggesting is you spend smarter. Spend more on one thing and do it right then trying to spend a little all over and getting bad results across the board.
What is that one thing? Your law firm’s website. Your website is the corner stone of your online marketing program, done correctly it can drive results and brand your law firm. Done incorrectly your website will be the online marketing pitfall for your law firm. Spend the money on professional design, professional writing and good onsite SEO and local placement, this builds the base for a great online marketing program.
Report, Review and Reset
I look forward to sending reports, not because they are all great (well most are) but because it creates a communication. In today’s world I can tell my clients how many calls, visits, chats and emails they receive from their online marketing, even who called, where they were from and how long they spoke with them but if I don’t discuss these reports with my clients there is no value.
In order to understand your marketing, you must review your reports and evaluate if the marketing is in line with your planned ROI (return on investment). If the reports are not in line, changes need to be made and programs adjusted but without this meeting or communication that cannot happen.
After 10 years working with law firms I understand the value of an attorneys time but are you willing to lose 5000, 10,000 or even 100,000 because you could not take 90 minutes every quarter. Good legal marketing teams will request quarterly meetings to discuss progress, you need to take the meetings and get involved. This is the step that drives real new case intake and more of it.
These three things can change a law firm’s business and drive new case intake every day but need to be done. I know many successful law firms with small marketing budgets but they use each dollar to the max, online marketing is about detail and attention not just dollars.