Back in the day (just a few short years ago), all an attorney needed was a website, and he or she was de facto “internet marketing.” Those days are long gone. Today, a website is just the beginning of a long list of strategies and tactics that make up an effective internet marketing strategy.Click to tweet
Search “lawyer marketing help,” go to any legal conference or visit any website catering to the legal marketing industry, and you will be bombarded with enough marketing tactics and strategies to make your head spin. It’s crazy out there. And it’s not like they are necessarily bad tactics or strategies either. Many ideas, if executed well, could yield strong results for your firm.
The issue is where to begin. What should you avoid doing? What technology should you use? What is mandatory, what’s good enough and what’s too much? It’s hard to know. There are also legal marketing vendors ranging from being outright sleazy to vendors offering truly good solutions. The problem lies in filtering the noise from the real deal.
There are essentially four approaches to navigating the marketing blizzard.
- 1. Do It Yourself – Trust your own instincts and go it alone.
- 2. Hire Someone Internally – Assign someone on your staff or recruit a new hire to focus on marketing.
- 3. Put It On The Back Burner – Defer addressing your marketing needs and prioritize other more urgent projects, such as recruiting, your cases, networking, etc.
- 4. Outsource – Find a trustworthy outside resource – a “Sherpa” of sorts – to guide how you invest your time, resources and energy.
The answers can be different for every firm. Your ideal approach will depend on your answers to questions such as:
- What are our short-term goals?
- What are our long-term goals?
- WHY do we have these goals?
- What are our standards?
- How will we know whether we’re succeeding on our terms or not?
- Do we have a great person on staff who can handle the marketing?
- Have we had any marketing failures we can can learn from?
- What marketing assets do we currently have?
- Is our brand consistent over all our marketing channels?
- What marketing channels are using or not using that we should be using?
The list goes on, and there’s no approach that’s right 100% of the time.
Going “DIY” might make sense if you’re low on cash and have excess time. You can invest your own sweat equity and go it alone.
Hiring or recruiting internally might make sense if you have excess staff resources, or if you want tight control over all daily details of the marketing processes and vendors.
Deferring action might make sense if your budget is tight or if you have too many cases and too much work.
Hiring a Sherpa might make sense if you and your firm’s bandwidth is tight; if you’ve had a bad experience outsourcing a la carte in the past, or if you find someone truly remarkable with a track record of generating ROI for law firms like yours.
Choose your Sherpa wisely. Look for the following qualities:
- No Vendor Affiliation: The person should be able to provide unbiased information on marketing products and solutions. The person should not be getting back-end commissions from any vendors.
- Legal Industry Experience: Your advisor should have experience in the legal industry. Find someone who knows the common marketing mistakes law firms make and who can explain why a particular option is or is not a good choice.
- Comprehensive Viewpoint: The idea of using a Sherpa (instead of a thousand and one attorney marketing vendors in a piecemeal fashion) is that this person acts as a filter. To that end, he or she should be able to provide comprehensive internet marketing insight, expertise and support, so you’re not playing the go between and coordinating all the players working on your website, your social media, your SEO and video, your pay per click campaigns, and so forth. You need to be able to trust this person to do due diligence, so you can take your hands off the wheel and put your attention where it belongs: on the building the law firm of your dreams.
- Digital Monitoring: It’s not enough to launch a blog, website or social media campaign. The online world changes at top speed, and your marketing strategy and tactics must keep pace. Constant analytics and performance monitoring enables you to know what’s working, what’s not, and gives you the ability to make swift and effective changes. A true Sherpa analyzes the data and acts upon it to keep your firm in control and profitable and to screen out information that does NOT provide value or insight.
If having a smart person quarterbacking your web marketing efforts saves you just 12 minutes a day, that adds up to a billable hour you “get back” per week. Extrapolating forward, that adds up to 4 hours a month or nearly 50 hours a year. If your time is worth $300/hour, that means you recover over $15,000 annually just by this screening!Click to tweet
- Smart and Lean: You’ll have no problem finding bloated internet marketing companies just waiting to rip you off with their high commissioned sales reps. These companies are the force driving the blizzard. What you want is an independent savvy Sherpa who vets each vendor diligently and proves you with the best solution at the most efficient cost. He or show knows how to grow your law firm by generating leads, engaging audiences, converting clients and standing out from your competition.
There is a lot more to this conversation. If you’d like to learn more, download my free lawyer marketing whitepaper. It will take you just a couple minutes to read and can help guide your marketing decisions.
Thanks for tuning in. If you have questions, call me at (832) 656-0025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.