Marketing is the backbone of your law firm’s growth. Think of it this way: a bad attorney can still drum up a substantial amount of business with an impressive marketing plan, but an excellent attorney’s skills will not save them from a weak or nonexistent marketing plan. If you are wondering if you have outgrown your current marketing plan, look for these signs that you need an outside professional.
1. Marketing Takes Up More Than 15 Minutes of Your Billable Time
As an attorney, you should spend most of your time doing what you do best. If you spend more than 15 minutes per day writing and scheduling tweets, checking marketing metrics, or optimizing your blog posts, you are wasting time that should be spent researching, meeting with clients, or preparing for court. Outsource these tasks to a professional.
2. Your Returns Have Plateaued
Seeing big returns on your law firm’s marketing efforts is exciting, which is why plateaus are so disappointing. Without in-depth marketing education and experience, you are unlikely to know what it takes to overcome those plateaus. And while there is a wealth of online information on how to do it yourself, it is a better use of your time and skill to involve a professional consultant that can highlight new ways to bring in potential clients.
3. You Want to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level
No matter how brilliant and creative you are when it comes to selling yourself and your practice, you would be amazed at the opportunities and ideas that a professional can bring to the table. Whether it is identifying a potential sub-market that could grow your law firm, or developing new branding ideas that speak to a different demographic than your typical client, an outside marketing consultant can enhance your current strategy and increase your return on investment.
4. A Big Change or Event is Approaching
An important event or big change in your firm is a massive marketing opportunity, but can also be a massive source of stress. With so many small details to consider, as well as pressure for the event to be successful, a holistic marketing company can provide you with wrap-around support for your event. Not only can they show you the best ways to market your event, but may also offer event planning services, subcontractor management, and even discounted purchasing on your behalf.
5. Your In-House Team Has Become Complacent
In-house marketing teams can work as well-oiled machines, properly allocating their efforts across different team members and projects. In some cases, though, they become complacent and stop giving your firm the time and effort necessary to bring in new clients. Instead of trying to motivate a team that has lost passion for seeing your law firm succeed, consider adding an outside marketing eye to your mix. Often legal marketing consultants offer hourly consultation rates that are perfect for when you simply want a fresh perspective and a new direction without a long-term commitment.
6. You Are Striking Out on Your Own
Starting your own law firm is a significant accomplishment. Avoid the trap of saving money by engaging in DIY marketing. Although it may seem like a good way to cut costs at the outset, shoddy marketing and tone-deaf messaging can actually do far more financial damage than the amount you might save. From logo design and business cards to innovative pay-per-click campaigns and social media marketing, it is better to start out on the right foot with a solid marketing team or consultant that can give you a solid foundation for the future.
7. Circumstances Call for Rebranding
No one is perfect, and every law firm has had its fair share of blunders. However, when a huge mistake smears your name and causes any Google search of your firm to reflect poorly on your brand, it is time to call in a professional legal marketer. They can help mitigate reviews, consult on best next steps, and develop a re-branding strategy that can save your business before negative press starts affecting your bottom line.
8. You Do Not Have Time to Pursue Further Credentialing
In the legal world, reputation is key to success. For many lawyers, this means participation in cause marketing, leadership in relevant associations, and pursuing awards and credentialing opportunities. Unfortunately, not every lawyer has the time, means, or energy to research these opportunities and develop them. A good outside marketing consultant will be able to review your experience and professional strengths and use them to find appropriate places for you to speak, guest author, and submit yourself for public recognition for the good that you do.
9. You Want Help Understanding Your Marketing Analytics
Whether you work with an in-house marketing team or do your own law firm marketing, detailed analysis is a vital part of knowing what is working with your marketing strategy. This can become very frustrating, especially if you are receiving or running reports that you do not understand. Instead of trying to give yourself a full marketing education, turn them over to a specialist. An outside legal marketing consultant can review your analytics with you, highlight the areas that are meeting expectations and give suggestions on how to improve those areas that are slow.
10. Blog Upkeep is Getting Away From You
Companies with blogs get, on average, 67% more leads than companies without blogs, according to Demand Metric. It is not enough to create a new post whenever your schedule allows; blogging has to be a scheduled and highly prioritized part of your marketing plan. If your updates are becoming more and more infrequent, a marketing specialist can create a content calendar and even help you hire a ghostwriter to ensure that the posts keep coming.
11. Your Presentation and Publication Schedule Is No Longer Manageable
If you are not on top of your presentation and publication schedule, a marketing specialist can help you organize, prepare for, and promote these important parts of your marketing strategy. Remember, every presentation you make and every publication you produce is a chance to reach new clients. It makes sense to hire someone who knows how to best identify new avenues for this kind of credentialing and can take the time to ensure that everything is in order so that you are set up for success with no stress on your part.
12. Client Prospects Are Drying Up
Every law firm has slower spells and busy times. Still, if you are noticing a downward trend, it is time to analyze whether it is a normal dip in activity or a problem with some element of your marketing plan. If you have already exhausted your current networking and marketing efforts but business is still not picking up, a marketing professional can give some much needed insight.
13. Your Online Properties Are Out-of-Date or Poorly Managed
Your image is everything. Attorney websites with broken links, attorney bios that have not been updated in years, and abandoned blogs can lead clients to think you are no longer practicing. Hire a marketing specialist to consolidate online properties and manage their upkeep.
Choosing the right marketing expert can breathe new life into your client prospects and take your success to the next level. With the right support, your law firm can be flexible and relevant, able to identify new opportunities that will keep your law firm growing into a legacy worth having.