Law Firm Marketing – Defining Expense Categories
You’ve finalized your strategic goals for the coming year and know exactly how much you’re willing to spend on marketing your law firm, but your work isn’t over yet! Designating and clarifying expense categories is critical to ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes time to spend these hard-won dollars. Here’s a good way to begin breaking down your legal marketing expense categories.
- If you’re in a smaller firm, designate 25% of your budget to attorney-specific activities, such as client entertainment, meeting with potential clients and highly focused networking. If your firm is mid-sized or larger, though, you’ll need to direct that 25% toward practice or industry group-specific activities, for group clients, prospects and focused networking opportunities.
- A full 50% of your budget should focus on approved goals and sticking to the firm’s long-term strategic vision for enhancing its public reputation. This could include branding, revising your website, social media marketing, recruiting, etc.
- The final 25% should be a bit of a wildcard. While every opportunity, regardless of category, must tie in with the firm’s strategic goals in some way, unplanned-for opportunities always present themselves during the year. Remaining flexible and viewing the firm’s strategic plan as a roadmap, rather than a rigid guideline, lets your firm take advantage of market trends.
Just remember, people are more likely to buy into the firm budget when they have some control over how it’s spent. Keep the percentages loose and adjust them to your firm, practices’ and attorneys’ needs – and, as long as you can tie the expenditures back to your overarching goals, you’ll be in a good place.