You may have heard that there are now a majority of states that have adopted new legal ethics rules insinuating that a lawyer’s competence includes knowledge and understanding of legal technology. And, although you’d probably never hear this from anyone on any accredited CLE panel, this seems to also include technology for marketing, inasmuch as that extends to data retention and security.
But, the broader idea of a lawyer’s competence extending to marketing technology is a new concept. Does it also mean that an attorney should understand how to wield marketing technology effectively? Maybe, maybe not. But, you should treat it as such anyway -- because for most attorneys the thing that’s going to put you out of business is not that you undergo an ethics investigation, it’s that you don’t make enough money, often enough. That’s directly related to your marketing strategy and tactics, of course.
And, while the notion of generic technology competence is something lawyers have had a difficult time wrapping their heads around, marketing technology competence is a little easier to understand -- to wit: In order to be a competent legal marketer, you should always be seeking to reduce the number of steps a potential client needs to get to you. For example, if you can reduce a step in your intake process, do it. If you can make it easier for your clients to pay you, do that too. And, if you can create a more compelling payment arrangement by fixing costs, and taking the guesswork out of calculating lawyer rates, do that thing also. Of course, in some cases, it may be appropriate to add steps to reduce barriers, like when you build out an effective client journey, for new law firm clients who may never have interacted with a law firm before.
Modern law firm consumers are more impatient than ever. They don’t have time for your accolades; they just want someone who is going to solve their problem. So, position yourself as a solution point; and, then continue to educate your client through the course of your relationship. This is not about burnishing your war chest; it’s about focusing on helping people. And, isn’t that why literally everyone went to law school?