A lot of attorneys are looking for quick fixes. They’re so busy, they want more than anything for someone else to handle something for them for a change. And, that would be fine — if they didn’t also demand near-perfection and immediate results from whomever they’ve deemed worthy of providing them a particular service. This is also true of marketing. Law firms that hire search engine marketing companies have been conditioned to expect first position on Google during the first month of service — and, that’s mostly been the fault of the marketing companies, and their early messaging efforts. Still, that’s a massive ask; and, it clearly takes time to build an effective online marketing program.
Inevitably, lawyers get frustrated working with vendors for whom they have unreasonable expectations; and, when they’re not working with vendors, they’re unwilling to put in the work necessary to build their own law firm marketing system. Generally, outcomes are poor.
Small steps taken by attorneys, however, could improve the situation. In the first instance, lawyers should recognize and accept that, even with a full-scale paid online marketing program, that that program would be better supported when attorneys within a law firm make efforts related to their own marketing program. This could be as simple as creating regular content pieces (videos, blogs, etc.), or becoming more active on one social media channel. The fact is that personalized content will resonate better with your potential clients and existing clients, and that any ammo you can provide to your marketing vendors will improve their results. Not to mention that content marketing is hugely effective for law firms, especially when coupled with a paid marketing program. Lawyers should also take time to review and better understand the work that marketing professionals do. The notion of ‘set it and forget it’ for vendor relationships is a bad one. Would you not make a substantive review of your bookkeeper’s trust account reconciliation report? (Wait, don’t answer that.) If you can developer a better understanding of what your marketing vendors are trying to achieve, you can better align yourself with appropriate goals, develop a more efficient working relationship and achieve the results you want, including increased revenue.
Think of how much time and effort the average attorney puts into a client’s case, how much time they spend crafting substantive work. A small percentage of that effort applied to vendor relationships would go a long way.