This is an important public service announcement if you are considering hiring a legal marketing company, agency or service to market your law firm.
Please take it seriously.
Far too many lawyers think legal marketing will be the answer to their prayers — I get it, I once thought that, too — but what I discovered (and you will, too, if you don’t heed this warning) is that legal marketing is just a teeny piece of the law business puzzle.
You’d think it was the whole enchilada if you pay attention to what every online marketer in the legal space is trying to sell you, but they’ve never built and run a successful law practice before.
I have. In fact, I left a big corporate law firm and built my own practice into a million dollar a year revenue generating business in only 3 years. And I’ve led hundreds of lawyers to do similarly. (Read testimonials here)
Here’s what I can tell you from all my experience …
If you invest in legal marketing, but have a flawed business model (as most lawyers do), you’re simply wasting your money. Moreover, you’re digging yourself a bigger hole, faster, which only makes it harder to get out of later.
Think about it …
Marketing, done well (which is a whole other issue with “legal marketing” agencies), gets your phone ringing.
Getting your phone ringing is great, but a ringing phone does not equal dollars.
You still have to engage the people calling your office as clients. If you don’t know how to engage nearly every prospect who calls your office, you’re wasting those marketing dollars. And you’re wasting a lot of billable time on prospects who are not qualified to become clients when you fail to pre-screen them properly.
Here’s the worst part — without a great system for engaging the prospects who respond to your marketing, you are straight-up marketing for your competition.
Don’t do that. Before you spend a whole lot on marketing, fix your client engagement system first. Learn to engage more of the people who are already calling your office, and increase your revenue before increasing expenses.
Get your phones answered the right way, appointments set with people who will come in ready to engage (because the person setting the appointment is doing it right), and learn how to seal the deal with every person you sit down with at healthy fees (packaged, not hourly) that your new clients are happy to pay.
That’s why we almost always recommend lawyers using our turn-key practice building systems begin with implementing our system for engaging clients.
It’s immediate ROI with no increase in overhead or expenses, whatsoever.
Once you do that, it might still make sense to invest in legal marketing.
But, before you turn the marketing spigot on, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your client service systems dialed in. If you don’t treat the clients coming through your office like gold, all that marketing will simply buy you a crappy reputation around town.
That’s why a significant component of our turn-key legal practice systems include specific, detailed, step by step systems for providing such a high degree of client service that it turns your clients into raving fans.
When that happens, investing in legal marketing is just a supplement to the word of mouth (free) marketing buzz that you gain. (Seth Godin would be proud.)
While you are getting client engagement and client service nailed down, you can also focus on getting your website cleaned up and looking sweet with great copy and compelling lead generation magnets to turn your former brochure website into a highly interactive lead generation machine.
Once you’ve got all that handled, then and only then, should you put your investment dollars into legal marketing.
There are some free marketing actions I do recommend you take while you are getting your business systems set up so that you can get enough clients in the door to “practice” on until you are ready to invest in serious legal marketing and the client flow that can come with it.
I’ll have to save those for another message because this is getting long.
Here’s what I want you to know.
Legal marketing alone will not transform your practice and turn you into the lawyer you want to be. And, in fact, it could even make your life a whole lot worse if engaged in without the rest of the systems I discussed.
Instead, consider changing the way you do business, and then you’ll have something to market.
Interested in learning more? Start here: