As we’ve talked to attorneys throughout the years, we’ve noticed that a number of law firms have a deep mistrust of marketers and agencies. Some have been burned before by agencies that weren’t transparent with their methods or results. Others blame a lack of prospects or new clients on the agency, saying they wasted their money.
Rarely do these attorneys ever think that they could have been part of the problem. But where we see the firms with the most distrust in marketers, we also see a lack of communication on both sides.
Sometimes, the Agency is to Blame
Yes, there are certainly digital agencies out there that have less-than-ideal methods. You see this a lot with agencies who offer simple packages of services. Law Firm Marketing—SEO (search engine optimization) in particular—is not a series of deliverables sold upfront with little investigation. It doesn’t magically help obtain new clients when you do the exact same thing for 12 straight months for all clients across the board.
Marketing and SEO require analyzing the current state of the law firm, looking at their competition online, and creating a solution to maximize the law firm’s visibility in their market. Then, as tactics are executed, measuring and optimizing them along the way.
If you simply see an agency pitching their “package” of a website, blog, and backlink building without stating why they’re important or what the goals of the deliverables are, run.
All marketing efforts need to be unique, they need to be tailored to the client. They need to be backed up with data. Every law firm is different! The practice areas, the attorneys, the location of the firm, the competition in the region, and more all need to be taken into consideration when working on a marketing strategy.
But what if the agency is customizing their approach and being transparent, yet you’re still disappointed in their performance?
You may need to look in the mirror.
You’ve heard it time and again—the key to a successful relationship is communication.
This absolutely applies to your relationship with your law firm’s marketing agency.
If your marketing agency is not asking you about your current lead volume, your current marketing investment and strategy, your business goals, or generally doesn’t seem invested in your success, it’s very unlikely they can help you meet your law firm’s goals.
On the flipside, if you don’t communicate your goals and expectations to your agency in the beginning of your working relationship, how can you expect them to be successful for you?
The first conversation with your marketing agency should be about what’s currently going on in your law firm in terms of marketing, competition, and prospects and how you’d like that to change through marketing efforts. It’s up to you to be transparent about what you want out of the relationship, and up to the agency to decide if your goals are realistic and develop strategies to meet them.
If you’re serious about growing your law firm’s business, you have to invest time in your own success.
If you are unwilling to have a transparent conversation about the state of your firm, the marketing wins and mistakes you have made, the goals of the firm both short and long-term, then hiring a marketing agency may not be for you.
[bctt tweet=”If you’re serious about growing your law firm’s business, you have to invest time in your own success.”]
A good marketing agency will be a long-term partner and feel like your marketing department that just happens to be in a different office. They will share your mission, create measurable goals and work hard to achieve them. And, most importantly, they will be honest when they aren’t hitting the goals at the pace they expected and be ready with adjustments or new tactics.
Tips for a Great Agency Relationship
- Choose an agency with similar values. If you are invested in growing your business, pick a more hands-on team to work with. If you want to focus on practicing law and would prefer to “set it and forget it”, find an agency whose model matches your preferences.
- Spend time thinking about your goals. What are you looking to gain from marketing your law firm? Is it more clients, better cases, or are you entering into a new practice area? Write down your thoughts, then refine them into measurable goals in a conversation with your agency.
- Look at your current numbers. Hopefully, you have some tracking in place that will tell you where your current clients are coming from. If not, do your best to estimate how many clients you’re getting a month and from where.
- Communicate with your agency. Make time for regular calls and emails with the marketers working for your firm. The better you are about keeping in touch, the easier it will be for your agency to make progress towards your goals.
- Give honest feedback. Are your goals not being met? Are you getting more calls, but from the wrong type of client? Let your agency know so they can make adjustments to your marketing strategy. The sooner you give any type of feedback, the better.
Are you seeing a return on your marketing investment?
An important part of working with an agency is evaluating your return on investment, or ROI, on the different marketing tactics you employ.
Click the button below to get our free guide Legal Marketing ROI.