3 Things to Consider When Budgeting Your Firm’s Marketing Dollars
Even in this digital age, many law firms aren’t dedicating the time and resources necessary for a sound marketing strategy.
Does the thought of creating a strategic marketing budget for your law firm throw you into a case of analysis paralysis? You’re not alone. It’s one of the most important decisions you will make for the future of your firm, and the number of options can seem overwhelming.
But there is good news. The advancements in digital marketing are making it easier than ever to plan, track and implement your strategy for growing your firm’s business. They also can save your firm valuable time and money.
Still, as a legal marketer, you may have to go to bat for the effectiveness of online marketing to your firm’s leadership. You also have the power to change the perception that digital marketing is too expensive, too complex to administer and too hard to measure in terms of return on investment. Many of the top attorneys may be resistant to making the investment. How can you convince them?
Here are three strategies to consider:
1. Assess Your Strategy and Objectives
A strong first step is to assess what you are doing well and where you could use some improvement. For example, is your firm visible enough for potential clients? If not, one goal may be to implement a strategy that will increase brand awareness.
Other possible goals could be to establish new practice areas or direct more people to your website. Once you have clearly established your goals, investigate possible digital options for achieving them, such as:
- Legal directories
- Pay per click (PPC)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Web chat and call centers
- Content marketing and blogging
- Social media
2. Prepare a Strong Case
It’s also worth having a backup plan in case the decision-makers aren’t sold on your initial strategy. According to the Law Firm Digital Marketing Survey conducted by the Legal Marketing Association in September 2018, 57 percent of respondents said convincing management of change was a challenge.
One way to address resistant leadership is by presenting your plan to the firm in small, compelling pieces. This “bite-sized” approach will make the changes you’re proposing more palatable. It also will help the firm’s attorneys digest the information more readily.
Also, be prepared to address any questions that are likely to arise. This will assure the firm’s decision-makers that you’ve done your homework. Here are a few questions you can anticipate:
- Do we really need this and why?
- What will it cost?
- How will this help grow our firm?
- How will we track our results?
- Are you able to handle this yourself?
3. Consider an Outside Marketing Firm
If a digital plan feels like too much work to tackle on your own, look into getting help from an outside agency that specializes in legal marketing. An external marketing agency won’t replace you. But it can offer you marketing strategies that address your firm’s needs. And that can free you up to focus on other marketing initiatives, such as events and media coverage.
Needless to say, you should vet the agencies carefully. A good agency won’t make pie-in-the-sky promises nor try to sell itself with vague highfalutin jargon. Instead, it will seek to be a true partner, one that – like you – is interested in measurable goals and long-term results.