Law firm marketing is a significant investment.
That's true whether you're coordinating a strategy in-house, or engaging an external marketing agency to do it for you.
I'm not sure if you've noticed though, but we lawyers tend to be fairly risk averse. By this, of course, I mean that we're immensely risk averse and don't generally want to do anything at all unless it's an absolute lock.
Avoiding Risk at All Costs
This is why, when a lawyer is presented a contract to review, they tend to pick the eyes out of it on the basis that even the remote risks need to be taken and burned. Of course then the lawyer for the other party does the same, and eventually you end up somewhere between both positions.
That might be excellent lawyering (depending who you ask), but unfortunately for our marketing efforts we tend to take that same approach and apply it to our business development strategies.
It sounds like this:
If you can't guarantee me that this will work, then we won't do it.
While we'd love to tell you that we can “guarantee results” (like all those spam SEO emails you probably get), that's not really how it works.
A Series of Maybes
Let's face it – marketing is a series of maybes.
You write some content.
Maybe you will publish it.
Maybe someone you want to see it in their news feed will actually see it.
Maybe they will click on it.
Maybe they will read past the first paragraph.
Maybe they will think it's interesting.
Maybe they will:
- acknolwedge you as being expert in that field;
- fill in your form to join your newsletter;
- have a current issue relating to the thing you wrote about;
- call your office;
- call you.
But maybe none of those things will happen.
So… should you just not bother? After all, with so many maybes there is a chance of failure.
Maximise the Maybes
Our goal is not to avoid the maybes – that's impossible – our goal is to maximise the chances of the maybe falling in your favour.
So how can we do that?
First we need to invest in learning how to do things right. That might mean courses, but it could also just mean reading widely. What are best practices with content, headlines, posting, image size, video, content type and style? Before we learned how to lawyer, we didn't know that either so the assumption that somehow we'll just figure it out and be great at creating marketing content is both insulting to marketing professionals and kind of dumb. We can learn the ropes ourselves, or we can hire a law firm marketing person to do it for us. Either way is fine.
Next we need to learn from feedback. Complete silence is a form of feedback, of course, but so is reviewing our analytics, our results, our readership and our available statistics. What went well? What didn't? Who wrote what and why was it good? Take the data and do something with it.
Finally we need to create more. I get that creating good content is better than creating mediocre content, but the more content you create the more data you have. The more data you have the more you can embrace steps 1 and 2 – learning to execute well, and analysing the response.
These simple three steps are how you can minimise the risks of the “maybe” and maximise your chances of success.