A growing number of law firms are finally recognizing what non-legal companies have known for decades: to build a financially successful business, you must focus on your core competencies and either delegate or outsource the rest of your business functions.
There are many law firm marketing tasks that you can and should delegate or outsource because it’s simply not the best use of your time. There are also several that you should keep in your own hands, including cultivating relationships with clients and referral sources.
When it comes to outsourcing your law firm marketing and business development efforts, here’s a five step process we recommend our clients follow:
- Identify the marketing strategies and business development tools that will work best for your practice area.
- Analyze your firm’s realistic ability to effectively design and implement the plan using existing, internal team members.
- Select which strategies your firm will handle internally and which ones you want to outsource.
- Interview and select an outsourced legal marketing company who can assist you.
- Set realistic goals and benchmarks.
Once you have selected which marketing tools you want to use, the next step is to analyze your law firm’s current ability to design, develop, implement and maintain the marketing plan. You must be realistic! The worst thing you can do is try to do it all by yourself or force your staff to do it. If your plan is to “dump” a bunch of marketing activities onto an already overwhelmed office manager because s/he took a couple of marketing classes in college, then don’t be surprised when it implodes.
Many attorneys become frustrated when they try to “pull the team together” and get them to “do some marketing.” Then there are the attorneys who try to do it all on their own. They falsely believe they are saving money by handling most or all of their law firm marketing efforts by themselves. However, we have found this is actually the most expensive way to do marketing.
Think about this—how much do you charge per hour? $200? $300? $400? More? If you charge only $200 per hour for your expertise and it takes you only one hour to research, write and post a 300-400 word article on your blog, then that one blog post “cost” your business $200! If you do that 20 or more times every month, which is the best practice according to the latest research, that means you are spending $6,000 per month or $72,000 per year just on blogging! Certainly you can find or hire a part-time writer for less than that.
It takes years of dedication working with thousands of different attorneys, running test after test and trying dozens of different law firm marketing techniques with different practice areas to truly become an expert legal marketer! I would propose that it’s not something you can truly achieve an expertise in by practicing a few hours a week, any more than you can become an expert litigator by reading a John Grisham novel.
To learn what it takes to develop and implement a law firm marketing plan for your firm, consider attending a Rainmaker Retreat. We have sessions already scheduled for the first half of this year, and they are filling up fast:
- February 10-11, 2017 — Miami, FL/Sonesta Coconut Grove
- March 10-11, 2017 — Dallas, TX/Fairmont Dallas
- March 24-25, 2017 — Tampa, FL/Le Meridien Tampa
- May 12-13, 2017 — Atlanta, GA/Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center
Plan ahead and take advantage of the Early Bird pricing, where you can save 30% off the regular price. You can register here now.