Happy New Year! The best gift I can give to you is that of helping you get more clients in 2019.
Small and solo law firms face unique challenges when it comes to marketing and business development. This week’s message is designed to help you get set up with the right tools, metrics, and approaches to maximize your marketing investment month after month.
Set up a 20-minute review .
Step 1: Automate where possible
Any business development plan will have some element of activity and interaction necessary, but save yourself time, headache, and money by automating what you can. Here are some ideas:
Phone calls. Many small firms aren’t able to answer every call during the day, or don’t have a system set up so after-hours calls get sent to a voicemail.
There are plenty of services out there to help with this, and for a few hundred dollars a month, it’s a worthwhile investment. 60% of legal consumers expect a return call within 12 hours.
This doesn’t have to sound reasonable to you, but do know this is the age we’re in. And if you aren’t connecting with somebody, they will call other attorneys. Another stat: 74% of consumers hire the first attorney they speak to. So get the phone system handled. ASAP.
Lead Generation. This is the golden ticket for law firms. Attorney referrals Will always account for a percentage of your business. But referrals tend to come in waves, and the smart move is to help balance the slower times with a pipeline of consistent leads.
There are many choices for this – PPC (Google paid ads), Directory advertising (FindLaw, Super Lawyers, etc), Social Media advertising, etc. – but the key is to find an option that has historic proof of a 4:1 return.
This means that if you put in $1000/month, you receive at least $4000 in case value. As a reference, the firms I work with average 4:1 to 6:1 return each month, which is why 87%-90% of my customers renew with me each year.
Step 2: Consolidate Efforts
Most firm I speak with have a handful of vendors they work with to grow their business. That may sound good on the surface but can often lead to issues. Imagine having to look up data on Google PPC ads, and then check your Yelp leads, and then check your Avvo leads, and then look at your website analytics, and then look at your social media statistics…
This type of process does a lot to confuse and obfuscate your return on investment. In order to Reduce Confusion, Save Time, and Increase Profitability, look for growth partners with these characteristics and capabilities:
- Unified Dashboard. You should be able to see all relevant information in one place – website statistics, video views, social media visits, popular blog posts, and most importantly, your advertising performance.
- Displayed expertise in multi-channel marketing. You’re going to want a firm who is a Google Premier Partner for proven success in PPC advertising, as well as a directory that has significant performance and presence (see chart below), who can write effective blog posts as part of a content marketing strategy (this can include written posts as well as video advertising), social media expertise, full analytics, and a team of account managers, content marketers, digital marketers (SEO), and local consultants.
Doing so will yield three key results:
- Reduce confusion. You’ll know exactly what your investment does for you each and every month
- Save time. You will not have to look across three to five separate platforms to understand what’s doing what.
- Increase profitability. Time is valuable, and the more time you save, and the more and better leads you get, allow you to be more profitable.
Step 3: Talk With An Expert
Many firms out there will offer a consultation to you, but when you speak with them all you get is pushed into buying an ad or service.
When you and I connect, I’m going to ask you more questions than you ask of me.
I’m going to come prepared with an initial audit of your digital presence to see what’s working for you, and what you can improve.
I’m going to listen to your goals as a firm.
If at the end of our conversation I feel I can help you achieve your goals (and a 5:1 return), we’ll set up another meeting to review some ideas. If not, we’ll shake hands and part as friends.
SEO and Competitive Research
- Ahrefs is perhaps the greatest single tool out there (my opinion). This allows you to see a relevant snapshot of your or a competitors’ website.
- SEMRush is another strong competitor in the holistic marketing review game. Very similar to Ahrefs but also has a little more content recommendations
- Moz Pro Many people swear by Moz. Historically, I preferred Ahrefs or SEMRush but Moz has really stepped up it’s game and added some great new tools. Worth checking out.
Google Paid Ads (PPC) Research
- SpyFu.com is one of the original PPC competitive research tools. Provides a more holistic review of your competitor
- iSpionage A strong competitor to SpyFu
- KeywordSpy A great tool for understanding some of your competitors’ keywords
- BONUS: If you’re running ads already, run your website through the WordStream Advisor tool (free trial) and get some actionable insight to improve
Social Media Marketing
- AdEspresso See your competitors’ social media advertisements and leverage their success
- Hootsuite This used to be a go-to tool for me, but they’ve recently moved more into an enterprise-level tool, so small firms are not a good fit
- Buffer THIS is my social distribution tool of choice. Makes it insanely easy to post to multiple platforms in a fell swoop…and is budget friendly
Images & Video Creation
- Canva is a great tool for creating images for blog posts and social media posts
- Crello is a newer player in the market, but is a STRONG competitor of Canva for social media posts
- VidBuild is a relatively new video builder, but one that’s already rivaling some of the biggest and best video creation tools on the market.
- Doodly allows you to create those whiteboard videos you see all over.