Any firm that hopes to grow needs to understand the expanding world of digital marketing. The problem is that the online landscape is so vast and quickly evolving, becoming effective in the space requires more bandwidth than most law firms have. Chances are, you’ll fare better with a digital marketing agency in your corner. Here’s our advice on how to choose the right law firm marketing agency.
How to Choose a Law Firm Marketing Agency
Ask yourself: what are your law firm’s marketing needs?
First, you need to assess where your internal staff is coming up short. What are your ultimate goals, and how are you hoping to market to meet those goals? What can you do internally, and where are you strapped for time or talent? Consider specific initiatives that require some outsourced help. From help with technical SEO, to a content creation strategy, to web design – these areas all require different skill sets. Some agencies might be full service, but many will specialize in certain areas. Once you’ve narrowed down what your true needs are, you can develop a list of agencies that can help in those specific areas.
Seek a digital marketing agency with legal industry knowledge
As in any field, there are marketing agencies that are great at what they do, and some that make promises they can’t keep. You need to find an agency that will produce a strong ROI, and the best way to do that is to check out past results. Look at their track record, and take a close look at the type of companies or firms they have worked with. Do they have experience working with law firms? If so, what size firms? Some agencies might have great results, but not in your area of practice. This can make a difference in performance.
To truly develop a marketing strategy that aligns with your law firm’s business goals, it is ideal to work with an agency that has a record of success working with other law firms like yours. They’re more likely to have disruptive and innovative approaches to attracting and capturing your ideal client because they understand your practice.
A highly regarded agency should have a list of references. Ask if they have some contacts you can speak to directly. If they cannot provide this, take that as a bad sign.
Hire a strategic partner for your law firm
When you’re hiring a digital marketing agency for your law firm, you’re cultivating a true strategic partnership. Though some of your goals might be shorter-term, you should think of working with an agency in longer terms. Commit to taking the time to find the right partner. Rushing to choose one because you’re in a bind could result in wasted dollars and time, and starting over anyway. Try to think of hiring an agency as you would when hiring someone for your own internal team. You need to make sure there’s a good cultural fit, that members of both teams seem to like and respect each other, and that they are committed to being in the trenches with you. The right agency will be happy to dig into challenges with you and work toward solutions, and should have staff readily available to assist when you need it.
Focus on value
Everyone has a budget. Of course, cost will be a consideration when you choose a legal marketing agency – that’s just the nature of business. However, focusing only on price instead of value is a mistake. The cheapest digital marketing agency very rarely offers the best value. If an agency is offering services at a rate much lower than others, consider why that might be. Are they applying fewer resources to your account? Using less sophisticated tools? There is probably a reason they can offer such a low rate. Instead, it’s important to invest what’s required but feel confident about how your investment is spent. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you’ll receive for what you pay, and how success will be measured. Ensure you have regular check-ins and can shift strategy to work toward better results as needed. Hiring an agency is an important investment in your firm’s future, and all parties should view the process as such. In this article, Mailchimp lists some of the best questions lawyers can ask when determining if an agency is a good fit for the brand.
Look at their reputation
When looking to hire a law firm marketing agency, pay attention to what their reputation is in the legal industry. Try looking into any online reviews, and case studies/ testimonials they have on their website. Are there any notable stories about what they’ve been able to do for other law firms? Have they worked with notable law firms? Do the law firms they’ve helped have marketing akin to what you’d be looking for?
Related: check out the 2021 Social Law Firm Index to get a view of what top law firms’ marketing looks like.
Ability to build
Sure, you may need help with only one facet of your marketing right now or may only have the budget to address 1-2 items, but what about in the future? It’s highly likely your firm will change and will want to do more with your marketing, or on the not-so-bright side, may have to put more effort into your marketing in the event that you’re not reaching your business development goals. Look for an agency that offers a multitude of services, or better yet offers a full range of services. This will allow your law firm to grow with the agency and means you can easily add on more services in the event you need them.
What does their team consist of?
You may be surprised by how many specialties there are within marketing and within the legal marketing industry. For example, a well-thought-out agency will most likely have individuals for particular tasks like search engine optimization, website design, copywriting, etc. Or the agency may outsource these tasks. Look into the teams of the agencies you are researching. Do they have a team that will fulfill your needs? Remember, you’re going to an agency because you want expert help- so make sure this agency has experts on all the marketing items you’ll need.
The right law firm marketing agency is going to help you generate revenue, alleviate stress, and allow you to focus on what’s important to your firm: building your practice. If you’re in the midst of evaluating agencies for your law firm, we would be delighted if you consider us. We develop unique and customized marketing strategies for law firms of all sizes and practice areas. Let us help you take your firm to the next level, freeing you to focus on your clients and your practice! Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
This post has been edited and republished from Nov. 19, 2019.