Marketing is essential for any lawyer who wants more cases. And the best way to manage it is by working with a law firm marketing expert instead of trying to do it yourself.
Most lawyers don’t have the time it takes to add marketing on top of everything else they need to do in their firm.
The average lawyer only spends 2.5 hours a day working on billable client cases. Many attorneys spread themselves thin with law firm management to the point that they miss out on valuable opportunities to find and serve more prospective clients.
But the person or team you choose to handle your law firm marketing will make or break your results.
You have to know how to evaluate someone offering marketing services to find the right person to guide you. Not all marketing services work with the legal field often enough to make it on your shortlist. You need someone who knows what they're doing and who owns their expertise in their field if you want to win.
Here are the most important attributes to look for as you search for the perfect legal marketing partner.
1. A Deep Understanding of the Legal Industry
The legal industry is unique. You need to speak effectively to clients without overpromising or guaranteeing results. You need to avoid brushing up against any state or national bar association rules.
Having someone who understands this is the table stakes for a legal marketing partner.
Your marketing partner must understand:
- The legal industry (including legal jargon and processes)
- The bar association rules that apply to your firm
- The people you want to reach (your ideal clients) and their needs
- Where and how you want to grow, such as practice areas you want to scale up
There are plenty of fantastic marketers out there, but if they've never worked with lawyers, they won't know how to get you the most from your online marketing. You're best off with someone who works exclusively with lawyers.
2. A Strategic Outlook on Legal Marketing
Effective legal marketing takes more than just checking off tasks like creating a law firm website or setting up social media profiles.
You need a strategist.
Many marketers focus on tactics like SEO, PPC, and social media. But marketing is so much more. Tactics are essential, but you need to choose them based on a well-defined strategy tailored to your firm if you want to improve your profitability and get more new cases.
A true marketing partner grasps the difference between a law firm marketing strategy and simple tactics.
They understand that strategy is the roadmap that guides these tactics to achieve broader goals. Your marketing consultant should know that not every tactic is right for every firm. It's about wisely allocating your marketing budget based on expertise, not just trends.
Good marketers also stay up to date. They consider new initiatives when they make sense. But they don't just suggest the latest trend. Instead, they weigh whether it fits into your strategic goals.
Your marketing partner should be able to craft a coherent strategy with you so that you have the best chance at success.
3. Expertise In a Variety of Marketing Tactics
A true expert in attorney marketing will have a firm grasp of multiple marketing tactics. They should be able to determine which tactics work well together in order to accomplish your overall strategy and marketing goals.
Some of the tactics your law firm marketing partner should have experience with, depending on your chosen strategy, include:
A solid marketing team will be able to consider and then suggest these different marketing efforts to create a comprehensive law firm marketing plan.
They should be able to explain to you how the tactics will boost your law firm’s online presence while working alongside any offline marketing methods you’re used to using.
Review your potential partner’s case studies to see how they measured success. And consider talking to the agency’s past and current clients. These insights will help you understand if they really have the skills in each of the various areas important to your firm.
4. The Ability to Execute Your Marketing Campaign
The right partner won’t just know how to strategize or pick tactics. They’ll also have the skills to execute your campaign and report on it.
A marketing expert must be able to create compelling content that connects your law firm's unique selling proposition with the needs of your potential clients.
You need someone with a mix of skills in things like:
- Graphic design
This is true of any form of content marketing, whether they write ads, blog posts, social media posts, or email marketing material.
Beyond that, the execution skills your partner needs depend upon your strategy and tactics.
If you plan on focusing on website content creation, your expert in attorney marketing should be familiar with technical SEO, on-page SEO, and web development tools. Website development is a skill in and of itself, and you want someone who can make changes on your site to lay the groundwork for a domain that hits the top of search engine results pages.
Whether you build your site on WordPress, Webflow, or some other CMS, the person or team you hire should know how to build on it.
Your marketing expert should also understand how local SEO for lawyers works. They should be able to effectively develop a Google Business Profile and build citations that help you show up in Google Maps.
Beyond implementing marketing tasks from the overall strategy, a legal marketer should also be able to analyze and report on the results of their activities. This means they need to understand Google Analytics and Google Search console. They should also be able to track your SEO performance through keyword-tracking tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.
And there’s one common mistake every lawyer needs to watch out for before working with an external marketer.
Some marketing agencies will build new websites for attorneys, but not pass the ownership to the firm. Make sure you don’t get handcuffed to an agency that tries to hold onto the rights to your website design, page content, or other marketing collateral.
5. Strong Communication Skills
You deserve to work with someone who will communicate with you in a clear and transparent way, keeping you up to date with key information.
This breaks down to a marketing expert who:
- Outlines what they'll do for you and how it will happen
- Provides regular updates with transparent reporting
- Has the ability to translate complex marketing jargon and data points into understandable terms
- Offers transparent pricing without hidden fees
Read through online reviews to see what past clients say about their experience working with the agency you’re vetting. Look for indications that the client felt cared for and knew what was going on in their campaigns at any given time.
6. A Proven Track Record
It's not enough for someone to say they're familiar with the legal industry and marketing in general.
They need to prove it.
A legal marketing expert should be able to back up everything they say with proof of their skills.
Whoever you choose should know the right law firm marketing strategies to grow a legal practice. Look for past successes with law firms and case studies or testimonials as evidence of their performance in action.
Look for tangible results as you review each case study.
For example, if you want to grow through SEO, look for things like substantial improvements in organic website traffic, improvements in on-site conversion rates, or more new clients per month.
Any lawyer marketing expert worth their salt is upfront about their results. If you want to see ours, check out our case studies.
Questions to Ask a Potential Marketing Expert
Before you hire anyone to help you with legal marketing, be prepared to ask the right questions. This will narrow your search, but it will also help you build trust and confidence with whoever you hire to assist you.
Here are some key things you should ask someone before you bring them on for marketing:
- What experience do you have working with personal injury law firms?
- Can I see examples of your past campaign results and metrics?
- How do you handle an underperforming campaign or tactic?
- How do you balance a marketing budget when it comes to allocating time and money to the right things that drive results?
- What tactics do you think would be most effective for our law firm to get to the next level?
- How do you handle feedback or campaign adjustments?
- What web design skills do you bring to the table?
Choose a Marketing Partner Who Makes Life Easier for You
Hiring an experienced legal marketer allows you to offload a critical part of your business to someone who can handle all the heavy lifting while you continue to serve clients.
But too many lawyers get trapped in a cycle of working with experts who don’t know what they’re doing.
You’re more likely to find the best marketing partner when you know the right attributes to look out for. Look for someone who displays strategic thinking and an understanding of the tactics that fit your strategy. Look at their past results and ability to execute complex campaigns.
At Rankings.io, we focus exclusively on digital marketing for lawyers. Our results speak for themselves. We have a deep understanding of the best methods for attracting your target audience to your firm. And we do it all with a focused commitment to clear communication, transparency, and accountability.
Contact us today for a consultation to see how we can help your law firm grow.