Saturday, February 21, 2009

A downturn economy, time to evaulate your lawyer marketing

We have all seen the news, listened to the radio, read the paper, seen blogs, read Tweets (Twitter), and have had discussions with our friends and colleagues. Yes, the economy is bad, ad nauseaum. In my personal opinion, focusing on the negative has helped worsen the recession. People buy newspapers and listen to talk radio to hear about negative news more than positive news. I'll get off my soapbox.

So, perhaps there are a few less clients walking into your law firm at the moment. That can be painful. One valuable thing you can do is to reexamine your marketing strategy and budget. If you keep forms asking new clients how they found you, now would be a good time to tabulate the results. Put the results into a spreadsheet with the advertising sources, approximate fee revenue created, cost of advertising, profit, and any other metric that might be important to your practice. Why do this? I think you may be surprised by some of the sources of clients for your firm. As I mentioned in my previous post, you may have to cross reference the source that clients write down with your web analytics tool. Either way you should get a baseline to determine what sources are working and what aren't. Perhaps you don't need that 1/2 page add in the Yellow Pages when it come time to renew. That top listing in Findlaw may be doing very well for you. Either way you should know and plan on making marketing changes that make fiscal sense.

One key investment you can make is on your website. Create new, relevant, and valuable content on your web pages. Once you create content on your website, it is there forever, so any time investment you make in writing will have long term residual effects. If you happen to write an article on bankruptcy strategies to avoid disclosure, you are creating search engine friendly content that can lead to visitors being led to your site for answers and possibly help. In addition, the more relevant content you have on a particular subject, the more authoritative you become to your potential audience.

The same can be said about your blog (blawg = lawyer blog). Recommit to writing at least weekly posts regarding points of law. For the same reason as your website, new content has search engine residual value and establishes your expertise.

Every hour you invest on marketing analysis and web content will yield tangible results in improved client acquisition and marketing spending.


Elizabeth said...

Very informative post, thanks. We are building a new website with Joomla, have recently joined Twitter and have a blawg.

Your idea to tabulate results when asking how clients found us was particularly relevant. It's now on my list of things to do this week.


Legal Marketer said...

Thanks for the kind words. Let me know how the Website goes, I've never used Joomla, but have heard good things. Follow me on Twitter once you get settled over there. I'm "Askinglaw" on Twitter.

gyi tsakalakis said...

Right on point. Why is it so difficult for folks, lawyers in particular, to understand that return on marketing investment is the core metric.

I am constantly surprised at how many lawyers I talk to are still concerned with "visibility" alone.

Stop spending money on marketing that isn't producing measurable results! Hold marketers accountable!