The top 5 things lawyers need to stop saying
Conscious are back on the road, with a series of trade shows, forums and conferences lined up. We’ve been doing our fair share of mingling, and if you’re reading this, the chances are we’ve mingled with you in the past or are planning to mingle with you soon. No one escapes the Conscious radar!
During these networking events, I often hear the following phrases (excuses) about marketing related things. While these objections are quite frustrating to hear, they are actually more detrimental to your firms’ success. So without further a-do, it’s time to tackle these head on and reveal the 5 things you need to stop saying.
1. “I’ve been in this profession for 20 years, I don’t need all this new social media stuff to get clients.”
So, despite the tsunami of modern culture and technology, you stayed completely dry. You get work through referrals and that’s the way it’s always been done. You grumble when people ask you to connect on LinkedIn, you “don’t get the point” of Facebook and think it’s just a whole world of teenagers posting pictures of their dinner and getting excited. I know. It’s okay.
Well, actually, as a matter of a fact, it isn’t really okay. We now live in a digital world, where every action has its online repercussion, be it as big as a political scandal or as small as commenting on the great selection of shoes in that new shop you just visited. Everyone and their mums are online, tapping away at the keyboard to share their latest opinions. So if your law firm doesn’t have a profile on any social media networks, it’s time to up your game. Your competitors are doing the same. Social media channels are virtual spaces to interact with real people every day without leaving your office, they are a playground for businesses to assert their company personality, it’s now what separates the strong from the mighty strong and in all honesty, you’re missing out on earning more fees by ignoring them. Once you’ve gotten familiar with each platform, you’ll realise it’s not so hard after all. Social media is all about listening, interacting and engaging.
2. “We’ve got someone who does our marketing, so I don’t know anything about it.”
You’re the “I’m a lawyer, I practice law, leave me alone!” type who has just come to this conference to hear about the importance of compliance and didn’t ask to be bombarded with marketing advice by a man in an orange shirt claiming to hold the secret to success.
Well, count yourself lucky!
Implementing a strong Business Development strategy in your firm is vital, and while you may think it’s “not your department”, with the legal profession becoming increasingly commercial the reality is it’s “everyone’s” department. Often, lawyers worry that adding BD or marketing to their responsibilities means they would never have any time off, that it would essentially be like having two full-time jobs. Let’s just dispel that myth straight away. When someone says “take an active role in your firm’s marketing effort” they don’t mean you should be spearheading campaigns or blogging every day. All it involves is taking little steps to ensure you’re bringing in new work and keeping existing clients satisfied. These little steps don’t have to be time-consuming to be effective: perhaps it’s a just a few catch up phone-calls with clients every now and then, or interacting with followers on Twitter. If you’re a good writer, write a piece for a publication once in a while. It’s these little extras that help your firm stand out.
3. “We had a new website done in 2010, so we won’t be needing a new one for a while.”
I’m sure that if I had seen your firms website in 2010 when it had just had it’s latest lick of paint, I would (probably) have been impressed. I know five years doesn’t seem that long, but in Internet time it’s a century. Think of how different things were back then: in 2010 there were approximately 255 million websites in existence. Now there are one billion. Facebook boasted over 400 million monthly active users. Now it has 1.49 billion. When put in this way, 2010 seems like a long time ago.
If I directed you to our website today and it looked like it did in 2010, you’d probably think we weren’t very good. What’s in fashion with web design today – such as big cinematic homepages – will probably not be eye catching in 2020. Keeping your site looking fresh and attractive helps to build credibility. You may be an excellent and well-reputable law firm, but if you have a poorly designed or outdated website, it could cost you clients.
4. “I’m too busy for marketing.”
Ah, the old classic. I know what you’re really saying here. You’re too busy doing your ‘real work.’ This implies that you think marketing is just an unnecessary add-on to a law firm, about as useful as a selfie stick to a sea cucumber. On a serious note, I understand that you’re assessing which time consuming activity will bring you more ROI – marketing or legal work, and that when the two are in competition, the high quality service you provide your clients with is the obvious winner.
Nowadays, a firm with no marketing effort at all is going to lose out, no matter how their reputation in the past has held up from its lawyer’s great service. You may be the best, but just like a rock band stuck in basement-phase, without some form of promotion, only the people you already know will be aware of you/your firm. Plus, if you don’t have a spare hour or two a week to ensure that your current clients are keeping you in mind and your prospective ones are discovering your services, then you probably need to manage your time more effectively.
5. “We advertise in the newspaper, do we really need to do anything else?”
No, not if all the people who read newspapers are paying close attention to the ads, ready with their devices at hand to note down names of useful companies for the future. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the case. While print isn’t dying as rapidly as we expected it would with the digital age in full swing, it’s still not exactly the best place to be advertising in the first place. In fact, many advertising agencies will tell you that there are no ads for ad agencies because advertising does not produce the same ROI for services as it does for products. The truth is, there is a lot more you can be doing.
If you want to advertise, the best place is obviously online – be it social media or Google ads, if somebody can decisively click onto your ad and be directed to your site, they’ll be more inclined to use your service then they would glancing at your logo in the corner of a newspaper page. Pay Per Click is undeniably a great way to drive traffic to your site and boost awareness of your firm. But after that, it’s the extra steps you take to market your services that will make a difference.
Put it this way: advertising is the beautiful dress or sharp suit that draws someone in. Marketing is the conversation that keeps them there.