You’ve Got Questions About Web Marketing Services. We’ve Got Answers!
We strongly believe that there are no bad questions. However, there are bad answers. To combat the misinformation littering the web about Internet marketing, we’ve compiled a list of common marketing services questions and answers. You can rest assured that the answers you get—written by our in-house, U.S.-based team—are second to none.
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How much do lawyers spend on marketing?
It’s hard to grow your law firm if you’re not marketing it. It’s hard to pay for marketing if you’re not getting a lot of clients and cases. It can feel like a terrible catch-22 situation. And it leads a lot of lawyers to ask, “well, just how much SHOULD I be spending on marketing, anyway?”
That’s probably why you’re here right now! And, while there is a real answer to this question, there are some things we should talk about first.
Your Marketing Budget Should Match Your Law Firm and Your Goals
The size and age of your law firm, the types of practice areas you cover, your location—all these things impact how much you should spend on marketing yourself. For example, a growing personal injury law firm might need to spend more on marketing and lead generation than an established corporate law firm does. A hometown law firm will likely spend less on marketing than a similar law firm in a big, competitive city. So, you need to think about those kinds of factors and adjust your budget accordingly.
It really comes down to your goals. How much do you want to grow? What areas are you trying to develop?
And, even more importantly, is your law firm ready to handle it if it works?
“We have never been this busy before. It’s even a joke around the office: ‘Stop the marketing! We’re getting too busy!’ Busy in a good way, though.”
Simone may be joking in the quote above, but there is a legitimate concern there. If you get too many new leads too fast, and you don’t have systems in place to be ready for them, it could turn into a big problem. A hundred new leads won’t help you if all of them have a terrible experience on your website or with your firm.
You might be ready to go fast and furious, or you might need to start more slowly and work up to a bigger push while you improve your intake systems or follow-up campaigns. You might be better served by improving your law firm website or finding marketing automation software you like before you go crazy with new campaigns or ads.
In other words, the foundation you’re working from will impact how much you need to spend and when.
And, finally, lawyers have all different kinds of marketing approaches. A bigger or smaller spend doesn’t always correlate directly to their actual success in marketing their law firms. So, chasing their numbers won’t necessarily give you the same results. Instead, you have to choose your marketing budget with YOUR goals in mind.
So, with all that out of the way, how much SHOULD lawyers spend marketing their law firms?
How to Nail Down a Working Number for Your Law Firm’s Marketing Budget
The general wisdom is that businesses should spend between 3 and 18 percent of their revenue on marketing. For law firms, in particular, we can actually narrow this down even further and say that it’s between 7 and 10 percent of your revenue.
Depending on the other factors we talked about above, that might be a little more or less. If you want to make a big push, go a little higher. If you just want to maintain, go a little lower. But between 7 and 10 percent is a good place to start working from.
So, let’s say a law firm with an annual gross revenue of $250,000 has decided they need to reinvest about 8 percent of that into their marketing. That turns into a monthly marketing budget of about $1,667.
Or, let’s say a law firm with an annual gross revenue of $900,000 wants to put 9% of that into marketing projects. That turns into a monthly budget of $6,750.
Typically, law firms that push that number a little more—by maybe $1,000 or $2,000—outperform law firms that undercut it by the same amount.
Ultimately, you may not actually be saving money by shaving little bits off your marketing spending here and there. Instead, you could just be shaving off your future profits! So, choose your budget carefully, and be ready to adjust it over time.
And here’s another important note: if that reinvestment into your business isn’t increasing your business, then don’t make the mistake of quitting marketing altogether. Again, it’s tough to grow a business that you aren’t marketing or letting people know about. So, don’t give up. Just get more focused on what’s working for what you want to achieve.
If you aren’t focused enough on the right goals or don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, it won’t matter how much you spend on your marketing.
Track the Return You’re Getting From Your Investment
The whole point of putting money into marketing is to make more money later. So, you need to have a finger on the pulse of your marketing. Is it working? Are you getting more leads, clients, and cases? Are there ways you can leverage what’s already successful for you? Are there better ways to do what didn’t work out as well as you planned? Don’t be afraid to ask questions or work with experts. To be a great marketer, you always have to be ready to adjust your tactics and push your knowledge further. You can’t ignore it all and expect it to work!
You want to put your biggest focus on the things that bring in the best clients for your firm. That might be a referral campaign. That might be creative videos or educational content or email outreach. But don’t totally neglect the little things that build your branding and trust with potential clients.
You want to ensure you’re nurturing your existing list AND putting out lots of lines for new leads. Together, that’s how you keep tons of great clients in the pipeline. It’s a bit of a balancing act, and that’s all the more reason to know what’s going on.
Not sure what’s really going on with your law firm’s marketing? We have answers. Request a free website analysis to find out why your marketing isn’t as effective as you need it to be, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 with your questions.
Should I work with multiple law firm marketing companies?
If you’re marketing a law firm right, then you’re probably spinning a lot of plates. You have to keep up with your website, SEO, email campaigns, content creation, paid ads—the list goes on and on. It’s a lot to keep track of, so most successful law firms end up hiring a company to keep track of it all for them.
And that’s great! It makes sense to bring in the professionals when you want professional results!
The problem is that some law firms can’t stop there. They keep hiring MORE law firm marketing companies—and that’s dangerous.
I do understand the impulse, though. It seems like getting more companies involved will improve the kinds of results you’re getting. But here’s the thing.
If you don’t like the results you’re getting from one marketing company, is it really a good idea to add more law firm marketing companies to the mix?
Chances are that you don’t need a mix; what you need is a switch.
Now, to continue the pattern of answering your question with more questions, I’m going to ask you two more questions below. But I think that, by the time you’ve thought through both of them, the answer to your question will be crystal clear.
So, let’s get into it!
Question 1: Why Do You Want to Hire Multiple Law Firm Marketing Companies?
Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to hire more than one marketing company. I won’t bore you with a long list of reasons here. Instead, I’ll just break it down into simple math. You won’t make more money by hiring someone to do something someone else is ALREADY doing.
So, you need to think about why you’re even thinking about adding someone new. What is motivating your search?
Are you doing SO well that you’re riding on the high and want to do even better? Hiring another marketing company or two for your firm isn’t likely to boost your success. Instead, it’s likely to cut your results in half or wreck them entirely. Think about it—you’re just asking someone new to come in and get in the way of the pros who are already killing it for you. It’s a “grass is greener” or “fear of a better option” mentality, and it will keep you chasing your tail forever.
Of course, it’s more likely that you’re on the hunt because you’re not getting results or hitting your goals. First, you need to look at your expectations. Are you being realistic? Great marketing takes time, and no ethical company can guarantee overnight results. You want to see small and steady improvements. You don’t want to see sudden and drastic results that quickly fizzle out.
With that out of the way, you need to question why you’d rather pay for more than one marketing company than make a clean break. Are you worried about losing the work you’ve already invested in your marketing? Are you afraid the company you’re working with will retaliate or hold your website prisoner? Don’t give in to the fear. You’re going to be better off moving to a new marketing company that you CAN trust and that WILL help you make the move.
Question 2: How Will Adding Another Marketing Company Actually Benefit You?
If the answer is, “I don’t know,” let’s stop and dig a little deeper.
Is it because you don’t have the time to oversee your marketing? Hiring another marketing company just means you’ll have two sets of marketing strategies you don’t have time to deal with. Instead, you might be better served by hiring an in-house marketing manager that can work directly with your law firm marketing company.
Is your current marketing company too limited in what it can do? This is a tough one. Sometimes, it makes sense to work with another company to do something VERY specific, like sending out your print newsletter or developing a book for your law firm. HOWEVER, if you’re running into lots of limitations with your current marketing company, you might have to face the fact that you’ve outgrown them. It will save you time, money, and frustration if you hire a single, more substantial company instead of trying to piecemeal tasks between two companies.
Your Results: SHOULD You Work With Multiple Law Firm Marketing Companies?
Now that you’ve mulled it over, what do you think? Do you still think more equals better?
Probably not. In my experience, law firms get much better results by sticking with one marketing company at a time. It gives them a chance to see what that company can really do, and it gives them the focus and clarity it takes to capture the wins they want. Even more importantly, they avoid the disastrous situations that arise from having too many people in one place trying to do the same thing a hundred different ways.
That’s never the better option!
Having trouble pinpointing your problems? Developing “trust issues” with law firm marketing companies that just confuse and use you? Give us a call at 888.886.0939, or request a free marketing analysis. You’ll leave knowing more about YOUR marketing, and you’ll be armed with the information you need to make wise decisions.
How do I get more law firm leads?
Every law firm wants more leads. That’s probably why you’re here!
- The best way to get more leads for your law firm is to understand the leads you want to attract.
- Your best potential leads probably aren’t searching for the terms you think they are.
- Your best potential leads are looking for the right answer in the right moment.
- Your best potential leads are waiting for you to ask.
If you aren’t getting leads, you obviously want more leads. If you ARE getting leads, you probably still want more leads. And if the leads you’re getting aren’t good for your law firm, then you probably want more BETTER leads.
And it’s only natural—those leads turn into clients and keep your business growing!
Of course, if you do a Google search for “how to get more law firm leads,” you’re going to see all kinds of advice out there. Most of that advice comes in list form, and it covers all kinds of specific marketing modalities and things you can try—from emails to content to PPC.
And, sure, there are lots of little improvements and tweaks you can make to all those facets of your marketing that will help you get where you want to be. But, for all that overwhelming advice, what I want you to do is step back and look at the big picture. There’s really only one “perfect” way to get more “perfect” leads for your law firm:
You have to understand your leads and apply that knowledge strategically.
What Law Firms Think Their Best Leads Search for Versus What Leads ACTUALLY Search For
If you want to improve your law firm’s leads, take a look at the keywords you’re using to draw them in. As it turns out, people may not be searching for the kinds of words and phrases you THINK they’re searching for. For example, if you’re already a little savvy about digital marketing, you know that most people searching for a lawyer won’t type in terms like “atlanta personal injury lawyer” or “product liability attorney.” They’re a little too technical, and they’re terms that probably aren’t on your average new client’s radar.
The next piece of advice is usually to use simpler words and phrases to describe what you do. But here’s what might really surprise you—your potential clients probably aren’t searching for plain-language phrases, like “car accident lawyer” or “slip and fall lawyer” or “traumatic brain injury lawyer,” either.
Instead, you have to really get into the mind of your potential clients. You have to think about why they’re searching Google for answers. You have to think about what motivated them to do so. And you have to think about how they communicate those concerns BEFORE they know a lot about it.
And what are people REALLY searching for?
They are not searching for generic terms. They are not searching for neatly packed keywords. Instead, they’re searching in their own words for what they think they need at the stage they’re at. That means they are more likely to type in searches like “do I have whiplash” or “football helmet injury” or “bicycle head injury” or “fell in parking lot what to do.” In other words, they are searching for things that accurately describe the problem as they understand it.
So, it’s not really just about getting specific with the keywords you use in your content—it’s about getting specific in a way that your perfect client can understand and relate to. Remember, you can’t talk AT people; you have to talk TO them.
Think about it—lots of people don’t know the terms “TBI” or “traumatic brain injury” until AFTER they’ve received treatment and called an attorney. That means a fair number of the leads that do come from those keywords are likely people who have already started taking steps to solve their problems. They may even already be in communication with several other law offices! That’s why it’s almost always going to be better to capture those leads on their first search, not when they’re already 5 or 8 searches down the line.
Website content that speaks to your perfect client’s or first-time searcher’s needs will drive better leads than content that focuses on a generic keyword. And you’ll probably also find that kind of insightful and highly targeted content is much more likely to rank highly in search.
Make sense? Here are some other ways to get more readers for your law firm’s website content.
You don’t have to guess what people are searching for when they search for you. Instead, here’s a quick and easy way to see what kinds of search terms real people are using to find your business:
In your Google My Business console, go to Insights, and take a look at this:
On the left, you can see where viewers are coming from and if they got to you on desktop or mobile. This is great information that gives you more insight into how to create and structure your content.
On the right, you’ll see the top search terms real people have already used to find your business. (Just click on “see more” at the bottom to see more than five.)
Let me stress that these are real words and phrases that real people have already typed in! You know for sure that those search terms sent them to your business profile, and that means you know that they really work.
The only way to convert searchers into leads is to bring them to your website, and the only way to bring them to your site is to create content that speaks to them. So, don’t take wild guesses.
Instead, look at how people have found you already and make strategic decisions based on what you know.
Worry More About “Micro-Moments” and Less About Traffic
It’s great to get traffic to your website, but it’s not about just bringing in “more.” Ultimately, you’re not really trying to get lots of traffic with your website; you’re trying to speak to a micro-moment.
You want your website to resonate with that one person out there with a million-dollar case who needs your help. If you go too general or broad trying to capture a ton of clicks, you risk missing that one click out of all of them that actually matters. It’s the click that creates a relationship, makes another happy client, and increases your revenue. So, stop focusing so much on the hundreds of other clicks that don’t go anywhere.
When you look at your website traffic data, you need to take a hard look at what kinds of user behaviors those numbers represent. For example, you don’t necessarily just want a huge number of new visits. You want to see return visits, as well. Those return visits mean people are finding that page on your website and saving or bookmarking it to come back to later. That’s a good sign that you’re providing something useful to people that keeps them engaged and coming back for more.
It’s also worth looking at how many pages people go through when they visit your law firm’s website. The truth is that more isn’t necessarily better here, either. If people are digging through a lot of pages when they land on your website, it might mean they aren’t finding what they need on the first page they visit.
For example, if someone searches for “football helmet injury” and lands on your main TBI practice-area page, they’ll have to go digging on their own for a more specific answer. If someone searches for “football helmet injury” and lands on a blog post about football helmet injuries, then it immediately speaks to their needs, meets the micro-moment, and answers their questions in a relevant and specific way.
That’s a much more helpful and memorable experience!
Motivate Potential Law Firm Leads to Take Action Before You Lose Their Attention
You’ve probably heard that you should include “calls to action” (CTAs) in your content and on your website—and that’s absolutely true.
The catch here is that you can’t just copy and paste a generic blurb with your phone number at the bottom of every page. That’s not going to work well! Instead, all your CTAs need to be unique and robust. They should ask the reader or viewer to reach out. They should tell people how to take the next step. They should guide people along in their customer journey and move them toward a relevant goal.
Your CTAs should be just as interesting and compelling as the “meat” of your content!
Keep in mind that placement matters, too. You want your CTAs to be in front of people when they are ready to act or unsure what to do next. For example, you might want to put your CTA near the bottom of a whitepaper or long-form article because people tend to read that kind of content all the way to the end. However, on your shorter blogs or FAQs, you might want to put your CTA “above the fold” or at the halfway point because lots of people will quickly scan through that content and cherry-pick the bullet points. Go ahead and get the “ask” in before you lose their attention!
Ultimately, you can’t be afraid to ask people to take the next step. You can’t leave them hanging and wondering what to do at the critical points when they’re ready to act. You have to put it out there, and you have to try to make a connection.
Even if it’s just a well-placed contact form, people will appreciate the nudge in the right direction, at the right time.
Add a Little to a Little and You Get a Whole Lot
Understanding how your perfect clients find you and why will take you a long way, but only IF you use that understanding to adjust your law firm’s marketing strategy in smart ways. There is absolutely no silver bullet that will magically get your law firm more leads. Instead, there are just lots of different things you can and should do to move the needle ahead a little further.
If you can find a niche where you’re already doing well, boost it. Maximize what you’re getting out of your efforts BEFORE or ALONGSIDE doing something totally new. The more strategized each piece becomes, the more powerful your overall marketing machine will get at attracting the leads you want.
And, hey, if you want some pro insight into where you can lean in to get the most out of your efforts, schedule a free marketing analysis. You’ll get a quick breakdown of where you are, where you could be, and how you can get there—and that’s everything you need to get started on a path to success.
How can I improve my marketing and get better quality patients or clients?
Stop marketing to clients or patients that you don't like dealing with. By identifying your less-than-ideal patient or client type—and focusing in on your ideal—you'll be able to get more of the cases and clients you want. To begin, we need you to get a little mean.
Who Were Your Least Favorite Clients or Patients?
It may seem like bad karma to focus on the bad, but to get a better idea of how to market to your perfect patient or client, you have to know who you don't enjoy working with. Here are some specific examples that we've gotten from clients. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- Personal injury attorneys: Personal injury attorneys usually have at least one type of case or client that they're tired of taking on. Minor car accident injuries, people without proper insurance coverage, and those who overstate their injuries are all examples of less-than-ideal clients.
- Plastic surgeons: Every doctor has procedures or patients they'd rather not deal with, and plastic surgeons are no exception. Examples of this include invasive face lifts, patients who pay with credit, and patients who are extremely high maintenance.
We often speak with clients who complain that they only get cases they dislike. And while we would like to blame this on their local market, the truth is that they have brought it on themselves.
They have been marketing to a too-broad audience or, in many cases, to a demographic that they don't particularly care for. Why? Because they think it's the only way and that they must take on clients or patients that aren't fun or profitable.
Stop Selling Yourself Short
It's time to stop settling for second best. It's time to take the future of your practice into your own hands by defining your perfect client or patient and marketing directly to this person.
For help narrowing down exactly who this is and how to market to them, call 888-886-0939. We know how to help busy professionals build a practice with quality clients and patients that they love to work with. You can enjoy your job again, and we can help.
What is the Foster Web Marketing Academy?
The Foster Web Marketing Academy is a two-day intensive training program that we hold around the country several times throughout the year. The academy is geared toward attorneys who wish to have an in-depth knowledge of how internet marketing can improve their practice, get better cases, and streamline their overall lawyer marketing strategies.
Limited to small numbers to increase personal attention and free of sales pitches and vendors, the FWM academy is simply about “teaching a man to fish” – giving you or a representative in your office the tools and knowledge to execute a successful online marketing plan for your law office.
Some of the topics include:
- Understanding local online marketing and local SEO
- How to write high-quality and unique lawyer content
- How to break into attorney video marketing
- How to find the keywords that will lead your attorney website to success
- How to develop follow up sequences that work
- How to harness the power of social media marketing
- Understanding mobile device marketing
- How to build organic links that improve SEO
- How to establish yourself as a local legal authority
For those who can’t attend a FWM Academy in person, we offer a comprehensive 10-DVD set, complete with workbook, companion CD, and textbook that cover all of the most important lessons and points from the conferences. Click here to learn more and order your training system.
What are some good ideas for my offline marketing?
An effective online marketing strategy for law firm websites can and should be strengthened by an active offline marketing plan. Traditional marketing tools and interaction with your local community can support and even bolster your lead generation and acquisition of customers.
Every local community is different and an offline marketing strategy should be targeted to acquire your ideal client in your area. There are several good ways to get started today. Here are a few:
- Distribute a newsletter – This is an effective marketing tool that has been used by a number of Foster Web Marketing clients. For example, attorney Ben Glass frequently sends out a newsletter and even has a dedicated website for it.
- Engage the local community – There are many ways to get involved locally, like sponsoring events, providing free presentations, or working with schools.
- Write for your local free newspaper or periodical – Many communities have free publications that are meant to serve the public. Writing articles related to your practice areas in these publications can help raise awareness of your firm and what you offer.
Navigating the many potential marketing channels that are available to your firm can be a daunting challenge—optimizing them can be just as challenging.
Contact Foster Web Marketing to get the help you need in optimizing your attorney website by calling 888.886.0939.
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