You expect your law firm’s marketing company to provide the website and other marketing services you sign up for. If it doesn’t, it isn’t doing its job—obviously.
But what else do you expect from a marketing company? My guess is that you’re not really looking for just the bare minimum.
If you dig deep, you probably don’t want a company that only delivers what you pay for. You probably don’t want to work with people who do the minimum before ignoring you. Instead, you probably want to work with a company full of people you like who give a little bit MORE than just what’s on the service agreement.
And I’m not talking about “free stuff” or extras—I’m talking about all those consistent little touches that show that a company is really passionate and engaged in making your marketing successful for your law firm. Even though you might not be able to point to them directly, you notice when those things are missing. And they make a huge difference in how successful the relationship between you and your marketing company really is.
So, beyond the basics, what else SHOULD your law firm marketing company do for you? Let’s get into the 5 big ones below.
1. Your Law Firm Marketing Company SHOULD Listen
Your marketing company should take the time to listen to you. They should want to understand your law firm, your personality, and how you run your business. But, even more than that, they should listen to your troubles, pains, gripes, and grouses. If they stop listening as soon as you make a little noise, then you have to wonder if they’re really working FOR you.
It's important to work with people who will hear you out. You want to find people who never disrespect you, talk down to you, or make you feel stupid for asking questions. If it’s not working the way they promised, you have to be able to communicate about it. And, if they’re really experts, they will make an effort to hear what you’re saying and strategize for the goals that matter to you.
Yes, you do sometimes have to let your marketing experts do their “magic,” and you need to trust their recommendations to some extent. BUT, if you’re getting crappy leads, that’s a problem that you have to be able to talk about. If you can’t talk about it, you can’t fix it. And, if you can’t fix it, you’re essentially wasting all the money you put into it.
Your marketing company should always listen to you and put you in ultimate control of what happens with your own business. If you feel like a prisoner, it should be a BIG sign that something is wrong. And, if you can’t even talk about it together, it’s time to run far, far away.
2. Your Law Firm Marketing Company SHOULD Focus on Leads You Want
This is really an extension of “listening,” but I think it’s worth mentioning on its own. Your marketing company should ensure that you’re in the best position to get the kinds of leads you actually want—the “perfect clients” for your firm!
Too many marketing companies focus on abstract numbers, like traffic. But that’s not why you built a website and got into marketing your law firm! You aren’t looking for random traffic or confusing charts with mysterious lines going “up.” You aren’t trying to win the game of Page One. You don’t want to play “collect them all” with vanity keywords.
You’re looking for new clients and cases. Period.
Bad marketing companies want to promise you the sun and moon and all the stars. They focus on the wrong things, and they try to convince you that it’s a good thing. They don’t listen to your feedback about what’s actually happening, and they’re not straight with you about where your expectations should be. So, all the lines on the charts have been going “up” for years, but there aren’t any clients actually walking through your door in the end.
A really good marketing strategy takes time to build up. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there aren’t any “guarantees.” If you’re getting leads that aren’t turning into clients, then your marketing partners need to hear it. And, if they’re really listening to you, they should be able to identify why and adjust your strategy so that it gets better and better over time.
The leads you want aren’t necessarily the same leads that some other law firm wants. But the only way to know that is to know YOU and YOUR firm. That part isn’t optional if you want to succeed.
How do you protect yourself? Well, it's tough to know the future when you hire a new marketing company, so make sure you understand what they’re really offering. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where a marketing company that already isn’t helping you can ALSO leave you high and dry. Read all the agreements, and understand how bound you are to them. Do you own the content they create for you? What happens if you don’t like the leads you’re getting? How does the deal work if you leave after a few months or years? Do they rely solely on PPC or some other “one-trick pony” method?
You need to know.
3. Your Law Firm Marketing Company SHOULD Earn Your Trust
Most law firms out there aren’t doing marketing for fun. They’re doing it because they care about the long-term health of their business. No matter how successful they are now, they need to keep clients in the pipeline, keep paying rent, keep paying their employees, and keep moving in the right direction. So, your marketing company needs to take your business as seriously as you do.
Don’t settle for less! Your marketing partners should be people you can trust and depend on. They should know their stuff and take the time to understand your business. And they should keep earning your trust over time with reliability, transparency, and honesty.
You have a lot of options, so always check references. Read reviews from other attorneys. Dig around, and see if other people think a particular marketing company is as great as they say they are. If a law firm marketing company won’t freely offer references from past and current clients, there’s definitely something wrong.
Marketing is a journey. Things don’t stay the same for long, and there is always more to learn. A marketing company that changes with the times and evolves with your business is a marketing company that can grow with you. No one is ever “perfect” at marketing, but trust is built by meeting you where you are and strategizing how to get you to where you want to be, realistically and sustainably.
4. Your Law Firm Marketing Company SHOULD Let You Know What’s Coming
A marketing company shouldn’t just know what’s going on NOW; it should also be ready to handle what comes next. The world of marketing—especially digital marketing—changes fast. Law firms are constantly competing for attention, and the ones that are on top of what’s changing on the web and in the world are the ones that succeed.
So, look for a marketing company that can help you by being proactive about coming changes in SEO best practices, web architecture, ADA compliance, security, and other tech issues. They should help you understand why those changes are happening, how they might affect you, and what you can do about it. They should be your go-to source when you have questions about things like Google algorithm updates or HTTPS security. They should be more than just the “people who do your marketing.” They should be the marketing experts that you want to turn to when things change or get uncertain.
And they should be the ones that tell YOU what’s coming up on the horizon.
5. Your Law Firm Marketing Company SHOULD Respond If Something Goes Wrong
The support you get from your law firm’s marketing company can tell you a lot about its overall reliability and concern for its clients. You shouldn’t have to wait around for help—or even just a response—when something goes wrong! Your marketing company should be there for you when you need them.
If you’ve been burned before, you already know how important this is—and how hard it is to find good support in the wild. Again, this is why you should be looking at references and reviews before you hire a company to market your law firm. You need to get the straight scoop about what’s going on, and you need to know how they react when problems come up.
Even if it’s 3 A.M., they shouldn’t leave you hanging!
Drop the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” and Get a Law Firm Marketing Company That Works for YOU
I don’t believe in being condescending to our clients, pulling the wool over their eyes, or talking over them with a bunch of useless jargon. Instead, I want to empower every client that comes to us with the truth about marketing. It takes hard work. It takes focus and commitment. It sometimes even takes a village. But, in the end, the marketing strategies you use should fit your law firm and work to hit YOUR goals—no excuses.
Think Foster Web Marketing might be the marketing company you’ve been looking for?
The best way to see us in action is to request a marketing report card, which will show you exactly how your current efforts measure up and where you need improvement. Or, if you have other questions I haven’t covered here, you can reach out to us any time at 888.886.0939.