Here at Propero we pride ourselves on being able to get the bosses to say, ‘yes’, a sometimes difficult task, especially when trying to get sign off on marketing budget decisions.
Most law firms are in the somewhat restrictive position of working in the partnership model, which can stretch out and complicate the decision making process—for instance, the need for multiple partners to sign off on everything, from budget allocation to where you’re having this year’s Christmas party.
In our 2018 State of Digital Marketing in Professional Services report, we found that most managing partners and law firm leaders (93%) know that in order to get ahead today, their firms must embrace marketing. What we didn’t expect to find is that only 39% consider it really effective when they have done so.
So how can you convince your partners that it’s worth much more to them and the firm than a paltry budget that will barely scratch the surface? Here are five major reasons why they should be willing to invest in marketing, and how you can prove its worth.
1. Base your argument on metrics that mean something to them.
Everyone loves a statistic, particularly if it tells them something positive—for instance, about how more than one million LinkedIn users post marketing content on their accounts, and that 45% of all traffic to law firms come from LinkedIn (Source: Law Firm Suites). The takeaway is to use content marketing to your advantage.
Capitalise on the available data, to make your argument irrefutable for your managing partner. Provide them with an idea of how marketing can provide their firm with results, and by extension, growth.
However, it is imperative that you speak their language and use terms they know rather than relying on marketing jargon to ‘wow’ them—intangible explanations only serve to obfuscate and confuse. Instead, use simple, universally used business terms, and tell them of measurable results like key performance indicators (KPIs) or return on investment (ROI).
2. Prove that it is possible.
Don’t fall into the trap of selling the plan of action for your marketing ideas, because more often that not, they won’t care about the step-by-step process and only about the outcome. As they say, the devil is in the detail, and that is for you and your team to worry about, not the partners.
Instead, by speaking of added value and results, and what they will get out of it, your partners are better able to understand the benefits of marketing. Always sell the outcome rather than the plan—partners want to see a return on investment, be that more clients or a more attractive, comprehensive, joined up online presence.
Be sure to show them the marketing ‘journey’, from its beginnings as an idea through to its corporeal outcome—leads and new clients. Lay it out for them in a straightforward and clear way, but don’t get too granular—your audience won’t care.
3. Get client feedback
The key to influencing the managing partners in a law firm is to show them that this is what clients want to see. The days of relying on referrals and word of mouth marketing are behind us, the onus is very much on firms to put themselves in the limelight.
It is expected for firms to do this in the digital age. We find that self-promotion and always-on campaigns show results for every other sector, so why not law? Having a social media presence, for instance, should be as important to a law firm as it is to any other service industry firm.
Does your firm do social media well? Is your website up to date and does it look professional and well maintained? Do you post content regularly? All important questions to the modern client, and if you get them wrong, it will cause potential clients to choose a firm that does this better than you, even if your team is made up of expert lawyers. Find out what your client wants, and develop services to meet the demand—simple as that.
4. Competitor analysis
The thing about industry standards is that everyone is pretty much doing the same thing, and in the legal sector, this is quite apparent. There are literally hundreds of other firms providing a similar service, so when in doubt, have a look at what they are doing and note down what works for them . If you can adapt their marketing procedures to your own firm, or at least take direction from it, then give it a try.
How they market their key services to their target audience and clients should help your managing partner realise that by not doing the same, your firm risks losing out to the competition.
And by knowing what your rivals and colleagues are doing well, when it comes to marketing, your firm can reposition itself and distinguish itself from the crowd of law firms out there doing the same thing.
5. Make it known that it can be outsourced
You don’t need to do it yourself. This reason is probably the most conducive to a busy law firm’s managing partner agreeing to a marketing push. In the legal sector, time is money, and getting the most out of both is a very persuasive argument.
Your firm doesn’t even need to hire a team of marketers or put them on the payroll, it can hire a creative marketing agency for a fraction of the cost. For instance, your firm can get Propero’s whole team of expert marketers and content producers to work on your marketing, for the annual salary of one midrange lawyer—that’s savvy.
In the hands of experts your website, connected social presence, and supporting digital marketing campaigns will ensure that your firm is present in the right places to attract right-fit people to your offering and this cannot fail to impress your boss.
For more information on how we at Propero can help you, please read through our marketing services. Our Growth Workshops are particularly interesting for learning how marketing can affect your firm’s ongoing success. To enquire about attending a workshop, please give us a call on 020 3369 6844.