Law firms small and large invest in marketing for purposes of client retention, client acquisition and continuous brand awareness. When choosing a marketing agency or in-house person to handle your marketing, there are certain characteristics you should make sure they have.
One of the most overlooked characteristics when hiring a marketer is that they have a legal background. Although some may argue that this is not a requirement, I beg to differ. The best marketers I know, Andrew Cabasso, Adrian Dayton, among others, all spent time, regardless of how short, as lawyers. They understand first-hand what it is like to be a lawyer and what is required to build a book of business. Not only that, they also understand the ethical considerations that come with marketing a lawyer. Because the legal industry is a regulated industry, it makes it even more challenging to market than t-shirts or plumbing services. Lawyers are held to the Rules of Professional Responsibility in the state they are licensed in, so finding a marketer that is familiar with the rules on attorney advertising and solicitation is very important. Remember, it is not the marketing agency that will get in trouble, it is you.
Good marketers must be excellent wordsmiths and communicators. They should be able to determine who your firm’s target client is and then figure out the right copy to use to capture their attention. Content marketing is becoming increasingly important. By providing resources to your target audience, they come to trust you as an expert in the field, which then makes them more prone to hire you or buy your products when they find themselves in need.
It is important for you to find a marketer that makes it a point to sit down with you and set goals. Marketing is so vast, can take so many forms, and can be measured in so many ways, that without goals, you will not be able to know what to expect for the amount of money and time you are spending on marketing. Good marketers will take the time to understand your goals, take into account your budget and help you define success. It is best to have the goals written in a marketing plan or strategy document so that you and the marketer can refer back to the goals agreed to in the beginning.
Apart from setting goals, a marketer must constantly have his/her pulse on the analytics. A marketer’s job is to track the progress of all the goals originally set. If a marketer is doing your social, he/she must be tracking the increase in the number of followers, the number of mentions and the number of reposts, and any other metrics that were identified as measures of success. Many marketing agencies and consultants will provide you with monthly reports that track the metrics set by both of you at the beginning of the engagement.
Tracking metrics is only one step to being a great marketer. The second step is to be able to come up with ways to respond to the analytics and data collected. If a certain tactic is not proving to be as successful as originally predicted, great marketers have the ability to pivot to a new strategy that seems more promising. This sort of skill is very rare and differentiates good marketers from great marketers. Marketers should be able to iterate and experiment until they reach the optimal level of success with that specific marketing channel.
All marketing involves design. Email marketing campaigns require a well-designed template email. Paid campaigns require landing pages that are optimized for conversions. All marketing tactics are enhanced with great design so make sure the person you hire either has the necessary design skills or has a designer on their team.
The field of marketing is constantly changing. New social media platforms pop up every month and it is imperative that marketers keep up with the latest trends. You should ask any marketer you are considering hiring which new marketing tactics and platforms For example, Instagram and Snapchat are now being used by companies. Medium is a new blogging platform that has taken the startup world by storm and could be used by law firms targeting early stage companies as their clients. A good marketer is someone who reads up on marketing trends, looks to what other law firms are doing, and even looks outside of industry to see what tactics he can apply to the legal industry.