Marketing your law practice is hard … and can be very expensive!
Unfortunately, many Law Firms never achieve predictable, scalable growth from their marketing efforts. The majority of Legal Administrators cannot measure the value of their legal marketing efforts and most have no idea which law marketing channels are making money, and which are losing money.
What is the problem?
- You studied law to become a lawyer, not a marketer.
- Attorney marketing was not on your Bar exam!
- Legal Administrators typically come from an HR discipline and miss the marketing expertise.
Traditional marketing techniques (such as face-to-face networking, referral clubs, and chamber of commerce events) are becoming less effective in our new remote-working society. Denial of the problem is not the solution There is no wonder that 50% of law firms have no marketing budget.
But there is hope.
As Certified Digital Marketers, we know the new demands for a digital marketing strategy. We also understand the challenges Lawyers are facing marketing their Law Firms. To succeed in today’s legal marketing environment, you need an easy-to-implement system that integrates, and as far as is practical, automates all aspects of your Law Firm’s marketing.
In the rest of this article, you will discover all the elements required to design and implement an effective, integrated marketing system to accelerate the growth of your Law Practice.
How to Navigate Through This Article
Section A covers Growth Planning including:
- How can you grow your Law Practice?
- The easy way to double your Law Firm’s annual revenue
- Quantity vs. Quality – the pitfalls of vanity metrics
- It’s never about the price!
In Section B, Marketing Style we discuss:
- Are you B2B or B2C?
- Integrated Marketing
- Hunting or Farming
- Niche Identification
- The Customer Avatar
The requirements of a Marketing Strategy for Law Firms are explained in Section C:
- Strategy v Tactics
- Are You Dreaming or Planning
- The T-shaped Marketer
- Marketing is Sexy
- The Customer Value Journey ®
In Section D, things get more technical with a discussion on Marketing Metrics:
The 8 stages of the patented “Customer Value Journey” ® are covered in Section E:
This article completes by looking at the mechanics of implementing your integrated strategy. Section F is subdivided into three distinct sections:
Section F1 – Implementation
- Is this a DIY project?
- Cadence and the 4DX rules
- Tools, Tactics, and Playbooks
Section F2 – The various disciplines of digital marketing your team may need to learn
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Digital Advertising and Analytics
- Search Marketing and Optimization
- Social Media Marketing and Community Management
- Content Marketing, Email Marketing, and Video Marketing
Section F3 – Marketing Technology
- Website – Brochure-ware v Lead generation
- Social Media Channels
- Email Marketing Systems
- Analytics Tools
This is an evergreen article, and we will be regularly updating and expanding it as new techniques and best practices evolve. So please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest development in Law Practice marketing.
Now, let’s move on to the first main theme – Growth Planning.
How Can You Grow Your Law Practice?
Key Takeaway: Improve your revenue by increasing the value and frequency of your sales.
According to marketing guru, Jay Abraham,
“There are only three ways to grow your business –
- Get more clients.
- Sell more to them.
- Sell to them more often”.
Unfortunately, most Law Firms focus their marketing on “Get more clients”. This is the most difficult, and the most expensive of the three growth options.
Ignoring “Sell more to them” and “Sell to them more often” leaves a potential gold mine of unrealized revenue in your Law Practice.
The two classic ways of “Selling more to them” are through “upselling” and “cross-selling”.
- Upselling is where ascend your client to a higher value product or service.
- This could be achieved by spending more time with the client or including a more senior attorney on the case.
- Or by bundling – offering a package of complementary products. For example, a client who wants to set up a trust for his children may also be a good candidate for updating their Will.
- Cross-selling is where you offer products or services which are not directly associated with your core offer.
- For example, the client looking to set up a trust fund may also be a good candidate for a referral to an investment advisor.
“Selling to them more often” is typically achieved by offering some form of subscription service.
- You could do this by offering an annual “Legal Health Check” which includes an initial legal review of their situation which recommends the protective actions to be taken (potential upsells), a fixed number of hours of legal consultation, and a monthly newsletter with advice and best practices all paid on a low monthly retainer fee.
- The monthly newsletter also gives you the opportunity to continue to offer upsells and cross-sells to your highly engaged clients.
Obviously, the execution of this does not happen by accident. You need a plan to make sure everyone in your Law Practice – Attorneys, Legal Administrators, Paralegals, and your support staff – are always on the lookout for revenue maximization opportunities.
How much could this be worth to your Legal Practice?
Next Steps: Review your existing clients to identify upsell and subscription opportunities.
The Easy Way to Double Your Law Firm’s Annual Revenue
Key Takeaway: 2x annual revenue increase is achievable if you use the correct growth levers
If you asked a group of Practice Managers or Managing Partners how easy they thought it would be to double their Law Firm’s revenue in one year, most would state that it would be extremely challenging to achieve 100% growth in 12 months. But what if you applied the Jay Abraham approach?
Revenue potential can be expressed as –
(Number of clients) x (Value of the transaction) x (Frequency of Transaction).
Using digital marketing techniques, the number of clients can be further broken down to –
(Number of Leads) x (Conversion Rate).
Or expressed as a formula:
Revenue Potential = Leads x Conversion Rate x Value x Frequency
We have agreed that a 100% growth in 12 months seems like a daunting task. But can you conceive that with deliberate effort it should be possible to achieve 20% growth in one area in a quarter? If you can, then your Law Firms growth potential can be expressed as follows:
Growth Potential = (120% Leads) x (120% Conversion Rate) x (120% Value) x (120% Frequency)
Doing the math:
120% x 120% x 120% x 120% = 207.36%
By applying Jay Abraham’s business growth strategy to your Law Practice and optimizing for 20% growth per quarter in just 4 areas of the overall marketing process gives you 207% growth potential in one year.
Next Steps: Make a plan to improve one area of your marketing by 20% every quarter
Quantity vs. Quality – The Pitfalls of Vanity Metrics
Key Takeaway: Metrics are essential for growth, but they must be the right ones
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” But be careful what you measure. If you measure the wrong thing, you will be making decisions based on false data, which will result in, at best suboptimal performance, and worst-case an expensive failure of your marketing campaign.
Total clicks or total page views are vanity metrics that can cause you to make awfully expensive mistakes in your marketing.
Quality is ALWAYS more important than quantity.
For example, if you wanted to rank on Google for the search term “Family Lawyer”, you would find that the term is searched 45,433 times every month, the cost per click is $23.84 and there are 3,853 web pages competing for this term. If we now improve the quality of our marketing and look for a more specific search term “Child Support Lawyers near me”. This yields 5,575 searches each month, the cost per click is $5.04 and there are only 3 web pages in the USA optimized for this search term.
Assume that you have a generic “brochure-ware” website, your lead capture rate would be less than 1% (we will use 1% to keep the math easy). A dedicated landing page, optimized for a specific legal search term could have a lead capture rate as high as 6% (let’s use 5% to help the math). Our final assumption is your PPC budget is $5,000 per month.
For “Family Lawyer” your $5,000 would buy 209 clicks to your website, of which 2 (1% of your visitors) would leave you their contact information and become leads.
For “Child Support Lawyers near me” your $5,000 investment could buy 992 clicks, of which 49 would become leads.
(As a “long tail” search term there might not be enough searchers “near me” so you could add additional search terms to increase the volume or depending on the number of new clients you can handle each month, you could reduce your PPC budget).
If you reduced your PPC budget to $1,000 per month, you could buy 198 clicks resulting in 9 new leads every month. The quality approach beats the quantity option by a fact of almost 5 for one-fifth of the cost.
The overall quality of your Law Practice marketing system depends on knowing your ideal customer, standardizing your marketing process, and continually optimizing each stage of the sales journey.
We will discuss each of these elements – your ideal customer, standardized marketing process, performance measurement, and system optimization – in greater detail later in this article.
For now, let us look at another way to increase your revenue.
Next Steps: Review your current marketing metrics and ensure they are driving growth
It’s Never About the Price!
Key Takeaway: Demonstrating relevant value overcomes price objections
Most people would instinctively disagree with the statement “It’s never about the price!”.
Yet it is true!
How much are you willing to pay for a bottle of water? To give us a starting point you can buy a bottle of water from Walmart for around 70 cents. In a gas station mini-mart, you might pay $1.50 for the convenience. In an airport terminal, you could pay $2-3, due to the lack of competition.
If you have just completed a 10-mile hike in blistering heat and you emptied your water bottle at mile 5, that same bottle of water has much more value to you at that time. You might be willing to pay $5-6 for it.
What if your plane had crashed in the Sahara desert and you have just spent the last 3 days trying to crawl to safety? Just before you pass out, probably for the final time, a Bedouin comes towards you with a bottle of water. How much would you be willing to pay? To save your life, probably everything you had!
It is never about price; it is always about value. Or to be more accurate – it is about the perceived value at the time of sale.
Another strategy you could adopt to increase the revenue for your Law Firm would simply be to increase the price of your services. You must be careful with this as you will lose some clients. If you have not differentiated yourself and do not have a healthy backlog of leads, this is a risky option. But, if you serve a specific market niche, have demonstrated a high degree of perceived value, and have a predictable lead generation system – you can reduce your workload while simultaneously increasing your revenue.
The Law Firm marketing process we reveal later in this article could be implemented to give you the opportunity to significantly increase your service price.
Next Steps: Develop a value proposition relevant to your client for each service you offer
Are You B2B or B2C?
Key Takeaway: All marketing must satisfy human emotion
Any easy way to categorize your marketing is to decide whether you are serving individual consumers or other businesses – B2B or B2C.
How would you categorize your Law Firm? B2B or B2C?
Whichever option you chose – you’re wrong!!
All marketing is H2H – human-to-human. The ultimate decision-maker in a company is a human being, the corporate buyer is a human being, your individual client is a human being. Your marketing message must always be written for the human being consuming the content.
To add even more weight to this, every time a buying decision is made, it is the emotional center of the brain which is active.
We may do a lot of analytical research before the buying decision. Afterwards, we may use specification and performance figures to justify the buying decision. But at the point of sale, it is an emotional trigger firing in the human brain.
But what are the emotional needs of your customer? How do you find them? And how do you ensure that they are correctly addressed in your marketing material?
We have a tool called the “Customer Avatar” designed to answer these specific questions which we will discuss later.
For now, look at your website and your marketing material and ask yourself this question – has this been written to appeal to the emotional needs of the human being who will use my services? If not, it should be re-written.
Next Steps: Review your marketing material and ensure it’s written for a human audience
Key Takeaway: Integrate your offline and digital marketing channels
Should you be doing offline or digital marketing?
Or better still, you should be doing integrated marketing.
We see many clients struggle when first adopting digital marketing. They get all caught up with the shiny objects of new technology and tactics and forget that they had a marketing system that had been working fine offline.
The advantage of digital marketing is that we can massively amplify the reach of your marketing and to a large extent automate much of the process. This frees your team to focus on the high-value activities of human-to-human interaction.
Do not throw away what has already been working. Where appropriate, the ideal is to translate your offline marketing steps into automated online activities to increase the reach, speed, and ease of performing the step. Some people struggle with the concept of integrated marketing. If you think about the tools available to us 20 years ago, we had the Phone book, newspaper adverts, radio slots, and TV commercials.
Functionally, all these advertising types are available to us today, they have just changed form:
- Phone book (Search) Google PPC / Amazon
- Newspaper Ad (Display) Google Display Ads
- Radio (Background Content) Facebook
- TV (Interrupt Advertising) YouTube / IMDb TV
When creating your integrated marketing system, think about what has worked offline, identify the digital equivalent, and add that to your portfolio.
Always remember – all marketing is H2H and especially for law firm marketing the sale will always be made human-to-human. Do not lose sight of that in your marketing system.
Next Steps: Map out how your offline and digital marketing activities intersect
Hunting or Farming
Key Takeaway: Select the correct marketing type for your service offering
Traditional sales training talks about hunting and farming styles of selling.
The hunters are out in the wild corporate jungle stalking their prey, boldly driving the deal home in a testosterone-soaked frenzy of an offer, counteroffer, overcoming objections, and pulling a variety of closing tricks to get the contract signed.
Conversely, the farmers are patiently sowing seeds in their niche market, nurturing relationships, meeting the needs of their target audience, and developing trust and authority, so that when an opportunity is ripe, they are the only natural choice for the client.
This can also be viewed through the lens of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities.
A synchronous opportunity is one that follows a predictable cycle. For example, a small business owner may start by needing to incorporate a company. When they start operations, they may need contract templates developing. As they grow, they may need legal review of larger contracts, HR advice, and corporate tax planning. Finally, when the business owner decides to retire, they will need an exit strategy.
In legal marketing, most legal services can be considered synchronous opportunities and are a natural fit with the “farming” sales process. You develop a relationship with your client, you provide great legal services, and deliver clear value to your client. Then by nurturing the relationship, understanding the needs and aspirations of your client, your Law Practice becomes the only natural choice for all the follow-on business.
An asynchronous opportunity is one where there is no predictable cycle foretelling the event. The two most obvious legal cases would be personal injury and divorce.
Asynchronous opportunities require a quite different style of marketing to the synchronous / farming style. No one would retain a personal injury lawyer and then plan to get in a car wreck with an 18-wheeler!
In this case, the hunter style is more appropriate. Your marketing should be aimed at keeping your brand “front of mind” in the marketplace. Then, when an event does occur, your firm must be the first one to appear when the prospect searches for your services. Search engine marketing is the priority.
This is also a scenario where a strong referral marketing system would be beneficial. A general law practice may refer a client to a divorce specialist. Developing a referral relationship with chiropractors providing auto injury treatment would provide a source of leads for a personal injury lawyer.
Next Steps: Decide whether you need to optimize for “farming” or “hunting” style marketing
Key Takeaway: Niching your market has significant advantages but comes with risk
“If you market to everybody, you’ll sell to nobody”.
None of us have deep enough pockets to dominate for every search related to our practice type. It is incredibly expensive to try and be a “big fish” in the Google ocean.
Your objective is to appear to be the big fish for your service offering in your marketplace. You achieve this by reducing the size of the ocean. This is done by niche selection. The tighter you can make your niche, the smaller your ocean, the bigger you appear, and the more likely they are to buy from you.
Once you have clearly defined your target niche, all your messaging must be crafted to meet the specific emotional needs of the niche audience. Your goal should be to write to a million people and have every one think it is a personal message written just to them. The risk is that if your message does not resonate with your niche, you will get no response.
Think back to the example we gave about quality vs. quantity. The search term “Family Lawyer” was being competed for by 3,853 dedicated web pages and cost $23.84 per click. By niching down to “Child Support Lawyers near me”, the competition reduced to only 3 dedicated pages with a cost per click of $5.04.
However, there are other risks with niching. First, as we saw with the previous example, the search volume drops significantly (from 45,433 searches each month down to 5,575). You must be careful that your niche is not so exclusive that there is insufficient volume to sustain your business.
Secondly, the tighter you make your niche, the harder it becomes to reach them. So, there is always a trade-off between specificity and access. (One potential solution is to create your own online community which specifically caters to the needs of your niche – it would take a lot of effort to build the community, but done right it would be a highly responsive market for you over time. We’ll talk more about this later in the Social Media and Community Management disciplines).
The four questions you must answer before niching your marketing:
- Will there be sufficient potential volume in the niche?
- Is there a way for me to connect with and communicate to this specific niche?
- Is my product or service a good fit for the niche?
- Does my marketing message resonate with this niche?
Next Steps: Review your client base and identify any discernable niches you can leverage
The Customer Avatar
Key Takeaway: Learn about your client to serve them better.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust.
The easiest way to achieve this is to be “like” the person to whom you are selling.
If you serve several different client types in your Law Practice, you need to be able to present your firm in such a way that for each client type, the face of the company resonates with the client. To appear like them you must know them.
This is where the Customer Avatar comes in. You should create a separate avatar for each client niche.
The Customer Avatar canvas is designed to give you the key information about your target client so that you can create marketing messages which resonate and meet the emotional needs of that client niche. One bit of information you must collect is the Name of the Avatar / Persona. This should be descriptive of the person / role e.g., Alice the Director of Administration.
The demographics / interests section allows you to learn more about your target client. It should include gender, age, title, education, marital status, income, associations they belong to, information sources, books and magazines they read as well as thought leaders they might follow.
During our market research, we discovered that Legal Administrators were 85% female, most aged 50+, many had the title Director of Administration. They typically have a BA or Masters degree and are often from an HR background. Many had the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) accreditation from the Association of Legal Administrators, and others were members of the LMA – Legal Marketing Association – which gives us a good place to learn more about our potential client.
Key purchase drivers, frustrations and fears, and wants and aspirations are more difficult to identify. The best way to establish this information is simply to contact people in your target demographic and get to know them. Talk to them and discover what their purchasing process entails, the pain points they are trying to fix, and what they want as a result of engaging with your Law Firm.
The final step is to complete the before and after grid. Start with before they receive your services – what do they have – a legal problem that needs to be solved. How do they feel – worried about the situation. What is their average day – struggling to stay on top of things while worrying about the legal issue. Their status could be a sense of failure or despair and good v evil (this is a bit philosophical) could be “Impending Doom”.
Next, think about how their life could be after concluding the legal issue. What do they have – resolution of their case; how do they feel relieved or elated. Their average day is handling life well, the status could be relieved, and Good v evil – liberated.
Using these idea pairs, you can now express the transformation that your service delivers. Focus on the feelings to identify the most powerful emotions that you can use in your messaging.
Crafting your customer avatar is a complex but essential step. We will be writing a lot more about this in coming articles.
Next Steps: Choose one client niche you know well and create their Customer Avatar.
Strategy vs. Tactics
Key Takeaway: Strategy defines success or failure; Tactics dictate how fast you get there.
You wouldn’t go to court without a litigation strategy laying out how you are going to present and win your case, so why would you try and tackle the complexities of legal marketing without laying out your plan?
- A good strategy using good tactics will result in fast growth.
- A good strategy using poor tactics will result in slow growth.
- A bad strategy using poor tactics will result in slow failure.
- A bad strategy using good tactics will result in fast failure.
Tactics merely decide the speed at which you obtain results, good or bad. Your marketing strategy defines whether your efforts will succeed or fail and determine if you end up in profit or loss.
We conducted a survey of digital marketing agencies in our target market and not one offered marketing strategy to their clients. All the agencies focus on the tactics of marketing – SEO, SEM, PPC, social media, email marketing, and so on.
The Law Firms who engage these agencies may get lucky implementing some basic tactics (anything is better than blind chance). But, without a well-thought-out strategy, the collection of individual tactics will not smoothly connect, nor will they effectively integrate with your existing offline marketing practices.
Before our clients risk one penny of their marketing budget on tactics, they have created a winning go-to-market strategy unique to their firm. They understand the metrics by which they define success or failure, and they know the detailed tactics necessary to execute the strategy for fast growth.
Next Steps: Ask yourself – is there a strategy for our marketing? How well is it working?
Are You Dreaming or Planning?
Key Takeaway: Make a plan; write it down; test it; refine it. Rinse and repeat!
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal”. Greg Reid
“A plan not written down is merely a wish”. Me
“No plan survives first contact with the enemy”. Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian General
“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”. Dwight D. Eisenhower, US President
Legal marketing is expensive. When you commit to investing in your marketing, it must be based on much more than a wish or vague hope that it will be successful. You need a plan. Your plan does not have to be verbose or complex, but it must always be committed to writing. The best plans are concise, simple to understand, and shared with all your team.
A one-page plan which everybody understands is infinitely more valuable than a hundred-page binder gathering dust in a filing cabinet. It is also much easier to revise and improve when the market tells you how good (or not) it is. There are only 8 elements needed for your marketing system. But these 8 steps must all be addressed if your plan is going to be effective. In a later section, we will discuss the patented 8 step system which allows you to plan all 8 steps of your marketing system on a single sheet of paper.
In the next section, we will explore the various disciplines in digital marketing which can be leveraged to execute your plan.
Next Steps: If you don’t have a plan – write one. If you do have one – test it, then improve it.
The T-Shaped Marketer
Key Takeaway: Marketing complexity is increasing. Upskill your team or retain an expert.
Digital marketing is an ever-expanding and increasingly more complex arena.
DigitalMarketer.com offers certifications in 12 different specialist fields of digital marketing, but it’s highly unlikely that your Legal Administrator or Office Manager would be able to develop competency in all 12. In most agencies, it is rare to find an individual certified in every discipline of digital marketing, and many agencies have no professional certification for their staff.
The key disciplines of digital marketing include:
- Search Engine Marketing
- Digital Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email marketing
- E-Commerce (the only one not applicable to Legal Marketing)
However, all these disciplines interact in some shape or form. To develop and implement an effective marketing plan, you need to be aware of all the various disciplines. Hence the concept of a T-Shaped marketer – a marketing professional who has a working knowledge of all the various disciplines of digital marketing and detailed expertise in one or two areas.
For our clients who want to develop in-house digital marketing expertise, we recommend starting with the “Digital Marketing Mastery” certification – the most comprehensive digital marketing training in the industry.
This is not critical, and probably not practical for a small Law Firm. In a later section, we will discuss the options for blending in-house skills with external service provides.
Next Steps: Review the skills of your marketing team and decide whether you need to upskill
Marketing is Sexy!
Key Takeaway: Sequence matters to the success of your marketing
Desmond Morris, the author of the global bestseller “The Naked Ape” also wrote “Intimate Behaviour”.
In this book, he asks the question “How does human intimacy happen?”
Morris identified a clear 12 step sequence that is always followed in the mating ritual:
- Eye to body
- Eye to eye
- Voice to voice
- Hand to hand
- Arm to shoulder
- Arm to waist
- Mouth to mouth
- Hand to head
- Hand to body
- Mouth to body
- Hand to intimate zone
- You know what comes next!
An interesting observation was that the speed of moving through the sequence is irrelevant as a predictor of success. What was much more important was the integrity of the sequence. If people did not follow the sequence or tried to skip steps the mating ritual failed.
As the couple ascends through the sequence, the level of trust and connection increases. Morris identified that it was possible to skip one step but trying to skip two caused the process to fail. We know this from our own experience. Remember when you were dating?
Imagine that you have seen someone you were attracted to (eye to body), you obtained their phone number from a mutual acquaintance and called them (voice to voice). Now you have agreed to meet your date for the first time in a coffee shop (hand to hand).
If their first statement to you was “OK, what date shall we chose for our wedding?”, at best it would be an extremely wired way to start the conversation and more likely you would leave at the first opportunity.
Remember that the buying decision is always an emotional one. So, we need to respect the hard-wired sequence of the human mating ritual when we attempt to consummate the relationship with our customer in the form of a sale.
Have you ever experienced this on LinkedIn?
- Someone views your profile
- You receive a connection request
- You check out their profile and accept the request
- Then you receive a message from your brand new contact “Buy my stuff”
Did you buy from them?
The team at DigitalMarketer has refined the hard-wired 12 steps of human intimacy down to an 8-step marketing process. The process applies to all types of marketing, and just like the 12 steps of human intimacy, it must be followed correctly for your marketing to succeed.
The patented 8-step process is called the “Customer Value Journey” ®, which we will explore in much more detail in the coming sections.
Next Steps: Sketch out the sequence of your marketing system and look for skipped steps
The Customer Value Journey ®
Key Takeaway: There is a proven, psychologically powerful 8-step marketing process – use it!
The 8 steps of the Customer Value Journey ® are:
For your marketing relationship to be successful, these steps must be followed in sequence, to ultimately consummated your relationship with a sale. You may be able to skip one step, but if you try and leap from “Awareness” to “Conversion” your marketing will fail.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what most businesses try and do.
Remember the LinkedIn example in the “Marketing is Sexy!” section?
In Part 2 of this article, we will be exploring each of the 8 stages of the Customer Value Journey, in detail.
Next Steps: Compare your marketing sequence to the CVJ and identify gaps
Manage What You Measure
In the section on “Quality vs. Quantity,” you were introduced to the phrase “manage what you measure”.
Peter Drucker, considered to be the father of modern business management, wrote 39 books on the subject and is widely regarded as the greatest management thinker of all time. This is what he said:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
This is true in every aspect of life and business.
- If you want more clients, you must generate more leads.
- If you want to save money, you must measure what you spend.
- If you want to lose weight, you must get on the scales.
There is danger here. If you measure the wrong thing, it will result in you making incorrect decisions by trying to improve the wrong behavior.
For example, if you just measured website visitors to improve sales, you would be measuring the wrong thing. They could be returning clients just looking for your phone number or mailing address.
If you changed the metric to measuring “new visitors” to your website that would be an improvement. But it is not the full answer. If you measured “new visitors who left their contact information” now you are getting closer to a viable metric.
There is another danger when selecting metrics to measure the performance of your marketing system. All the examples given so far are “Lag” measures. They tell you your results after they have happened.
- Leads generated are a result of some other activity.
- Measuring what you spend is worthless without a budget.
- Getting on the scales just confirms that the extra slice of cheesecake was a bad idea.
Managing your business in this way is like trying to drive down the highway only looking in your rear-view mirror.
To improve performance, you must measure “Leading” metrics.
An effective “lead measure” must meet 3 criteria:
- It can be measured easily.
- Your behavior can influence it.
- There is a causal relationship between the lead and lag measure.
If you want to lose weight a good lead measure might be “the number of times you visit the gym and complete a 40-minute cardio workout each week”.
This introduces the final element of managing what you measure. The need for performance indicators. Taking our weight loss example. If your number of weekly visits looked something like this:
Week 1 – 3, Week 2 – 2, Week 3 – 1, Week 4 – 0, Week 5 – 0, Week 6 – 1, Week 7 – 0
You would not lose weight. You may be diligently recording your leading indicator but without a target, it does you no good. Visiting the gym zero times every week will not help you lose weight.
Marketing performance metrics are a complex subject, and we will be going into much more detail in future articles. For now, just list out the metrics that you currently use to manage your Law Firm’s marketing and decide whether they are Lag or Lead metrics.
Next Steps: List out your marketing metrics and determine if they are lag or lead measures
Do you know John Wanamaker?
Key Takeaway: Ensure congruence at each step of every marketing channel you use.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
This quote is attributed to John Wanamaker, known as the pioneer of marketing, who opened “The Grand Depot”, the first major department store in Philadelphia, in 1875.
Sadly, it is still true today.
Of the 50% of Law Firms in America that invest in marketing, most are wasting much of their money, time, and resources on standalone tactics which do not deliver the growth in new clients and increased revenue they were hoping for.
Each tactic individually may have merit, but unless they are correctly integrated to form a seamless journey, moving your customer from awareness through conversion to ascension, the results will disappoint you.
In the section “The easy way to double your Law Firm’s annual revenue” you saw this formula:
Revenue Potential = Leads x Conversion Rate x Value x Frequency
We showed the power for process optimization, by realizing a 20% performance improvement in one of these 4 areas each quarter, your Law Practice revenue would double in one year.
Again, there is risk in this process. If there is a disconnect between your marketing message, your offer, and your actual service offering, improving customer acquisition (leads x conversion rate) will give no improvement if your sales value is zero.
Consider this example.
Your Law Firm specializes in criminal law and you decide to optimize for the keyword “Law Firm”. You redesign your website from brochure-ware to lead generation. You spend several months investing in organic and local SEO. You buy traffic with your PPC campaigns and regularly review and update your ads to maximize your click-through rate.
When you conduct your next quarterly business review you find that there has been virtually no improvement in revenue. When you consider the cumulative cost of SEO, the money you spent on PPC campaigns, and the investment in your website redesign, you lost money.
Tactically you did everything right, but you made one strategic mistake. Optimizing for the Keyword “Law Firm” when you specialize in Criminal Law was never going to deliver the growth you wanted.
In this case, the root cause of the problem was a disconnect between your message “Law Firm” and your offer “Criminal Law”.
For each of your marketing channels, it is essential to maintain congruence at every step of your Customer Value Journey® if your marketing is going to deliver the growth you want.
To avoid the pain John Wanamaker faced by wasting 50% of his advertising spend, you must map out the end-to-end process for each separate marketing channel; make a strategic decision for the objective of your marketing campaign; choose the correct tactics; ensure congruence at each step of the journey; adopt appropriate lead measures and then routinely – measure – review – adapt – until you achieve the performance levels you need.
Next Steps: Chose one marketing channel and check the end-to-end process for incongruence
The Real Cost of a Click
In the “Quality vs. Quantity” section, we introduced some of the metrics of digital advertising and demonstrated some of the pitfalls.
Let us revisit the marketing campaign to rank on Google for the search term “Family Lawyer”. In this case, your Law Firm does practice Family Law, so it is a sound decision.
- The cost per click (CPC) is $23.84
- You have revamped your website for lead generation and have a 4% capture rate (CR)
- You close 1 in 3 clients from the initial free 30-minute conversation.
Your performance looks like this:
CPC = 23.84
CR = 4%
CPL = 23.84 / 4% = $596 (CPL = Cost Per Lead)
Close ratio = 1/3 = 0.33
CPA = 596 / 0.33 = $1788 (CPA = Cost Per Acquisition)
Assuming that your average retainer is $5000, that is a return on investment of 279%.
But there is another cost you must consider when selecting your marketing strategy. That is the opportunity cost.
In this case, the $1,788 you spent on Google Ads, could have paid for a 3-month email re-engagement campaign to your previous client base.
Assuming you have a dormant list of 1,000 previous clients, a re-engagement rate of only 2%, and a small transaction value of $750, your marketing campaign, in this case, would yield:
1000 x 2% x $750 = $15,000
This is 3 times the yield of your PPC campaign. Remember, acquiring new clients is the most difficult and most expensive of Jay Abraham’s 3 marketing strategies.
Now consider some other common legal marketing techniques:
- Organic SEO:
- Typically, 6 – 12 months
- @ $2500 – $5000 per month for a national campaign
- Cost range $15,000 – $60,000
- Pro’s – first-page organic ranking = 9x views compared to page 2
- Con’s – how many clicks total, what is the conversion rate of your landing page
- Typically, 6 – 12 months
- @ $750 – $2000 per month for a single billboard
- Cost range $4,500 – $24,000
- Pro’s – 10,000 – 20,000 views per month
- Con’s – no targeting, no lead capture, no follow up
Every marketing strategy has its place and time. Similarly, every marketing strategy has an opportunity cost.
Make sure that whatever strategy you chose, you know the execution costs and the opportunity costs.
Next Steps: Review each marketing channel you use and assess the opportunity cost
THE CUSTOMER VALUE JOURNEY®
In Part 1 of this article, you were introduced to the Customer Value Journey® and the 8 steps your prospect needs to travel to become a customer and then a raving promoter of your services.
In Part 2, we will explore each of the 8 steps in detail.
Step 1 – Awareness
Key Takeaway: Awareness is the first step by driving traffic to your website
The first step in the journey, the quick glance – eye to eye contact – is Awareness.
You make your qualified prospects aware of your services by driving traffic to your website.
This can be achieved in several ways:
- Paid Traffic
- Organic search
- Print Media
Paid traffic, digital advertising, is dominated by Google and Facebook. Here you buy traffic through Ad campaigns, typically Pay-Per-Click (PPC). This traffic is in the form of clicks linking back to your website’s landing page. You bid on the cost of a click, the higher the competition, the more you must bid.
Every time a prospect clicks on your advert and gets redirected to your website – you pay for the click – even if they do nothing after that.
Organic Search is where your website is listed on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) which allows a prospect to click the link back to your website. The advantage is that the click is free. The disadvantage is that if you are not on page 1 of the SERP less than 10% of the traffic will ever see your information. Only 9% of searchers click through to page 2 and beyond.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be expensive and time-consuming (6-8 months at $5,000+ per month) to rank on page 1 for a typical high competition keyword.
There is another type of search marketing, called Local SEO more commonly known as Google My Business (GMB). To do this you would need to claim your GMB page, optimize it to achieve a Top 3 result in the “Map Pack” and have great social proof. Businesses with less than 40 reviews with an overall rating of 4.0 or higher are not considered trustworthy by searchers.
The clicks are free, but it takes time and effort to move into the top 3 positions. There is also a paid advertising option for GMB. (We will talk about GMB and local SEO in much more depth in a future article).
This is an example of the GMB 3 pack for the search term “Law Firms in Houston”.
Print media is another way to drive traffic to your website / landing page.
Every piece of written material should have your website or an appropriate landing page listed. Today 90% of searches are from a mobile device so a QR code (Quick Response) is an ideal way to achieve this.
This is an example of a QR code. Here is a website where you can generate your own QR codes for free.
It does not matter how you get a prospect to visit your website, you only have 15 seconds to engage them. If they have no reason to stay, they will “bounce” off to a new site and your opportunity to move them from being a prospect to a lead will be lost.
The critical factor is that when they arrive at your site, they find value from their visit. This is where the next step in the journey “Engagement” comes in.
Next Steps: Look at your website and see if it offers any value to engage your prospect.
Step 2 – Engagement
Key Takeaway: Engagement comes from content that must provide value to the prospect
When we think back to the section on human intimacy, the second step was “eye to body” – turning a glance into a stare.
In the digital marketing world, this stare is when the content of your landing page is so attractive that the prospect spends more than 15 seconds looking at the page. Hopefully, they stay much longer and even visit other pages on your site and consume the valuable content you provide there also.
This phase is driven by “Content Marketing” – providing valuable information that will encourage your prospect to stay on your site and consume the content you have created.
Content can be in the form of information or entertainment. However, it must be congruent with your brand (a YouTube video of your attorneys “dancing Gangnam style” would probably be inappropriate for all but the most informal of law firms).
Above all, the content must speak to the needs of the visitor and be valuable to your prospect. Your marketing must always be in tune with the marketer’s radio station WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?
Long-winded self-promoting “brochure-ware” sites have terrible conversion rates (<1%), whereas sites designed specifically for lead generation can have conversion rates up to 40% and higher. A 6% conversion rate would put your law practice website in the top 10% of all law firm websites.
The sort of information you can provide as content includes:
- How to guides
- Resource lists
- Case studies
A highly effective way to start creating content is to discover the top 10 questions your clients ask when they first engage with your law practice. Then create a downloadable pdf file with the 10 Questions and their Answers. On your landing page provide a summary of the information you provide in the pdf file – but do not give everything away at this point.
Give them enough to entice them and create the desire to obtain the full report. You can give away as much as 70% of your content and still have prospects submit a request for the full article. This then leads to the next step in the journey – the Subscription phase.
Next Steps: Look at your website and ask – is it all about me or the needs of my client?
Step 3 – Subscription
Key Takeaway: Automate lead capture on your website with valuable gated content
This is the critical step in the lead conversion process. It is where you convert a prospect to a lead. In the intimacy hierarchy, it is akin to getting someone to give you their phone number.
A lead is defined as “an individual who has given you their contact information and permission to follow up”. Merely capturing an email address or phone number is not good enough. You must obtain their permission to contact them again.
A “lead magnet” is the valuable content you provide in exchange for their contact information. This is called “gated” content. Unlike engagement content, which is freely available, the consumer must now give you something in return for the information. It can be in the form of:
- Downloadable pdf reports
- Checklists and handouts
- Surveys and contests
- Video mini-classes
- Webinar registration
Whatever form your lead magnet takes, it has just one purpose – to be so attractive to the prospect that they agree to provide their contact information, and permission to follow up, in exchange for the content.
Delivery of the “lead magnet” should be automated and weed out the “tire kickers”. You should avoid wasting human resources on this task which is easy to automate. It should also trigger a follow-on email campaign designed to provide even more value to your lead.
The content must not only be valuable to the lead it must also inform the sales conversation with a goal of moving the lead to the next step in the journey. The conversion phase.
Next Steps: Check if your website automatically provides valuable content in exchange for the person’s contact information. If not, add it.
Step 4 – Conversion
Key Takeaway: Convert your lead into a new customer with a risk-free micro-commitment
“Let’s meet for a coffee!”
At the conversion stage, all you are trying to get is a “micro-commitment”. This is your first date, so do not propose marriage. Sequence matters!
The micro-commitment can either be in the form of time or money. A small introductory purchase or the investment of a small amount of time to learn more about your services. Today, the time-based micro-commitment is more effective than a purchase.
Getting a new client is the most difficult (and expensive) of the three growth pillars (more clients, more volume, more often). The micro-commitment must be as easy and risk-free as you can possibly make it. Keep the dollar price exceptionally low, offer a full money-back guarantee, keep the time commitment short and stick to the agreed time. Do whatever you can to minimize the perceived risk to the client.
If you are planning on charging for the initial meeting, allow the customer to pay at the end, after they have received value. If they do not feel they got value from the meeting, they do not pay.
At this point, you have overcome the major psychological hurdle of buyer resistance. They are no longer a new customer, any further offers you make will be to an existing customer, which is always much easier to offer.
As with every other step in the Customer Value Journey® the content of this step must be congruent with all the preceding steps. It must also set up the next step – the Excite stage.
Next Steps: Do you have a conversion step in your sales process? Is it a risk-free micro-commitment for the customer?
Step 5 – Excitement
Key Takeaway: Excite your customer early so they’ll be ready to make the big commitment
Your coffee date went well. What’s next – a movie or dinner? Remember to take flowers!
At the “excite” stage, your goal is to give your customer an “Ah-Ha moment”. This is when the core value of your service “clicks” with your customer. It is when your service elevates from a “nice to have” to a “must-have”.
It is when the customer’s attitude towards your service changes from a “need” to a “want”. Human beings seldom do what they need to do – eat less, exercise more, sleep longer – but we always find the time and money for what we want. Remember, the buying decision is always triggered in the emotional center of the brain. When it is a “want” there is emotion driving the decision.
The “Ah-Ha” moment must deliver “Ah – wonder” and “Ha – understanding” to your client. It is when they have hope that your service can transform their situation and belief that your process can deliver the transformation they desire.
The more effective your “excite” stage (from a powerful Ah-Ha experience), the easier it will be to move your client up the ascension ladder.
Next Steps: Is your initial customer meeting scripted? Does it deliver the “Ah-Ha” moment?
Step 6 – Ascension
Key Takeaway: Ascension increases your customer value, so you can spend more to win more
This is where the money is made.
Now that you have “excited” your customer, you are ready to “pop the question” and present your core offer. Your core offer is what all your marketing so far has been leading up to. If your prospect has stayed with you this far, agreed to become a lead, and then converted to a customer, selling your core offer should be relatively easy.
The next part is where you differentiate yourself from 90% of your competition.
Once your customer is happily consuming your core offer, you then need to embark on the ascension process. Remember the 3 pillars from Jay Abraham – you have a new client, now you need to sell more to them (upsells and bundling services) or sell to them more often (subscription services).
Selling these additional services increases your Average Customer Value (ACV). This in turn gives you a higher margin which allows you to spend more on the initial customer acquisition. This supports the golden rule of marketing,
“He or she who is able and willing to spend the most to acquire a customer wins!”
To give you an example of the importance of this stage of the value journey. Our core offer is the “90 Day Growth Accelerator” which sells for $10,000. The upsell from this initial engagement is a 12 – 18-month Growth Coaching implementation program worth over $50,000. Typically, 40% of our clients take this extended program. This increases the ACV of our client from $10,000 to $30,000, a 300% uplift.
This allows us to spend 300% more to acquire a client than our competitors, it also means we can spend more to serve and support our clients, so they get a higher value experience for their investment.
Next Steps: Calculate your customer ACV with and without upsells – what can you add?
Step 7 – Advocacy
Key Takeaway: Actively seek social proof and include it in all aspects of your marketing
Social proof works!
A study of social proof produced the following results. Public-service messages were hung on the doorknobs of several hundred homes in San Marcos, Calif. They urged residents to use fans instead of air conditioning, but they gave different reasons for doing so.
Some residents learned they could save $54 a month on their utility bill. Others, that they could prevent the release of 262 pounds of greenhouse gases per month. A third group was told it was the socially responsible thing to do. And a fourth group was informed that 77% of their neighbors already used fans instead of air conditioning, a decision described as “your community’s popular choice!”
Meter readings found that those presented with the “everyone’s doing it” argument reduced their energy consumption by 10% compared with a control group. No other group reduced energy use by more than 3% compared with the control group.
Similarly, to be considered trustworthy in a Google search the business must show a 4-star rating or higher with at least 40 reviews.
Successful customers will tell others about your services (because they have been successful), unfortunately, happy customers do not.
Given the power of social proof, at the advocacy stage, you need to actively harvest social proof as often as you can. Ratings and reviews on Google (be careful to follow their rules about review harvesting), written testimonials on your website, and best of all video testimonials all give social proof which will improve your sales conversion.
Next Steps: Check your website, social media, and GMB profile for social proof. Does it enhance or detract from your reputation?
Step 8 – Promotion
Key Takeaway: Formalize your referral marketing to increase the leads into your sales journey
The final stage in the Customer Value Journey®, and admittedly the one where the human intimacy parallel fails, is the Promotion stage.
This is where your customers and other partners, actively promote your services to others. This promotion creates awareness which brings new prospects into the start of your CVJ.
There are obviously some legal restrictions about lawyers paying third parties for clients but there are still many ways you can leverage referral marketing for your Law Firm.
You could ask a client at the end of your service for a warm introduction by phone to 3 others in their network who could benefit from a similar service. You could find an internal champion in a business who would introduce you to other divisions in the same company.
You could also analyze the value chain for a particular service you provide and then formalize the referral relationship with other members of the value chain. Once this is done, help them to improve their own marketing so that they will have a higher number of leads, which in turn should result in a higher number of referrals for you. For example, a personal injury lawyer could formalize referral relationships with doctors, chiropractors, and occupational health providers who are likely to be seeing injured people who may need their legal services.
It is common for lawyers to refer cases to other Law Firms where there are jurisdictional issues or specialist legal skills are required. Consider taking this process to a higher level by actively helping them improve their marketing so they will have more clients who could be referred to you.
Next Steps: Map the value chain for your core offer and identify potential referral partners
In part 1 of this article, we talked about the strategy and management of your Law Firm’s marketing and growth planning. The “Why” behind what we do.
In the section on the Customer Value Journey®, part 2 of this article, we did a deep dive into the 8 steps of the marketing journey. This introduced us to “What” needs to be done to achieve predictable growth.
Part 3 discusses the “How” and the “Who” of the Law Practice growth accelerator program.
DIY, TYT, or DFY?
Key Takeaway: Blending the skills of your marketing team with external experts is best
Who do you have in your Law Practice with the competency and capacity to implement and manage the 8 stages of the Customer Value Journey®?
If you already have a trained marketing team versed in all the various disciplines of Digital Marketing, then DIY – Do It Yourself – is the logical option. Remember, there are 5 functional disciplines your team would need to execute.
- Search Engine Marketing
- Digital Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
In addition to the Digital Marketing Strategy certification, there are 11 separate certifications required to achieve expertise in these 5 disciplines. This may be outside of the competency of your current marketing team.
You may choose to go down the TYT route – Train Your Team. In this case, you can map the expertise of your current team against the 5 disciplines and embark on a process of increasing the skill level of your team, until you are able to commit to the full in-house DIY approach.
Two big questions arise in this case.
- Does your team have the capacity to commit to undertaking these additional certifications?
- How long are you willing to wait before embarking on your Growth Accelerator journey?
A third option is the DFY – Done For You – approach. In this case, you just outsource all of your marketing efforts and wait for the results to come in. There are a couple of risks in this case. It takes time for the results to be realized and if the service provider you select is not performing, you can lose 3-6 months before you realize it is not working.
Also outsourcing the whole of your marketing effort weakens the control over your brand and its voice. Two extremely valuable assets which are expensive to establish but easy to tarnish.
The fourth approach, and the one we recommend, is the blended approach. You keep control of the management and implementation of your Law Firm’s marketing system. This allows you to protect your brand and maintain a consistent “voice” to your marketplace.
You use your in-house resources where they have the expertise, for example, social media. You outsource the functions that are not core to your team, for example, website design, search engine marketing, and digital advertising. Then you upskill your team in the functions which make sense to move in-house such as content and email marketing.
Next Steps: Identify your team’s competency gaps and decide whether to outsource or upskill.
Cadence and the 4DX Rules
Key Takeaway: Rationalize goals to 2 or 3 deliverables for your team to deliver each week
I am sure you have heard of Steven Covey who wrote the bestselling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
The Covey institute has produced another excellent book, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” (4DX). In it, they state:
- 65% of strategic initiatives require a behavioral change in the team members
- In a typical business, only 15% of the team can name one of the top 3 goals for their company
- Only 51% of the team were passionate about the company’s goals
- 81% of team members were not held accountable for progressing their goals
In short, strategic initiatives fail due to poor execution.
Here are the 4 disciplines recommended by Covey to avoid this:
- Focus on the Wildly Important Goals
- Act on the Lead Measures
- Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
- Create a Cadence of Accountability
We have talked about Lead Measures and Key Performance Indicators – your scoreboard – earlier in this article. But what about WIGs and cadence?
A WIG is your “Wildly Important Goal” it is what you focus on to “move the needle” of your strategic project. WIGs are very much a case of less is more!
Here is a sobering statistic:
Number of Goals
2 – 3
4 – 10
11 – 20
Goals Achieved with Excellence
2 – 3
1 – 2
If you try and “boil the ocean’ you will fail. Focusing on a small number of critical tasks and the discipline to stick to them – you will succeed!
The mortal enemy of your strategic tasks is the “whirlwind”- the plethora of day-to-day tasks that suck away your energy and time from the WIGs that actually move you towards your strategic objectives. These are also the “urgent but not important tasks” identified in the 7 habits book.
The way to overcome the whirlwind is with a “Cadence Call”. This is a short weekly call in which a “cadence of accountability” is instilled in the team. When held accountable by the other team members peer pressure and social proof kick in. If several team members have achieved their weekly objectives, it gives social proof that it can, and should be done. With every member of the team stating their commitments for the week, there is peer pressure to follow through.
In our agency, we start every Monday morning at 08:00 by reviewing our KPI scorecard which is immediately followed at 08:30 by the weekly cadence call. At this meeting, every team member declares their “Big 3” commitments for the week. If any blockers or support requirements are identified they are addressed at that time.
Final review of the “Big 3” is conducted by the team on Thursday afternoon. This gives plenty of time to move forward with your commitments while allowing time for firefighting / recovery actions if required before the end of business. This allows all the team to disconnect for the weekend and recommit with a clean sheet at the following Monday’s cadence call.
Next Steps: Review your goals, reduce them to 3 WIG’s and implement cadence calls
Key Takeaway: Design your marketing system to embed self-accountability at each step
The “Cadence Call” is the first step in achieving accountability across your team. There are several other techniques that can be applied. The ideal is for the team to evolve into a self-accountable unit, rather than have an external overseer trying to enforce accountability.
Here are a few best practices you should consider for your team.
Use Quality Gates to improve process velocity.
If you have several steps in your marketing process which require hand-off between different team members, the use of quality gates will minimize rework. The team delivering the work item should define the “Output Quality Gate” and not release their product until they meet their own declared standard.
The team receiving the work item should define the “Input Quality Gate” – the product they need to be able to complete their commitment without rework. The first sanity check is to ensure that the output quality gate and the input quality gate are aligned.
The second requirement is that the receiving team has the authority to veto the handover of the work item. Even though the delivery team may insist that they have met the output quality gate, the receiving team has the right to veto. If the veto is invoked that should indicate that the quality gates are misaligned, and a process improvement review meeting should be conducted to get the quality gates aligned. This not only allows the current work item to be progressed, but it should also prevent future stalls in the process flow.
The system should not affect the measurement.
The measurement must not affect the system. When measuring KPI’s they must be taken in such a way that they do not modify user behavior. As far as is possible, they should be quantitative rather than qualitative. Qualitative analysis can be conducted after the original metrics are reported.
The person responsible for gathering the metric information should not belong to either the delivery or recipient team. There will always be a risk of reporting bias. However, this may not be possible due to team size or the complexity of gathering the data. If it is the latter, look for other leading indicators you can use to measure performance. Just because you can measure something does not mean that you should.
Pareto is your friend.
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 is a universal constant. 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your cases. 20% of your customers account for 80% of your complaints etc.
In our application – 80% of your revenue improvement can be achieved from 20% of your marketing initiatives. The trick is knowing which 20% to choose. You probably do not know which the 20% are. There will be some strong ideas in your team and some obvious red flags you can address early, but in many cases, it will be a judgment call.
When in doubt do not make the mistake of trying to stack the odds by adding more goals, this will simply dilute your efforts and result in more misses. If you are completely unable to decide which initiatives to add to your WIG list – guess! Toss a coin, throw a dart, or draw straws. At this point, it does not matter. Your KPIs will soon tell you whether your selected WIG is moving the performance needle or not.
Next Steps: Review your marketing process misaligned quality gates and poor metrics
Tools, Tactics & Playbooks
Key Takeaway: This is HOW you will implement your marketing strategy, so make sure you choose the best tool for each step of your CVJ
You need three things to achieve predictable growth for your Law Firm –
- A documents journey – the CVJ
- Actionable Metrics – discussed above
- Tools and Tactics
If you are missing any one of the three, you will not achieve predictable growth and instead will suffer from:
- One Hit Wonder – without a documented journey, you have no idea what worked and no way of repeating your success
- Bull in A China Shop – without actionable metrics, you have no way of telling what part of your predictable growth system is or isn’t working – you end up guessing and making mistakes.
- Stuck in the Mud – you know what you want to do, you know what to measure to achieve success, but you don’t know HOW to do it.
Tools, tactics and playbooks give you the HOW and define the speed at which you will achieve success. There are hundreds of tactics and tools you can chose to help with your marketing, some good, some bad, but there is no need to re-invent the wheel!
It does not matter which brand or system you choose, what is important is that whichever tool you use – you use it!
Each step of the Customer Value Journey® has its own unique requirements depending on how you are planning to move your prospect through the journey.
A good place to find tools, tactics and playbooks for your CVJ is on the DigitalMarketer website. There are hundreds of articles linking to a variety of tools and playbooks, many of which you can access for free.
Next Steps: Review your CVJ for weaknesses, and search the DM website for a tool to help fill the gap
Key Takeaway: When you’re too close to the problem a second opinion is vital
We discussed reporting bias in the previous article. This is human nature – we always try and interpret reality in the best light for our own situation.
Another risk is normalization. Our brain takes shortcuts in processing information. Rather than process every single new bit of data every second it looks for changes in the data. If a situation has been in place for some time, it becomes the norm, which then can be overlooked or institutionalized.
But we’ve always done it that way!
Sometimes you just get so close to a problem that you cannot envision an alternative reality. You cannot see the wood for the trees!
The final risk is information overload. There is more access to data nowadays than at any point in human history. But this has made the problem of extracting useful information much more difficult. This can manifest in two distinct problems – analysis paralysis and shiny object syndrome. Although these may seem to be opposites, they are both manifestations of the same root cause.
If you are suffering from any of these issues, please do not be afraid to ask for help. Feel free to book a call with one of our certified digital marketing strategists because our desire is to provide you with value.
Next Steps: If you’re struggling to implement your plan – request a free call
In this section, we explore the various disciplines of digital marketing which may be applicable to your marketing system and the certifications available to increase the skill of your team.
There is one discipline, e-commerce, which we do not cover as it has no relevance to Law Firm marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategy
Key Takeaway: Digital Marketing Strategy is critical – consider training in it for your team
As we have discussed earlier, strategy trumps tactics every time. From the market research we have conducted, almost none of the service providers focusing on the law marketing niche offer marketing strategy.
So, this is a requirement you may want to take as an in-house skill. There is a certification specific to this skill that you may want to consider.
The Digital Marketing Mastery Class is the most comprehensive digital marketing training in the industry. The purpose of this Master Class is to help you become a “T-shaped” marketer.
This 16-hour training is designed to give you the “top of the T” in digital marketing. In this class, you will cover the foundation of DigitalMarketer’s curriculum: The Customer Avatar Canvas, Your Core Message Canvas, and The Customer Value Journey.
After completing the foundations, you will get a top-level overview of the major channels of digital marketing including content marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, search marketing, email marketing, community management, and data and optimization.
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer
Key Takeaway: If buying traffic is in your marketing mix, consider this training
Digital advertising is the easiest way to drive traffic to your website from sources such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It can also be expensive so you must carefully measure your performance to get the best value for your digital marketing investment.
There are two certifications that are applicable to this discipline.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. But how do you put that message in front of an unknowing audience and convert strangers into friends without breaking the bank?
In this course, you’ll learn how to leverage paid traffic channels—such as Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook—to not only grow your customer base… but to grow your customer base at a PROFIT.
Are your business decisions driven by data or hunches? Logic or are you throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks? In this course, you’ll learn data collection strategies you can use to set up an analytics plan that will help you build a proactive (and not reactive), data-driven business. You’ll be determining the key metrics your brand needs to track on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and how to set up simple dashboards that alert your brand to potential problems and opportunities.
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer
Key Takeaway: Search marketing must be done properly to avoid frustration and expense
Search marketing is an essential part of every digital marketing mix. But it can be frustratingly slow (and expensive) to deliver results. These two certifications show you how best to apply search marketing to your business and how to ensure you get the best value from your investment.
In this master class, you’ll learn about the foundations of SEO including in-depth dives into On-page SEO, Technical SEO, Off-page SEO, and Local SEO. You’ll learn tactile strategies such as how to do keyword research, competitor research, optimize your content strategy for on-page SEO, how to take advantage of broken link building, and establish your authority with Google. You’ll learn how to optimize your Google My Business Profile in hopes of getting ranked in the Local 3 Pack on PageOne.
Develop a repeatable optimization process to increase conversions in their sales funnel, landing pages, and key conversion pages. Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to diagnose site problems and test new solutions that increase profits for traffic you already have.
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer
Social Media Marketing
Key Takeaway: Social Media Marketing develops, promotes, and protects your brand.
Social media marketing allows you to make strong emotional connections with your customers and prospects. You need to know which channels are best for your target audience and how to turn them from tire-kickers into a loyal tribe member.
These two certifications do that.
In this master class, you will learn the newest strategies (by social platform) to draw organic traffic to your social media sites. You will also learn how to develop a social media calendar and develop a schedule for your post to make sure your content is relevant and top of mind for your audience. You will also learn how to leverage influencer marketing and see if it is right for your overall marketing goals.
Every year, more and more businesses are harnessing the power of online communities to generate awareness, increase sales, reduce churn, and drive brand loyalty. Community management is a growing skill set for creating and sustaining lasting relationships with a brand’s prospects, leads, and customers. In this course, you’ll discover proven strategies to create and grow a thriving online community that’ll positively impact your bottom line.
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer
Key Takeaway: Content marketing demonstrates your skill and engages potential clients.
Content marketing is a critical skill to be used at the beginning of the Customer Value Journey® for engagement and subscription.
These certifications give your team the skill to manage this effectively in-house.
If you want to build your brand’s authority and nurture prospect/customer relationships the right way, you must deliver “value in advance.” Content is how you do just that. In this course, you’ll learn how to craft and execute a content strategy that utilizes more than just your blog. Using these high-yield strategies, you’ll spread your brand’s message to new audiences and existing prospects alike, by providing genuine value in advance.
To survive today, companies need direct-response copy that moves customers along the Customer Value Journey and encourages them to take specific, measurable actions—driving them to make purchases or become sales leads. In this course, you’ll discover proven online and offline secrets to writing copy that grabs attention, sets you apart and SELLS.
The third skill you should include in the Content Marketing discipline is Video Marketing. There is a free course which you can take at the HubSpot academy.
Online video is a powerful medium, one that has grown in popularity over the past several years, both with search engines and people. However, there’s a lot that goes into producing a meaningful video. In this course, you’ll learn how to create an effective video marketing strategy that improves your content marketing efforts. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to craft a video marketing strategy that solves for every stage of the buyer’s journey, understand various online video types to fuel your video marketing efforts, produce a video from start to finish and measure and analyze your video marketing efforts.
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer and HubSpot Academy
Key Takeaway: If you use no other discipline – you must include email marketing for your firm
Email marketing is the most effective digital marketing discipline outperforming all the others by a long way. When done correctly, email marketing can deliver returns of over 4300%. This certification shows you how.
Of all the different channels available to marketers today, email still ranks as the highest when it comes to ROI. But due to changes in deliverability algorithms and the sheer number of emails sent on a daily basis, getting your emails opened is more difficult than ever. Fortunately, we’re going to show you how to change all that. In this course, you’ll learn how to craft email campaigns that get delivered, get opened, and most importantly… get the click
Next Steps: You can book your training directly with DigitalMarketer
Key Takeaway: 80% of law firm websites are ineffective at gathering new leads
Your website is the persona you present to the digital world. It is critical that your Law Firm website represents you correctly and serves the purpose you expect it to.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Law Practice websites are not fit for that purpose.
There are three main types of website:
- E-commerce – for selling products (e.g. Amazon, eBay)
- Lead generation – for collecting prospect information to create leads
- Informational – for presenting information to the world wide web
A quick survey of the top 20 law firm websites from the Google search “Family Law Houston” identified the following:
- 15 were informational websites (aka brochure-ware)
- 3 had a strong “Contact Us” form on the home page
- 1 was offline!!
- Only 1 was designed for lead generation
Of the 5 paid ads on the search results page, 1 was optimized for lead generation, 2 had well-placed “Contact Us” forms, and 2 were brochure-ware. Similarly, of the top 3 law firms in the Google Map group, only 1 had a strong “Contact Us” form. The others were brochure-ware.
If we asked the Law Firm managing partners, I expect the majority would state that their website should generate leads for them.
The grim reality is that if your website is not optimized for lead generation, your lead capture rate from a brochure-ware website is much less than 1%. Because of the competition in Law Firm digital marketing, a top 10% performing website only delivers a 6% lead capture rate.
If you want to capture leads from your website, I recommend completing the landing page audit, which is provided free by DigitalMarketer. Or feel free to book a call with one of our Certified Digital Marketing Strategists and let us conduct a real-time website review for you.
Next Steps: Optimize your website for lead capture if you want more business
Email Marketing Systems
Key Takeaway: Automate your email marketing with a system that is easy to use with good deliverability.
There are dozens of email marketing systems with a wide variety of capabilities and costs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is a case of choosing the one that best meets the operational needs of your business. The two factors you must consider in making a selection are ease of use and deliverability.
For most of our email needs, MailChimp is more than adequate for our clients.
Here are the email systems DigitalMarketer mentions –
- Maropost – Most of our promotional email is sent through Maropost. It’s an enterprise level system that allows for sophisticated email list segmentation.
- InfusionSoft [now rebranded as Keap] – We send some email through InfusionSoft but, in many cases, our email marketing needs have outgrown InfusionSoft.
- AWeber – If you are just starting out, we use and recommend AWeber for its deliverability and ease of use.
- ActiveCampaign – Very powerful email marketing automation with a lightweight CRM.
- Klaviyo – Very good email marketing software for e-commerce businesses.
Another popular email marketing system in a similar class to Aweber, ActiveCampaign and MailChimp is ConstantContact.
Becoming more popular are SMS messaging systems. There is a solution from Lawmatics specifically designed for Law Firm marketing.
A final point worth mentioning is that if you are going to try a broadcast email from a data vendor, many of the email service providers will not allow you to use this type of list.
Here are some service providers specifically for emailing to a purchased list:
ZeroBounce is not an Email Service Provider, but it is a great place to learn more about email marketing in general and in particular CAN-SPAM. With articles on everything from DKIM Signatures to Sender Reputation, ZeroBounce will help you to clarify your approach to email marketing.
Next Steps: Think about your email marketing needs – list size, frequency, person responsible for maintenance – then chose the service best for you
Social Media Channels
Key Takeaway: Social media is essential for building a following, BUT selecting the correct channel for your niche is critical.
Social media is essential for building trust with your audience. They can also be used for presenting social proof and monitoring for brand-damaging issues.
There are hundreds of social media channels providing a variety of digital services to billions of users. Which is right for your business?
The thing you must remember is that you do not need to be active on all channels. It is much more important to create a small number of trusted followers who want to hear from you, instead of the vanity metric of total friends / connections who have no relationship with you.
Focus on the big channels and then niche down to your target audience:
- Facebook 2.7 billion MAU
- YouTube 2.2 billion MAU
- Instagram 1.4 billion MAU
- Twitter 353 million MAU
- LinkedIn 310 million MAU
(MAU = Monthly Active Users)
Select the channel most applicable to your target audience and content.
- Facebook – consumers, social groups, short copy – visual content, good ad targeting
- YouTube – consumers, only video, create branded information channels, can advertise
- Instagram – consumers, images, owned by Facebook, can cross advertise
- Twitter – microblogging (280 char), great for trends, thought leaders, can advertise
- LinkedIn – the social network for business – 776 million professional members
Start with just one channel, provide valuable content and then identify your niche market and try some advertising.
We will be providing much more information on Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing in future articles.
If you want to be informed when these are produced, please subscribe to our newsletter.
Next Steps: Identify the channel applicable to your target audience, and start posting
Key Takeaway: Use tools wisely to improve your marketing, but don’t become a slave to technology just for the sake of it.
There are dozens of analytics tools, some free some paid, analyzing a variety of digital marketing functions.
Everyone needs to have Google Analytics which has been rebranded Universal Analytics and the new upgraded version is called Google Analytics 4 which tracks performance on both websites and aps in parallel.
Other tools we use are:
- Bright Local
- SynUp – please feel free to check the Local SEO health of your website using their free scan tool.
DigitalMarketer has an excellent article covering a variety of tools including:
- Landing Pages
- Hosting/Domain Registration
- Membership Sites
- Email Marketing
- Split Testing
- Screen Capture
- Website Development
- Virtual Meeting/Webinar
- Social Media
- Analytics, Testing & Optimization Tools
- Contest Tools
Next Steps: Identify where you can leverage technology to improve your marketing, and adapt one tool