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How to Inspire Your Legal Marketers to Create More Wins

- by Aron Solomon

So we’re just going to come right out and say what everybody wants to say to lawyers but never does:

You’re kind of control freaks.

Then why is it that lawyers are often so complacent when it comes to their own marketing? We’re going to let you in on a little (big, actually) legal marketing secret:

The best legal marketing firms - those that work only with law firms and deeply understand the business of law - actually want you to be an active, engaged partner.

Yet a good analogy for the way the relationship between law firms and legal marketers actually works would be the due diligence clients undertake to find a lawyer. They do their research, ask what they see as the right questions, then hire the lawyer they think will do the best job. Does it all stop there? As lawyers know all too well, it doesn’t. Clients want not only updates, but a sense of ownership over their case and an active hand in their case strategy.

Lawyers should settle for nothing less in the execution of their legal marketing strategy. Far too often, lawyers focus only on metrics and perceived ROI on their marketing spend. Far too infrequently do they provide the quality and quantity of information and ongoing feedback necessary to make campaigns as successful as they can be.

The reason an active partnership is so critically important is because every aspect of legal marketing is part of the collective building of your legal brand. This is as true for new lawyers and firms who are beginning from close to point zero as well as established firms whose brands are constantly evolving.

So how can you as the lawyer inspire your legal marketers to create more wins for you?

Communicate more and better

Great communication needs to be proactive. Just as lawyers hate getting urgent messages from panicky clients, legal marketers don’t love the same from their lawyer clients.

Set a format and timing that works for everyone involved and get you, the lawyer, the information you need to be an active partner in making critical and timely decisions.

Be flexible about changing plans and evolving the strategy

Didn’t you hire your legal marketing team because of their years of experience and the quality of the ideas? If so, then give them the space to come up with new and better ways to do things for and with you.

Sometimes that’s going to mean accepting a change in direction and strategy. If you do, you can do so begrudgingly or you can be open to to the new idea and direction and ready to embrace the result you’re both hoping for. We prefer the latter.

Evolve your client personas together

Any good legal marketing campaign is going to gather insights from your legal marketers and from you as well. Why not spend some scheduled time together in sessions devoted exclusively to refining your client personas and create personas that not only represent your idea semi-fictitious customer, but customers who are in the market and your new legal marketing campaigns can attract from other law firms’ book of business.

Help make content more timely and responsive

At NextLevel we divide our original content between pieces we can bank and other pieces that stay as fresh as long as fish in your fridge. How often do you contact your legal marketing team and suggest themes, and trends you sense are coming around the corner? You should - and this should be baked into the process of how you work together. While you’re always striving for a balance between pieces that will pretty much be somewhat elternaly fresh and those that can make waves this week before the moment passes, you need to be able to quickly generate and communicate your best work.

Encourage ongoing video content

While you want all of the core video assets on your site to always be at the next level, spontaneous content is a fantastic idea. Why don’t you take the lead in suggesting this and see what your marketers suggest as a starting point?

Redefine how you measure ROI

Of course, you need to measure ROI on your legal marketing spend. But is it always going to be as linear as how many new clients you get? What about more referrals from past and existing clients? What about better quality of clients? And what about issues that are discussed and planned for all too infrequently, such as the lifetime value (LTV) you earn from each client and opportunities created for new revenue streams.

Inspiration is great but without perspiration it’s only throwing ideas around. The more actively and positively you choose to work with your legal marketers the better the tangible results you’ll see.

About Aron Solomon

Aron Solomon is the Senior Digital Strategist for NextLevel.com and an Adjunct Professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. Aron was the founder of LegalX at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world's first legal technology accelerators, and was elected to Fastcase 50 in 2015, which recognizes the world's leading legal innovators, Aron regularly consults for large global corporations, law, and accounting firms.