What should I consider when hiring a law firm marketing consultant?
When you hire a law firm marketing consultant, there are specific things you need to keep in mind. As lawyers, we know that there are rules we must abide by in our marketing and advertising efforts. These restrictions don’t apply to other service professionals. Working with a consultant that is not aware of these things can result in the loss of money and time and grave consequences including losing your State bar license.
With that in mind, here are three essential questions you should ask yourself when hiring a legal marketing consultant.
- Is the consultant a lawyer as well? If they are, then you’ll know they are keenly aware of where you are coming from. They have first-hand experience of your stress, issues, concerns, and daily work at the firm. Working with a law firm marketing consultant who is also a lawyer also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that they are familiar with the advertising rules of your State Bar and will abide by them. Law firm marketing is a completely different deal than general business marketing. Not only do you have to abide by the State rules on advertising but you also have to work with the public perception already in existence of lawyers and legal services… which is very different to other service professionals.
- Is the law firm marketing consultant flexible in payment structure? While the majority of legal marketing consultants charge for their services on an hourly basis, there are others that will do so based on a flat fee. Flat fee billing gives you the information you need to budget for your law firm and the peace of mind of knowing what you’ll pay for at the end of the day. As an alternative to hourly billing and per project billing, there are some consultants that charge for their services on a monthly retainer fee. For one flat fee per month, they work with you on specific services ranging from website creation and content development to production of podcast episodes and webinars, to establishment of public speaking engagements and strategic alliances on the internet and your local community.
- Does the law firm marketing consultant consider your personality and personal preference? There are thousands of marketing techniques available. You can attract clients by doing direct marketing, blogging, a podcast series, public speaking, and a variety of other activities. However, your personality and comfort level must be considered for your marketing efforts to be effective and profitable. If your marketing consultant creates a marketing plan for you based on a boilerplate format, odds are that you’ll execute about half of the plan (if that). You must be completely comfortable with your marketing activities, feel that they resonate with your values, and of course be in congruence with your State Bar rules. This way, you’ll follow through with the marketing efforts from a place of integrity.
The three elements to get people to hire you are to: know you, like you, and trust you. You can achieve this in a wide variety of ways. The key is to find the ones that resonate most with you personality, business goals, and preferred communication style.
Make sure that the business development or legal marketing consultant you choose is aware of these criteria and works to position you as an expert in your legal field in a fashion that inspires your potential clients to hire your law firm and refer people to you.
Filed Under: Marketing
About the Author: Sonia Gallagher, Esq. is an attorney and business development consultant. She helps small and medium law firms implement strategies to get more clients, more profits, and more free time. She helps lawyers position themselves as experts in their fields, differentiate their law firms from the competition, and connect with their target demographic in a fashion that inspires their potential clients to hire them. Find out how you can start connecting with the right clients today.