Bobby Steinbach is a Founding Partner at MeanPug Digital where he helps law firms grow and improve their practice with technology.
Finding and hiring great legal marketing experts can be a challenging task, especially when there is a wealth of misinformation circulating on how to do it correctly. Whether you need help determining which agency is right for you, or would like to understand the right questions to ask, I’ll walk you through some important dos and don’ts of hiring an expert legal marketing agency so you can get back to focusing on what you do best — practicing law.
Common Mistakes When Finding & Hiring a Law Firm Marketing Agency
Don’t: Hire the first digital agency you find.
This may sound obvious, but many law firms rely strictly on Google’s top search results when determining which digital marketing agency to hire. These law firms mistakenly believe that an agency’s ability to rank No. 1 means they must know what they’re doing.
The problem with this approach is that you won’t know exactly how much time, effort or resources have gone into their digital strategy and SEO efforts. While they may be able to spend countless hours optimizing their site, you will surely want to set a budget as to how time and resources are allocated. Additionally, a simple Google search won’t give you a good grasp on whether or not they have specific experience marketing law firms or proven success in the space.
Don’t: Expect paralegals to handle SEO & marketing.
In an effort to conserve resources, some law firms decide to delegate general marketing and SEO tasks to paralegals. While the desire to keep things in-house is understandable, this approach is guaranteed to miss the mark.
Law firm marketing services encompass vast areas of expertise ranging from paid advertisements to running complex conversion rate experiments. With so many areas of focus to keep track of, it’s unrealistic to expect your paralegals to generate real-world results with limited time and expertise.
Don’t: Hire a competing law firm’s marketing agency.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, and the reasoning behind it is easy to understand. Similar to hiring the first “digital marketing agency” that appears on Google’s search engine, many law firms will search for their city and practice area, plus the term “lawyer.” Then, they will typically review the website that pops up first and attempt to hire the same legal marketing company that is working with their direct competitor.
The problem with hiring a competing law firm’s digital agency is pretty straightforward. If the agency is working for your competitor, it’s a clear conflict of interest. You can also assume that the agency will reserve their best efforts for whoever is paying them the most.
4 Tips for Hiring and Finding a Legal Marketing Agency
Do: Hire industry experts.
When selecting a digital marketing agency to work with your law firm, you’ll want to make sure that the agency directly specializes in legal marketing and SEO. To check for this, make sure to:
• Explore their website for blog articles and case studies directly related to law and law firm marketing.
• Explore their past clients and testimonials.
• Make sure to ask them legal-specific questions to test their knowledge of the space and ensure they are a good fit for your firm.
Do: Look for supporting data, case studies and positive reviews.
Anyone can call themselves an expert, but whether or not they have the data to support their claims is another story. When hiring a legal marketing company, make sure to ask the agency about proven past success. This way, you’ll be able to assess each agency’s capabilities to achieve your unique goals.
Are you looking for more traffic to your website? Or maybe you’re interested in generating leads? Whatever your specific goals may be, make sure to outline them ahead of time and then ask to see examples of where the agency achieved goals like this in the past.
Do: Inquire about specific services offered.
It’s important to understand exactly what your digital agency specializes in when it comes to law firm marketing and what services they are able to provide.
For example, some agencies may focus on paid search campaigns, while others may be geared toward organic SEO or offer a full range of digital marketing services. Although you may have outlined a few areas of focus, it is typically advisable to work with a “full service” marketing agency, which means they are equipped to handle all areas of your digital strategy — from law firm website design to SEO and more.
Legal Marketing FAQs
Is hiring a legal marketing agency worth it?
Yes, hiring a legal marketing agency is absolutely worth it, especially when you consider the potential returns you’ll be making on your initial investment and the wealth of experience and knowledge you’ll have behind your campaigns.
How do you market a law firm business?
There are many different ways to effectively market your law firm, but typically your digital strategy will include aligned efforts in the areas of SEO blog content, technical site optimizations, web design, paid advertising, social media and in-depth analytics.
Is working in-house better than hiring a law firm marketing agency?
Hiring a qualified law firm marketing agency grants your business access to a wealth of highly skilled and experienced marketing professionals, all collaborating to make your goals a reality.
If you can afford a digital agency specializing in law, this may be your best bet to develop an effective top-to-bottom marketing strategy, while focusing on specific areas where you may need the most help.