Are you spending too much time marketing your law firm – or not enough? Do you know how many hours you and your staff spend on marketing? While best practices will vary by firm and talent, below I provide industry guidelines to help you quantify your marketing efforts.
Blogs are a great way to gain traction with search engines, trust with your readers, and position you as an expert in your practice areas … if done correctly. It is easy to set up a blog on your website. I recommend installing Wordpress to get started. Then you can build an editorial calendar to plan out your posts on timely topics (i.e. events, news stories, verdicts, firm news) and your practice areas. You should post two to three blogs per week. They should each take approximately 90 minutes to write, edit, and post. If you are just starting to blog, take note: no one will read your blog, especially if you do not promote your blog posts on social media. You need to commit three to six months to dedicated weekly blogging. If you spend less time than this, do not expect to see results.
Time: Five hours per week
Social Media Marketing
First, when prioritizing social media channel selection, a law firm does not need to be on Pinterest or Instagram. Your firm does not require a presence on every social network to effectively drive inbound website traffic. For our clients, we usually suggest Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. If four channels seem like too much to start with, work with Google+ and LinkedIn first. As we have covered numerous times on this blog, it is important to listen and get the lay of the land before updating social outlets with sales-speak. Your law firm needs to know the following to be able to use social media effectively: how to post, how to friend or connect with people and/or entities, how to engage in conversations that you or others start, and how to convert social connections into database contacts and/or email newsletter subscribers.
Breakdown of how your time should be spent on social media marketing:
- Schedule and share your firm’s original content: Two hours per week
- Accept connections and post to LinkedIn: One and a half hours per week
- Monitor mentions and industry news/lists: Two hours per week
- Expand your reach by engaging with others online: 30 minutes per week
Time: Six hours per week
(Plan on an additional initial investment of two to five hours, depending upon how many social networks you want to tackle)
My love for email marketing is no secret; and, it remains one of the most cost-effective investments a law firm can make when done correctly. While beginning a regular monthly email newsletter does take time, the monthly efforts thereafter are relatively small. First, export and segment the firm’s database contact list. Second, add newsletter sign up functionality to your website and Facebook page. Third, promote the e-newsletter and ask your colleagues to subscribe if they haven’t already. Once you have your subscribers, you will need to design or select a template, and then most importantly, create and find great content to share.
Time: One hour per week
(Plan on an additional initial investment of at least six to eight hours)
This blog post is by no means an exhaustive list of marketing tactics law firms can employ. Adding SEO, directory listings, advertising, speaking engagements, networking events, brochures ... can easily push law firm marketing to over 40 hours per week. This is why many firms hire an in-house marketing manager. If your firm does not have the necessary time to devote to marketing, and you are not looking to take on the overhead and onboarding associated with hiring someone new, SEBPC can serve as your outsourced Chief Marketing Officer.