Words From The CEO: How to have an excellent first call with an agency.
Help Us Help You
I have been the primary person answering our phones for the past five years. While each phone call has a few similarities, I have learned not to have expectations for how that first call will go. Regardless of the firm’s position coming into the call, mine is always the same: to help the law firm get one step closer to their marketing goals. Help me help you with your marketing strategy by following these 3 tips.
Tip One: Treat hiring an agency like buying a house instead of like buying a car.
Many attorneys look at the end price tag of hiring an agency and spend about as much time on it as they would looking for a new car. I can see the logic in that, especially if your marketing budget is around $50,000 per year. What these attorneys are not considering is the cost of making a poor decision. If that marketing budget is supposed to generate $250,000 in attorney fees, the decision is actually more on the level of buying a house. You don’t visit one house, one time, and buy it without asking any questions.
Your chances of hiring a successful agency dramatically improve if you take the time to understand how their services work and why they may or may not be right for you. Sometimes law firms hire bad agencies, but often they just hire the wrong agency. Avoid this by understanding how they operate and why their services will be right for you. (Example: Spending $35,000 on a video makes zero sense if you don’t have the budget to get people to see the video.) Here are a few questions you can keep in your back pocket to ask during the first call:
- What work do you perform in-house?
- What do you think of our current law firm website?
- What is your approach to web design? Content marketing? AdWords? Social Media? Organic Search?
- How does your agency define success?
- What is your process for developing a marketing plan?
- What results should I expect and when should I see those results?
Tip Two: Have some idea about what you want the end result to look like.
Yes, I know, you want more cases. But why?
- Is your business failing and you need more cases to stay afloat?
- Do you want to be the dominant firm in your city? In your state?
- Are you trying get a different type of case you aren’t currently getting? A different practice area?
- Do you want to become more of a managing attorney? How many associates or partners do you need?
If you know that information, then you can answer my follow-on questions that will allow us to determine how many potential clients your firm needs. This ultimately has to do with budget, expectations, and making sure those are aligned with your goals. When law firms feel stuck in the mud, it is often a marketing problem — but it isn’t always an advertising problem. Sometimes advertising is all you will need to reach your goals, sometimes it isn’t. We can help you understand how far advertising will get you and provide some direction on how to get the rest of the way there.
Tip Three: Be open to feedback that you might not want to hear.
Many agencies will take your money regardless of whether or not they can actually help you. The legal industry can be expensive to market for, whether that is done with Google Search Rankings, on social media, or with paid advertising through Google Ads. A successful digital marketing agency is picky about taking clients. It costs us a lot of money to replace a client. We don’t want to provide marketing services to firms that we can’t be successful with. The right agency is the one that is curious about how your firm provides legal services. We often will end up working with a law firm a year down the road because they took our advice to make some internal improvements and then came back when we were a better fit. Our agency is always willing to help, however we can, even if that means we don’t work together immediately. Some of the questions I frequently ask potential clients are:
- What is your intake process like? (I want to know you will convert the leads we create for you.)
- Are there any cases you don’t want? (I want to know that you won’t turn down cases resulting from our lead generation.)
- What is your budget? (If other firms in your area are spending $20,000 per month on internet marketing, a $2,000 budget likely won’t produce much.)
- How involved are you willing to be? (For example, I can help you get reviews. I can’t get reviews for you. If you won’t do your part, our part won’t work.)
- What marketing efforts are you currently pursuing, and why do you think they aren’t working? (I don’t want to recommend something that has already been tried. Additionally, if you mention something that I believe should be working for you but isn’t, it clues me in that I might need to ask some other probing questions.)
Successful lawyer marketing requires a partnership between the law firm and the agency. We help law firms get more prospective clients by increasing their online presence. If you are trying to make great things happen for your firm, give us a call. We are happy to help you any way we can, even if our services aren’t right for you.
CEO / Gladiator Law Marketing