I’m a huge advocate of content marketing—that is, using social media, email, the Internet and other resources to push out content you’ve created and position yourself as an authority in your field to a target audience of prospective clients and referral sources. In fact, I highly recommend this strategy to my own clients, many of whom have adopted it with fabulous results.
Unlike some Instagram darlings, though, I’m also still a fan of traditional marketing techniques. Public speaking, for example, is one of the best ways to raise your profile and your credibility quickly. It’s a terrific one-to-many tactic, and I encourage every attorney to give it a try and tell me how it works for you. (The secret to turning speaking into business is in learning how to sell from the stage—yes, even for lawyers—and how to follow up appropriately, but we’ll address that topic another day. Reach out to me now if you’d like help figuring out how to create your own signature talk that attracts ideal clients and best referrers.) Networking, publishing, public relations, and one-on-one meetings with prospective referrers all still work.
One of the questions I get asked the most, however, is: “Is it time to start paying for it?”
By “it,” they mean advertising, of course.
Any my answer—the lawyer’s answer is: “It depends.”
Here are some of the factors to consider before you start paying for advertising to generate leads for your law practice:
- Do you have more time at your disposal than money? If you do, then I’d likely recommend you first maximize DIY content and traditional marketing strategies before spending money on paid advertising services. If you don’t yet have clients pouring in your door, then you have time to spend on marketing. Take advantage of all the wonderful marketing resources available to you that cost little or nothing but your time. Even if you must put in extra hours. Because, hey, that’s what entrepreneurs do.
- Have you maximized your content and traditional marketing efforts? Even if you have some money in your budget, consider investing it first in making yourself more visible in front of your prospects on social media by hiring professionals to help you. Are you where your prospective clients and best referrers hang out both on- and offline? Are you showing up as professionally as you possibly can? How are you positioning yourself as an authority? Are you teaching, sharing and showcasing all you have to offer? Are you creating value everywhere you go? Are you building trust? What message does your marketing send?
- Do you have an advertising strategy or are you just thinking about advertising someplace because you’ve been approached by an ad salesperson? Being strategic is critical to any advertising plan.
- Do you understand the difference between lead generation services for attorneys and online advertising services?
- Have you done your research and homework enough to understand what you are buying? You don’t need to get a degree in marketing or advertising, but you do need to understand the terminology enough to be able to have an intelligent conversation with the service providers. You must understand what you are getting for the money—get them to show you, or at least explain it to you until you do understand. Don’t be afraid to look or sound dumb. And if a provider tries to make you feel dumb for asking, then move on.
- Ask other attorneys what their experience has been BUT don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. Remember that you do not know all the factors in someone else’s experience. Your experience may be totally different. Sometimes, we must take risks. Educate yourself, trust your decision and know whatever decision you make will, ultimately, be the correct decision for you.
- Remember: ultimately, advertising your services is a natural part of the life of most every business. There is no business without the exchange of valuable consideration. The more you show up and share how you serve your clients, the greater impact you can create in the world, so if advertising your services to a larger audience makes good business sense to you then go for it! Just be sure to read your Bar rules first.
If you’d like to talk with me about running a successful, lead-generating Google ad campaign for your law practice, you can contact me here. We provide these services as part of our done-for-you marketing services for law firms.