If you are sabotaging your own law firm marketing efforts, you won’t be the first to do so. After all, you are busy giving clients the best possible service. Add management duties to the mix, and there’s only so many hours in a day, right? The cycle starts when marketing takes a back seat. You plan on attacking marketing tasks when you have more free time, but having more free time means you don’t have new clients coming in the door. So then you pump up marketing—but then you aren’t devoting enough time to clients. We’ve seen this before. A few pointers that we hope will keep you on the right track:
Email lists are never finalized. There was an expression about media lists and direct mail lists back in the day—the list is out of date the moment it’s finalized. Delaying an email blast because the list is not finished is one of the biggest obstacles to getting email newsletters out. There’s always another name you need to add, or a list that someone needs to research to make sure the emails are good. The biggest reason we hear: there aren’t enough names on the list. That may be—but the one thing we hate to see is a campaign that never launches because the list is small.
Marketing by committee requires an attorney who will move the process along. We love it when law firms have partners who are ready, willing and able to roll up their sleeves and dig into marketing materials. But often there’s one person who ends up being the bottleneck. He means to review everything, he has worthwhile input, but he’s also running the firm, or gets busy with a time-sensitive matter. The entire train comes to a halt, and it takes extra energy to get it going again.
The fourth down is the hardest one. Everything from large projects to simple posts can get hung up at the very last part of the project, when it’s time for a sign-off. The decision maker is reluctant to move forward because they want to be certain that everything is perfect. They don’t start distribution of an email newsletter, or keep delaying because they are waiting for inspiration to strike, in between client work.
At IMS, we believe that holding ourselves and our clients to the highest standards of marketing is a good thing. But we also know that delaying marketing efforts is like delaying having a will prepared: sooner or later, you’re going to regret not doing it sooner!