It takes more than being the best lawyer in the room to have a thriving law practice in 2020. It helps, but there’s definitely more to it.
Building and growing the business behind your practice takes skill, industry experience, and frankly something not many quality attorneys have – time.
So what’s a lawyer to do? How does your firm keep the phone ringing, while you’re helping clients in court and conference rooms?
For firms without considerable in-house resources, most turn to third-party marketers and service providers. These all-purpose agencies offer many of the services you are looking for, like SEO, PPC, and web design. But as flashy or inexpensive as some are, it’s unlikely they account for your ethical obligations, can develop strategies unique to the legal industry, or put your best interests ahead of their own.
Despite everyone fighting for market share, a law firm is just different and you shouldn’t be lumped in with every other business.
As someone who must adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct, we’re fairly certain you’ve heard the term “fiduciary” before. But just in case – it describes the professional relationship between you and your clients. Basically, you are obligated to act in good faith and put clients’ best interests ahead of your own through care, candor, and loyalty.
As one of the main cornerstones of your profession, the fiduciary duty helps preserve trust in the attorney-client relationship. But, it also holds you to a very high standard, unlike other occupations. Simply put, you don’t have the luxury of looking out for number one.
Can your marketing agency say the same?
At Postali, we think they should. Otherwise, your firm could be getting service recommendations and business advice based on what’s best for your marketing agency rather than what grows your law firm.
For more than a decade, we’ve worked exclusively with attorneys across the country, and believe marketing can (and should) be done without conflicts. This led us to forge a new commitment to the firms we work with and establish Postali as a Marketing Fiduciary.
We pride ourselves on understanding the deep commitment and critical work attorneys do. As such, we hold ourselves to the same standard and always provide marketing services and advice in the best interests of your firm.
The tenets of being a Marketing Fiduciary are our guiding principles and achieved when we:
It’s easy to say we always look out for you. But what does a marketing fiduciary do in practice?
Generally, it means the same as it would if we were a financial planner, responsible for a customer’s long term well-being and their hard-earned money. It’s the same for a firm’s marketing dollars. We put your investment where it does the most good. But again, like a good financial planner, when your business grows so does ours, so it’s not all out of benevolence.
To the same end, when we discover opportunities to improve your marketing, we will discuss them and give honest counsel. Our recommendations will not be based on the arrangements we have with outside organizations or vendors. In fact, many forms of advertising we recommend and manage have no financial benefit to the agency.
On occasion, we suggest other service providers do work if we feel it’s really the best route. For example, there are a lot of interactive chat services that law firms use on their websites. These chat services help engage potential clients and generate cases, but they are not created equal. Some agencies may even push you in one direction because of an agreement with a particular service that you never realized.
We think it’s better to have a frank conversation about what features your chat service should have, where we weigh the pros and cons. Then we’ll reach out and implement the best option.
In days past, lawyers only needed to hang a shingle to establish their practice. But that’s not the world most attorneys live in anymore. With the rise of legal niches and legal branding, there’s a lot of services that make big promises.
A lot of agencies incentivize their sales teams to upsell as many services as possible. This results in over-produced content, websites, ad campaigns, and SEO initiatives that don’t amount to anything except separating you from your marketing spend.
The truth is, not all law firms need to engage in every type of digital marketing. It can become unnecessarily costly and yield negligible results. If a straightforward website redesign can make strides in your market without expensive photo and video production, we’ll say so.
Our goal is to increase both the revenue and profit of the firms we work with. That means getting smart, honest recommendations about the services your firm needs now, which should be saved for year two, and which aren’t worth it.
As anyone with a pulse will tell you about the legal marketplace, “it’s competitive out there.”
What many lawyers are surprised to learn is that their marketing agency may also be building a website or recommending services to a rival firm across town. The competition between law firms can be next level, and conflicts can influence search rankings, quality of ad copy, and overall attention from the group you decided to partner with.
The goal of a Marketing Fiduciary should be to get your law firm the best possible result. How can your agency do this if they are courting or flat out working with your competitors?
When projects require exclusivity like search engine optimization, you will be the only law firm in your practice area and geographic area. In addition, if your firm presents a conflict of interest, with an existing client we’re happy to refer you to a different agency.
Transparency is a core value at Postali because attorneys deserve to know exactly what work is being done. Most importantly, you should clearly understand the results you are getting.
Some agencies claim to be transparent with long-drawn-out reports that you need a master’s in computer science to interpret. But didn’t we already establish that your time and effort are more valuable to clients?
Instead of over-complicated data sheets, you should expect honest and thoughtful conversations with an account manager and the Postali team.
When you’re considering a marketing partner for your law firm, you should consider their previous work with other attorneys. A law firm is a very different type of business, and your agency should know what works in the legal space.
Postali has been winning awards and growing law firms across the country for over a decade. Our recommendations come from practical experience in the legal industry – not what got results in a campaign for cereal or toothpaste.
Listen, lawyers get a lot of e-mails and cold calls from agencies that make big promises. It’s hard to know what you need or what’s best for your firm. Maybe you’re worried about the cost or have been burned in the past because an agency failed to deliver or didn’t understand your needs.
At Postali, we hold ourselves to the high standards of being a Marketing Fiduciary because just like the clients you serve – lawyers deserve honest, straightforward guidance from a trustworthy source.