Struggling to stretch your law firm’s budget? Rest assured, you’re not the first.
Having spent over a decade in the legal sector, one key revelation has stood the test of time…
Top-performing law firms are forward-thinking, regularly scrutinizing and tweaking their budgets and marketing approaches in response to both internal and external flux. This includes:
📉An unpredictable economy
📉Staffing changes post-resignations
📉Variations in overall expense distribution
Remember, within difficulties lies potential. Research indicates that during tough times, for instance, an economic downturn, forward-thinking law firms persistently explore more effective marketing strategies. They do this to ensure they can maintain high-quality legal services for their clients and attract new prospects, all the while keeping a tight rein on operational expenses.
So, to help firms like yours who are searching for ways to get the most out of a law firm budget, I have compiled insightful strategies to improve your firm’s:
Understand Your Firm’s Ideal Marketing Budget
The role of your marketing team is to enhance your law firm’s visibility to potential clients. Absent a dedicated marketing team, standing out against competitors, and acquiring new online clients becomes quite a task.
Embracing comprehensive marketing is not just a ‘nice touch’ – it is an imperative.
But here’s a startling fact: as the figure above indicates, just over half (57%) of law firms possess a designated marketing budget.
This naturally leads us to this vital question:
What should be the marketing spend of a law firm?
The Small Business Administration recommends that law firms should spend 7-8% of their company revenue on marketing. Considering established companies have little room for growth, this is a reasonable amount. But for small to medium law firms, spending 10-12% of their revenue on marketing is recommended.
There are, of course, other factors that will play a huge role in the size and allocation of your budget.
- Firms geographic location
- Practice area competitiveness
- Firm’s brand strength (are you already established? Are you starting?)
- Firm’s growth objective (do you have aggressive growth goals and are willing to invest more?)
Once you paint the picture around your budget and begin investing in a marketing agency, different marketing channels, etc., it’s time you check the data.
Why does data matter so much?
There are many creative ways your firm can use data to grow its business but to keep it short, data is perhaps the most powerful asset in your entire marketing investment.
With the hard numbers, you can:
- Pinpoint other areas of opportunities
- Prioritize the campaigns that are bringing the most ROI
- Fill in the gaps where data suggests you have potential
- Improve and outsmart the competition
With that in mind, let’s dive into how data can help your firm’s budget.
Make Sure To Track Your Law Firm’s Efforts With Real-Time Analytics
To ensure your firm will stay profitable, having complete visibility of what works for your firm and what is not is a must. If you have a healthy ROI, it means that all your efforts are worth it; if the data says otherwise, then it means you should be adjusting your strategy accordingly.
One of the main signs your marketing strategy is working is if you are increasing leads. When marketing is done to fit your goals, these leads may convert into cases and, therefore, increase your revenue.
Nonetheless, lead tracking should not be a burden on you. It should be accessible, always available, and easy to understand, and there’s a solution for this.
Today, one of the powerful platforms to track analytics and data for law firms is LawEval. The benefit of using LawEval is that it uses your firm’s data and gives you the most accurate real-time results.
What makes LawEval different from the rest is that it was designed solely by a team of engineers exclusively for law firms.
LawEval has 3 powerful tools:
✅Performance monitoring tool
✅Leads tracking tool
✅Data analytics tool
What You Can Expect From Using LawEval
- A better understanding of your firm’s ROI – Because you can see the data, you can amplify what’s working and easily analyze what direction to take to improve other areas.
- Confidence in knowing you can log in anytime – You will have peace of mind because you know that you can check your digital assets, your website’s current rankings, and the life-cycle of your leads any time you want.
- Get the full visibility and control you always wanted – You don’t have to wait for an email reply, follow-up call, etc. With LawEval, you can easily compare month-to-month and come to your conclusions.
Here’s a sneak peek of how LawEval works:
Now that you already know what’s working with your strategies by looking at the data, it’s easier to identify what to focus on and what to hand down. This leads us to the next step you should take — delegation!
The Wonders of Proper Delegation
The power of delegation is a concept often highlighted by industry leaders and thinkers. But how can it be applied, particularly within the context of a law firm?
Delegation is a tried-and-true strategy, not just in legal practice but across many business sectors. Despite the evident benefits of efficient delegation, many professionals still find themselves grappling with routine tasks, often due to a reluctance to embrace change.
My key principle on delegation is clear:
Lawyers have limited hours in a day, which should primarily be devoted to billable work. If a task isn’t directly contributing to the bottom line, it’s a prime candidate for delegation.
And this is where advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) come into play, offering promising possibilities for law firms. For instance:
- Legal Research: AI-powered tools can rapidly sift through vast amounts of legal data and case law, greatly reducing the hours traditionally spent on research.
- Document Review and Management: AI software can efficiently handle tasks like due diligence, contract review, and discovery – activities that can be time-consuming when performed manually.
- Predictive Analytics: AI can utilize historical data to predict outcomes of legal proceedings, giving lawyers insights that can guide their case strategy.
- Automating Routine Tasks: AI can handle administrative tasks like scheduling, billing, and client reminders, freeing up lawyers to focus on more critical, revenue-generating tasks.
By melding the power of delegation with the efficiency of AI, law firms can streamline their
Navigating Outsourcing for Advertising and Marketing
Advertising and marketing play a vital role in a law firm’s success and reputation. Understandably, a significant part of your budget goes there.
The trick is to make those dollars work hard and smart. While the do-it-yourself approach can save you money in some cases, it may also cost you more money and time in others.
Let’s discuss the importance of skilled professionals in advertising and marketing. The landscape is quickly evolving with advancements in tech areas like AI, so expertise is crucial.
One major benefit of outsourcing is that you’re getting a comprehensive solution from a team of experts ready to excel in what you need.
You might think an in-house marketing team could offer the same skills, like SEO expertise, to improve search engine rankings.
But, studies show that having an in-house marketing team might end up costing you more in the long run due to:
- Diverse roles: Smaller teams often have to multitask instead of specializing in particular areas.
- Adaptability: In-house teams are typically fully occupied and might struggle to swiftly shift priorities as marketing scenarios change.
- High expenses: Building and maintaining an in-house team is costly. When you consider hiring, training, retaining, and equipping the team with necessary digital assets, costs can easily exceed $200k.
Save Law Firm Marketing Budget By Hiring a Marketing Agency For Law Firms
Earlier, we discussed the hefty costs involved with an in-house marketing team.
But here’s the kicker:
One of the top benefits of hiring a marketing agency? It’s cost-friendly!
Marketing agencies let you painlessly invest according to your budget. Unlike in-house teams that require constant investment, outsourcing to a marketing agency introduces a flexible, ‘invest-what-you-can-afford’ model that is more budget-friendly over time.
Wondering if we have proof? — Of course, we do!
Just take a look at this data from Amourgis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, one of Consultweb’s loyal clients, practices in two distinct areas of law. Although they have several competitions, they’re still planning for continued growth with Consultwebs.
Using LSA and SEO, the firm’s acquisition of leads increased:
- The firm’s cost per lead (CPL) continues to decrease, while the average CPL is now $60.03 (≈ $60).
- The firm’s number of leads continually increases as well, and the average leads per month is now 136.65 (≈ 137).
With a team of experts behind your firm, success would not be so hard to reach.
At Consultwebs, we offer a range of solutions, including:
Your investment comes with a team of experts and all the necessary tools to take you where you need to be. This differs from an in-house setting where you’d shoulder extra salaries and tool cost burdens.
Take the First Step To Save More Money
Based on my conversations and strategizing success for hundreds of law firms, I believe law firms can confidently grow and make money through these smart strategies. Just hear it directly from one of our successful clients:
As a professional in the legal field, my best tip would be: don’t let the fear of change hold your success back. If you’d like to get granular about your budget and strategies, I’d love to invite you to jump on a call with me.
Saving on your law firm budget means smart allocation of budget to where it works and generates profits.
The most successful law firms have already found the strategy that made them money-making firms. Don’t let the fear of change hold your success back.