Some simple recommendations can make selecting a law firm a much easier process and improve your opportunity for a successful relationship. As a partner of a firm knows, successful legal marketing requires a little more finesse in its approach than a standard marketing plan. With so many talented agencies vying for your business, it can be difficult to identify which one would be the best choice for your law firm. Next time your law firm is searching for a marketing partner, consider these five tips to help you choose an agency that’s a perfect fit for your firm:
1. Chemistry That’s right, chemistry, first and foremost. Consider your gut feeling for the personality type of the representative meeting with you and of the agency as a whole. That connection makes a difference in how well you and your representative are able to communicate with each other. A lot more quality work gets done when the client and the agency genuinely like each other and have similar work styles. People say you can’t choose a vendor based on whom you get along with. All other things being equal, I say, “Yes, you can, and you should.”
2. Legal expertise An agency may have a dashing presentation and a sizzling portfolio, but if it doesn’t have solid experience in legal marketing, the learning curve may require more time than you are able to give. An agency that is already well versed in the nuances of legal marketing – and has impressive experience to show for it – will be able to hit the ground running and develop a campaign that hits the target dead on. Ask to see samples of work they’ve done for other law firms and the results their campaign brought in.
3. Knowledgeable about your law firm Similarly, the agency should have at least some understanding of your particular network, audiences, challenges and competition… or at the very least, have looked at your website (You’d be surprised how often they haven’t.) It’s helpful if someone on the agency’s team has legal experience on your side of the desk; someone who can provide the creative team insights and advice as the project takes shape.
4. A leader in using social media Marketing today is changing quickly, due to the meteoric rise of social media and its increasing importance in communications, and it will likely continue to evolve. For law firms – or any organization – it’s imperative to have an agency that is staying at the forefront of issues and opportunities in social media. Your marketing partner should be able to recommend the right mix of traditional and new media for your specific needs.
5. Stellar creativity While legal firms don’t tend to have the luxury of doing campaigns that are highly unconventional, your agency should bring in novel ideas that set you apart from the competition in a fresh, compelling way. I feel part of an agency’s role is to offer a new perspective; to introduce creative ideas that challenge you to look at your firm’s public image in a new way. Ultimately, of course, the agency’s work should have your target audience looking at your firm in a new – and favorable – way.