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Are you in control of your law firm’s online marketing?

The internet is a scary and dangerous place for lawyers, and too many lawyers have abdicated control of their firm’s online marketing.

This leaves them vulnerable to all kinds of tricks and scams that not only fail to build law firms but can be counterproductive.

At LawLytics, we empower attorneys to have ultimate control over their legal marketing, which is a necessary, yet sometimes scary ingredient of building a thriving web presence without wasting time or money. Being in control means different things to different lawyers, and can change based on the availability and life-cycle stage the law firm.

This blog post introduces a series on how to take control of your law firm’s online marketing without wasting time or money — and without having to quit your day job to become an internet expert.

When it comes to online legal marketing, attorneys rarely benefit from giving complete control to someone else. This may sound strange if you’re a busy attorney who lacks expertise in technology, web marketing or search engine optimization. But ultimately it’s true because nobody cares about your law practice as much as you.

Small law firm owners often wear many hats as they run their businesses. As a result, it can seem convenient to let someone else make all of the critical decisions and hope for the best. But in reality, this rarely works out and it leaves attorneys vulnerable and poorly equipped to determine what went wrong and how to fix it. That, of course, ends up wasting even more time and money in both real world minutes and dollars, and also in needless wondering, worrying and opportunity costs.

So much of online legal marketing can seem daunting or confusing to attorneys that it allows some online legal marketers to sell attorneys expensive services that they don’t need or that are counterproductive to building a strong online foundation that translates into business for their firms.

Even when attorneys recognize that they should be in control of their marketing, it can be hard to know what to do or what information has practical value. Conveniently, there are many easy ways to stay in control. These methods protect you from risky practices and don’t force you to waste time or money.

So, to do online legal marketing right, just how much do attorneys need to know? Do they need to be experts in marketing, technology or law firm SEO?

The answer to that is no.

This blog post will introduce you to why you should be in control of your law firm’s marketing and what being in control really means. In the following series posts, you’ll learn about five aspects of your web presence that you can easily control, and how you can use them to create a powerful web presence that attracts new clients.

Why do attorneys need to be in control of their web presence?

Giving complete control of your law firm’s online marketing to someone else can seem harmless enough. When you’re busy, inexperienced in marketing, fearful of your competitors, struggling to build your business, or you’ve been promised quick results, it can seem like letting someone else take charge is actually doing your law firm a favor.

But attorneys who don’t own and control their online assets (and participate in those assets) can put themselves at risk. The legal profession is being commoditized by businesses and the internet. The more attorneys cede their control, the more opportunities there are to spend money on things you don’t need and to force you to remain dependent on services provided by others.

Are those services necessary? Are they useful? Do they translate into business for your law firm? It can be hard to say when you’re not in a position to know what’s being done or how results are measured.

Attorneys who aren’t in control rarely benefit from giving up their control. So, who does benefit?

Who benefits when attorneys give up control of their online legal marketing?

First, your law firm’s competition benefits, especially if they are in control of their online legal marketing. We’ll discuss that later in this series.

Second, those who you depend on benefit. That can mean your vendors, including:

  • A SEO provider
  • A webmaster
  • Paid directory listings
  • A pay-per-click (PPC) ads provider

…Or any other form of disposable advertising. If your marketing depends on giving money to someone else for the possibility that, without them, the flame that keeps your business going will be snuffed out, you’re out of control of your marketing and someone else is likely benefitting as a result.

Lastly, when you give up control, the companies that harness your assets benefit. This is a more subtle aspect of who benefits that we’ll discuss in the first part of this series. Companies that use attorneys’ names to attract business, both for attorneys and competitors, profit from your lack of control.

What does it mean for attorneys to be in control of law firm marketing?

Attorneys who are in control of their online legal marketing know several things. They know what is being done to their web presence and they know why those things are being done.

They also know that they have access to their assets. That means they know where those assets are located, what role they play in marketing the law firm, and that they have an ability to exert influence over them.

Attorneys in control can also independently measure results and refine their marketing strategy as a result.

An example of when attorneys may struggle with control is when they’re dependent on a PPC marketer. Web traffic may click on your PPC ads (and that’s whether those clicks come from your competitors, qualified potential clients, or even accidental clicks). Typically, when PPC marketers measure their own effectiveness, they make that measurement in clicks.

Whether those clicks translate into new clients for your firm is a different story. Your ad may get a high click rate that results in little business for your firm. When attorneys don’t recognize that their definition of effectiveness is different from that of a PPC marketer, they may spend a lot of money on a strategy that doesn’t work.

What controlling your law firm’s marketing doesn’t mean.

While it’s important to define what being in control does mean, it’s valuable to know what it doesn’t mean. Being in control of your online legal marketing doesn’t mean that you have to do it all yourself. It also doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money or time.

Over the next few days, we’ll show you five things that you can easily control, and what you can do to start taking charge of your law firm’s online marketing.

Posts in this series: