Why Consistency and Persistence in Marketing Pay Off
Instant gratification is exciting, just like same-day deliveries for your online purchases. It is easy for law firms to focus on short-game tactics. Although these plans may offer instant results, their impact is often minimal.
The long-game strategies can take weeks, months, or sometimes years to fully implement. During the interval between implementation and reaping the rewards, you must keep faith and trust that your investments will render a worthy payout.
Waiting is not fun.
It may be more enticing for you to implement an online ad campaign one evening, then wake up to see that your website generated 20 new visitors. However, if none of those visitors become clients, then the impact is minimal, if not zero.
Law firms can use the long game to increase their profits in several ways. For example, they may focus on all or any of the following:
- Creating brand awareness
- Maximizing office efficiency
- Becoming an authority on your subject matter
- Increasing accessibility and communication between your firm and your clients
- Investing in digital content that will continue to attract potential clients far into the future.
Technology Designed To Help Your Law Firm’s Long Game
Playing the long game requires consistency and persistence. With law firm digital marketing, it pays to plow ahead at a steady rate. Putting your trust in the process is necessary, as you will often not see long-game results for weeks or even months. However, there is a wealth of technology designed to help your law firm succeed in its long game.
This technology can range from cloud-based software to practice management tools tailored to small- or medium-sized law firms or solo practices. Understanding the existing technology and utilizing the products that can best help your firm are the keys to long-game success.
Cloud computing is using the internet to offer flexible resources and faster innovation. The cloud is often used to deliver various computing services, such as servers, databases, storage, software analytics, or networking.
Examples of popular, non-legal, cloud-based services you may already use in your personal life include popular applications such as:
Using cloud-based services can help you run your law firm more efficiently while lowering operational costs. Many cloud-based services are convenient to scale up or down as your firm’s operational needs change. One significant benefit of cloud computing is its anytime, anywhere access, which has become more desirable since the pandemic.
Legal billing software is one example of cloud computing software that law firms can utilize. These payment management tools can help you enter billing data from anywhere, manage cases, log hours, and accept online payments.
Currently, lawyers are using cloud services, but they tend to gravitate toward general cloud-based systems, such as Dropbox, Microsoft 365, and iCloud. These products indicate more usage amongst law firms than dedicated cloud-based legal services. General office products have relatively high usage rates. For example, Dropbox has usage rates of 66%, while 70% of lawyers claim to use any cloud computing. Legal-specific cloud computing products seem to be underutilized, with reported usage of the most popular, Clio, at only 17%. Meanwhile, the most significant concerns about cloud-based applications include security, confidentiality, and control over data.
Law firms can tap into cloud-based, legal-specific services to optimize their operations further. General cloud computing is an excellent gateway to using more legal-specific tools to increase efficiency and profitability.
Cybersecurity is the protection of your digital data from online attacks. It helps you protect your law firm’s programs, systems, and networks from cyberattacks. Often, cyberattacks focus on finding your firm’s sensitive information and either destroying, changing, or merely accessing the data. Sometimes the goal can be accessing confidential information. Other times cyberattackers may attempt to disrupt your business or extort money.
A recent ABA survey revealed that lawyers, especially solo practitioners, stay abreast of technological risks and benefits. However, only about a third of respondents noted that their firms had invested in a third-party, full-security assessment. Additionally, nearly 27% admitted their firm had experienced a security breach.
In many aspects, practice management for law firms is similar to practice management for other businesses. Legal practice management is the practice of business administration for your law firm. This includes aspects such as the following:
- Legal advertising
- Office management
- Financial management
- Staff management
According to recent survey reports, practice management in the legal context has continued to evolve. Law firms, like other industries, have experienced a shift from fully in-office work to hybrid and remote work practices. However, the implementation of technology has plateaued in 2022.
While 63% of survey respondents reported the availability of case management software, it is debatable whether this technology is efficiently implemented and utilized by law firms.
Similarly, when law firms invest in practice management software that fails to support the firms’ needs fully, the potential for efficiency is lost. While there are many excellent general practice management software options, customized legal management software may help increase efficiency within your legal practice.
Legal client management software solutions can help you keep your law firm organized. Examples of management solutions that can help your firm maintain efficiency and organization include:
Technology Budget and Planning
Having a technology budget is essential to the success of your law firm. Planning your tech budget over the short and long term is also critical to your firm’s success. According to the ABA’s recent TechReport, most law firms have an online presence, with only approximately 12% of small law firms of two to nine lawyers lacking a website.
Of course, simply having a website can be a minimal percentage of your technology budget. Out of the survey’s respondents, only 65% of law firms claimed to have a formal technology budget.
The report implies that attorneys in smaller firms feel more comfortable with their firms’ technology choices. However, the statistics leave significant room for improvement. Only 56% of respondents said they felt comfortable with their firm’s technology. Meanwhile, 34% reportedly felt somewhat comfortable.
Having an intelligent technology budget and investing in the right tech for your law firm can help your firm succeed today. The best technology for your firm will reduce repetitive tasks and increase efficiency, thereby increasing profits.
Access to the most cutting-edge legal technology is worthless if you do not adequately train your staff. A recent ABA TechReport asked respondents questions about technology and training within their law firms. Interestingly, those with the greatest access to tech training reported the least comfort with their firms’ technology.
This could indicate that their firms are employing confusing technology and inadequately training their staff on its usage. Alternatively, it could also indicate that because these respondents received more tech training, they better understand how much they do not know. As Socrates explained, the more you know, the more you realize you do not know.
Most lawyers indicated they could benefit from additional training on their law firm’s technology. Only 18.5% of respondents strongly agreed that their firms adequately trained them.
Marketing and Communication Technology
Law firms invest in marketing and communication technology to varying degrees. The ABA’s recent TechReport on Marketing & Communication Technology indicates that 94% of law firms have a website. However, many of these law firms may not be maximizing their websites. Only 25% reported having booked a client directly through their website.
There are indications that there may be a growing trend toward having dedicated professionals manage law firm website content. This is a new marketing and communication development compared to when law firms only assigned this role to their internal lawyers. However, in most law firms, attorneys still contribute to content creation, even if the law firm employs outside content professionals.
These dedicated legal marketing professionals can integrate strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), into your website and blog content. This helps drive targeted traffic to your law firm’s website. Evergreen blog — or blawg — posts can help drive traffic for years after it is posted. High-quality content marketing is an investment in long-term marketing. This makes it an excellent addition to your law firm’s long game.
Choosing the Right Technology To Foster Long-Term Marketing Success
The long game requires patience, strategy, commitment, consistency, and persistence. It is not a strategy for the faint-hearted. It requires you to place an adequate amount of trust in the process. Regardless of the promise of well-formulated long-game plans, you cannot rashly jump into a long-term technology and marketing strategy.
While long-term marketing can yield tremendous results, planning and process are key. Choosing the right technology to support your long-term marketing plan is critical. When your firm embarks on an omni-channel marketing agenda, it is critical to choose your desired law firm marketing channels carefully.
The Martindale-Avvo professionals can help you create the right strategy while setting you up with the technology you need to support your long-term goals. Our integrated digital marketing solutions can help you rank in Google’s search results and generate leads.