Most law offices have a huge work load; they have to balance bookkeeping, earning new clients, collections, marketing, and every now and then they even get to practice law. Polls have shown that many lawyers spend at least a quarter of their time focusing on advertising and marketing. At some point, any good practice will probably consider hiring an advertising agency. Some of the things that will need to be weighed are: what their time spent marketing themselves is worth, how much they can afford to spend and how much business they hope to earn.
Deciding on a Firm
Some firms will decide on hiring an advertising agency, and some won’t. The ones that don’t are usually established and are content with their current earnings. For many practicing lawyers, that will not be the case. The results of the poll that show how much time lawyers spend marketing proves that; if they’re spending a quarter of their time marketing themselves, they do not have enough clients to keep them busy, and have to actively seek out new clientele. For law firms and practices in this situation, hiring an advertising agency should be considered.
If you do choose to hire an advertising agency, there are a few things that you should consider before you begin your search. Regardless of any advertising agency’s prowess, chances are you know your clients and locality better than they do. This is important because many advertising agencies specialize in appealing to certain demographics, though some do specialize in mass appeal. If you want to find the best advertising agency for your firm, you must know a few things about your demographic before you begin your search, including: their average age, education and income level.
Do Your Research
Armed with the power of knowledge, you can begin your search with the type of advertising agency that you are looking for in mind. With careful consideration for your demographic, pay attention to advertising agencies that have experience in legal marketing. That doesn’t mean that you should automatically rule out advertising agencies that do not; if you like them, try to learn as much as you can about them. Make a sound decision based on their past experience and portfolio; if you are a bankruptcy lawyer, and an agency has experience in advertising for financial institutions, they may have a firm grasp on how to appeal to your audience.
It’s also suggested not to limit your search to your geographical location. Sure, face to face contact is a great way to build a business relationship, but with the advent of B2B web presentations and VOIP programs like Skype, it’s not the necessity that it once was. Many lawyers, especially those in less populated areas, will quickly find themselves settling with an advertising agency that seems less than stellar if they do not expand their search. For instance, even if you are in Idaho, it may be better to go with that fantastic Denver legal advertising firm; in reality, the best of the best in any marketing or advertising environment will likely be found in a metropolis, due to the obvious advantage for a marketing firm.
Once you have narrowed down your search, you should send a request for proposal. Your request for proposal should contain as much pertinent information as you can possibly fit into it. Things that should be included are: your budget, the demographic information that you have recorded, the ideal scope of the campaign, how many clients you wish to earn from the campaign, campaign length and any other stipulations that you wish to include. Not only will this show the advertising agency that you are knowledgeable and serious, it will also give them the information that they need to respond to your proposal with a campaign that is actually tailored for you.
When you receive the proposal, review it meticulously. Before making any decisions, think about each part of the campaign carefully, and consider how well it all fits together. Questions you should ask yourself are: Does everything mesh well? Will this reach my target audience? Is the return on investment estimate realistic and enough to justify the campaign?
After the Proposals
After you have reviewed each of the proposals from the advertising agencies you have selected, decide which one will represent your firm the best. Then, talk to the head honcho — whoever will be in charge of your campaign. Ask lots of questions and gauge their responses carefully. Make sure that they engage you in a way that indicates that they cares about your firm’s success, that they are able to answer your questions informatively, and ask him a few questions about your firm to see if he has done his homework. After the interview, take a few days and sleep on it. If you do decide to hire the advertising agency, you will have made a sound decision by following these tactics.