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Part 1 – Doing your own marketing is like painting your own house

Whether or not you are actively marketing your law firm, I’m sure at one point or another you’ve considered doing the marketing work yourself. While there are a number of marketing gurus who would have you believe otherwise, marketing your law firm can be a full time job. If you decide to head down this path, be prepared to give up at least part of the time you spend on your other full time job – practicing law. Is that really the best use of time?

I’ll just do it myself

Here’s a fun analogy: trying to run your own law firm marketing program is like trying to paint the interior of your own house. Why not give it a shot? There’s no magic to it. You just dip the roller into the pan and go. You’ll be done by the time your favorite football game starts.

Once you’re eight hours into the project and only half-way done with one bedroom wall, you may start understanding why it’s better to have a professional doing your painting – or marketing – work. All it takes is:

  • Time. You already have a day job, so do you really have the extra time to do the work? Where painting projects end at some point, successful marketing requires a continual effort, even if you’re just the contractor coordinating a bunch of vendors.
  • Talent. Ever watch a professional painter flash a brush along the top edge of a wall without touching the ceiling? While there are no secrets to either painting or marketing, having some level of expertise makes you more effective and efficient. It takes time to tape…
  • Experience. Did you know that “boxing” paint will ensure a consistent application of color? As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. Hire the right professional and you’ll be employing industry best practices rather than guessing on your own.
  • Objectivity. Do you really want purple trim? Sometimes what you want to say isn’t what your audience wants to hear. It helps to have a neutral team help evaluate decisions and “translate” your message to fit the audience.

Here’s how you can make it work

I meant what I said about there being no magic behind law firm marketing. If you have a marketing background and some time to dedicate each week, you can successfully market your own firm. Just document your plan, set reasonable goals, and don’t forget to review results at least once per month.

In Part 2 we’ll address another potential pitfall – hiring (or assigning) an administrator to run your marketing program.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.SM

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