If you are considering hiring a legal marketing consultant to transform the marketing of your law firm, how do you know who is the best person for the job?
I used to hire legal marketing consultants from time to time when I was in private practice, so I have put together this guide, based on my experience previously as a hirer of legal marketing consultants, and now as a provider of these services.
How long has the legal marketing consultant that you are talking to been undertaking this role? It it for a few months or a few years? Obviously, experience alone does not make it certain that they will be a fantastic legal marketing consultant, but the fact that they have been around a few years should give you some hope that they are doing something right.
When I started Samson Consulting in 2003 there were possibly two or three legal marketing consultants. Now there seem to be two or three more opening every couple of months, although not all of them survive.
Have they achieved results for other law firms, and are they prepared to let you talk to former or current clients to find out how they helped them? If you are at the stage of engaging a legal marketing consultant, they should be able to provide you with at least two referees for you to talk with to take away some of your fears or concerns.
3. Do They Offer A Guarantee?
I am a firm believer in guarantees for marketing any service business. I know, beyond any doubt, that I will add significant value to any firm I meet on a consultancy basis. How do I know? Well since 2003 I have met many fantastic clients and have always been able to add value to their marketing. This is why I always guarantee my services. If you do not think my legal marketing consultancy pays for itself many times over, you do not need to pay me.
I do not see many other consultancy firms prepared to offer this type of guarantee. Is there a reason they do not do this I wonder?
4. Do They Really Understand The Legal Sector?
Do they fully understand the challenges facing and the nuances of the legal services market place? Many consultants seem to have stumbled across the legal sector and decided it is a good sector to enter because they can charge higher fees to solicitors who do not understand the advice that they are buying.
I was a solicitor in private practice for 14 years before establishing Samson Consulting. I know what it is like to balance a full case load with a full marketing schedule; to hit profit costs targets whilst dealing with staff management issues. I understand the challenges that you face and will work with you to make marketing your practice as straightforward and as successful as possible.
5. Do They Have Testimonials
Are you able to view testimonials about their consultancy services? If they have been engaged as a legal marketing consultant on a number of occasions, they should have some good feedback about their services. Do they?
6. Do They Tie You To A Contract?
Are their consultancy services linked to a longer term contract? Do they try and force you to buy follow on services, or are they sufficiently confident that the first meeting will more than pay for itself and that you will choose to keep working with them?
I always choose the latter option. I only want clients to stay with me if they are receiving an excellent return on investment. You should keep working with your legal marketing consultant because you want to, not because you are forced to.
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We have never once regretted having Nick as our marketing consultant. He is just brilliant at thinking out of the box and making us do the same. We decided very early on that we just had to trust him because we are lawyers and not so good at selling things!
Nick is enthusiastic and extremely pro active which is infectious and makes us want to excel at attracting the clients we really want. He is now an integral and indispensable part of our team.
Julie Glynn, Partner, Glynns Solicitors Bristol & Bath
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