How Do You Set Your Law Firm Marketing Budget?
When it comes to setting a marketing budget for solicitors, I understand that many solicitors do not know where to start. Whilst a very basic method is to take 5% of turnover as a starting point, this could lead you to missing out on a huge opportunity to make substantial profits.
The Reason Using 5% Could Be Costing You Thousands
It is best to remove ourselves from the legal world to look at this more objectively. Imagine you were guaranteed that if you spent £100 with your bookmaker, you would receive £150 in return, within one month. How many £100 would you give to your bookmaker? Surely the only answer is as much as you could possibly lay your hands on.
Moving back to the legal marketing world, if you are able to accurately show that for every £100 you spend on one marketing method you receive a return on investment of £150 in legal fees, how much would you spend? I accept that this is not a completely straightforward analogy, but it does prove or over-prove a point. That is, if you know how much each £ of marketing spend produces in fees, it makes it much easier to spend more and more on marketing. All big businesses understand this, but I meet many solicitors that struggle to grasp the concept.
However, there is one area where it is very accurately understood and that is the field of personal injury law. Solicitors will pay from £200 to £600+ for a personal injury case because they know that they are receiving a new instruction and it will generate a guaranteed minimum return in fees of at least £600 profit but usually more.
The inherent problem with this type of marketing (referral fee marketing that is) in that it is not building a future pipeline of leads for your practice. Once the client has been processed they are normally lost to the original provider of the instruction. It is much better to spend the money on your own initiatives, whether they are website marketing, print advertising or marketing your own client database. If you can spend the £100 on your own marketing initiatives, you have the opportunity to generate future instructions from the same client. The initial £ can be turned into an initial £160 will instruction, followed by a £1,000 employment instruction and a £3,000 personal injury instruction a few years later. The £100 initial spend has now created over £4,000 in fees for your practice.
The vital point to grasp with all marketing is that you must record how much you spend on every aspect of your marketing (figure 1), and how much that generates in fees (figure 2). If figure 2 beats figure 1 by a good percentage, then you have to carry on increasing the spend as long as it continues to provide you with a return.
Record, record, record…
The vital two parts of this message I hope have been clearly received, however to clarify they are:
- Record how much of a return on investment you receive for each aspect of your marketing
- If your marketing is working, do not limit yourself by budget, spend more to make more profits.
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