How Should Lawyers Think About Marketing
In 2020 And Beyond
Insights from an interview with Seth Price, founding Partner of Price Benowitz, LLP and BluShark Digital.
Written By: Bill Hauser
Seth Price is a master marketer, and a wizard when it comes to growing and scaling a law firm. He is the founding partner of Price Benowitz, LLP, as well as the founder of BluShark Digital.
I interviewed Seth to pick his brain on how he’s thinking about marketing for his law firm in 2020 and beyond. So much of the digital landscape has changed, and it can feel overwhelming to keep up with the latest trends and developments.
How Do You Get Past The "Dead" Period in SEO?
“SEO done right doesn’t have fairy dust, it doesn’t have a silver bullet. It’s hard work. There are fundamentals – high quality content, authoritative links, having a well-coded site and using every other bell and whistle that you can find.”
– Seth Price
Law Firm Marketing Tip #1: Execute on the Fundamentals
It’s no secret that the law firm marketing landscape is competitive, costly and time consuming. Any lawyer who believes that they can just write a check to a digital marketing agency for law firms, and magically start ranking on page one or raking in leads is delusional.
In today’s legal marketing world, Seth says that you have to have your fundamentals right. It’s all about going back to the basics, and making sure that you have your backend buttoned up. This means writing high quality content that’s informative, interactive and engaging. A piece of high quality content sends off all of the right signals to Google that your website contains accurate and informative information.
In our interview, Seth refers to these as Google’s building blocks. The foundational aspects of SEO and your online presence that – no matter the tide – will always ring true. Having a technically sound website that’s backed up by Google reviews will help give your law firm’s website a boost.
Law Firm Marketing Tip #2: Start Small and Be Realistic
Long gone are the days where spammy tactics and shortcuts work. Now adays, Google gladly hands out fines and punishments – such as removing your Google My Business profile altogether.
For more information on Google’s policies, please click here.
All of this is to say, that you have to be realistic no matter where you are at in your law firm’s marketing journey. This rings true especially if you are in a major market (New York City, Chicago, Boston, etc) where there are decades-old firms who are established and have deep pockets to spend on their marketing.
It’s important to be realistic about the results that you are looking to achieve, and to find the white space for your firm to shine. Seth says that one way to do this is to get creative. Perhaps your home town is an hour and away from your office. As you’ll hear in our interview, Seth dives deep into a more realistic strategy for a smaller firm: “Start putting up a flag there and building authority and allowing yourself to cashflow where it’s more realistic and faster to get to profitability and faster to see a return. Because in a major market, it could be years and you may never get there. But in a smaller market, you can get there faster”.
He also mentions that the same can go for practice area – specifically in Medical Malpractice or Personal Injury where there are huge firms and thus huge competition. But, as he mentions, if you “start to leave that space, there really aren’t as many (competitors).” Seth speaks from experience as he grew his practice from 1 to 40 attorneys. He did this by starting out only marketing as criminal defense, and from there they “grew their real estate on Google, got cashflow and then expanded”.
Law Firm Marketing Tip #3: Divide and Conquer
If you are the owner of a law firm – you probably understand that you’re not just a lawyer. You’re also a business owner, entrepreneur, & leader. With this understanding, it’s also important to practice delegation and building a team is a valuable asset that often times gets overlooked.
Perhaps your firm is a multi-partner firm, such as Seth’s firm, Price Benotwitz, LLP, his tip is to find the third rails. “If you won’t do marketing, make sure you find somebody and when you find them, make sure you don’t just say ‘here’s my check’, but what do you need from me?” Seth says it’s important to be honest with yourself as to what you will and will not do.
In Seth’s firm, he says that bookkeeping and accounting are both he and his Partner’s least favorite things to do. He also notes, that neither of them are great at it. For you, this could be your law firm’s marketing, and it may be important for you to hire a law firm marketing agency – or an in-house marketing manager.
Lawyer Lightbulb Moment
The first position and talent to hire for are things that you do not enjoy doing and that you are also not skilled at doing. This is a win-win-win for you, your firm, and your team. When you put team members in the right seats, magic happens. Everyone thrives, is happier and the results are there prove it.
Law Firm Marketing Tip #4: Stop Jumping Ship, Stick To A Plan
This goes for almost all businesses who are inexperienced with marketing, not just law firms. However, it’s commonplace for lawyers and attorneys to “jump ship” when their marketing campaigns aren’t working.
It’s rare to find an attorney with a long-term growth mindset that allows for their marketing campaigns to run a full-course, gather the data, and iterate upon it. Most attorneys turn off their campaigns right at the peak in which their real success would come.
Seth’s advice is for lawyers to take a more holistic approach as opposed to counting pennies. What other currency can you count. In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your ranking and position is your currency.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Hauser is CEO of the SMB Team, the fastest growing Google Ads & Landing Page management company for lawyers in the U.S. He is the author of PPC for Lawyers (Not Dummies) and hosts a weekly Lawyer Mastermind Webinar where he connects growth-minded lawyers from around the country to help them learn from the brightest minds in the legal space. Additionally, he is the host of the Lawyer Marketing Lab Podcast which aims to arm lawyers with the marketing knowledge that they always wish they had, but never had the access to.