If the lawyers in your firm also comprise the marketing department, you’re not alone.
In six out of 10 law firms, the attorneys themselves handle all the marketing. Only one-third have a paid marketing person – either in-house or an outside consultant.
When it comes to solo practitioners, the numbers are even more striking, with 30 percent saying they do little if any marketing, period.
Those are some of the findings from the ABA TechReport 2019, which in addition to surveying technology trends also covers law firm marketing, advertising and business development.
“The results suggest that the lawyers in solo and small firm practice are not taking an intentional approach to marketing, especially online marketing, and may instead be engaging in ‘random acts of marketing,’” writes Allison Shields for the ABA. “In many cases, it is unclear who’s minding the store and how and why marketing decisions are being made.”
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10 Takeaways on Law Firm Marketing
- Seventeen (17) percent of all firms use outside consultants, while 16 percent say administrative staff performs marketing functions for the firm.
- The larger the firm, the more likely it is to have internal marketing staff; 27 percent of respondents from firms of 10-49 lawyers have a marketing staff; five percent of lawyers from 2-9 lawyer firms; and one percent of solo respondents.
- Sixty (60) percent of all firms use administrative staff for marketing.
- Of firms that have a website, 25 percent say the site is primarily managed by an outside consultant; 22 percent say it’s managed by a lawyer within the firm; 18 percent by marketing staff; 12 percent by firm IT staff; and 9 percent by firm administrators.
- Fifty-one (51) percent of solos say they manage their own website. Thirty-four (34) percent use an outside consultant.
- The larger the firm, the more likely it is to have an internal webmaster, although this person often pulls double duty in the marketing or IT department.
- Thirty (30) percent of all respondents use an outside consultant or agency for search engine optimization (SEO).
- Sixteen (16) percent of all firms use AdWords or pay-per-click advertising; most of them handle this themselves, with only nine percent using an outside consultant.
- Eighty (80) percent of all firms have a presence on at least one social media platform; 93 percent of solos handle their social media themselves, with only seven percent hiring an outside consultant to do so.
- In 40 percent of firms with a website, the lawyers themselves are responsible for creating and publishing content; 29 percent rely on in-house staff while 28 percent use an outside consultant.
What about your firm? Who handles marketing responsibilities? Who posts fresh content on your website and social media?
Source: ABA TechReport 2019
Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, which helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact email@example.com or 919-619-2441.