The goal of marketing is to keep your message content clear and consistent across all platforms. Regardless if you outsource your marketing, having an in-house marketing team is important in order to achieve your goals and receive your return on investment. In this episode, I will give you three reasons why you want to invest in an in-house marketing team.
In this episode we discuss:
- How the in-house marketing team has to look like.
- 3 Characteristics that will justify making an investment in your in-house marketing team.
- You require someone who is the eyes and ears of your company.
- Have someone on your team who is looking for the next opportunity for your business to expand into marketing.
SEE THE FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW
Allison Williams: [00:00:05] Hi, everybody. It’s Allison Williams here, your host of The Crushing Chaos was Law Firm Mentor podcast. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you to grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:27] Hi, everybody. It’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor, and welcome to another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast, where today we’re going to talk about in-house marketing team.
Allison Williams: [00:00:38] So for a lot of you, you’re at the stage of growth in your law firm where you know that marketing is critically important. You may have even gotten to the point where you’ve already outsourced your marketing to a digital marketing company, or maybe you’ve invested in some social media marketing, but you’re probably experiencing the frustration that comes with feeling like you’ve finally got something off your plate. But yet the marketing company keeps asking you for things that put more onto your plate than you expected to have to deal with at this stage. Right. And it’s a normal progression in the growth of a business that as you start to take things off of your plate, that there are going to be certain attributes, certain skills, certain things that you’re going to be doing that are not within your wheelhouse, but you’re not yet at the place where you can truly outsource 100% of the job and ultimately get the result that you want.
Allison Williams: [00:01:31] And that friction is typically where we start to see lawyers fall into decline, right? You start to develop enough growth and you have enough money that you’re not in struggle mode anymore. You’re not in hustle mode anymore. But what you’re finding is every time you outsource your marketing to a company, you start to feel the frustration of How am I going to find the time now to create the content that they need? To be able to get the information that’s required over to them fast enough, to be able to prove the copy, right? All of those logistical things that feel very administrative, they feel very secretarial, but they’re critically important to making sure that your brand is represented as you want on social media, on your on the website and of course, out on the Internet Straits. So how do we help you with that?
Allison Williams: [00:02:18] Well, the one thing that I want to talk to you about today is in-house marketing team and what that has to look like. Now for a solo or small law firm attorney, you might be thinking in-house marketing team. That sounds expensive. I don’t know if I can afford that just yet, but I want to put your mind at ease. We’re not talking about going out and hiring someone who is a 60-year earner, who has a master’s degree or an MBA with a focus in marketing. Right. We’re not talking about even getting the highest level of skill that at some point in time would be appropriate depending on the nature and complexity of your business.
Allison Williams: [00:02:56] But for right now, we’re just talking about your general marketing assistant. This can be someone who is a virtual team member. I know a lot of companies are doing virtual staffing overseas, but whether that person is in the United States overseas, in-house or virtual, ultimately you want to consider having someone on your team devote their time and attention to marketing.
Allison Williams: [00:03:19] So I want to give you today three characteristics that will justify your making this investment in your business, and that is going to likely result for you in a very significant return on that investment. Okay.
Allison Williams: [00:03:32] So the first thing we have to think about is when you are looking for a marketing assistant, when you’re considering bringing that role in-house, no matter how great the digital marketing company is that you are working with, ultimately it will be best for you if they, as the experts, have someone who is eyes on your, eyes and ears in your company, they require responsiveness. So that ultimately is reason number one, why you really need to have someone in-house. When you’re talking about a company that is creating content for you, one of the challenges that law firms will experience and really any business will experience in, in getting that growth at scale, is having consistent information going out onto the Internet so that ultimately the digital marketing company can play the algorithm.
Allison Williams: [00:04:23] Now, when I say play the algorithm, I don’t mean doing anything nefarious, I just mean that they need to be able to get information out in a timely manner in a way that the algorithm is going to look favorably upon that information and use it to get you the eyes on your screens that are necessary for growth. And so if you don’t have consistent content going out, what tends to happen is the marketing company does all that they can on their side. They create amazing graphics, they build out your landing pages, they create funnels for you, right? All of the things that are designed to put people into your marketing orbit so that they can know that you are the one to help them with whatever their legal problem is.
Allison Williams: [00:05:03] But then on your end, after they’ve built it all, you are not available to review it. You’re not available to read the copy to make sure it reads the way that you want that it sounds like you right, you’re not checking to make sure that the tech side on your end is built out so that when leads are going to a landing page that is designed to connect to your telephone number that it actually calls your telephone number. You’re not, you’re not doing what’s required of you to make sure that ultimately the marketing company can say, yeah, this is ready to go. Locked and loaded, press send. Right.
Allison Williams: [00:05:37] So that’s a real challenge because if you’re not available for that, then it tends to slow down the traction. And traction is really important in marketing, not just because the marketing company is going to be A B testing things. They’re going to be telling you how responsive your marketplace is to your advertising messages. And if you put things out there and they can’t test it timely, given the rate at which things are changing nowadays, it may be stale by the time they actually get to launch your marketing initiative.
Allison Williams: [00:06:09] The second reason why it’s really valuable to have someone in-house is that you want to have someone on your team who’s doing the research about where to go with marketing. As we know, there are 5000 different places you can put marketing out there so that people will ultimately be attracted to your law. We know that there are many, many multitudes of social media platforms. We know that there are different ways on different websites where you can draw attention to your site. Even if someone is not going to your site, they’re going to a related service site. Right. We also know that what is going to be effective on one platform with one target demographic is very different than what would be effective on another platform.
Allison Williams: [00:06:51] So you can’t just take what you wrote on Facebook and copy it onto some type of graphic and post it on Tik-tok, right? They are completely different platforms. They have different target audiences. They have different technology. They are designed to accomplish different things. The attention span needed to watch a 32-second Tik-tok different than to watch a five-minute video that’s posted into a post on Facebook.
Allison Williams: [00:07:16] So you want to have someone who doesn’t just understand the just the logistics of where data goes and how to alter it. But you want to have someone who is always looking for the next opportunity for your business to expand its marketing reach. And as we talk about a lot here, being able to rinse and repeat your marketing, you don’t want to have someone go to one place and then ultimately find a piece of marketing, and it just kind of dies on the vine at that point. You want to send people from one place to another, to another, and you want them to be surrounded in your marketplace with your marketing messages.
Allison Williams: [00:07:53] Now, the way that that’s often thought of to be done is through retargeting, right? Somebody gets a message on one platform, gets over to your website, drops a cookie, and then by virtue of that, you can follow them, if you will, to the next location with some type of advertising message. Right. So we know that retargeting works and it tends to be far less expensive than the initial capture of an audience. But once you do that, you still have to have someone in-house to be able to say, Ah, yes, and what we know, this marketing is really working compared to another marketer, compared to another marketing platform.
Allison Williams: [00:08:30] And sometimes you’re going to have one overarching company that can do that for you. But a lot of times you’re using one vendor for reputation marketing, you’re using someone else for your SEO and your website. You’re using someone else for your social media marketing. You might be using someone else for print media, right? There’s a lot of different things that you can be doing and it’s almost impossible to get a one-stop shop where someone or some entity is doing it all. So you want to have someone in-house that’s looking out over the metrics of all of those different platforms so that you can try and test and see what works best for your company based on what you are spending ultimately on advertising and marketing.
Allison Williams: [00:09:10] Third reason why it’s really, really important for you to have someone in-house, and that is the logistics. Logistics of marketing essentially are things such as checking copy, right? Looking at email templates, making sure that there’s cohesion across the different ways that you’re communicating. If you’re saying one thing when you get on stage and then someone starts to get emails that have a very different voice, that have very different messages, that have very different aims, that speak in a different cadence, there’s going to be somewhat of a disconnect.
Allison Williams: [00:09:42] Now, sometimes that disconnect can be great because if you deliver a message in a way that’s broad and maybe very eloquent in one place, and then it’s very punchy and fun in another place, but it’s the same message, that type of disconnect might say to a person that you’re multifaceted and that you can ultimately reach a person no matter what way in which they like to consume media. But there are other times where the disconnect can be jarring enough that a person sees inconsistency, and that breeds a lack of trust. Right? It’s almost like there’s some cognitive dissonance that forms where I’m seeing John, the suited-up lawyer who’s speaking very powerfully about personal injury from the stage. And then I start getting drips of emails because I went to their Facebook page and those drips of emails are someone talking in street slang and maybe using profanity and having a very edgy sort of feel. And I don’t get the sense that John, the very polished personal injury attorney, is the same as his partner Steve in their company where he’s talking money. Right. So there can be a disconnect. And it’s really important that one person on your team is looking at that in terms of what you’re putting out.
Allison Williams: [00:11:01] Now, this doesn’t mean that if you have different people in your company marketing, that you all have to copy and paste each other’s style. We do want you to be authentic in your marketing, but even as you are working toward authenticity, your goal is to make sure that there is consistency of your message and that when you are communicating in different places, that that data, if it is multipurpose, if you’re cross-marketing, what you put on, what you what you say in a public speaking engagement to what you put in your newsletter or on your blog, you want to make sure that what people are consuming says we say the same thing, even if we say it in different ways because we are about this value, right? Whatever the value is, right, whatever the reason is that you became the type of attorney that you became, you want that to come through in the different places that you’re marketing. So it’s really valuable to have someone in house.
Allison Williams: [00:11:52] Now, I know for a lot of people, again, as I said at the beginning, the idea of bringing someone in-house to facilitate marketing may be kind of scary. It may be one of those things that you think, Gosh, that is another salary. Do I really need to have that person? Do I really need to have someone who is kind of eyes and ears on our marketing here? Can’t I just outsource it to a company? But as I said before, not every company is going to be expert at everything.
Allison Williams: [00:12:17] Typically, even if you go to a full-service agency, there are going to be some things that they’re really good at, right? Some companies are really, really expert at search engine optimization. They understand the Google algorithm. They understand the updates. They understand where you need to put messaging and how important is your local office and what types of attributes are going to be more significant than others. So if you talk to a series of marketing companies, you’re going to hear things like your map is really important, your name, address, phone number that needs to be consistent across the platforms. Everybody pretty much gets that right. But then when you start getting into the nuances, peeling back the layers of different strategies, you’re going to find that some companies are more adept at SEO than others.
Allison Williams: [00:13:02] And when you go to one company and they seem to know the general idea of how to get yourself traction in SEO, they might not necessarily be the people you want to use for paperclip marketing, right? Because they might know the long term strategy. They might have the branding idea elements there. They might know how to be able to increase your ranking on Google, or Bing, or Yahoo! Or whatever search engine you’re focusing on. Of course, most of us are going to focus on Google. It’s the largest. But then next is YouTube. It’s the second largest, right? So they might know what to do there, but they might not know how to get you short-term track traction on paperclip. They might not know what needs to go on a landing page, what types of graphics are most effective, where you’re going to get the most traction in terms of platform based on who your audience is. And you really need someone who is spending their time, their energy, their focus there not just not necessarily someone who’s dabbling in it the way that they might be dabbling or focused in other areas.
Allison Williams: [00:14:01] We say this a lot. I’m a family lawyer by trade. And we were just having in my I’m in lovely New Jersey and I’m in a Facebook group of New Jersey family lawyers. And we were just talking about kind of the, the challenge that we find with people dabble in family law. Right. Because a lot of lawyers, when they are light on phones, they say, oh, I just got to get some low-hanging fruit. Well, I think anyone can handle family law. Right. We’re just arguing about the family. That’s not that hard.
Allison Williams: [00:14:29] And people demean our practice. I won’t even go into my little upfront about that, but people think it’s easy, so they think, All right, well, I’ll try and test and I’ll do a little divorce here or a little child support matter there. And then next thing you know, the client comes to us after someone who dabbled in it, tried and tested in gruesome words together. And there is no cohesion. There’s a whole bunch of holes in the contract. Certain issues were never discussed or addressed. There’s a conflict in what’s argued not because the lawyer wasn’t a smart lawyer, but because they didn’t know the nuances that are particularly important when you’re talking about people’s families and your structures and their schedules and the finances, and when we have to come in and fix that after the fact, there’s, there’s almost always a challenge because someone has gotten the benefit of this poorly drafted contract that we now have to not only convince the should be fixed, even though it might have been consented to. But we have to impress upon our client how important it is to spend the money to get it right the second time.
Allison Williams: [00:15:33] And that’s really the same thing that you experience in marketing. There are experts in certain areas of marketing and there are dabblers. So you really want to make sure that when you choose a professional to do something, that they have the level of expertise to make it really effective for you. Which brings it back to the in-house marketing person. Your in-house marketing person doesn’t have to be a marketing risk, right? At some point, you might want to bring in a marketing director, but just at the beginning, you want to make sure that what you’re getting in return, based on who is delivering the service, is something that is consistent with what your goals are.
Allison Williams: [00:16:07] And if you don’t outline that, if the company doesn’t ask you, and if you don’t have someone who’s checking to make sure that your numbers are being hit, what you’re typically going to find is that really, really good salespeople are serving on the front lines to keep you happy and keep paying them, but they’re ultimately not delivering with you.
Allison Williams: [00:16:26] All right, everyone, I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. You’ve been listening to another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. I’ll see you on our next episode.
Allison Williams: [00:16:43] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s show and take advantage of the resources mentioned. Check out our show notes. And if you enjoy today’s episode, take a moment to follow the podcast wherever you get your podcast and leave us a rating and review. This helps us to reach even more law firm owners from around the country who want to crush chaos in business and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor everyone. Have a great day.
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is the Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest-growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm by 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest-growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining, and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications, and money management in law firms.