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5 Lessons from an Expert Webinar on Law Firm Marketing


What is the opportunity cost of law firm marketing and resource allocation? (Screenshot from webinar)

What is the opportunity cost of law firm marketing and resource allocation? (Screenshot from webinar)

Tim Corcoran and Chris Fritsch presented an excellent webinar in December titled ROI:  Reality or Illusion.  It’s a perfect segue into the New Year because the webinar is essentially a best practices guide for law firm marketing and business development – and the two presenters combined for the perfect blend of business and legal savvy.

Both Tim and Chris have written extensively on the business of law.   For example Tim’s post Law firm growth… when is being #1 not very impressive made the social media rounds a short while ago and Chris has previously (and graciously) agreed to a post on this blog: How To Get Attorneys To Use CRM.

Here are five lessons I took from the webinar that you might also find useful:

1. Seemingly small but important details matter.  It’s the “little things that count,” according to Fritsch.   Start by getting the entire team focused on business development for just a few hours a week.  Details, such as getting the right people to the right events can make a big difference.  Focus on modest but achievable goals such as improving the click-through rate on email communication by 1%.

2. Measure and reward based on business objectives.  One law firm was recognizing volume – a business development team had completed some 400 RFPs over a given period of time – but the question remains, is volume the goal?  Volume however, may not be the same as focusing on the right things:  relationships with top clients or conducting client interviews.  There’s an aspect of culture to this as well – and it’s a way to ensure that the firm’s young attorneys are being properly trained in business development.

3.  ROI is relative.  Return on investment, or ROI, is by definition the gain from the investment minus the cost of that investment and then divided by the cost of that investment.  There’s a credible argument to be made that ROI in law firm marketing is not always so absolute, rather a firm should “look at all of our expenses and compare to what else we can be doing,” according to Corcoran.  “In a law firm we are asked to do a lot,” added Corcoran but the question is, “What should we do?  Where should we focus?”

4.  Avoid random acts of golf and lunch.  It’s important to ensure the marketing spend is strategic.  Fritsch relayed an anecdote about a firm that noticed complete strangers were showing up to the firm’s box seats at a major sporting event.   When the partners looked into this matter, they discovered that the firm’s associates were giving the tickets to friends, who were in turn reselling them on internet sites.  The firm ended up cutting the program and yielded some $2 million in savings.

5. Target, segment, target.  This was a theme that ran throughout the webinar with several tips for emails, events and content marketing presented at various times.  Corcoran pointed out he often sees law firms create brochures with a long list of capabilities, what he called, “do it yourself selling.”  In other words, if a prospective client reviewed every biography on a law firm’s website, they might find a lawyer that can meet their needs. The problem is, prospective clients aren’t wiling to do this so marketing needs to segment their messages according to who they’d like to reach.

The slides from the Webinar are included below.  What tips might you add?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

7 Amazing Statistics for Law Firm Business Development

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.