6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Legal Marketing Agency
Using a professional advertising service to market your law firm can help you attract more clients, but choosing the right agency isn’t always easy. With so many different kinds of law, promoting one firm could look dramatically different than marketing another.
If you’re going to hire a professional advertising agency to do your legal advertising, you want to ensure you’re hiring the right person. In order to guarantee you’re getting the right match, you’ll want to properly interview each advertising professional.
To help you uncover the information you need, here are six questions you should be asking any potential advertising partner.
1. What is your experience with legal advertising?
The promotion a lawyer or attorney is looking for is much different than the advertising a traditional B2C company would need. Unlike a company that is selling products, lawyers and attorneys are selling an extremely specialized service that only a select group of individuals will need.
You want to work with an advertising agency that understands this. Traditional strategies or promotional tactics may not work for you and your firm. Instead, you’ll need someone that understands the unique approaches that work best for legal promotion.
Talk with potential agencies about their experience with creating promotion strategies for firms. You should also be sure to ask if they have experience in the particular field of law you practice in. Ask to see examples of past work and discuss what kind of results their legal clients found from working with them.
2. What does your advertising package include?
Not all agencies are equipped to create online content, commercials, ads, websites and blog posts. If you’re looking to have a complete advertising package created for your firm, then you may find better success working with just one agency. This will allow the agency to fit each puzzle piece together to give you complete promotion plan.
Before you enter into a contract or make an agreement, be sure your needs with the prospective client. If you’re only looking for new web copy or blog posts, be sure they know you don’t need commercials or PPC advertising. If you’re looking for additional advertising forms, discuss those as well.
You don’t need to eliminate an advertising agency from the running just because they can’t provide you with everything you need. Using different agencies that specialize in different departments can actually give you a higher-quality end product. If you find an agency that you click with and fits a part of your needs, see if they can recommend you to someone to fill in the other gaps.
3. Where do you see your company going?
When you work with any partner, you want to know that they’re focused on the future. While you may not be able to dictate the direction the company is moving in, at least knowing they have a plan to stick around can indicate a sign of a long lasting partnership.
It can be impossible to predict when and if a company will go out of business, but if you enter into an agreement with a company already struggling to stay afloat, you may be right back to square one in a few months – and need to eat the cost of hiring the agency. Talk with potential agencies about their plans for beating out competition and staying relevant.
For this reason, you may also want to stick to larger organizations. Because bigger companies have a better chance of beating out new individuals in the space, you don’t need to worry about the agency going under. Working with an organization that is stable can save you a major headache in the long run.
4. How much time can you give me?
The advertising process takes time and dedication. If you want your promotion plan to be successful, your advertising agency can’t speak with you one time and nail the right strategy. Instead, they will need to give you a dedicated amount of time.
Ask a potential agency how much time they can offer you and if there are any limitations or restrictions for communication. While it isn’t fair to expect your agency to be on call at all hours of the day, you should feel comfortable calling their office or sending them a message if you have a question or a concern.
If an agency is not willing to disclose the amount of time they spend with each client or provides too many restrictions, this may be a red flag. If your advertising agency is unable to give you the time, dedication and attention you need to create a successful campaign, you could just be wasting money. Look for an agency that wants to help you.
5. Do you use exclusive programs?
When you hire an advertising agency, you’re looking for a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. While there are many other firms out there providing the same type of legal protection or guidance as you do, you’re really only competing with the other firms in your geographical location. If your advertising agency is representing your competition, this may make it difficult to stand out.
Whether the agency realizes it or not, their ideas may appear throughout each of their promotional plans. While this may not be a big deal if a firm on the other side of the country is using similar strategies and tactics to attract their competition, you don’t want to be in direct competition with a firm just around the corner.
Using an advertising agency with exclusive programs can protect you from this. When a firm is exclusive, they only work with one firm in each geographic area. This means they can give you their undivided attention and work to ensure you are the best represented legal firm in your area.
6. Are you familiar with bar regulations in the area?
Having experience in legal promotion usually isn’t enough. In order to avoid getting into trouble, your legal advertising needs to comply with the bar regulations in your area. These regulations may change from state to state or even city to city. If your advertising agency overlooks these rules, it could mean serious trouble for you.
Be sure to discuss bar regulations with a potential advertising agency. Also, ask how frequently they check for changes and if they have legal professionals on staff to ensure everything meets the appropriate regulations. The more upfront an agency is about their policies, the more trustworthy they will be when you begin working with them.
You’ll also want to ask about their process for changing old work to comply with new regulations. Talk about whether or not this will be an additional cost or if it is included in the original package. If the advertising agency you work with wants to charge you for an entirely new project each time they need to make a minor change, you could run the risk of going over budget.
Working with a professional advertising agency can be great for your legal firm. When you outsource your advertising and promotion work, you don’t need to worry about hiring and training an individual in-house. Through working with a professional, you ensure your team is focused on what they do best while you’re still getting the best results possible.
But if you don’t do the right research, you may end up paying for an advertising company that doesn't provide you with the results you're looking for. Signing a contract with the wrong agency could cause you to waste your money and see little results.
These six questions are just a starting point for finding the right legal advertising agency for you. You'll want to work with an agency you trust and you feel connected to. With the right attention to detail, you'll get the results you're after.
To work with the trusted source for lawyer and law firm marketing, contact the TrustedWord team.