“No matter how many hours you work, it’s the ones that are billed to clients that serve as the productivity measure in law firms.” – American Bar Association
With a number of competing priorities vying for your attention all the time, it can be difficult maintaining high levels of productivity when you practice law. Then someone like me enters the picture and tells you that you need to be marketing yourself, and it probably feels like you can’t get a break. How are you supposed to stay up on all your case work, bring in new clients, and then find time to do marketing?
According to a Marketo report, 91% of marketers believe that marketing automation is very important to their overall marketing success. My suggestion for you is this: If you’re tired of feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to tackle all your responsibilities and you just want to focus on practicing law, then marketing automation is something you should explore.
Why Marketing Automation?
Automation isn’t something lawyers can typically incorporate into their day-to-day workflow, which makes sense based on the very nature of the work you do. But you’re no doubt still familiar with the idea that the automation of repetitive tasks can be highly beneficial to one’s workflow and productivity output, correct?
Let’s face it: you don’t have a lot of time to spare, but you know you need to market your law firm if you want to continue bringing in new clients. Marketing tends to be comprised of lots of small, repetitive tasks, which makes it a prime opportunity for software automation.
Here are some ways that marketing automation can improve your law firm’s productivity while enhancing your brand’s reputation in the process:
1. New Avenues
There are many types of automation software that can be used, and it all depends on what sort of marketing activities your law firm wants to engage in. That being said, because there are many types of automation available, it becomes easier to expand one’s marketing efforts—even in ways you may not have otherwise considered. Consider the following automation possibilities:
- Email and newsletters
- Social media posts
- Blog publication and promotion
- Search marketing
- Lead intake and generation
- Data collection and management
- Website testing
Regardless of which paths you decide to go down, there is more than enough automation software available to help. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an absolute must (like InfusionSoft and SharpSpring) as is social media management software (like Hootsuite and Buffer). Then there are additional tools like IFTTT, Zapier, WordPress plugins, and much, much more—all available for a reasonable price.
Any time you employ the use of software to work for you, you’re going to have the added benefit of data—data collection, management, and filtering. In the case of marketing automation software, there are a number of key ways you can make data work for you:
- Receive regular reports on who engages with your firm online.
- Build useful and detailed client profiles within a single platform.
- Segment leads and clients based on their unique needs and preferences.
One of the more tedious aspects of marketing is the amount of manual labor it takes to create content or campaigns and then to release them to your audience. With marketing automation, you can strategize and create everything ahead of time, and then schedule it all to go out at a later date. More specifically, you can schedule your emails, content, and social media posts to go out at a date and time when your audience is at their peak attentiveness.
There are so many different channels through which you can market your law firm these days that it can be difficult to stay on top of which ones you’re on, how frequently you use them, and how consistent you are in your engagements within them. Marketing automation software will help you better maintain a strong, consistent presence across all channels.
With the right software in place, you can consolidate most or even all of your marketing efforts into one platform. So, rather than spend time logging in and out of various social media pages, email marketing tools, content management systems, and so on, you can instead collect and monitor all your data in one place.
In order to grow, and I’m talking about growing your business as well as your marketing efforts, you need to streamline your internal processes. Marketing automation supports that growth by establishing clear processes for all your marketing and sales efforts.
For instance, marketing automation software can ensure that your firm:
- Posts on specific social media pages X times a week.
- Follows up with news leads one week after the initial phone call.
- Emails people who visited your landing page with additional helpful information.
Think of automation the way you would an assistant or anyone else you outsource work to (like your accountant). This software will take all the guesswork out of what needs to be done, as well as when and where. It also ensures that leads and clients don’t fall through the cracks as you stay on top of communications and continue to foster positive engagements with them.
Why Attorneys Need Marketing Automation
Marketing is a necessary part of generating new business for your law firm, indirectly as well as directly. Luckily for you, there’s automation available for most marketing activities, so this means you can accomplish much more in your marketing without having to worry about the additional burden on yourself to create, manage, and monitor it all.