roi dialThis is the next post my series on common marketing mistakes made by law firms. My last article looked at why attorney marketing must focus on what clients care about. A common blunder I see is lawyers focusing on things which do not impress potential clients. These things include fancy business cards, letterhead, and getting the endorsements of other attorneys. You’ll see your business quickly grow if, instead, you focus on building up online reviews from your former clients. The reason for this is simple – potential clients care a lot more about what their predecessors have to say than they do about the other items I just mentioned. Focusing on the right things will send your revenue up while your competitors keep spinning their wheels. In this discussion I’ll look at the failure of attorneys to properly consider the idea of return on investment. Let’s get to it.

The concept of ROI is simple. The problem is that most attorneys don’t comparison shop when considering their marketing options. This lack of comparison leaves a lawyer not making as much money as they should. Let’s take a common example. The owner of “Unnamed Website Directoy” calls you and says they’re holding an “exclusive” spot for you. The spot in their online directory is going to cost you $50 per month or $600 per year. The average lawyer tends to think in these terms:

If I get one case out of it then it justifies the $600. I’ll give it a shot.

That is the beginning and the end of the analysis for most attorneys. The thing is, however, that the analysis should have gone further.

The above-mentioned lawyer should be saying to themselves “where else can I put $600 and will that other place give me a better return on my money?” In doing this research you should be able to view objective data on what your return will be and, if the person trying to sell you the service can’t show you any objective data, you shouldn’t even consider the thing your looking at. Think about it – you wouldn’t buy a mutual fund or investment without analyzing its track record so why would you invest your marketing dollars into something without viewing a track record?

When considering ROI you need to look at all your options and think long-term (a subject I will discuss in my next article). At the end of the day you only have so many marketing dollars to go around, you need to make sure that every single penny is being put towards something which yields the best possible return. The next time you’re thinking about putting money or time into some type of promotional activity, make sure you look at all of your options.

Why do you feel so many attorneys simply look at whether a marketing option will pay for itself as opposed to weighing all the possibilities? Please chime in through the comment form below.