Top 10 Objections To Marketing At Your Law Firm

By John Hogg


law firm marketing legal marketing

To some lawyers, marketing is a dirty word. It never delivers and just costs money in their eyes.

Some therefore don’t think it's necessary, whilst others know they should do be doing more of it but don’t want to make the effort to actually do it.

No matter how these opinions are formed doesn’t really matter because for some people they are real and firmly held.

What we do need to focus on however is that marketing can be the critical success factor that your legal practice needs to succeed, so no matter which category you or some of your lawyers fall into, it is time to get the finger out and make some changes.

Before we move forward into this brave new world, however, we thought it would be useful to atleast understand some of these objections to legal marketing once and for all.

Let’s get them out there and exorcise the beast!

Yes, having been marketing director and business development director in several law firms and have consulted with countless more at Enlighten IC here are my “Top 10 Objections To Marketing At Your Law Firm”.

You may have a few others that I haven't included below, so if you feel I've missed any please do not hesitate to pop them into the Comments box below.

1.  I Didn’t Go To Law School To Do Marketing

If I had a pound for every time I heard this expression I might just have enough to retire.
To be honest though, I think this is more a reflection on what trainees are being taught than the individuals themselves.

2.  Clients Don’t Want To Be Sold

Fair point. None of us are actually advocating running into a prospective client's building and forcing them at gunpoint to do work with you. Neither do we advocate the ‘ambulance chasing’ analogy which is often used.
Let's remember - just because some people do it badly doesn’t mean we shouldn't do it properly.

3.  I Need To Spend Time On Real Work

Of course fee earning work pays the bills and could be termed "real work", however, whilst you are doing this "real work" today, who is out there looking for tomorrow’s?

4.  Legal Marketing is Just Lunches And Launches

If only this was true...
If your definition of marketing simply has marketing ‘doing lunch’ and/ or turning up at the opening of an envelope, please get in touch and let us ‘Enlighten’ you as to all the wonderful ways in which law firm marketing can really help to make a difference at your firm.

5.  We Aren’t Selling Tins Of Coke Here - So Marketing Has No Place

Correct! You've got us on that one... 
Yes, law is an intangible service when you compare it to a physical tin of coke and needs a completely different approach to marketing, but once again, that doesn’t mean you don't do it.

6.  I Would... If I Had The Time

Wouldn’t we all!
I’m really sorry but there is nothing I can do about the number of minutes in an hour or the number of hours in a day.
What we can do though is organise ourselves and dedicate a bit of time each week or even each day and you will be surprised at the results.
Some people find that the first hour of every day is a great time to get all that legal marketing malarky out of the way so they can kick back and get stuck into the "real" fee earning for the remaining 23 hours in the day…

7.  I’m Well Known And Get Enough Referrals

If this is the case fair play to you, although I’m sure this isn’t true of everyone in your firm and I’m sure it won’t feed your whole firm either. 
What is everyone else going to do to fill their day?

8.  I Know What I’m Doing

Please see point 7 above.
Even if you do, what will everyone else at your firm do to fill their day?  Just because you know how to make it happen and the work just mysteriously gravitates towards you, how is everyone else going to do it?
This is a team effort and the more people who play ball the easier (and more successful) it will become for everyone.

9.  You’re Not A Lawyer - How Would You Know?

Yes, that’s correct and I probably didn’t go to the right school either.
How on all earth could a non-lawyer help a lawyer to market their practice?
Fair cop. I must have been a charlatan for the twenty plus years I have been doing this. Absolutely none of it must have worked.

10. This Is Crass and Definitely Not The Sort Of Activity We Would Want At Our Firm

Whilst I have actually been told this to my face, thankfully it wasn’t the view shared by all the partners. 
Of course anything can be crass if it isn’t done correctly. This is professional services marketing after all and as we said above, we aren't selling tins of coke.
Our marketing needs to be subtle. It needs to be sophisticated.
Crass? Never!

Ok, this is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek sort of a blog regarding the common misconceptions about what marketing can do for a law firm. I hope do hope you don’t mind me exposing some of these common objections to legal marketing but in my time working with lawyers I have genuinely had them all.

But let’s be honest here for a second.

If you don’t want to do it, I’m not going to force you.

If this isn’t your thing, then there is absolutley nothing I can do to help you change your mind. It is your prerogative on how you want to proceed, if at all.

If you are any way curious, and the fact you've read this far would make me hope that you are, what I would ask is that you read through the list again and ask yourself an honest question...

"Is your objection more to do with a fear of the unknown
than an objectively held point of view?"

Check out our blog on “Five Marketing Ideas For Your Law Firm That Actually Work” and hopefully you will see that we aren’t actually advocating any real life voodoo. Most of this stuff is common sense after all.

At the end of the day, these are tried and tested techniques which work... and more importantly, if they do work they generate more new work for you - not me!

So, why do I care so much about getting marketing right in law firms and why am I so passionate about the power of real world marketing for your law firm?

The reason is because I care and because it works.

I was that cynic once who thought marketing was rubbish but having spent over twenty years working in marketing and seeing it work right before my eyes and watching the results come in, I now know the power that marketing can bring to your law firm if you decide to banish the cynicism and jump in with both feet.

Thanks again for reading. We would love to hear your views below. Whether you agree or disagree, I would be delighted to hear from you. Perhaps I have even missed a few out? So if you face objections from someone in your team and their objections aren’t listed above, why not add them in the comments box below?

In the meantime, take a bit of time out and think a bit more deeply about marketing and what it could do for your legal practice if given even half a chance.

Whatever you do make sure that no matter what you do, you have a marketing plan for your law firm.

If you're currently struggling in this regard, why not download a copy of our free guide, "How To Write A Law Firm Marketing And Business Development Plan For Growth"?

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John Hogg Enlighten IC

John Hogg

John is managing director of Enlighten IC and has been involved in legal marketing and technology marketing for over 25 years. He is passionate about how an inbound approach to marketing can help firms to drive leads and grow their business.

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