It can be challenging to hire a good marketing person or company. Regardless of what their resume says, you can never get a real sense of how effective their services will be until you start paying them. Unfortunately, many lawyers get taken advantage of and pay someone who provides little value in return. In order to hire a good marketing person, it’s essential that you have a basic understanding of what the job involves and what skills are needed to succeed. That way, you can ask the right questions and find a candidate who is truly qualified. In this post, we will provide a list of the required skills for any law firm marketing person to help you make the best hire possible.
Required Skills for A Law Firm Marketing Person
There are many different law firm marketing strategies. The right strategy for a particular firm will depend on the practice area, as well as the type of clients the firm is targeting.
So depending on your strategy, you may want to focus on one particular skillset over another. But generally, you should look to find a marketing person who is well-rounded and has a broad variety of different skills to get the most value for your money.
Below is a list of the most important skills any law firm marketing person would need to be effective. You should be sure to ask any candidate you are interviewing specific questions about their experience within each of these areas.
If you are doing any form of online marketing, you need to have a good website. Think of your website as the virtual version of your law office. It’s where prospective clients will be directed when they engage with your marketing materials online. In order to convert visitors at a high rate, your site needs to look professional, be well-designed, and have lots of informative content.
Given the importance of a website to your marketing plan, you will want to hire a marketing person who has experience working with websites. There are a variety of DIY website platforms available, but WordPress is the most common for blogs and marketing websites due to its ease of use and powerful customization options.
Any marketing person you hire should be well-versed in the WordPress software. They should understand how to structure a marketing website or blog, how to use categories and tags, how to create pages and posts, how to install plugins and themes, etc.
The most effective marketing messages always contain visual content. Studies have shown that webpages, online ads, and even Facebook posts will have much higher engagement rates when they contain an image or video when compared to just plain text.
For these reasons, you should look to hire a marketing person who is capable of producing nice looking graphics and images to use in your marketing materials. They don’t have to be a professional designer, but having at least basic photo editing skills and graphic design skills is a must.
Photoshop is typically the most common software program used for photo editing and basic graphic design. Find out if your marketing candidate has experience working with Photoshop, or something similar, and ask to see some examples of their past work.
One of the most fundamental skills that every marketing person needs is the ability to write good marketing copy. It may seem easy, but crafting the right language is actually one of the most challenging parts of marketing. It’s also one of the most important skills because using clear, compelling language will get people to read your articles, click your links, open your emails, and otherwise engage with your marketing messages.
The best way to assess someone’s copywriting ability is to ask them to create a short writing sample for you. Have them write a 500 word blog post, an email newsletter, or even just a headline for your website. Pay attention to their writing style and grammar, and make sure their voice and tone is consistent with the way you want to portray your law firm.
Marketing is by no means a “set it and forget it” activity. You need to be analyzing your results on a regular basis and tweaking your strategy accordingly.
There are a bunch of options when it comes to analytics tools, but one of the most popular and powerful is Google Analytics. It gives you the ability to analyze all kinds of details about your web traffic. You can find out how many people are visiting your website, where they are coming from (search engine, social media, etc.), which pages they are visiting most, how much time they are spending on each page, which pages they are leaving your site from, and which pages conversions are happening on (i.e. when someone fills out a contact form).
This data is key for understanding what content is most engaging and determining what improvements you can make to get more traffic and convert more visitors into potential clients. Make sure your marketing person has a solid understanding of Google Analytics, including how to install it on your website.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website more easily discoverable in search engines. It’s a highly technical field, and most marketing people won’t be true SEO experts. But it is nonetheless very important to have a basic understanding of how SEO works.
There are some very basic steps you can take to get more web traffic from Google. Any decent marketing person should be familiar with them. For example, using important keywords in page titles and URLs, interlinking between related blog posts and pages, building backlinks from other high-ranking websites, etc.
Ask your marketing candidate what experience they have with SEO and make sure they have at least some foundational knowledge so that your website and content will be optimized for search engine discovery. Check out our SEO guide for law firms to learn more.
In today’s word, social media should be a key component of your marketing strategy, whether you like it or not. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have massive reach, with users numbering in the hundreds of millions or billions.
Social media networks enable your law firm to build an audience, share content, and engage directly with prospective clients. There are very few other ways of reaching so many people with targeted content and marketing messages, which means not having a presence on major social networks is a big mistake from a marketing standpoint.
Make sure that any law firm marketing person you hire is an active user of all the major social media channels, and has experience creating engaging posts and content to share across these networks.
Networking will always be one of the best free marketing strategies for law firms. But as you build up your network of contacts, you also have to make an effort to keep in touch with these people, or the relationships will gradually fade away. Email marketing is a great way to keep up to date with a large network of contacts, and it is one of the most fundamental digital marketing strategies.
Any good marketing person should be familiar with at least one of the major email marketing softwares, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Emma, Mad Mimi, etc. Ask about their past experience using these products to create email campaigns, manage email lists, and track engagement metrics.
Want to hire a true marketing superstar? The additional skills below, while not absolutely critical, will help you get the most out of your marketing budget. These skills separate the best marketers from the rest of the crowd.
Look for experience and knowledge in these additional areas if you are really hoping to move the needle, or if you have a very specific marketing strategy.
- Basic web development skills are very useful when customizing a website and adding more powerful functionality to it
- Google Ads
- PPC ads are expensive, but they can work wonders for certain volume-based practices, such as personal injury, criminal, or employment
- Facebook Ads
- Facebook is rapidly becoming a favorite choice for online advertisers due to its incredible targeting capabilities
- Video Editing
- Videos have been shown to have the highest engagement of any online content and can be an excellent add-on to your marketing strategy
- Zapier is a popular tool that can add superpowers to your marketing by connecting all your marketing apps together and automating tasks and data entry behind the scenes
Finding a good law firm marketing person can be a big challenge. But when you know what skills are required to succeed, and why they are important, you’ll be able to ask the right interview questions and get a much better idea of any candidate’s qualifications.
Use the list of marketing skills above to evaluate your marketing candidates upfront, and hopefully you’ll be more likely to hire a marketing asset rather than a liability.