By Harlan Schillinger
Most lawyers focus on one number: what’s in their wallet. But any modern legal practice is well advised to consider a more valuable metric: one that measures accountability, not just revenue.
Egos stand in the way of many things in life. But in the legal profession, arrogance can make a mess of even the best business practices. When we are blinded by our egos, we’re looking out only for ourselves, not the big-picture health of our firm or individual practice.
The solution? Face your ego. Then turn your back on it for a more fruitful future.
Sure, you may be the smartest person in the room when it comes to how to prepare a legal defense, but you’re probably not a guru on legal marketing, too. We can’t possibly know everything, and the sooner we let this misguided belief go, the faster we can learn to rely on and trust a community of equally smart people who are experts in the things we’re not, including the ever-important aspects of marketing and advertising our practices to build business the right way.
Focus on what you’re good at and leave the marketing metrics to the artificial intelligence — the digital platforms we all have at our fingertips these days. When we are open- minded about new tools that can make us accountable to our professional needs, not just our personal wants, success is inevitable.
THE METRICS OF ACCOUNTABILITY
So what do we mean by tools and metrics that can tell you something you thought you knew, but really didn’t? We’re talking about robust analytics programs and software available to all attorneys. The solutions are there; it’s just a matter of settling on a set of tools that works best for the size and style of your practice.
As we’ve reiterated many times, accountability starts with intake and ends with a measure of your marketing tactics.. Having oversight through the whole business process will help you understand what you’re actually putting in your pocketbook — and what you’re leaving on the table.
LEADS LEFT TO LANGUISH
Lead generation and intake is just the start. In the legal space, data show that up to half of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Do the math: Depending on your case fee, a tiny increase of as little as 3% in conversion could net you you $500,000 in revenue!
Automate your leads tracking and follow-up process to make money-making even simpler. Intake and conversation software, such as Lead Docket, bake the process and protocol right into the software.
THE ANALYTICS OF ADVERTISING
Ego-free tracking of every element of marketing will also provide tremendous insight into where your dollars are really going — and whether they’re working the way your advertising agency expects them to. Any agency of record or even independent advertising and marketing professional has access to metrics tools that measure your efforts.
Don’t shy away from these because your ego gets in the way.
Instead, take full advantage of these resources. Large national databases can teach you about the competitive legal landscape. So instead of following the crowd when it comes to marketing, you can do something different that makes you stand out. You can find your own ways to shine. It’s all in the metrics.
Other tools are free for the taking, too. Google Analytics, for example, can provide rich information on how your website is performing, and your marketing partners can help you make sense of the numbers to analyze what’s working and what’s not. This is the real measure of accountability — to yourself, to your profession and to the community of people that work on your behalf.
Maybe it’s time for an ego check. Numbers can’t lie the way our egos can. Ready to take your practice to the next level? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, when was the last time you made a decision for the greater good and not just for personal desires.
The answer is the first step on a path to independence — and a practice free of ego and full of hope.