Which law firm marketing consultant is right for you?


A search on Google for ‘Law firm marketing consultant’ yields 77.8 million results* – that is a lot of choice.  Adding ‘UK’ does not help narrow things down – in fact the results increase to 125 million as Google had already established that you were probably in the UK.

So how can you find a marketing consultant who will be the right fit for your firm?  Sue Bramall, who has been consulting to the legal profession for more than twenty years shares a few top tips.

Develop a clear marketing brief

Just as solicitors specialise in different areas of law, marketing consultants specialise in different parts of the marketing mix, ranging from marketing strategy and planning, branding and design, through to tactical support for media relations or client care, as well as digital and social media.  Do you need help with all of these, or just certain activities? 

Tip 1: Writing a brief will help you to clarify what marketing activities your firm really needs help with.

Decide on some selection criteria

In order to come up with a shortlist of decent candidates to invite to pitch, you should decide on some key criteria to help you assess those consultants that you find on Google.  For example:

  • How long have they been established?
  • Do they have a professional qualification, such as Chartered Institute of Marketing?
  • What are their legal credentials?
  • Do you want a consultant to work on your premises, or are you comfortable with remote working?
Tip 2: Draw up a list of criteria to assess consultants against in the first round of research.

Evaluate their online profile

Once you have identified a list of law firm marketing consultants that meet your basic criteria, you should spend some time looking at their online profile – particularly if you are looking for advice on your digital activities.

What does the look and feel of their website say to you?  Does it look smart, professional, modern, up to date?  Are they active on social media?  Are their posts relevant? 

Do you get the sense that attention to detail is important? Can you see typos on their website?

Tip 3: If they are on LinkedIn, you will be able to see any mutual contacts and will be able to talk to them about their knowledge or experience of the consultant.

Meeting a prospective consultant

Don’t expect a consultant to be able to give you all the answers at an initial meeting, especially if you have not given them a very clear brief.  Just as a lawyer needs to spend time learning about the background to a case, so a marketing consultant will need time to get to know your firm, its teams, its services and its unique selling point.

Tip 4: On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to ask them how they might tackle a specific discrete project to get a good idea of what they might be like to work with.

Be clear about what success looks like

Naturally, you will be keen to ensure a good return on investment and your consultant will wish to ensure that you are more than satisfied.  To avoid a mis-math in expectations, it is important to have clarity about how you will be judging success.  For example, what management information will you be collecting and reporting? What KPIs will you be monitoring? 

Certain marketing activities produce results quicker than others, but do not last as long.  For example, pay-per-click advertising helps you appear on page one instantly, but you disappear instantly too.  While it takes longer to achieve success with organic results, they stay at the top longer.  Similarly, a good reputation with journalists takes a long time to develop but can benefit you for a lifetime.

Tip 5: Be open about your expectations and how you will be monitoring performance.

For an informal discussion about any needs that you might have for a marketing consultant, contact Sue Bramall on 01785 859 995.

*Google search 14 January 2020

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