Whoever said “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” must have had legal marketing in mind. Law firms can invest thousands of dollars in marketing and PR programs, and yet see minimal returns on their investments – not because of any failure on the strategy side, but because of a lack of commitment from the attorneys. Consider how many law firm blogs you’ve seen wither on the vine or how many media interviews that have been declined, simply because an attorney couldn’t make a commitment.
The truth is that marketing is often viewed as a costly expense, and it’s the job of us legal marketing and PR professionals to change that image by producing results that feed the bottom line. But how can we achieve our goals without cooperation from those who literally represent the brand we are trying to sell? The answer is to create incentives.
One way to do this – as Sue Remley, Jaffe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, wrote about in December of last year – is to tie marketing efforts to law firm bonus calculations. Here are a few points that Sue makes in her article:
- Determine the factors that you want to encourage. Think about what affects the firm’s bottom line and include factors that contribute to success.
- Consider the firm’s expectations of attorneys at each level of their careers and set billable and non-billable goals accordingly.
- Establish the oversight/evaluation process and the individuals charged with the task (i.e., practice group leaders, mentors, management and marketing committee members, evaluation committee, etc.).
- Plan for quarterly reminders to check on progress toward billable and non-billable goals.
- Monitor progress throughout the year, and offer one-on-one assistance as needed.
- Communicate the bonus determination process clearly and often.
How can Jaffe help you motivate your attorneys?
We’ve been in the business for more than three decades, so we understand the attorney mindset. Our senior-level business development and marketing consultants can apply their knowledge to help you develop creative incentives that will actually motivate your attorneys to support the investment your firm makes in its marketing program.
We can also help you evaluate your law firm’s current bonus program and offer improvements so that it encourages the behaviors your firm wishes to prioritize more successfully, from generating new business to hitting billable hour quotas to participating more actively in law firm PR initiatives.