I am often asked to show how communications efforts can show real ROI. Why should firms invest in PR, social media, content marketing or branding instead of focusing on business and client development?

The answer is that all communications efforts – if done right – will show ROI because they will be aligned with your business development initiatives and goals.

It may take some time to see actual ROI and it is often hard to know if a piece of business directly came from your communications (such as a client alert, a social media, a blog post or an event), so patience and a little creativity is key. Plus following up is essential – you can always ask someone how did they find out about you or why did they decide to hire you.

I always say that everyone in legal marketing should think of themselves as a business development professional regardless of their title, because the true guiding light of everyone in our industry should always be how can an initiative bring in leads, retain clients and support existing BD efforts. If you can’t figure out how a communications project – even a simple social media post – can lead to new business and support client development, abandon it.

That being said, I’m a big believer in the power and importance of value-added content that supports your practices and brand.

This is the kind of content that clients will truly find helpful. Materials that show, don’t tell how great your firm and its lawyers are. In this crowded market with many firms vying for the attention of the same decision makers, firms simply must stand out and resonate, and they can so by demonstrating their value and market niche through content.

You can’t be everything to everyone. You will likely fail if you try. It’s better to pick certain areas based on issues or practices/industries that are core marquee to your firm or those that you want to grow.

Remember for communications to be effective you need:

  • Well-written, engaging content
  • To post content only on the social channels used by your clients
  • To bring together social and traditional media to produce results
  • To believe in your content
  • To be creative about how to share your content (reuse and repurpose, adapt content for various mediums)
  • To be patient on the results.

Happy content creating!

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