content marketing update from Scribe On Demand

Friday Scribbles: All Lawyers Are Marketers, But Do They Act Like It?

Every Friday, we’ll deliver some of our thoughts, share our learning, curate some articles (from the legal industry and otherwise), and tell you what we’ve been up to.

In 2015, Quinn Emanuel introduced a new expectation: every one of its lawyers must work on at least one marketing project every year. That participation may be by “contributing to an article, a pitch, doing some background research on a potential case or client, or industry research.” The time involved was nonbillable but necessary to qualify for a bonus. While the initial effort wouldn’t count toward that bonus, “subsequent marketing efforts” might, if they were “approved in advance by the managing partner.”

Talk about a way to make lawyers intentionally focus on marketing themselves—and that’s at a large law firm (that has its own marketing department)!

The pressure for solo and small-firm lawyers to market is markedly higher. In smaller firms, lawyers may feel like they spend their workdays doing everything but practicing law. Indeed, Thomson Reuters’s 2017 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report found that lawyers in small firms (with up to 29 employees) were only working at 60 percent of their billable capacity. The remaining 40 percent of their time was spent acquiring new business and completing other administrative tasks—in short, marketing.

This brings home the truth of the saying that all lawyers are marketers, in that all lawyers have to figure out how to grow their book of business and keep clients coming in the door. But there’s a fundamental flaw with this approach.

Most lawyers don’t have a clue how to actually go about marketing themselves or developing their business. Worse, they’re never purposefully trained, in law school or later, in how to market themselves or their practice. And most smaller firms don’t have the internal resources to show their lawyers the way: their marketing teams are already strained for resources. Between helping lawyers prepare responses to RFPs, crafting pitches, and coordinating events, they don’t have time for educational initiatives.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The easiest path to successful marketing is to partner with a business-savvy marketing firm: one that can share the marketing and administrative load so your lawyers can get back to their core business. By working with an expert marketer, you’ll save time in numerous ways: no more time pondering potential marketing strategies; devising, drafting, and editing marketing content; and figuring out how to distribute that content. Professional marketers can do all of these activities and more—and because it’s their core business, they can do it in significantly less time. That leaves lawyers with more time to do their core business of serving clients.

The practice of law is all about developing better and more efficient ways to use your professional skills to advise and counsel clients during your billable day, not to spin your wheels trying to learn how to market. Get in touch to learn more about how partnering with Scribe can help you stretch the value of your marketing.

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

Need something to talk about at tonight’s cocktail party?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Copyediting an association’s report on credentialing
  • Learning about new approaches to software development
  • Drafting sales training about the office of the future
  • Thinking about how artificial intelligence is disrupting the legal technology industry (and more)
  • Writing about collaborative divorce and other alternative dispute resolution techniques

Drop us a line and let us know what you’re up to—we’d love to see how we can help!

Published by

Kristin Walinski

Kristin Walinski is the CEO of Scribe, a recovering lawyer with corporate and law firm experience, and a prolific content marketer focused on helping law firms and legal service providers build their brands through strategic content marketing initiatives.