RW Lynch Online MarketingYou may command top rates for your time. You might have successfully attacked (or defended) America’s largest corporations. You may run and operate a thriving practice that over-delivers for clients, serves your community with honor, and generates significant profit, year after year. You may be a top attorney, like many of the RW Lynch clients. But once you enter the online legal marketing game, chances are that you will likely fall short of expectations.

This post will open your eyes to an enormous error that most lawyers make online. The problem manifests differently for different people. But if you fail to recognize it and rectify your approach, not only will your online marketing almost certainly tank, but you may also  lose potential clients, lose sleep, and waste tons of money.

Fortunately, you’re about to discover a secret that will revolutionize how you think about marketing your services — a secret that changes the game and allows you to win.

Before we get to that, however, it’s time to self-diagnose. Read through these “Symptoms You’re Taking the Wrong Approach” and think critically: do you suffer from them?

1. You spend time noodling with your legal website … at the expense of your practice.

Let’s be clear: you are an attorney by trade. That is your profession. You get paid the most when you practice law, deliver services for clients, and attract new business to your firm.

But the Internet is exciting! And your peers and the media have convinced you that you need to market yourself online and market yourself vigorously. And so you have. But you have wound up spending far more time than you thought you would. You write blog posts, manage your site’s technical issues, fiddle with site design, struggle with search engine optimization (SEO), obsess about getting in-bound links, and on and on and on.

What started out as a good idea – “get involved with your online marketing!” – has somehow evolved into a corrupt process that sucks energy and resources and perhaps deteriorates the quality of the legal services you provide.

2. You’re getting lackluster results (if that!) from your online marketing.

In spite of all the money and time and energy you have invested, you have not generated the results you expected … even conservatively. You have done everything “right” — everything “they” told you to do to get hits — and then some. You tweeted. You created a Facebook community. You wrote free client-centered articles. You wrote e-books and reports. But you simply are not getting the payoff. Where are the visitors? Why are potential clients not converting? Why are you attracting the wrong kinds of clients? Why is this whole thing so much harder than you thought it would be?

3. Your performance at your actual job — being a lawyer — has suffered. Big time.

Perhaps all the Internet marketing has sucked away time that you might normally bill for hundreds of dollars on the hour. Or maybe the frustrations you’ve experienced online have deflated you, distracted you, and discouraged you. Your lowered self-esteem has made you less confident at your job. Eyestrain, typing problems, arguments with Internet service providers and marketers, and a general sense of “info overload” are bugbears on the verge of decimating your productivity and ruining your ability to concentrate when you really need to.

4. You’re tearing out your hair (whatever hair you have left) while watching less than worthy competitors leapfrog over you in the search engine results.

Admit it: it galls you when you see an attorney known for middling service hop over you in the search engine results. Why is it happening? How can you stop it? What will happen to your business if you fail to take command?

In your panic to regain control, you may do the equivalent of throwing good money after bad. You might jump from tactic to tactic, from strategy to strategy. You hire and fire Internet marketing firms. You burn through your secretarial team’s resources by putting your subordinates on the task of “fixing” your Google doldrums.

And we haven’t even started in on the psychological stresses the SEO “rat race” causes. Is this really how you want to spend your days – fretting over random results on Google? Didn’t you enter the legal profession for something bigger, nobler, more service oriented?

5. Your online agita is spilling over into the rest of your life.

This is the most heartbreaking of all the symptoms. What you do online does NOT stay online, as countless disgraced politicos can attest. The frustration, arguments, and self-flagellation overwhelm you as you try impotently to hammer your legal website into shape. Maybe you are so exhausted that you no longer have energy to play with your kids. Maybe you are so busy noodling with your site’s SEO, that instead of taking a break on the weekends — going to the golf course, meditating, taking a long hot bath, or however you spend your “free time”; instead you are on your smart phone, checking search engine stats or exchanging frustrating emails with technical support.

Look: These problems will NOT go away on their own. They may even get worse, unless you stop, assess, and radically change your approach.

If you think your current legal marketing is magically going to improve simply because you buy a new tactic, hire a new marketing firm, or push your secretaries and associates harder, you have another thing coming. The Internet business world has sucked in and destroyed many aspiring legal professionals. It can and will do the same to you, unless you face the following stark (but in retrospect, blindingly obvious) fact:

You are a lawyer. An attorney! You are not an Internet business professional.

As long as you keep wearing both hats – attorney and Internet pro – you will continue to struggle, suck energy from your firm, lose out on critical billable hours, and fall further and further behind your competitors. That is the reality.

Fortunately, there is hope. There is an escape hatch. It is such a simple escape hatch that you may feel like smacking yourself in the forehead when you finally “get it.” It is an idea that successful business people have understood and preached for decades.

The solution is simple: Do what you’re good at — being a lawyer — and outsource the rest.

You make the most money, you do the most good, and you render the best service when you stick to being a lawyer. Once you stop “being a lawyer” and start working in some other capacity — as an Internet professional, a waiter at a Chinese restaurant, or whatever — you earn dramatically less money per hour, struggle more, and swim in a sea of frustration. If you love Internet marketing, then make that your career. If you love the law more, then do THAT.

We all know that the web is Wild West – it has been for over two decades.

Too many attorneys think that they can — by dint, intelligence, and perseverance — conquer the online marketing arena and get results where other attorneys have failed. But by turning away from the one thing that you know you can do and do well (and get paid handsomely for) — and instead spending time and energy on DIY internet marketing — you rob resources from your business’s core area and set yourself up for dynamic, chronic, and fatal business failures.

The “don’t do it yourself” approach makes a ton more sense. To paraphrase management guru Peter Drucker: Stick to what you do best (being a lawyer), and outsource the rest.

To learn more about RW Lynch and our lead generation program, please contact us or call us at 1-800-594-8940.

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