Guest blog: Chasing shiny objects will wreck your marketing!

20 Jan 2018

Lawyers have 3 high level options when it comes to marketing:


1  Do what was working before (low risk, low return)


2  Do what might work next (high risk, high return)


3  Do what’s working now (medium risk and return)


What was working before?


Law firms have been slow to build websites, embrace email, and start their Facebook pages. By missing the rising tide, the results they experienced were underwhelming as a result.  They end up entering highly saturated environments.


What might work next (the shiny objects)?


Today the trendy words are VR, AI and anything involving blockchain.  We find ourselves chasing any shiny objects that catch our attention, marvelling at their potential and thinking “maybe we should do that”.


Being the first through the door is fun, but any movie will confirm that the first through the door is most likely to get eaten.  When nobody has ever done what you’re trying to do, the investment is massive and the risks of it being a complete failure are high.


But the bigger risk isn’t that you’ll try and fail, it’s that you’ll be so obsessed with being at the cutting edge that you won’t ever commit to anything sufficiently to see the results. It’s like always trying to have the latest phone – you’ll be onto the next one before you know how to use the last one properly.


Chasing shiny objects will take your attention away from things with proven results and onto things with massive risk. For most, they are a distraction at best.


So what’s working now?


The best balance of risk and return is:


1  Keep up with marketing developments;


2  Move once something is proven “enough”


3  Go all in!


We’re good at #1 … after all that’s what caused shiny object syndrome in the first place.


“Proven enough” is challenging.  You want to be an early adopter, but not a pioneer.  Watch something for a time and if it’s looking like a serious contender to connect you to people in a meaningful way, then try it out.


Whatever you pick, go all in or don’t bother.


Do you know why most law firm blogs don’t deliver results?  It’s because they’re not very good.  The firms haven’t invested in the development of the asset and it’s giving them exactly the results you’d expect from swinging a sword wildly in the dark.


The same principle will apply to every new aspect you add to your marketing efforts.  Be prepared to master the tools and the strategy. Only then can you make a call on whether it “works”.


So what should you do next?


Stop chasing shiny objects.  Do what you’re late on then double down on proven strategies.


It would be easy for me to give you a list of recommendations, but I won’t.  Why?  Because the point isn’t the “thing” you decide on, the point is the strategy you use to get there.


(Plus I suspect you already know what needs work – you just need to sort it out … so go and do that!)


About our guest blogger Chris Hargreaves ...

Chris is an Australian lawyer and digital marketing consultant to law firms.  He helps lawyers develop marketing strategies that they can actually execute and expect results from. He’s kind of tall and lanky and doesn’t have a good dress sense. Oh, and he wears size 12 boots!

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