DIY or Paid? The Complete guide to the costs of legal marketing.
In our travels we meet and chat with lots of business owners and one thing is certain. There are no shortage of ideas for how they can take their business forward. Whether it is a new website, nailing social media, creating a podcast or growing a better brand most owners want the best.
But there's always something else to do, some other problem to deal with, so the thought can get stuck as a nice idea usually at the point of “how much will it cost?”.
And then 6 months later they wake up and wonder why they just didn't crack on.
And that makes sense.
The cost bit requires shopping around, speaking with people and investing time. Unfortunately because of the time / hassle / “I'm surviving I'll kick the can down the road” mentality it means the idea stops and doesn't get acted on until it's clear there is no other option. They know that there are great returns for their legal marketing efforts, but it is all too hard.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
For all those planners and dreamers who don't have time to shop around, google or have those uncomfortable sales meetings, we thought we'd go to all the hassle for you and put together our research on what it costs to get stuff done in your business.
We've looked at a variety of sources, even referenced some when we could, and tried to give you both DIY and paid for options.
For busy professionals the DIY route might cost you more in time and opportunity cost than you save (if you value your time), so that is a key factor to consider. If you bill out at $350 an hour but it takes you 60 to build your website (or write blog posts / create Insta artwork) it hasn't just cost that money, it's cost what you could have been doing with the time. Spinning all the plates yourself doesn’t lead to much accept stressed out business owners.
So what can you do about it?
From a paid perspective generally you have just a handful of options -
Individual contractors for specific services
Full service agencies
Hiring an employee to do it.
What tends to set them apart is quality, cost and consistency.
So you need to ask yourself -
How much do you need to do?
What quality is important?
What can you afford?
What do you want to achieve?
What is the value of your time?
What else could you be doing?
What is that all worth to your bottom line?
Are you confident in being consistent?
Obviously, feel free to do your own homework, this is our best effort but there will always be people out there who can do it cheaper (and nastier), or more expensive (and nastier!!!). We've covered off the key things professional business owners need to invest in to build a strong medium term brand and tried to keep it as relevant as possible.
What we cover in this series
More to come on “Search ads”, “Events” and much more!
Doing it all in-house
Before we jump into each section it’s worth discussing hiring people internally. Maybe you've reached a point in your business where you are considering hiring people to do many of these things in-house. If you can hire for the right skill set and find the right person it can make sense and you can make some cost savings.
The issue is that most firms make the mistake of thinking they can hire someone with great individual skills in one area and try to get them to cover everything.
For example you might hire a BD professional but ask them to write blog posts, design Instagram imagery, and run your Facebook ads. The problem with this is that very few people have expertise across all these areas. It means inevitably that they don't do a great job, or it takes them exponentially longer than it needs to.
We run an agency and we wouldn't dream of taking our design team off their work and making them write copy. It's really important to understand that getting enough volume and quality of content plus the management out of one individual is very difficult. That leaves you in a situation that you still need outside help even with a super star new internal hire so factor this in to your decision making. Think about not only the wage cost but all the additional costs and suddenly that $30 an hour is more like $48 and that blog article you are having written by an inexperienced student is really costing you $400 in costs on top of having to manage the process.
There are certainly great people you can add to your team. Just don’t set them up for failure by giving them jobs they are not skilled to complete.
So on with the series!
Check out the first section all about branding!