This is the next article in my discussion on understanding law firm marketing services and growing one’s practice. My last article provided an overview of topics which I’ll be addressing over the course of this rant series. I considered it important to write on this topic as there are plenty of agencies cold-calling law firms, on a daily basis, and making big promises when doing so. It’s understandable that an attorney may not know what the differences between such companies are (quite often, there aren’t any). Unfortunately, picking the wrong agency to help you can result in your firm spending a ton of money with little new business to show for it. This can leave a lawyer looking like this poor woman:

Lawyer holding "will work for food" sign

While those who chose a better approach will wind up looking like this:

female lawyer counting cash

To help make sure that you look like the latter, and not the former, this article is going to focus on the need to pick a marketing company which will funnel your resources into assets which you own at the end of the day. This is far different from many common approaches, which will have you renting web-based assets. This article will explain the difference between owned and rented web assets. It will also break down why owning your web presence is the best way to grow your practice as well as why most “agencies” don’t follow this approach. Let’s get to it!

The difference between owning and renting your law firm’s online presence

The difference between owning and renting your law firm’s online presence is just what it sounds like. Owning means that you are putting your resources into assets which you do not have to pay for more than once and do not dissappear without additional effort on your part. In other words, you pay for it once and it’s “yours.” Examples of assets which you own can include blog posts, which stay on your website forever. Other examples include videos, which don’t go away after you post them online, and positive online reviews, which require no additional effort after you’ve asked your client for them. Renting your online presence, by contrast, involves paying for third-party ad space on the internet. Examples of this include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, renting ad space on social media platforms, etc. These are assets which dissappear from the web if you don’t keep paying for them on a regular basis. PPC ads, for example, require you to pay every time someone clicks on them. As soon as you stop paying, the ads go away and so do the clicks. As explained below, focusing on ownership can be a path to prosperity while your renting your assets can result in a one-way trip to Bankruptcy Court for your practice.

Why owning your law firm’s web presence provides a better ROI

Solely focusing on owning your law firm’s online presence leads to a better return on investment for two reasons. First, it frees you from recurring monthly expenses. Second, it provides a compounding effect which you simply can’t receive from renting ad space each month. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Owning your online presence reduces the law firm’s monthly overhead

Owning your law firm’s online assets can keep your overhead low while increasing revenue. Renting your web presence, by contrast, often results in overhead which increases in proportion to your revenue. This is best explained through the following examples.

Joe Lawyer decides to launch a PPC campaign for his law firm. As mentioned above, this is nothing more than renting ad space. Joe spends $1,000 per month on ads on receives an additional 100 clicks per month to his website ($10 per click). These additional 100 clicks result in $10,000 per month in revenue. So, while Joe is receiving an extra $120k per year ($10,000 x 12 months), he has also increased his overhead by $12,000 per year.  As soon as Joe stops paying for those ads, the additional revenue stops flowing. Joe, therefore, is locked into recurring monthly overhead.

Fortunately, Jane Attorney (one of our clients whose name has been changed for the purposes of this article) has decided to invest her resources into web assets which she owns. In September of 2017, we placed a blog post on her website at a cost of $125. Since she owns this post, it never leaves her website and it continues to get traffic in search to this day. To date, the article has been clicked on 3,559 times in search. So, while Joe is paying $10 for a click, to date the aforemtnioned article has yielded Jane web traffic at a cost of three cents per click ($125/3,559 clicks). These clicks have resulted in business and revenue for Jane’s firm while she has paid no additional money, beyond the initial $125, for that traffic. In other words, Jane has increased her monthly web traffic without locking in a monthly overhead cost like Joe did.

Last time I checked, getting more clicks without spending money each month was a good thing. This is just one example why we are adamant that our clients should only put their resources into web assets which they will own at the end of the day.

Owning your online presence can result in compounding growth for your law firm

Another great benefit of owning your online assets is that it allows your efforts to compound over time. Let’s stick with the examples above.

Joe continues to ulitize pay-per-click. Again, Joe is spending $1,000 per month to get 100 clicks and $10,000 per month in revenue. Since Joe is using rented ad space, the ads from each month return no additional revenue the next month. In other words, in month one Joe will spend $1,000 for 100 clicks. In month two, he will spend $1,000 for 100 clicks. This will continue in perpetuity.

Now let’s look at Jane’s approach. In month one, Jane invests $250 into two articles which she will own. Let’s suppose that each of these articles will get “x” number of clicks per month for many years to come, since they never leave her website. This means in month one, Jane receives “x” number of clicks. In month two, Jane invests another $250 into two more articles and she receives 2x in traffic as she now has a total of four articles on her website. In month three, after investing another $250, Jane receives 3x traffic. In other words, Jane’s traffic is increasing each month, which her monthly investment is not, due to the fact that the prior articles remain on her website each month. This is vastly different from Joe, who is spending $1,000 each month just to keep his traffic where it is. This “compounding effect” has allowed Jane to grow her law firm from being a one-person operation, in which she rented a room from another lawyer, to over $600,000 in annual revenue and having multiple employees.

Why attorney marketing agencies focus on pay-per-click and other “rented” web assets

We just laid out why investing your resources into assets which you own is a better use of your money than renting online ad space. In spite of this many slimeballs attorney marketing agencies, center their businesses around managing pay-per-click campaigns for law firms. The reason for this is simple. PPC campaigns are easy to set up and require minimal effort once they are up and running. In other words, these “agencies” are collecting monthly management fees for very little monthly labor. This amounts to passive income for the agency. Our approach, which involves actual ownership of your assets (blog posts, videos, etc.) requires substantially more work. The reason we follow this model is that it provides a high level of value to our clients who, in turn, remain our clients for the long-term and allows us to avoid “customer churn.” We put our efforts into providing value to the customer and, as a result, we put little effort into customer acquisition as we are not regularly losing clients. Other agencies, by contrast, have to put substantial effort into customer acquisition due to a constant churn.


In short, put your resources into assets which you own and control, as explained above. If you have questions about our lawyer website design and marketing services then contact us online or by telephone today. Subscribe to our newsletter below to get regular tips for marketing and managing your firm.


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