Most addiction doesn’t start as addiction. It starts with doing something to feel better. Then to feel better again, you do something again. Then, doing something doesn’t make you feel better so you have to do more something. Before long, your whole day is full of doing something. The next thing you know, everything that used to make you feel better, doesn’t. All that is left is doing something. You wake up one morning feeling bad, broke and alone. You want to quit, but you can’t – you are addicted.1
What is Attorney PPC Advertising?
It is easy to have a similar experience with pay-per-click (“PPC”) advertising. PPC advertising is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to a website for a fee that is paid “per click.” Most commonly, attorneys utilize search term PPC advertising. For example, an attorney can bid on keyword phrases (such as “car wreck attorney”), which will ultimately drive traffic to the attorney’s website. Display ads can also use PPC advertising. Done correctly, PPC advertising can drive a steady stream of clients to your law firm.
PPC Advertising Is Enticing for Attorneys
For the attorney who wants to feel better about new client development, PPC Advertising, done correctly, outperforms most every other advertising model. For the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of attorneys who want to hang a shingle but just cannot get a good feeling about it – PPC Advertising is enticing. If nothing else, PPC Advertising brings in a steady stream of new clients so that attorneys can do what they enjoy doing – practice law.
So When is Attorney PPC Advertising a Problem
PPC advertising is a problem for attorneys when it is used to develop single representation clients, rather than building a client community. Basically, you are buying clients. As long as you pay for clients, you have clients. When you stop paying, the clients stop. If you want to double your clients, you have to pay double. The problem is that you are not creating value in a sustainable marketing method. You are not doing anything to create future clients and you are not doing anything to make client development more effective. You will work as hard and spend as much next month as you did this month to develop the same number of clients.
Leveraging Client Community
Rather than Attorney PPC Advertising, what if you invested in your client community? What if, for example, each month you sent your client community the answer to the question that you have been asked the most during the month and posted the answer on your website? Look at what happens:
- You begin to create value in a client community.
- You create leverage with the money you invest in marketing. Where the money you spend on Attorney PPC Advertising is a one-off investment, an investment in your client community is multiplied by the size of your community.
- Your marketing efforts become sustainable. Everything you do this month helps you develop clients next month – and the next. At the end of the first year, you will have 12 answers on your website that drive clients to you organically (basically free). Think of this like 12 referral sources that send you clients every day.
Attorney PPC Advertising is consumer driven marketing. You pay for it and it delivers a client that loses his or her value with each passing day. Building client community is value-centric marketing. As you build your community, you build on top of what you have already done. As your community grows, it draws friends and followers and leverages your efforts into an even larger community.
Avoiding or Breaking Attorney PPC Advertising Addiction
Like other things that may result in an addiction, PPC Advertising can help2 you overcome a situation that cannot easily be organically overcome. Even so, the healthier approach to client development is value-centric, sustainable marketing.
### Brandon L. Blankenship
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- ©2016 Brandon L. Blankenship, Image Credit: Addiction by amendclinicsphotos ac CC flickr 3JUL2014. ↩
- See the American Bar Association’s Decision-Making on How to Allocate Your Money Between SEO and PPC: A Manager’s Framework. ↩