Right, peeps, here’s the thing.
Outsourcing your work to contractors can be difficult, and if you don’t get it right, it can end up being a huge waste of time and money.
A lot of law firm owners I know have had a bad experience with a contractor and they’re nervous about doing it again, because they’re not sure how to get it right.
Let me just be clear about what I mean about outsourcing work to contractors.
I’m talking about something like getting a digital agency to run some Facebook ads or some LinkedIn ads for your law firm.
Another example is hiring a website company to build a new website for your law firm.
Anything where you’re outsourcing part of your business – often your marketing – to a person or company who doesn’t work for you full time.
So, perhaps you’re a lawyer who is currently using some sort of contractor, perhaps a digital agency, and you’re not really getting the results that you were expecting or that they promised.
Perhaps you’ve used a contractor or a digital agency before, and it was such a bad experience that you don’t wanna go down that track again.
BUT, you’ve still got lots of work that you want to get done, so you’re not sure how else to do it.
I had a similar experience.
When I was running my law firm, we started scaling the firm online by running Google Ads.
I had an online legal service for conveyancing for first home buyers, so running Google Ads made a lot of sense.
I initially ran the Google Ads myself. I learned how to do it, and I ran them.
But as we got busier, I knew it was something that I needed to get off my plate. So I outsourced it to a digital agency.
As soon as we started using them, our results started to tank. They said to me, “Don’t be alarmed, your results will pick up over the coming weeks. We’re just getting used to your campaigns.”
I gave them some time, and while they did pick up a little bit, after a few months they still didn’t get them up to anywhere near the results that I had been getting myself.
So I fired them and I took over the Google Ads again.
As soon as I took them back over, our results shot back up to where they were before the agency had taken them over.
So that wasn’t a very good first experience for me.
But I began to learn that one of the main reasons why that relationship didn’t get the results I was after is because I didn’t manage that relationship very well.
So I went away and did some learning around how to do this better.
I went back down the track of outsourcing Google Ads again, but this time it was much more successful.
I’ve used that process to manage my contractors ever since, and I’ve had much more success than the first time around.
So I’ve got five steps you need to take to successfully outsource your work to contractors so you don’t waste time and money.
#1: Give them the goods
When you decide to bring in a contractor, whether it’s a website company or a digital agency, whoever the contractor is, it’s really important that you get organised and give them what they need.
That could be a whole range of things – a file, branding assets like your logos, it could be the passwords to your software.
One of the important things you NEED to give them is detailed information around who your ideal client is.
This is pretty much the main reason why I think law firms have bad experiences with digital agencies; because they don’t clearly communicate who their ideal client is.
So you need to give your contactor your ideal client avatar, demographics, their values – all the deets you have about them.
If you don’t know who your ideal client is or what their online behaviour is, or what their journey is that led them to coming to work with you, then you’re probably not ready to work with a contractor yet.
Giving them that level of information is so important, so while this is step one, then really it begins with having that information in the first place.
If you can’t do that, then you can’t give them the goods, and you can’t meet that first step.
#2: Resource the project
It’s really important to understand that your contractor can’t do all the heavy lifting.
You can’t expect them to do everything. It’s unreasonable.
You need to do some heavy lifting on your site as well.
That means you need to figure out how to resource the project from your side, and be really clear about who’s doing what, and what the roles are in the relationship.
Whether it’s you or other people in your team, you need to give your contractor access to everyone they might need to be in touch with, including other contractors.
For example, if you’re getting somebody to run ads for you, they may not be writing the copy or creating the artwork.
If they’re not, you need to introduce them to whoever is writing that copy.
Resourcing the project is really about being aware of what your contractor needs from you, and then providing them with those things.
#3: Baseline metrics
You really need to share with your contractor what your baseline metrics are.
For example, if you’ve already got a website and you’re getting 1,000 people to your site every month, then your new website company needs to understand that.
If you hire a marketing agency, or a digital agency, and you’ve been getting 50 leads per month with a downloadable guide that’s on your website, they need to know that.
Because that is where you’re at already, and they need to improve it from there.
If you don’t know what those baseline metrics are at the moment, you need to get that data and share it with them.
If you haven’t done that work before, then spend a little bit of time having a chat to other law firm owners and figure out what sort of results they’re getting, so that you have more of an idea on the baseline metrics.
For example, say you have a family law firm and you want a digital agency to run some Facebook ads for you, to get people to download a guide to separation that’s on your website.
And you want to be able to give them some baseline metrics.
You can talk to people you know in the industry to get an average number of downloads that you can expect that contractor to get for you.
#4: Set goals
Not only do you need to share the baseline metrics so you can see where you’re at, but you need to set some goals around where you want to go.
A great way to do this is to be really open with your contractors around what the mission, vision, and core values of your law firm are, as well as what your goals are for this year.
That will help to set them up for success, because if they know the bigger picture of the business, then they can make better decisions around what they’re doing as well.
They’ll be able to look at the goals you have for your firm and understand where they’re helping you to get to.
They’ll also have a measure for what success looks like and the whole point of their work with you.
#5: Catch up
You need to meet with your contractors regularly.
I recommend you meet with them once a week to look at what they’ve been doing, the results they’ve got and what their plan is for the next week.
You can also talk about what they’ve learned from their work in the last week, and how they’re going to tweak and improve things to make next week even better.
It might seem like a weekly meeting is a bit overkill, but these are the sorts of things that you need to do.
It’s an investment that you need to make around your time to make these relationships successful.
Whether it’s weekly or fortnightly or whatever, but just have regular, consistent meetings with an agenda that you go over each time, so everybody knows what’s expected of each other.
It also gives you an opportunity to bring up any issues, so if you’re unhappy with their performance, you can air those problems or challenges before they turn into a big deal down the track.
If you’re interested in scaling a law firm, or building, designing and selling online legal solutions and learning about how to do the marketing around that, then there’s plenty more for you to discover over in my Savvy Lawyers Facebook group.