Making a Murderer…er Marketing Plan PART 1

I don’t do much for my law firm.

I run a meeting once a week, I hire people when we need to, I hang out with my friends (but my accountant tells me to call them referral sources) and we do fun things (which I am told to call NETWORKING) and I do (or at least oversee) our quarterly planning.

In December, quarterly planning takes the form of our marketing plan.

So, because I love to share everything I can and be the weirdo behind the giant wizard head but not in a sneaky way… here I present to you…how I think EVERY Marketing Plan should go.

Step 0: What Am I Leaving Out?

I am leaving out what KIND of case(s) you handle.  I have written about that at length in terms of finding your niche and creating your ideal client avatar.

So, I am setting this part aside, but if you’re not CRYSTAL clear here…do this first.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Or more accurately for me and my jokes…consider that your origin story!  Only there is no murder/toxic waste/weird hallucinogenic plants that cause spirit walking needed (but I’m not against the hallucinogenic plants if needed and done responsibly)

Step 1: How Many CASES Do You Need?

My firm as currently constructed can handle about 80 PI cases at one time.  We are intentionally a low volume, high touch firm (I can go deeper on this but not in this newsletter) but think more me in a Hawaiian Shirt hosting parties than Better Call Saul or Suits. 

Our average case takes 239 days to resolve so MATH ALERT (not girl math or boy math, but math math)...if there are 12 months in a year and our cases take 8 months and we divide them, that is 1.5.  In essence that is how often we turn over our full caseload (on average).  If your cases take 3 months you turn them over 4 times.  If they take 2 years you turn them over .5 times a year.

80 multiplied by 1.5 = 120.  So I need 120 cases for next year.  Boom!  Let’s get ‘em!

Step 2: How Many Leads Do You Need?

We close almost 90% of our leads (Contingency fees and warm referrals, don’t stress if your number is lower).  And we cannot resolve about 10% of our cases because of $0 in insurance on the case.  So again, MATH ALERT I KNOW I KNOW.

To get 120 viable cases I need 132 sign-ups.  (an extra 10%)

To get 132 sign-ups I need 145(.2) leads.  (an extra 10%)

And then I am going to pad it a bit and call it 156 leads.

This means I need 13 leads per month.  Because 156/12 (the # of months in the year) gets me there.  Or 3 a week (156/52).


Seriously.  Do NOT freak out if this # sounds too low.  You can ALWAYS generate more leads (which will cause some problems but different problems…) but you HAVE to hit this number.  If you were a Blues Brother, this would be your mission from God (sunglasses required).

Step 3: How Much Can I Spend to Get Those Leads?

For me…my average case value is $28,000 per case and I end up with about 35% of that due to contingency fees (because we get between 33% and 40% on our cases).

120 x $28,000 = $3,360,000 times 35% = $1,176,000

I would suggest allotting between 10-20% of your revenue towards marketing.  Closer to 10% if you aren’t trying to grow gross revenue and want to be more profitable, closer to 20% if you are trying to grow top line revenue.

For the sake of the rest of this newsletter, everything above was true but I am now using fake numbers just to prove the points and make the math easier.

So let’s call it 15% and go right down the middle.  I now have $176,400 to spend on marketing.  

It’s also helpful to figure out what your CAC (Cost of Acquisition) needs to be.  In this case it’s $1130.77 a lead or $1470 a case which is my marketing budget divided by the number of leads (156) or number of cases (120) I need.

This means when I get the 987,642,726 marketing pitches I get every year and they say “you just need ONE case for this to pay for itself…” I know that if it’s not bullshit I can legit spend $1130.77 for a lead or $1470 for a case.  But in an ethical way obviously…not just giving someone the money for a case.

Yes, I know this is taking too long and I don't want to overload you with these stuffs so keep an eye next week for the continuation of the Marketing Plan.

Have a great weekend!

Upgrade Your Life.

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