Many of the firms we work with are exiting a contract with a current website host/marketing agency. For most, there is a lot of confusion around this. What do you own? Is this allowed? Am I going to lose everything and have to start over from scratch?
Lawyers understand better than most that contracts make the world go ‘round. So, here’s what you need to know about how to get out of a marketing contract, how to retain control over your assets and what to expect during the transition to a new agency.
The most important thing is getting control of what you own
When parting ways with your current marketing agency, the first and most vital step is to regain control of your digital assets. This ensures you can make updates, manage security and prevent the loss of content.
Don’t you own everything? Well, hopefully! During the process of managing your digital presence, an agency may have taken control of certain assets and software. They may have even changed passwords.
Start by identifying and securing your website itself. If your site is built on an open-source platform like WordPress (WP), it’s relatively easy to port it to a new host. However, a proprietary platform like Wix or Weebly may cause problems when accessing the backend. It’s always better to build on a platform like WP.
Make sure you are listed as the owner of the domain name, too.
Next, obtain the credentials for all your digital marketing accounts. This includes Google Analytics, Google Business Profile (GBP), Google Ads and any other tools you’ve been using.
Plan ahead by 30 to 60 days to avoid mishaps
Most web hosting providers and marketing agencies require 30 to 60 days’ prior notice before discontinuing services.
Start planning the switch three months ahead of time.
Mishap #1: Your website could go offline temporarily (or permanently). This downtime can harm your online visibility and brand reputation. You might lose clients and revenue.
Mishap #2: Rushing to publish a new site could result in a subpar site or data loss. This could also harm your reputation.
Luckily, these mishaps are easily avoidable if you give yourself plenty of time to transition.
Communicate clearly with your old agency and your new agency. Make a backup of your website and all its data to safeguard your assets. Don’t go offline without a new site queued up and ready to go!
Even bumpy transitions can be worthwhile
The truth is that it can be incredibly stressful to cancel a contract, manage a website migration and transfer your assets to a new agency. Even the smartest attorneys and best agencies should expect a few bumps in the road.
> Review the contract’s termination clause. Read the fine print and make sure you follow the agreement to ensure no disruptions in service.
> Choose the right replacement agency. A good agency can help you manage the transition so you enjoy increased control, improved performance and better communication.
> Monitor the process and communicate with your clients during the transition. Inform your clients about this change is a great reason to reach out. It builds trust and transparency. It might even encourage them to make referrals, once they see your firm begin to grow.
Ultimately, remember that the transition should make you feel more relaxed once everything is said and done.
It’s not over once the contract is canceled…
The days following the cancellation are just as critical as the transition itself. Don’t hang up your hat just yet! This is a time for relationship-building and setting expectations.
Focus on diligent communication and management during this phase. Monitor the first few weeks of your new strategy, ensuring that the agency has everything it needs to help your law firm progress. Let your team know what to expect and don’t panic during the adjustment period.
Set aside time to address any unexpected challenges that may arise in the wake of the transition to a new agency.
It’s okay to have high expectations but keep in mind that results take time to achieve.
Review and next steps
Canceling an agreement can leave you high and dry—unless you prepare.
Read your contract carefully. Once you have a new agency lined up, kindly break the news with at least two to three months’ notice. Work with both agencies to secure your digital assets, don’t be bothered by a few bumps in the road and keep your eye on the prize: better marketing outcomes.
When you confidently control your online presence, you’re well-prepared to collaborate with a new agency to chart a path toward continued growth and success. If you could use a confidence boost, get advice from Omnizant’s digital marketing experts before you make your move.