How To Put Law Order Into Marketing Your Legal Practice

How to​ Put Law & Order into Marketing Your Legal Practice
Whether you’re frustrated with past marketing efforts that have been expensive,​ time-consuming,​ and haven’t paid off…or you​ think you​ can’t afford to​ take a​ sophisticated,​ results-driven approach to​ business development like the​ big firms do,​ guess again .​
While your firm may not have its own in-house marketing expert on​ staff or​ the​ generous marketing budgets that the​ larger firms enjoy,​ you​ can systematically and affordably attract more clients than you​ ever thought possible .​
It just takes a​ thoughtful strategy that leverages the​ laws of​ marketing,​ and an​ ordered approach to​ stay on​ track.
Laws of​ Marketing
First and foremost,​ marketing is​ NOT about brochures,​ websites,​ advertising or​ cold calls .​
These things may or​ may not be tools that make sense for your firm,​ once you’ve leveraged the​ laws of​ marketing.
There are two basic laws of​ marketing1 that must be mastered by professional service providers who want to​ stop wasting time and money on​ ineffective marketing efforts .​
They are:
1 .​
Build your base (carefully craft your message)
2 .​
Reach out to​ your market (build and nurture relationships)
Here’s a​ quick look at​ what each of​ these laws requires…
Build Your Base .​
This law means spending thoughtful time defining your firm’s niche,​ developing language that grabs your prospects’ attention,​ articulating what makes your firm stand out from other firms offering the​ same services,​ demonstrating your value,​ and illustrating your firm’s authority to​ deliver better than all other choices.
Unfortunately,​ 90% of​ professional service firms ignore the​ law of​ build your base and rush to​ communicate about their firm without a​ carefully articulated message .​
This leaves your target audience unconvinced or,​ at​ best,​ confused about how your firm can serve them better than all others vying for their attention .​
Invest a​ little time in​ building your firm’s base,​ and you’ll be ahead of​ most of​ your competitors.
Reach Out to​ Your Market .​
This law involves developing and implementing a​ system of​ strategies to​ build and sustain relationships with your target market and current clients .​
They are executed both offline and online .​
They are done systematically and repeatedly .​
They work in​ synergy to​ create an​ unstoppable buzz and attraction to​ your firm that takes on​ a​ desirable life of​ its own,​ once you’ve put them in​ place .​
These strategies include things like networking,​ direct outreach (personal or​ mass mail),​ PR,​ articles and speaking,​ keep-in-touch systems,​ using technology to​ attract,​ develop,​ and retain relationships; tapping centers of​ influence,​ developing joint ventures,​ launching a​ client relationship strategy,​ using a​ customer creation system,​ pursuing a​ relationship selling strategy,​ introducing a​ win-win fee strategy,​ and developing next-level strategies for current clients.
Orderly Conduct
This is​ the​ hard part for most law firms...making marketing happen is​ a​ function of​ carving out the​ time from precious billable hours - not an​ easy task! However,​ you​ can do it,​ especially if​ you​ take a​ disciplined and orderly approach to​ staying on​ track .​
This means you​ have to…
Get focused .​
Schedule a​ meeting with key decision-makers in​ your firm to​ discuss making a​ commitment to​ marketing .​
You don’t have to​ make any major decisions at​ this first meeting,​ except determine how much time you​ can commit weekly to​ your firm’s marketing efforts .​
Start small (2 hours per person) and put it​ in​ your schedules .​
Then schedule your next marketing meeting to​ discuss the​ results of​ your homework,​ the​ attached Are you​ Ready for a​ TurningPointe? marketing assessment!
Get organized .​
Use the​ results of​ the​ marketing assessment to​ stimulate discussion about where to​ start .​
At this point,​ if​ you’ve not done market strategy and planning before,​ call in​ an​ expert .​
It’ll save you​ lots of​ time in​ the​ end,​ since you’ll START with a​ strategic marketing plan that makes sense for your firm and is​ realistic to​ implement.
Some basics to​ consider when developing your plan include:
• Keep it​ simple; don’t take on​ too much at​ once .​
Spread out your deadlines.
• Identify a​ mix of​ short-term,​ easily implemented goals and longer-term,​ harder-to-implement goals .​
Build in​ some quick wins for an​ immediate return on​ your investment.
• Prioritize but be flexible; be willing to​ change dates or​ put things on​ hold when other marketing priorities make sense (which means you​ don’t stop,​ you​ just shift).
• Identify the​ obstacles (people,​ time,​ money,​ lack of​ expertise,​ etc.) that could derail you​ and plan tasks for how to​ overcome them.
• Plan for how to​ make marketing a​ reward,​ not a​ punishment .​
Build in​ rewards for people who take time from billable hours to​ market.
Stay on​ track .​
At a​ minimum,​ guard one hour every week for a​ status check on​ your marketing plan – even if​ you’re a​ solo practitioner,​ that means making an​ appointment with yourself! the​ mere act of​ focused thinking or​ discussion about marketing every week will make an​ enormous difference in​ your ability to​ attract more clients.
Once you​ have a​ smart plan in​ place that’s realistic (see Get Organized,​ above),​ all you​ have to​ do is​ focus on​ taking one step at​ a​ time,​ then another,​ and another .​
Each small marketing task builds momentum and before you​ know it,​ you’ve implemented a​ major goal .​
The key is​ to​ keep moving…or if​ you​ stop,​ get restarted .​
It also helps to​ have accountability to​ an​ outside party,​ who keeps you​ on​ track through regular telephone and in-person coaching sessions.
The Defense Rests
So your practice has a​ stellar track record of​ client victories,​ you​ do good work that you​ care about,​ and you​ know your contribution makes a​ positive difference in​ the​ lives of​ your clients .​
What if​ you​ could reach more clients than you​ ever thought possible with all that you​ offer?
Apply the​ laws of​ marketing through an​ ordered plan of​ action that keeps you​ on​ track,​ and you​ will .​
Case closed.
1 Middleton,​ R .​
Laws of​ Marketing TeleClass .​
Action Plan Marketing,​ Inc .​

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