Businesses don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.
Below are 10 quick tips in 60 seconds (or however long it takes you to read and absorb them) to help law practices market themselves for success. There are lots more, but 10 will do for now!
1. Plan, plan, and do some more planning! Come up with a market plan that outlines things like: the purpose of your marketing, the main benefits you’re offering, your target audience, your marketing weapons, your niche, your corporate identity/personality, and a marketing budget and pro-forma financial statements.
2. Execute, execute, execute! The hardest part of any business is properly executing your plan. You can have the best plan in the world, but you need to properly execute to see results. You know what they say: an A + team with a B idea is always better than a B team with an A + idea. Set up a marketing calendar and list out your action items. Then have regular meetings with your team to see what you’ve accomplished in the past, what’s left to do, why things haven’t gone right (or why they have), etc.
3. Determine your niche. It’s hard to be a jack of all trades these days. A niche strategy is a viable strategy for earning above average returns in practically any industry: it creates specialized knowledge, skills, experiences, etc. that are hard to replicate (thereby creating a barrier to entry). Just be sure to niche in something that is in demand!
4. Communicate your brand/identity. The latter comprises your trust/value proposition to your target market. It is reflected in both the tangible and intangible aspects of your business (e.g. the way you talk on the phone, the atmosphere in your office, etc.). Make sure that you’re embodying and projecting the brand/identity of your choice.
5. Dress for profits, keep appearance neat, and great callers with a smile on the phone. The quickest and easiest way to sell people on your idea is to have them like you. That’s right: those who like the way you look, speak, gesture, handle yourself around family/friends, etc. will be more inclined to agree with you than if they didn’t like you. So be nice and smile (even if you’re having a rough day).
6. Solicit and display testimonials and mention your satisfied customers.
7. Publish your own marketing materials. This could take the form of: newsletters, direct-mail letters, postcards, business cards, brochures, catalogs, gift certificates, signs, trade show materials, proposals, etc.
8. Cultivate publicity contacts. Find out who writes regularly about your industry and get in touch with them. Give them something to write about and, if you keep doing that, they’ll be back for more.
9. Create media. Don’t wait around for free publicity in newspapers, radio, t.v., etc. to call you up for an interview. Create your own media by doing research and telling the world something new. Media will come calling because you’ve done their jobs for them. With the hard work done, they’ll promote you to a much larger distribution channel and more opportunities will arise.
10. Network, network, network! Grow your connections by attending networking events, trade shows/conferences, making presentations, and doing whatever it takes to meet new people and tell them about your business.
Now go do some marketing!