The summer months tend to be slower months due to the changing of schedules, but that doesn’t mean the pace of business has to be delayed as well.
Using extra time in the right ways can help build your business even in the off seasons. Here are 8 strategic ways to market your firm this summer.
1.) Be SEEN – Lawyers refer to those that they know. If you aren’t seen, you’re less likely to be thought of in the moment. Make it a point to attend events that are beneficial to your field like business receptions, chamber meetings and bar association activities. Get to know the organizers at major or weekly events. Volunteer to be a greeter at business luncheons or receptions so you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to other business professionals.
Quick Tip! Instead of spending time handing out all of your business cards, focus on getting them from the people you meet and sending a personalized follow-up email with your contact information after the event.
2.) Networking POA – Have a plan of action (POA) for each networking event. If you have an opportunity to sponsor or buy a table at an event, ask if you can purchase individual seats at multiple tables instead. This will allow your firm to spread out and meet more people.
Quick Tip! Before attending an event, ask the host if you can have a guest list of attendees so you can identify the people you would like to meet.
3.) Develop a Solid Referral Process – Develop a list of sources that could offer referrals and set up an incentive plan. Then create a schedule to contact these sources regularly so you have the opportunity to build consistent business rather than only during slow periods. Be sure your schedule is realistic so you don’t forget or end up hounding your sources. For example, if you have 6 potential referral sources, contact 2 per week. Schedule a lunch or simply shoot them an email checking in but be sure to stay consistent. If your sources are hearing from you every few weeks you are sure to remain at the top of their mind.
Quick Tip! If you are in a partnership with another attorney in which you also send them referrals, be sure to call with a name of the potential client you sent their way so you get credit for the referral. Even if there is no incentive reward, it will show your value and increase the probability that they will return the favor.
4.) Be a Mentor – Get involved with those studying to be attorneys to create a solid foundation when they start out. Volunteer to speak at legal education conferences, free community classes, and law school events. This will give you an opportunity to brand yourself within the community as an expert in the legal profession.
Quick Tip! If you have kept in contact with classmates from law school, consider organizing a monthly or quarterly dinner with friends and colleagues of different practice areas. This networking dinner will help create better referral opportunities and partnerships
5.) Meet Needs – Pay attention to the immediate needs of your potential clients regardless of whether or not it has to do with their case. Maybe they need a babysitter or a vet for their sick dog. Whatever the matter is, if you’re able to show you care about the little things in their life, they are more likely to trust you with the big things – i.e. their case.
Quick Tip! Create a win, win, win situation. Referrals don’t always have to come from other professionals in your field. Refer a potential client to an eye doctor in town; they may do the same for you in the future. Plus, the customer’s needs get met thanks to you. It’s all about seizing every opportunity.
6.) Become a Blogger (or at least hire one) – Having a blog connected to your website is beneficial in many ways. Not only does it give you and outlet to show your expertise and offer relevant information to share on social sites, but it can also help your search rankings on both Google and Bing. The content doesn’t have to be a drawn out, detailed post. Simply a few paragraphs of interesting information that carries the same theme as your practice will get the job done. For example, a divorce attorney could cover his thoughts on the latest celebrity split from a legal perspective. Fresh, authentic content daily or weekly will help with search because Google algorithms show higher preference to these sites.
Quick Tip! Be sure to use both “news worthy” and practice related blogs. It’s good to cover the latest celebrity gossip, but your blog also gives you the opportunity to show off how competent your firm is in that specific area of law.
7.) Be Social – One of the best ways to increase your reach online is through social media. Connect with people in a non-threatening way while creating the most impact for your firm by tweeting articles, advice and blog posts at peak times (between 1p.m.-3p.m.). Facebook is also a good tool when trying to connect with potential clients. People respond mostly to videos and pictures on so be sure to share images of your staff, funny memes, videos about your practice, etc. for higher engagement.
Quick Tip! A good way to build a rapport with other professionals is to endorse them on LinkedIn. They will appreciate the acknowledgement and more likely remember your kindness when it matters most.
8.) Track Online – Track visits to your website with Google Analytics. This software offers details on specific search terms that consumers used to reach your site, how long they stayed, how many pages were visited and how many forms were completed over a certain amount of time. This information will help you determine what search terms work best and which pages have the highest performance on your website.
Quick Tip! You should always be testing something whether it’s a video, a new form, a new tag line, etc. Find something every week to test and track the outcome to better your conversion rate on your website.
Making time in your week for strategic marketing will help brand your firm as the “go to” place for legal solutions. Follow these 8 strategic tips to help you build relationships, expand your reach and increase your client base throughout the entire year.