Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seven Legal Marketing Trends to Recession-Proof your Practice

Here are seven proven trends in legal marketing circles that can help you to generate more revenue by staying close to your customers while also rounding up new prospects. The good news is that many of these activities are free or low cost, although some time commitment is required.

1. Social media. Internet-based communications have changed dramatically, with rapid development in the area of “one-to-many” messaging. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube are excellent examples of how one person can broadcast a message easily and immediately.

2. Search engine marketing. If you are not naturally on the first page of Google search results, try a “micro-site,” updated meta tags, a blog, or more frequent news announcements to gain higher placement. Combining all of these elements into one campaign will serve as an accelerator.

3. Customer retention. Your best option for new revenue is always your current client list. Don’t forget past clients and inactive accounts also. More frequent messaging in the form of a newsletter or client alert serves to remind clients that you are available to help them, their friends, relatives, or co-workers.

4. Interactive events. As traditional print media shrink with the movement of advertisers from print to online, more law firms and businesses are exploring sponsorships, seminars, CLE programs, and other events as a high-touch way to reach out to prospects using a more personalized approach.

5. Increased networking. If you don’t already have a written “referral network” plan in place, now is the time to start. List your referral sources in A/B/C priority, and establish a schedule for frequency of interactions through breakfasts, lunches, email, or phone calls.

6. Alternative billing. No, the billable hour is not dead. However, more clients are looking for fixed fee or even success-based pay formulas. Consider what might work for your firm.

7. Lead management systems. Chances are that you are using a contact management system for your existing clients. Now add a weekly “pipeline report” to track the status of prospects through the various stages of initial meeting, presentation, proposal, and engagement.

A critical element in today’s electronic marketing is that clients and prospects can talk back in a variety of ways. You will want to focus not only on what you say to clients, but what they say in response. Make a point to listen when a client requests a new type of service or a variation on a past service. Perhaps others would be interested in this as well.

1 comment: