According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Whether you are a sole practitioner, an associate or a senior partner, doing what it takes to effectively market your law firm is your key to success. Today there are any number of ways to market your law firm: websites, newsletters, blogs, articles, and social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There is Avvo, the lawyer rating site. All of these sites contribute to your overall web presence. And some, or all of them, should be part of your overall law firm marketing plan. Why? They help you build relationships.
To become a truly great rainmaker you have to focus on building great relationships. And remember this one thing: Everything you do is marketing. From the atmosphere in your office, to the way your receptionist answers your phone, to the way you dress. Everything matters. Once you understand that marketing is about building great relationships – in-person or on the web – and that everything you do is marketing, you can begin to create a marketing plan that really works for you.
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Do you know the characteristics of your best clients? Do you know where they come from? Are you regularly connecting with your best potential clients or those people who can refer your best clients to you? If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you are on the right track to creating an effective marketing plan for your law firm. If not, start getting crystal clear about who your ideal clients and where they come from.
- Write out a description of your ideal client. Be very specific. Create a demographic for the perfect client, so that when he walks through the door you’ll know it. Make sure everyone on your staff knows exactly what your ideal client “looks like.”
- Review the files for your current ideal clients. Who referred them to you? (Hint: Your ideal clients almost always come from referrals.) Make a list. If you’re not keeping track of who’s referring clients to you, start today. How are you going to get more great clients if you don’t know where they’re coming from?
- Starting building relationships with the people on your referral list. How? Call them. Thank them for the referral. Send an email. Invite them to lunch, breakfast, a ball game, a concert.
- Make a commitment to connect with three referral sources each week so that you can continue to build the relationships.
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