We speak from experience: IMS clients who are actively engaged with their account managers on an regular basis find their law firm marketing is more productive than those who have us build an estate planning website and consider their marketing done. Maybe it’s a self-selecting process, but the results speak for themselves.
Be part of the process. This goes for working with IMS as well as any outside or internal marketing professional. An on-going dialogue between you and the marketing person or agency is vital for success. Here’s an all-too-common example: a senior member of the firm is speaking at a regional event, but no one at the firm has been involved in the event except for the attorney and her administrative assistant. The lesson: we can’t promote what we don’t know about.
Marketing is ongoing. National brands don’t run one ad a year—they’d go out of business. The same applies to law firm marketing. That’s why law firms rely on outside sources or dedicated marketing employees. Larger firms have full time staffs that do nothing but post on social media, help attorneys market individual practices and practice groups and conduct institutional marketing.
Keep the big picture in mind. Any marketing activities need to be geared to the end-goal: building the estate planning practice. Keep an eye on the data to be sure that what is being done on your behalf is working. If it’s not working over a certain period of time, do a careful analysis before making changes. Here’s an example: a great promotional campaign was launched by a law firm that drove many callers. However, the firm steadfastly refused to upgrade its problematic phone system. Many callers got a busy signal. Only those who were really motivated and called repeatedly reached the firm. Those who called after hours couldn’t even leave a message. Was the campaign a failure?
Schedule regular meetings and don’t cancel without reason. Client meetings always come first, of course. But if you are working with an outside marketing source and have scheduled regular meetings—every other week or weekly—don’t look for excuses to cancel meetings because there’s nothing pressing. The same goes for internal marketing team members. Marketing is often compared to gardening: there’s always a weed sticking out, a new plant to coax onto a trellis, mulch to spread. The twenty minutes you spend catching up on marketing activities and discussing what’s coming up in the next three months will keep your campaigns moving forward.