James and I just returned from a great week at the NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, where we had the high privilege of visitng with members about elder law marketing and practice development. During those discussions, we often turned to this graphic to show how an integrated marketing system should work.
Properly deployed, your website is an extremely powerful marketing tool. It should attract qualified prospects, establish rapport, build trust, and begin the process of converting visitors into new clients. With these jobs in mind, it should be designed to be user-friendly, welcoming and engaging. It should be properly optimized for key search terms that are relevant to your prospective clients. And it should lead the visitor into an ongoing relationship, whether through a newsletter subscription, a visit to your blog your Facebook profile, a workshop registration, etc. Remember, the longer your visitors linger on your website, the more likely they are to become new clients.
But, no matter how well-designed your website, it simply cannot stand alone. If you have a "solitary" website, you already know this. Many of those who came to visit with us last week were looking for something they could "add" to their website that would make it start working. They said things like, "I already have a website that I sorta like, but it doesn't bring us any business." They wonder whether adding a newsletter or an e-newsletter would jolt their website to life.
The truth is, effective marketing begins with the end in sight. A website designed to stand alone cannot be magically transformed into the hub of a strategically integrated system. It would be like trying to put a turbo-charged engine into a Ford Focus. Oh, it might fit under the hood (and then again, it might not), but there is more to it than just shoving a new engine under the hood. And even if you could get the engine to run, the body of the Focus is not built for speed. The best you could hope for is one hot mess!
If you want to reach your destination, why not stop shopping for an engine? You will get there much faster if you just buy the whole car.
James recorded a short video that may tell the story better: