Well, another IMS Spring Conference came to a close on March 16.
For the attendees and the presenting faculty alike it was a time to retreat, retool, and refocus together.
Based on the title of this post, you likely are thinking that old Kyle is going to wax about his own presentations at the conference. Au contraire.
While I may address the gist of my presentations in a future post, I want to focus on what really blew me away at the conference - A deeper appreciation of what IMS does every day behind the scenes to market our estate planning and/or elder law practices.
Here is what I learned:
- Website: Our websites are optimized for search engines and every visit is tracked by IMS analytics, resulting in a monthly Marketing Report unique to each of us. With our strategically optimized websites, each of us enjoys a strong presence across the internet when prospects are surfing in “search, compare and select” mode. Consciously (or subconsciously) prospective clients perceive that page one attorneys are better than page two attorneys. Right or wrong, their perception is their reality. It needs to be ours, too. So, what can we do to enhance our rankings...
- Blogging: Are you blogging? Are you blogging daily or, if not, at least consistently? Blogging may be one thing you can do to distinguish yourself from other attorneys in your area. Note: Each blog counts as a new indexed page on your website and Google rewards you for being a “thought leader” on the internet. As Jennifer teaches: “Talkers are hawkers, but writers are experts.” Properly done (in close coordination with your website, Twitter feed and Facebook page), blogging can help you land – and stay – on the coveted page one of Google.
- Video: James and Michael Campbell, the dynamic duo, were show stoppers with their cheeky, but effective “Video Killed the Radio Star” presentation. They made a compelling case for having custom video on your website. While I do not understand all of the details (hey, when I went through broadcast journalism, I used a manual Royal typewriter in my Reporting I class!), I know that Michael and James are college educated and real world trained in the details. In addition, they stay on the cutting edge of video production technology. Fact: We are a very video oriented culture. If you have custom video on your website, then you will blow your competition away. It is the “X Factor” and we have the talent to make it work for you.
- Newsletter: In this economy, you will no longer be competing with the volume of direct mail advertising as in the past. When you send a full-color newsletter every month without fail, you will establish and own top-of-mind awareness for these most critical relationships. The emphasis here is on relationship. You see, when the friends, family members and clients of these folks have an estate planning need, you will be the one to whom they will refer the work. My point: Are you sending your hardcopy newsletter to the homes of your top clients, centers of influence and referral sources? If no, then you are missing a golden opportunity.
- E-Newsletter: Are you consistently building your e-newsletter distribution list, ethically and consistently? Have you been automatically subscribing every new client? When you follow-up with their other professional advisors (i.e., accountant, financial advisor, insurance agent, physician, etc.) with client permission, are you offering them a complimentary subscription to stay informed? Don’t overlook everyone you meet at Chamber of Commerce gatherings, too. Everywhere there is networking and marketing.
- Targeted Presentations: How many presentations have you given recently? Speaking at your local Chamber of Commerce, offer to provide an educational program on estate planning for business owners. Ours is titled “Business Owner Blues.” Visit your bank and have a cup of coffee with the coordinator for retiree activities. Offer to present an educational program focusing on the financial and legal concerns common to women. Ours is titled “Women, Money & The Law.” The opportunities are virtually unlimited, as every Rotary, Optimist, Sertoma, Lion’s and Kiwanis club is always looking for a guest speaker.
- You: In the end, you must be committed to working the system. Suppose you were a fisherman and not an attorney. Unless you take that fishing pole and bait (i.e., your comprehensive marketing system) out of the basement and out to the lake (i.e., the marketplace of prospective clients and referral sources), it will be very difficult for you to catch enough fish (i.e., clients) to stay in business. On the other hand, if you simply work the comprehensive marketing system, then you will keep your appointment calendar full and it will resemble a winning BINGO card. As has been attributed to Woody Allen, “80% of success is just showing up.” So, are you showing up? Are you really doing all you can to market your practice?
Teaching Point: The ESSENTIAL Solution® is a comprehensive marketing system, tested and proven effective in my own law practice. We are here to help when you are ready to have an ever more profitable and enjoyable estate planning and/or elder law practice.