We’ve given out a lot of marketing advice this year to clients, prospects, groups, and pretty much anyone who would listen. Part of our initial discussion with prospective clients includes a marketing program review, with specific feedback on ways to improve their current programs and results. Other than a free lunch from time to time, we don’t charge for these evaluations, but can then use the results to help all our clients.

I recently summarized some of this feedback during a marketing presentation to the Atlanta Business Alliance, a group of local business owners and executives. Here are some of the marketing tips we’ve provided to law firms and other professional service organizations:

  1. Have a plan. All clichés aside, understand the goal of your marketing program before you just start doing stuff. If you’re strategy is to build referral business from clients and advocates, your plan will be much different than if your goal is to land a bunch of cold internet leads.
  2. Make a list. Your most valuable marketing asset is your contact list, including clients, prospective clients, referral sources, business contacts, friends, and even family. Build a list of everyone’s email addresses and you’ll have a good foundation to launch a marketing campaign.
  3. Educate. People will only view a “buy now” or other generic message a couple of times at best. Think about ways you can attract interest by discussing best practices (like this article), success stories, lessons learned, industry trends, etc.
  4. Go where they ain’t. Unless you’ve got a decent budget or niche, it will be difficult for you to make a splash in competitive advertising areas like search engine optimization or search engine marketing. Avoid your competitors by focusing on alternatives like Google My Business, LinkedIn, local sponsorships, and speaking opportunities.
  5. Don’t be a me-too marketer. Just because the other guy does it, doesn’t make that tactic good for you. That firm may have a completely different marketing strategy, or that tactic may not be working for them either. For example, paying for one billboard is not a marketing plan.
  6. Stay in front of your clients and prospects. Odds are that a prospective client will have a need for your services when you are not in front of him/her. Find creative ways to keep your brand and educational message in front of buyers so you’re top of mind when they do want to buy.
  7. Stick with it. It takes time to build a following, generate interest, and gain new clients. Be ready to make a 6-12 month commitment to your marketing program. You’ll look back after the first year and be pleasantly surprised with your success.
  8. Respond to leads within 1 second. In today’s instant gratification society, responding the next business day no longer works. If you’re busy, immediately schedule an introductory call, but for a later date. If you don’t respond, you’ve handed the prospect to your competitors.
  9. Measure everything. Thanks to cool new technologies and tracking mechanisms, you can track the results of your marketing efforts from initial impressions through phone calls and clients. Make sure you can track activities before you implement them. If you can’t measure it, don’t do it!SM
  10. Adapt and overcome. When you’re tracking results, it’s easy to identify what’s working (enhance and expand) and what’s not (fix or dump). If your marketing vendors aren’t that flexible, find new ones.

Attributes of a successful marketing program

When your marketing program is running on all cylinders, marketing becomes an investment rather than just an expense. You understand your new client acquisition costs, and can allocate money to profitably grow your business. Would you like this for your business? Give us a call.

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