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Know where you stand, and then let’s get active.

There are a number of ways to describe our firms’ marketing efforts, but let’s keep this easy and just use two distinct terms – active and passive. To see where you fit on this continuum, please respond yes or no to each of these statements.

  1. I have a great website and SEO campaign.
  2. I’m proud of my FindLaw topspot ads.
  3. I embraced the social media craze and started a Facebook page.
  4. I write a blog post each week.
  5. I posted an introductory video on YouTube.

Actually, this was a trick quiz. These are all passive efforts. If you answered yes to a few of these, you still should be commended for having a multifaceted marketing approach. These tactics are still important, but think about adding some active (or proactive) elements to have a truly integrated approach.

Let’s define the two terms, and then I will share some ideas for low-cost ways to get active.

Passive Marketing – You place something out there like a page, ad, or video, and hope a prospective client finds it and contacts you. It’s kind of like dropping a net in the water and waiting for the fish to swim by and get caught. It works, but maybe you should try to draw the fish to you as well.

Active Marketing – You proactively seek out new prospective clients, placing and keeping your message in front of them in the places they go to get educated. Using the same fishing net analogy, this time you chum the water and then pull the net to trap the fish. Gross, but much more effective.

Here are a just a few active marketing ideas that cost little more than your time to implement:

  • Start a newsletter – Combine two blog posts and an optional announcement (big case, new associate, etc.), and you’ve got a newsletter. Email tools like iContact are cheap and easy to use, and you can start mailing your current contact list and then build from there.
  • Participate on LinkedIn – LinkedIn isn’t just for amassing a big list of contacts, it’s for helping other business people. Provide assistance in the Answers section. Add your commentary to the discussions in relevant Groups, start your own discussions, or start your own Group. People will associate your name with educational information on the site and in the daily/weekly discussion summaries.
  • Present – Do you think you have something of value to offer prospective clients? I sure hope so. How about converting that knowledge and experience into a presentation or seminar for a relevant group or association? Could be live, online, or both. Share tips, case studies, or general advice. Educate, don’t sell.

Build Your Advocate Network

Here’s the bonus of an active marketing approach. Your direct audience will benefit, but you will build a network of fans (advocate network) who will share your message and contact information with others looking for this type of information. They’ll do it because you’re now a credible, knowledgeable resource, not because they saw your pay-per-click ad…

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.

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