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5 things you can do today to positively impact your 2013 results.

This exclusive content was written by PracticeProfs President Dave Slovin for Lawyernomics by Avvo.

It seems like just yesterday you were shivering in the cold and planning out your 2013 marketing efforts. This was going to be the year that you made marketing a top priority as you kept your law firm and message in front of prospective clients on the internet and in the real world.  You blinked, and now it’s already mid-year – a good time for a marketing review to analyze results and make adjustments while you can still impact this year’s results.

There’s still plenty of time to impact 2013 results

Like many professional services firms, we started the year with a number of new marketing ideas and tried to adhere to our “set a goal of 1” philosophy.  Most have worked according to plan (knock on wood), although there were a lot of goals of 1. It’s time to make some changes to optimize our own results, and I thought you could learn from our successes and mistakes as we conduct our own mid-year marketing review. This includes making the tough decisions to drop less successful activities in favor of potentially better ideas.

Marketing ideas can be winners or losers. Drop the losers and move on

It’s not too late to improve (or further improve) 2013 results. Here are some tips to help you evaluate your own 2013 marketing progress, throw out the old, worn-out tactics, dust off those great ideas, and pick up the pace in the second half of the year.

  1. Dust off your 2013 marketing plan. Besides thinking about losing a few pounds after the holidays, you probably also gave some thought to ways that you could grow your firm’s business in 2013. Were you going to boost activity and ultimately revenue by starting a blog or newsletter, testing a pay-per-click campaign, or launching a networking/referral program? What’s working best, and what still requires some more attention? As an example, we need to catch up on our blog commitments. If you haven’t yet gotten around to something, it’s not too late!
  2. Polish up your website. Remove the tarnish from lack of updates. Add some new content based on your 2013 experiences, like success stories, client testimonials, or best practices. Does your website content appeal to your firm’s prospects, or some Google robot? Remember that prospects pay the bills, not robots. If you’re not sure, ask your clients. Finally, optimize your site for mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets. Hint: new technology allows you to do this without building separate websites.
  3. Review vendor promises. If someone is helping you increase your clicks and calls, how are things going? Are the results, activities, reports, and general communications meeting your expectations, or has the sales rep moved on and left you in the lurch? By the way, if a vendor promised to “submit your site to thousands of directories,” it may be damage control time as Google ramped up the penalties for creating unnatural links. Many websites have already been impacted.
  4. Analyze your internal “sales” process. Once the calls come in, how well is your team doing converting those contacts into consultations and then clients? For example, if you are receiving more phone calls but your consult count is flat, maybe it’s time to look at internal processes to ensure that you are making the best impression possible, distinguishing yourself from competitors, and effectively turning prospects to clients. We just implemented a more formalized follow-up process to keep our name and message in front of prospective clients.
  5. Do some spring cleaning. Cut your least-performing marketing activities. We look at the bottom 10%. When you add or change your marketing program, some things will perform well and others will miss the mark. That’s perfectly normal. But when something (or someone) isn’t meeting expectations, drop it and try something new. Build on what’s working, rather than limping along with the same old results. I hope I don’t get struck by lightning, but, do you really need to spend time on Facebook if LinkedIn brings in better business prospects?

How’s your revenue?

If you created a revenue forecast at the beginning of the year, are results meeting your expectations? Unless you are magic, actual results will be above or below plan. Who cares? What’s most important is what you’re going to do today that will improve things tomorrow. If you don’t have a plan, take a look at 1st half results and 2nd half plans, and then sketch out some revenue projections for the remainder of the year. I’m sure there are a bunch of great quotes about the importance of having a defined business plan and revenue goals, but you already knew that.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.SM

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