As the PracticeProfs team and our clients can attest, implementing and managing a successful marketing program isn’t easy. Not everyone has the time or skill to do it. There is no single tactic or approach. It requires constant attention and adjustments. We’re often called in when a firm’s marketing program isn’t working, when the principals are unsure of what they are getting for their investment, or after someone happened to go to a social media seminar. As we’re benchmarking results and evaluating tactics, we see a lot of well-executed activities, but also a lot of mistakes.

Here is our top 10 list of marketing mistakes, borrowed from a seminar that I recently conducted for a business leadership group:

No. 10: Skipping the planning
Marketing programs aren’t made in a day. When you skip the research and legwork, you miss out on the chance to first establish your goals, and then set a strategy that’s actually measurable. Remember to first ask, “What am I trying to accomplish and why?”

No. 9: Focusing on a single tactic
Commissioned sales reps will try to promise you the world with one easy fix—a magic bullet of a marketing tactic. Too bad no such thing exists, although you can recycle a single idea into a lot of activities, including articles, blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, seminars or media pitches. You’ll get better results across a wider market.

No. 8: Forgetting consistency
For example, try to ask for 2-3 Google reviews per month. Build a content calendar with 3-6 months of ideas. Be one of only 10% of firms whose newsletter lasts for more than 1 issue. Once you make a plan, commit to it for six months, and review progress and goals each month.

No. 7: Biting off more than you can chew
Don’t be dazzled by all the available marketing tools, tactics, and technologies. Prioritize based on the resources available to execute your marketing program. Set easy-to-achieve goals, and you’ll be in a much better place a year from now.

No. 6: Not connecting with your audience
There’s a 93.7 percent chance that you’re not your own target audience. Well, you get the point. What you personally like may not resonate with them, or hold their attention. Make sure that your message fits the medium (digital, print, social) and the audience demographics.

No. 5: Going after the wrong audience
If you’re trying to generate a bunch of leads from Google advertising, but 90 percent of your business comes from referrals, why not just focus on your referrals? Spending a ton of money on a tactic, just because others are doing it, is wrong, and probably won’t help bring any more high-quality prospects through your door. Maximize your existing acquisition channels before you try something new.

No. 4: Deciding to cheap out
Why do clients come to your firm vs. the low-cost alternative? It’s probably because there is substantial value associated with your experience, approach, and results. It’s the same with marketing. Before you source out tactics to your receptionist or sign up for some $250 monthly pre-set package, remember that an effective program requires a marketing leader, a team of experts managing a variety of activities, and measurement.

No. 3: Taking too long to respond
Marketing doesn’t stop when the phone rings. You’ve already made the (substantial) investment to get a prospective client to call, so maintain a marketing mindset and sense of urgency right through contract signature. Respond to phone calls immediately, and set a reasonable pace to guide the prospect through the decision-making process.

No. 2: Lacking measurement
Before you implement any new marketing tactic, first decide how you’re going to track results. It’s the key to turning your marketing dollars into a true business investment. Exposure, website traffic, phone calls, leads, new business, and revenue can all be measured. As we say, if you can’t measure it, don’t do it.

No. 1: Doing nothing
Sure, there are excuses. You’re too busy right now. Things are too inconsistent. You just need to hit that next milestone. One thing is certain. If you do nothing, you’ll know exactly where you’ll be next year… Effective marketing will help you even out those business peaks and valleys, and help generate consistent growth.

About PracticeProfs

PracticeProfs generates measurable new revenue for law firms through effective management of internet and traditional marketing programs. With a unique understanding of law firms and their clients, we benchmark and augment current firm initiatives, deliver a compelling message that generates leads, and track the entire process from initial awareness through new client acquisition and ROI. To learn more about how we can help your firm grow, or to schedule a marketing seminar for your group, please click here.

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