Imagine your clients are a 5 acre lot…
I’d like you to shut your eyes (after reading the article) and imagine your clients and referrers as being like a barren, vacant 5 acre lot. Then imagine that the work you get is produce from the land. Now to continue the imagery you can see…a shoot here, a bit of growth there. The growth or produce is not plentiful.
In my experience going around Australia visiting small and medium law firms weekly as well as feedback I get conducting seminars, most solicitors in these firms are unhappy or dissatisfied with the level of marketing their firm does; the firm’s lack of marketing co-ordination as well as the absence of an overall marketing plan or objective.
Even crusty old solicitors who concede their only marketing job annually is to send a handful of clients a Christmas card annually can see the point.
So what can you do in your firm and where do you start? You start marketing to your existing clients and referrers and you not only start but you continue to market to them.
This article will show you how and why.
You want to be remembered by all your clients and referrers when they need legal help or hear of someone who does. Sure your closest friends will probably always use you but apart from that inner circle you need more help and you need to do more- much more.
A strategy thinking everyone outside the inner circle of friends will remember you, or automatically assuming they will use you, should they need legal help, is ridiculous, and no strategy at all. So your marketing needs to be by way of regular communication; contain helpful practical information and at the same time say something about your firm and those in it.
When your clients (or their friends) have a problem, or your communication alerts them to a potential issue they hadn’t realised, they think of you and your firm. You want them to also think of others – a neighbour, a relative or friend- who may need this help too.
You want to be ‘top of mind’, when they need a lawyer.
This is why you send out regular and relevant communications to your clients and referrers regularly. Continuing the analogy; you don’t stop watering just because you see shoots coming through because you need to not only be doing the ‘today work’ you need the ‘tomorrow work’ coming in as well.
As I travel around the country visiting one firm after the other and delivering this advice, I think it’s fair to say that every firm recognises the compelling commercial case for doing exactly as I have suggested.
The problem is with the execution of this plan.
Do you think I could get law firms to actually send out regular and ongoing client communications? Even firms who said they would do it, didn’t or couldn’t manage it.
This is why Lift Legal established a special Newsletter Program for Law Firms and why we now do it for you. We tailor newsletter articles to match your areas of practice and write them for you, so you don’t need to nag your lawyers or attempt the article writing yourself- we do it for you. That way you can have the lawyers do what they do best (and what they want to do): the legal work!
We have even had law firms who have said to us ‘no thanks we will do it ourselves’, contact us after a couple of months trying to produce their first newsletter and saying to us ‘it is taking too long and we still can’t get the lawyers to do it’.
Apart from the writing we also send it to your clients, with your firm name and template, we track it, analyse it and then report to you on which of your clients are most interested in what articles or topics. To find out more about our tailored newsletter program please contact me.
About the author
Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.