Smart Legal Marketing Tips for 2012 (Part 1)
Competition for clients is always tough, but law firms that design pro-active marketing strategies will always be one step ahead of the game. It’s still early enough in the new year to ratchet up your marketing and outreach efforts for 2012. Here are tips for making the most of your limited resources and devising plans to move forward in the coming year.
Bring your client contact list up-to-date. Are you maintaining a comprehensive and organized database of your current client list? If not, now’s the time to start. As you compile a client contact list, chances are you’ll encounter the names of clients you haven’t thought about in ages, but who might just be primed and ready for a renewed relationship with your firm. This contact database is also the first step in planning any broad-based marketing strategy.
Get in touch with clients on the list. There are current clients, former clients and clients yet to come. As the new year gets underway, make the effort to touch base with all of your current clients. Find out if they’ve been happy with your work. Ask what else they’re looking for in legal representation. Also, contact former clients to (a) renew your relationship and (b) to gain a clear understanding of why they stopped working with you and what you might do in the coming months to win back their business.
Add the personal touch. For some clients, a telephone call will do or even a face-to-face meeting. But you’d be surprised how much people value a personalized, handwritten note. First of all, very few law firms ever use this type of communication, so your note will stand out and be remembered in most cases. Be sure to use your customized, engraved stationery when jotting down a brief note inviting your client or ex-client to let you know how business is going and what legal needs they anticipate having in 2012.
Ask for referrals. When reconnecting with your satisfied clients, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Everyone knows “word of mouth” is one of the best marketing strategies around. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting the idea in someone’s head. You can also use social networking to make contact with prospects and referral sources. Be sure your firm has an active presence on such sites as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Build a “Stay in Touch” strategy. Maintaining contact with clients and prospects doesn’t end with a single message. Start planning a month-by-month campaign, which can include a different “touch” every 30 days or so. One month can be a message about changes in law that affects your clients. Another month, offer an update on your firm’s most recent activities. Other possibilities include a quarterly newsletter or holiday greeting—whatever method that meets the goal of ensuring that your targeted audience has you in mind on an ongoing basis.
More marketing tips to come: client reviews, “what do you need?” conversations and new revenue streams that come from partnering. Stay tuned.
Wells & Drew offers a wealth of marketing tools to help you grow your client list in 2012.