One reason why many lawyers don’t like marketing or think it is not worth the effort is because they have not done it properly in the past.
This could be for a whole lot of reasons, but more often than not it is because of a lack of time and expertise.
There is also the confusion many lawyers have about marketing and sales – i.e. should marketing result in new clients signing up immediately or should it be seperated totally from the sales function?
I want to answer these questions by focusing on what marketing should be…
Marketing should help lawyers identify prospects that are looking for specific legal services and have the money to pay to achieve their desired goals.
Given this, any marketing by law firms should focus on sifting out hot prospects as soon as possible so that the appropriate communications and resources are directed to them.
This does not mean prospects that are more likely to buy later should be ignored. Marketing for these means nurturing them until they are ready to buy, as they should be handled differently because they are at a different stage of their purchase cycle.
When people get confused about marketing and sales, a simple way of differentiating them is this…
Marketing identifies the hot prospects, and sales converts them into clients.
They are linked – to be honest, many successful lawyers don’t even bother to seperate them out as marketing and sales fall into one ‘business development’ function with defined steps to guide prospects through sales funnels.
One reason why lawyers need to identify who is most likely to buy their legal services soon is because it stops them blanketing everyone with the same message, something that is pretty useless and wastes money.
So how can lawyers identify the hot prospects in the first place?
There are some key steps they have to go through to get this right consistently:
- First of all, think about your sales funnel – what are your goals and what would the ideal sales funnel look like?
- Identify a niche to focus on – marketing to everyone is less effective and wastes resources;
- Provide information that you know your market is looking for and make it easy for readers to find – blogs, articles, free guides, webinars or seminars are a fantastic way of getting yourself top of mind within the minds of prospects;
- Capture your prospects’ contact details and create calls to action so that those who need your legal services sooner are forced to act and follow steps you have outlined, or they simply self-select themselves to take the steps necessary to contact you first;
- Have well-defined touchpoints and communications so that you guide prospects through your sales funnel according to their readiness to buy your legal services. This means having a mix of offline communication tactics that are integrated with your online / social media ones.
The key thing is to make prospects with an urgent need for your legal services to put their hands up and, based on the free information you have willingly and consistently provided, make an educated decision to select you above all other options available.
If you have developed effective authority marketing strategies, then you stand out from your competitors and the prospects that know they have a problem that needs to be solved will want to choose you.