Want to know one of the best-kept secrets in legal marketing? Brace yourself; this one’s a doozy. If you want people to talk about you or your service, you have to give ‘em something to talk about. Create the conversation. But don’t create just any old conversation. Decide what you want people talking about, listen to similar conversations that are already taking place, devise a plan, and then get involved in the chatter. Then, once you’ve got people talking, it’s time to evaluate your efforts, tweak your plan (if necessary) and keep the conversations going.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin:
What do you want to promote? If you’re like most lawyers, you want to promote your legal services. That’s all well and good, but be sure you’re targeting your efforts. For example, if you practice environmental law, you’re not going to be commenting on the latest celebrity divorce settlement. Divorce settlements are matters of the law, but they’re of no concern to you. Figure out what kind of conversations you want to be associated with, and always stay very close to this comfort zone.
How will you create conversations? For the best chance at success, you’ll need to take your efforts online and offline. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great places to start conversations online in addition to a personal blog. Offline, you may want to book speaking engagements and network at relevant industry events.
Who will help you? You might be surprised to find out that your friends and colleagues will be eager to help. Some will help spread your word just for the warm and fuzzy feeling they get from doing something nice, and some will help you because they expect you’ll return the favor. How about launching a joint campaign to drive business for both companies? Just be clear about what you want. If you have a coworker who is a Twitter all-star, maybe he can mention your services in a tweet or two? Maybe he can also give you some tips on increasing your online Klout. Offline, you probably have friends who can introduce you to influencers or get you invited to industry events. Make a list of the people who can help and be sure to be extra nice to them while you’re taking time to plan your pitch.
When will you start? Make no mistake about it; this is a marketing plan. You need a start date and an evaluation date. You could evaluate your efforts in three months or a year, but you should know upfront how long you’re willing to commit before you expect to see some tangible results.
How will you sustain your efforts? This isn’t a one-time deal. If you’re going to create conversations, you need to fan the flames to be sure they keep going. Maybe you’ll hire and train an intern to handle online conversations and social media for you. Or, maybe you just need to come up with a plan for incorporating marketing efforts into your busy schedule. Either way, come up with a plan and stick to it; otherwise, there’s no point in even starting.
People are going to talk, but they’re not necessarily going to talk about you – unless, of course, you give them something to talk about. Let them know that you’re relevant by creating some insightful conversations.
This article was written by Edward Granger, editor-in-chief of the legal marketing blog, Marketing On Trial. Visit today to learn more tips on how to market your firm in ever-changing digital landscape.