Let’s talk about marketing. Successful lawyers spend a great deal of their time (on the order of 25%-50%) marketing themselves and their practices. The term “marketing” can encompass a variety of different activities including client entertainment, print & television advertisements, sponsorships, attending networking events, and building and maintaining a website and social media presence. But where should you be allocating your marketing budget in 2015? What activities will drive the most “bang for your buck”? How can you measure and track the success of your marketing initiatives?
The first thing to do is set a marketing plan and budget. A good marketing plan will be S.M.A.R.T. That is, it will have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound goals. While your plan can, and will, evolve over time, its important to know what your key milestones are and how you plan to achieve them. Another thing that should be top of mind is making sure your planned marketing activities are consistent with your personal brand. Without a marketing plan, how will you measure the success and ROI of your marketing initiatives?
Chances are, as a savvy legal professional, you are already allocating a portion of your advertising budget to maintaining a digital presence, but how much? In 2012, eons ago in “tech time”, 76% of consumers were already turning to online sources to source legal professionals. The way consumers look for information has changed dramatically over the past decade. Does the allocation of your marketing budget reflect that? Does your online presence make it easy to find out your specialties and any niche expertise? Is your online presence consistent with your overall brand (I know, I know, we’ve already said this, but we simply cannot stress the importance of a consistent marketing strategy enough)?
The good news is that digital marketing initiatives can be quite affordable and oftentimes measurable. Some key digital initiatives to consider include:
- If you haven’t already done so, build a modern website that reflects your overall brand. Of key importance should be making sure your content is SEO friendly;
- Engaging in content management strategies to establish yourself as an expert. Possible content could include infographics, video tutorials, articles and digital guides;
- Maintaining a social media presence on networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook; and
- Inclusion on a customer acquisition platform such as Kabuk. Kabuk is a new platform for consumers to search for and connect with desired legal providers and book appointments directly online (we are currently accepting beta users at kabuklaw.com).
While online sources are being used more and more in the process of searching for a lawyer, consumers still value the “referral”. Referrals these days are so much more than just word of mouth. Online reviews are now a critical part of brand and marketing strategy, and have been widely acknowledged as a major influencing factor in purchasing decisions. As a lawyer, ignoring online reviews is just not something you can afford to do. However, context and credibility of these testimonials is also very important. At Kabuk, we believe that lawyer reviews are most valuable and useful when found on a platform dedicated to legal providers. Through the somewhat unique nature our platform (customer acquisition, appointment management and reputation management in one shiny platform), we are able to provide patients with higher quality, more credible online reviews by actual verified clients. Restricting testimonials to clients who have booked an appointment on Kabuk adds an additional layer of credibility – and reputation protection – for you!
I will end here with a question for you. What marketing activities worked best for you in 2014? Do you plan to try anything new in 2015? How many of you have established marketing plans set for 2015?
Kabuk connects consumers with the legal providers they need, when they need them, and enables them to request desired appointments online. Our platform is designed to streamline the legal discovery process, putting needed information right at the fingertips of consumers, and helping them to make more informed decisions. For legal providers, we help increase your online presence and improve your customer acquisition efforts. Check us out at kabuklaw.com and follow us at @KabukLaw.