Define your firm’s vision for right now and beyond!!
Everyone talks about vision. But do you have one? I don’t mean a starry-eyed, unachievable dream for the future of your law firm. I’m talking about a vision that equates to reality, to more cases, to something you can start building here and now — in this new year.
First you must define your vision: your brand. Simply put, that’s what you want people to say about your Law Firm and services when you’re not in the room. Start there.
Once you understand your brand, build on that platform with marketing tactics that pay off your investment in a visionary baseline. You’ll need to develop a broader marketing plan, covering processes like intake and conversion; brand messaging mediums like your website; and how you engage with clients through the all-important, ever-evolving social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
So let’s break down how to work on brand vision for 2020.
Branding: Just do it
Branding a law firm has everything to do with your company culture and community credibility. Do you have an environment that ensures that your lawyers and staff are happy, productive and fulfilled? How does that show up in your intake communication and interactions with clients? You should have one face, not two. How you treat your team should reflect how you respect your clients. If it’s not, clean that up first.
Equally important is how credible your brand is inside and out. Again, a strong brand gives people a way to evangelize when you are not in the room. What do you think employees, clients and legal industry folks and the plain public say about your firm’s brand — it’s overall impression — in your absence? If you’re not sure, find out. Then build your brand pillars — those core concepts that represent what your firm stands for —and start putting them into action. You may need to reestablish credibility. But we all have to start somewhere.
Remember, your Brand is Your Character. Brand and Character is what people think and say about you when you are NOT in the room.
Intake and conversion: Got a system? Got a Process?
Your brand, a combination of culture and credibility, leads directly to how you communicate with prospective clients, or leads. In law, you know this process as intake: how you handle each call or client interaction in a consistent way, and in a way that aligns with your brand. In a way that you get results.
If you do intake well and with great intention it will lead to the ultimate outcome: conversion. You know what that means: Converting a qualified lead into a case. And that’s what lawyers are in it for anyway, right?
If you want the magic payoff, or conversion, you’ve got to have a system to track a lead from call to completion. And that’s not just a case management system or an old spreadsheet. To do intake well in 2020, attorneys MUST consider software specifically designed to manage intake and funnel it through conversion into case — and real ROI. Today, the best legal intake software integrates seamlessly with the tools you already use such as case management.
I can assure you that firm that invest in an intuitive program like Lead Docket Intake and Conversion software — the APPLE of legal marketing — don’t look back. These are forward-looking firms that know that highly pinpointed customer relationship management software can pay off big time by taking a huge burden off their plate: intake inconsistency and a lack of accountability. Many firms willing to look seriously at the best CRM tracking software are now converting 30 percent more leads — and that’s no small change. That 30persent od Net leads you already paid for. Yes, paid for!
Website: It’s your home
The importance of a website that reflects your brand and vision cannot be overlooked. While your firm may not need a robust transactional site, you do need an online presence that immediately conveys your firm’s credibility.
It’s very simple: Everybody that you do business with is going to come to your website at some point. Let me say it in another way: EVERYONE will look you up on GOOGLE. Consider it your home. It should consistently represent your legal brand, in both visual look and feel as well as messaging.
You can also use your website as home base for marketing tactics that don’t require a lot of extra effort. For example, should website can house all your most important content, especially YouTube videos, the hottest marketing tool in the legal industry right now. Likewise, you can leverage leads that come in through your website for something called hyper re-targeting.
This is an evolving marketing tactic that allows you to send targeted content back to leads that asked Google a basic legal question that led them to your site in the first place. Relevant content is most important. Connecting the dots, you can then re-target that lead with complementary or relevant content that answers the question more in-depth or in a different way, such as a video that explains your type of law or provides more substantive information about what they were searching for on the web.
Social media: Where to be real
Last, but we know certainly not least these days, is social media marketing. Having a social media strategy will carry through your brand vision for 2020 — and well beyond. But everybody’s wondering what platforms are worth the effort, how to keep up with fast-paced changes in social media trends, and which types of content pay off in the complex social media sphere.
In many cases, your guess is as good as any advertising agency’s. We’re all just trying to stay out front of the social media monster. And while you may not do it perfectly, the worst thing you can do is not engage in social media at all. That’s a copout that leaves a hole where you should have a significant engagement channel with clients, prospective clients; the public!
Of course, Facebook is still king. It’s the giant in the room and we can’t get away from it. So your firm will have to learn how to use Facebook; the best way is to make it the “face” or personality of your brand. YouTube is also paramount. If your law firm is not currently developing video content, it’s time to get in the picture. You can see the future of legal video marketing at Crisp Video Productions. And certainly, no attorney should overlook LinkedIn, the definitive online professional business-to-business, people to people networking platform. It can boost your firm’s credibility overnight.
No matter where you are online, remember one thing: Social media is the clearest path to humanizing your brand. You cannot fool your audiences. You must be transparent and engage around your prospective clients’ most pressing concerns. You must be real. Remember, the last election was won on social media and next election will be won on social media. Your firm could win 2020 the same way.
Remember: What You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know™ .
Brand Sells and Brand Wins!