While social media, mobile advertising, content creation and blogs are important in your new year’s marketing efforts, building strong relationships with clients and potential clients is still your most important marketing tactic. Don’t neglect this foundation of your marketing efforts. Make relationship building an integral part of your 2014 marketing plan.
How do you go about building better relationships with clients and potential clients? The key is to communicate and communicate often! But all forms of communication are not equal. Let’s break down the ideal process for building a communication strategy that will lead to stronger relationships with clients and potential clients.
Understand Your Ideal Client:
First and foremost – know who you are targeting. Spend some time looking at your client list. Are there common attributes? What types of cases are you looking for? What types of information are important to potential clients? Or is there a practice area you are looking to expand or start? Now think about what types of information you provide or what types of information would be valuable for each type of client. Today’s consumers are driven by information. Providing highly personalized content directly to the right audience will give your firm the opportunity for direct engagement with potential clients.
How Will You Communicate?
Technological advances mean you have multiple ways to communicate to your audience? Ideally you should leverage more than one to get your message heard. Social media, blogging, and email marketing form a trifecta that attorneys can use to distribute content without having to develop individual messaging for each. This trifecta will allow you to reach not only new prospects (through social media and blogging) but current clients and contacts that are also an important marketing opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked. Clients may have need or may have contacts within their sphere of influence that have need for legal representation.
If you haven’t already, develop an email marketing list of all your contacts, clients, former clients and referral sources. This will be the basis of the marketing list you will use for email communications. Simultaneously, create a blog (wordpress is fairly easy) and sign up for Twitter and LinkedIn.
Develop An Editorial Calendar:
Now that you understand what your potential clients are looking for and how you will communicate, develop a content list of what you want to write and a schedule (at least 3 months out, but a full 12 months would be even better) for when you will send each article. Once you have your topics laid out you will have a schedule that will be easier for you to maintain moving forward.
Note that more content does not necessarily mean its better! Some attorneys we work with have avoided developing a content strategy primarily because of time constraints – assuming that every article needs to be a treatise on the law. This isn’t the case. You can create compelling content in 1500 words or less that is easily digestible for the average reader. Ideally your content should be informative and conversational, engaging readers and provoking them to want to find out more information or share what they have read with others. Attorneys – this means skip the legalese as much as possible and write content that is easy to understand for the lay person.
Once you have written the article it can be emailed to your contacts, posted to your blog and shared on Twitter and LinkedIn. This allows you to get maximum exposure for every article you write.
Staying in regular contact with your clients and potential clients by providing them with valuable information builds trust, stronger relationships and loyalty.
When settling into 2014 and preparing your marketing strategy, it is important to understand what your potential client’s needs are. Building relationships and providing informative, engaging content is the key to continued success.