A Law Firm’s Marketing Should Include Industry Advocacy
Would you like more people in your target audience to know you?
Can a leadership position in a community increase your credibility?
Are you looking for a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else who does what you do?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this may be the best article you read all day.
Because I’m going to give you the quick and easy steps you can follow to achieve all three of those outcomes.
The answer lies in industry advocacy and how you can leverage it to increase visibility, improve credibility and differentiate yourself from everyone else who does what you do.
Step One: Find an Issue
Talk to your clients. Find out what’s keeping them up at night. Ask them about their biggest frustrations. Who are they angry with? What bureaucracy is preventing them from being more successful?
Are they victims of overregulation? Is there a local, state or federal group taking up an agenda that will choke off their livelihood?
The way to find the answers to these questions is to undertake a traditional research approach. This consists of:
- Reading trade journals
- Attending industry conferences and meetings (often sessions at these meetings will serve the same purpose as a focus group because you will get an interesting cross section of opinions).
- Conduct individual interviews with members of the industry/community
One of my clients, a trust and estates attorney, receives referrals from financial advisors and planners. She regularly attends their conferences and conventions and speaks with people at these events. This gives her great insight into their mindset particularly related to regulatory issues.
Step Two: Identify the Solution
Once you are certain you have an issue that is aggravating your target audience, you must determine who can resolve this issue and formulate a solution.
Sometimes this is as easy as lobbying a public official or writing a few letters to the head of an industry organization. Sometimes that activity is simply a first step in a long process.
Once you have some ideas as to a solution, bounce those ideas off your clients and industry professionals. Refine the ideas as necessary.
In the example of my trust and estates attorney client, she realized that the ‘fee only’ financial planners with whom she worked didn’t have someone advocating on their behalf with the local chamber of commerce. These folks were different than stock brokers yet they were being lumped into the same category.
The educational seminars being promoted by the chamber of commerce were dominated by the big financial firms (whose representatives all received commissions for recommending investments). The “fee only” folks are paid based upon the dollars in the client’s portfolio. Thus, my client believed, the “fee only” advisors’ interests were aligned with the interests of the client.
Step Three: Take Action
The final step in this process is to take action on behalf of the people in your target audience. Make telephone calls. Write letters. Give interviews. Lead rallies or educational sessions. Do what you have to do to raise your profile while advocating on behalf of your constituents.
In the case of my client, she:
- Wrote an article in the money section of the local paper about the difference between fee only advisors and brokers.
- Spoke at several investment club meetings to educate investors on the difference between the two types of advisors
- Lobbied the local chamber of commerce to separate stock brokers from financial advisors in their category listings
While some of these efforts generated a change in the industry (locally) and some did not, all of this activity got my client noticed by people in this profession. As a result, her referrals increased and her visibility and credibility increased as well. She was the only non-advisor to be invited to all the industry events, invited to publish in their magazine and newsletter, and given carte blanche to continue to advocate for this industry.
Many of the folks in this community (statewide) don’t think of her as an attorney. They think of her as an industry spokesperson and advocate.
What This Means For You
This translates into a tremendous opportunity for you. Right now there is a group in your target audience just waiting for someone to stand up and help them. These folks want and need leadership. You simply need to do a little digging, find them, and jump right into the fray. Get out and be an advocate. You will raise your profile and your business will grow as a result.
Here are Three Additional Resources You Must Explore:
The most important people in our business lives are our clients. Who and what they invest in can be telling. You need to pay careful attention to their financial activity particularly related to their legal needs. This article is a powerful reminder of that.
This is a problem I see with just about every lawyer. Their fees are way too low. This article will help you gain the confidence you need to raise your fees and make more money.
Before you become an industry advocate you must understand the needs and desires of the people in the industry. This article will help you get inside quickly.
© Copyright 2008-2013 Rainmaker IP Holding, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Images used by license from Fotilia Stock Photos. Member ID 203997040
Want the Latest Update? Visit Dave Lorenzo's Profile on Google+