John Jantsch wrote a terrific piece a few years ago called “7 Time-Tested Ways to Dig Out From a Recession”. My position, however, is a little different. You should be doing these things ALL THE TIME.
While you can read all seven ideas on John’s great site, I’m going to highlight numbers three, six and seven because I know the first two are the hardest for me and the last should be done religiously:
3) Get out from behind the computer – Building personal relationships is always in style. It’s very tempting to sit and write blog posts and participate on social networking sites, and while these aren’t always bad things – sometimes you need to go out and shake some hands. Make it a point to go to several industry conferences every year. Join an industry or chamber type group and go to events where you can make connections with prospects and partners. Join a referral group such as (fill in the blank) and participate. Go visit your customers and ask for referrals.
It is very easy to get comfortable communicating solely on the internet. It’s fast, fun and you are not locked into a schedule. However, if you are reading my blog or any blog on a regular basis, subscribe to RSS, sync your e-mail with your IPhone, the fact is you are in the distinct minority of all your potential clients. Most people are simply not as up-to-speed technologically and by the time they figure out what you already do effectively, you will have moved on to something even more advanced.
And while we socialize with like-minded professionals on the internet, the fact is there is a huge gap between us and the many potential clients and referrers of potential clients out there who could use your services. Get out, mingle, physically meet others, professionally socialize even if it is just a few select times a year.
6) Repackage your products and services with offers to act- This goes along with differentiating really, but sometimes you’ve got to give that tired old dog a new look. Find simple ways to relaunch yourself, your people, your products, your services, your packaging, to give yourself a new start in your market. You don’t need to start from scratch, look for innovative ways to repackage, reprice, redeliver, re-guarantee and re-communicate about what you do. Make them an offer they can’t refuse, make it so bold they must rehear you.
This is so true. Give your blog a face lift, create some excitement about a change in your services or products. Promote if you are switching over to a Virtual Law Office or offering unbundled legal services or revamping your pricing from billable hour to value pracing. Try to attract your market in a novel and exciting way. It will not only invigorate your potential client base, it will also invigorate you. Practicing in the same rut only gets you deeper into the ground. When you eventually try to step out you will feel like a neanderthal and overwhelmed at the changes you will now first have to make.
7) Fix the marketing gaps – In every way, shape, and form that your business comes into contact with your prospects and customers it is performing a marketing function – good or bad. You must look at all of your customer touchpoints and turn them into positive, brand-building opportunities. Tear down the lead generations touches, sales touches, service touches, delivery touches, follow-up touches, transaction touches, and billing touches and make sure that every single one of them is a performing a killer marketing function for your business.
Every word you write, every syllable you utter, every piece of paper with your name on it is a touch point with your brand and a business opportunity. You just have to realize it. Once you do you will see all the unconscious marketing opportunities you have available to you and will understand the phrase “you are on 24/7.”
Time to take inventory of all your touchpoints with clients and fellow attorneys including your use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. You will be amazed how many marketing opportunities you may very well be missing or using incorrently which, when used correctly, can help fill the client pipeline…especially when times are tough.