A Simple Long-term Solution - Newsletters
One of the easiest, and most overlooked, tools in your arsenal is creating and distributing a monthly firm newsletter. This is an easy way for you to reach out to your entire network at the same time and to keep your name and your firm in their mind. When I say newsletter, I mean an electronic newsletter. Like all contact in today's age, newsletters have gone digital. This is an obvious solution for several reasons:
1. No Print Costs - Since this is a digital only product, you can send it out to a never-ending list of contacts (just make sure they opt-in). There is no cost associated with the digital format. Ask every person you meet at your networking events if they would like to receive a copy of your newsletter.
2. It Establishes a Dialogue - When someone receives something in print, they need to take a few extra steps to contact the advertiser. With the Internet, consumers are able to respond instantaneously to digital communications. Most email marketing companies make it easy to provide links to your website, email, and social media. The easier you make it for a contact to share your valuable information, the more likely they will share it.
3. It's Easy to Track - Email marketing companies like Constant Contact and Vertical Response make tracking your effectiveness simple. They provide reports on who opened your email, who opted out, and who clicked through. It's an easy way for you to find out if the newsletter is working.
4. Keeping Them Informed - With a newsletter, you can include information about other marketing highlights you want to share. Did you just get an award? Did a big case just settle? Did someone new join the firm? Consider doing a profile on a different employee each month. It's another way for your contacts to feel more connected to the firm.
5. Keeping in Touch - Use the newsletter to keep in touch with former clients. It will reinforce the positive impression you had on them and ensure that you are top of mind if a new issue arises. There is a direct correlation between the size of your contact database and the size of your bank account. Make sure that you have a system in place to capture all contacts - prospects, clients, referrals, leads, etc.
6. Educating Your Clients - If you handled my divorce, then I may not think of you when it comes time to hire an estate planning attorney. That isn't my fault though, it's yours. I didn't know that you have an estate planning attorney on staff. Your past, current and future clients and referral sources need to know about all of your practice areas. A newsletter is a good way for them to learn that you are knowledgeable on more than one topic.
By sharing pertinent information with your network of contacts, you will ensure that you are at the top of their mind when it comes to any type of legal challenge they may encounter. The more valuable and relevant you make the information, the more positively they will think of you and your firm. By giving them information that is relevant to their legal needs or industry, they will see you as a constant asset to them. It is a long road of small interactions, but by focusing on creating a solid relationship with your network you will benefit in the end.
Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
There are a number of skeptics in the legal world who question the effectiveness of email marketing. Whenever an attorney comes to me and tells me that they've sent a newsletter in the past, but found it to be ineffective, I know they did something wrong. Here are some cardinal mistakes that you need to avoid:
1. Not sending the newsletter frequently enough—an annual newsletter isn't enough. You must send it 12 times per year;
2. Your newsletter is too long—people are busy, get to the point and keep it interesting;
3. Not checking the effectiveness of the newsletter, they sent out their newsletter via Outlook (seriously?); and
4. The worst sin of all, expecting a miracle. In general, it takes about six months of consistently sending out a newsletter every month before you start to see results.
The benefits are obvious and the risks nearly non-existent. I highly recommend you start your monthly e-newsletter campaign as soon as possible, and a new calendar year is the best time to put this new communication method into practice!
To help you get your newsletter started, I recently recorded a webinar on “how to get your newsletter done in 45 minutes a month.” If you would like a free copy simply go to: bit.ly/automatic-newsletter and fill out the form. Make a commitment to make this year your best year ever!
If you would like to learn how to generate more referrals and take your law firm to the next level this year, I highly recommend you attend one of our Rainmaker Retreats. In two days we cover over 65 proven strategies for lead generation, lead conversion, and client retention. You can find out more information and our upcoming dates at www.RainmakerRetreat.com.