Despite the common misconception, marketing in and of itself won’t magically generate new business. You can wave your wand over your computer, chant incantations and cast spells on your email, online and social marketing, but even if your name is Harry Potter and you graduated at the top of your class from Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you will not be able to conjure up new clients simply by sending out an email newsletter, launching a snazzy website, hosting public seminars and attending industry conferences.
Quite often, attorneys believe if they merely do these marketing activities, clients will come. So they sit by the phone, expecting it to ring. When it doesn’t, they wonder what is wrong with their marketing.
But marketing doesn’t produce new business. When done well, it produces potential leads that must then be nurtured and converted into clients over time.
How good is your firm at generating leads?
Before you can plan for growth, you need to analyze what you already have in place and determine what needs to change – identify your marketing strengths and weaknesses. An effective way to accomplish this is to ask yourself (and your partners) how well you would rate your firm on a number of factors that drive lead generation.
Rank each the following statements on a scale of 1 to 5 (lowest to highest degree of agreement):
- We capture leads from each of our marketing activities
- We generate enough leads to achieve our revenue growth goals
- We prioritize following up on leads
- We have an effective system and process in place to identify and follow up on leads
- We have a content marketing program that includes newsletter and social media
- We produce enough content to share information several times per month
- We frequently update our website with content that generates a lot of traffic
- We are well-known and recognized as experts within our target market
- We regularly share content that positions our firm as a thought leader
- We consistently capture new leads and build our lists through effective methods
- We offer appropriate incentives for marketing and business development activities
- We have the right training and skills to be successful at sales
- We effectively showcase our areas of expertise and all service offerings
- We successfully and regularly cross-sell different services to existing clients
Pay attention to the items that score the lowest on average and identify ways to improve your processes. Any items that receive high marks represent the areas that you are confident in and are not in immediate need of troubleshooting.
Kick off Your Lead Generation Efforts with Quality Content
In order to obtain new leads, you first need to get their attention. The best way to accomplish this is to share quality content that will pique their interest. Publish engaging, interesting and timely articles on topics that are relevant to your target market’s needs, then, on the landing page, include a response form, your contact information, or a link to download additional pertinent information (such as a whitepaper or case study). The more often you share high quality information, the more opportunities you will have to acquire more leads. Meanwhile, you might even attract even more prospects who are enticed by your thought leadership.
Monthly email newsletters, weekly blog posts and daily social media posts will help you earn more visibility, widen your prospect net and increase brand recognition.
Make the Magic Happen: Follow Up on Leads
Once you have a content marketing campaign in place, you will begin to generate leads. Leads will come in through various methods, depending on how many channels you publish in and what kinds of calls to action you implement. Seeing the leads trickle in will be exciting. But if you don’t follow up on them, they will fizzle out and the opportunities will be lost. The magic can only happen when you have a lead management or client relationship management system, as well as procedures for data entry, lead assignment and tracking, and – most importantly – accountability and follow through.
Don’t rely solely on your email marketing, social media conversations, or blog posts to nurture your leads. Personal contact is essential. Once someone has indicated an interest in your firm and services, that’s the magic moment. Pick up the phone and call them. Remember, clients come on board and stay with you over the years based on the rapport and relationship you begin to cultivate from that first conversation.
The bottom line is that you must follow up on the leads you generate. It’s not enough to merely grow your list with new prospects – you must act on leads quickly, professionally and sincerely.
You have the power to make your own magic and achieve your revenue and growth goals.
Becca Fieler is an Online Marketing Specialist for the BizActions | PDI Global brands from Thomson Reuters. She provides strategic planning and oversight for our online and email marketing initiatives. Becca also helps clients develop comprehensive marketing and lead generation programs. She is a prolific writer when she has time. Read more of Becca’s blog posts here.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555