Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Legal Marketing: How to Engage Your Prospect

Years ago, legal marketers only had to concern themselves with communicating the firm message to as many qualified prospects as they could, as many times as they could.

My, how times have changed.

Today, simply reaching prospects is no longer enough. Law firms now need to interact with them. By interaction, we mean any activity that begins to establish a relationship between the firm and the potential new client, thereby reducing the individual’s perceived risk. There are any of a number of ways in which to promote such interaction, among them:

  • Personal Networking
  • Posting on Social Media Sites
  • Participating in Online Groups
  • Offering Free White Papers
  • Webinars
  • Offering E-Newsletter Subscriptions
  • Requesting Survey Input
  • Offering Survey Results
  • Seminars

Each of these activities has inherent advantages and drawbacks depending on the type of practice area and the unique situation of the firm itself. For example, personal networking is probably the most effective, but requires a great deal of time and limits the number of prospects one can reach.  Similarly, a seminar provides a terrific means for conveying expertise and gaining the trust of potential clients, but usually costs considerably more than its webinar counterpart. In implementing the latter, most of the logistical issues of time, place and location are moot. Yet webinars lack the opportunity for face-to-face interaction that a seminar provides.

Determining which method or methods for promoting interactivity is best for a firm is not difficult.  Much more challenging is making the actual commitment towards some type of such initiative – particularly when each carries with it inherent costs of time and/or dollars. Nevertheless, today, where we live in such a cynical age, it is important that legal marketers do all they can to minimize that perceived risk and thereby lower the hurdles of turning prospect into a real, live, paying clients.