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What small changes can you introduce to help make a huge difference to the contribution you make to your firm? - Part 1

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Unfortunately, however it’s dressed up from firm to firm, the majority of law firms still view marketing and business development professionals as a cost rather than an investment.

This is something of an irony. Every current study clearly shows the legal market is more competitive than ever, that clients are increasingly discerning and expect more from their lawyers and that if your firm is going to counter this dual threat, your approach to marketing and business development must be more sophisticated, effective and innovative.

This means that as a marketing and/or business development professional, the pressure is on you to deliver that more sophisticated, effective and innovative approach and underline once and for all the level of value you can deliver.
However, this opener is not meant to ring an apocalyptic bell. It is a call to arms and there are a few very small changes you can make to your marketing plan that will reap immediate benefits; not only in terms of generating returns, but also in terms of reducing costs and there is nothing more likely to attract an equity partner’s attention than better results with greater profitability!

Traditionally high ticket/low impact items like advertising, sponsorship and corporate hospitality have been the order of the day. The costs associated with all of them were explained away under the largely ineffectual banner of ‘brand awareness’ and because they were all managed by your department, they had a minimal effect on your fee earners’ time. They also allowed fee earners to tick the box marked ‘marketing’ without having to do anything as tawdry as talk or, dare I say, sell to anyone.

The only problem is, despite the cost of these activities, it has always been hard work to gauge exactly how successful they are.

This is why a switch to a ‘little and often’ approach built on low cost/high impact tactics is the best way to show exactly how your input results in increased work for your firm. Let’s broach the golden rule:

Your clients don’t want to see the marketing/business development people; they want open access to your solicitors

In the next two blogs, we’re going to get into the detail and look at six different ways you could adapt your current marketing plan so that it really strengthens your client relationships and generates more work from both existing and new clients. For those who can’t wait, those six tips will be:

  1. Do proper CRM
  2. Make more personal introductions
  3. Speak, don’t sponsor    
  4. Replace seminars with facilitated ‘roundtables’    
  5. Produce punchier content    
  6. Work your social media harder.

This blog is the first in a three-part series

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

With more than 20 years of professional sales and marketing experience, Douglas McPherson is now one half of Size 10 1/2 Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services and with law firms in particular. Their aim is to pass on the proven and practical tips they learnt from their senior commercial roles in-house and in industry to lawyers and accountants who want to win more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Doug is also a regular columnist for Solicitors Journal, Private Client Adviser, The Lawyer and is the author of The Visible Lawyer.

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