CONNECT WITH THE AUDIENCES YOU WANT
When we say “MAKE YOUR REACH”, we are talking really about reaching the people YOU want to reach. Often, the intention is to reach new clients/buyers, but there are other important people (audiences) to reach too and these include:
- Existing clients or past clients (to let them know you are still around and very much on top of your game);
- Potential business partners;
- Collaborative firms from other jurisdictions;
- New employees;
- The press and media (so you are viewed as a subject matter expert in your area of work); and
- Competitors (to let them know who the competition is).
Making your reach is best done through well mapped out business development, marketing and public relation strategies. These are increasingly important to law firms, legal service providers and organisations that recognise the value of getting their names out in the marketplace. Visibility is no longer an option but a necessity. With the plethora of social media platforms, networking opportunities, new technologies and innovative marketing ideas, it is no longer simply enough to be really good in what you do. One needs to start making some waves in the marketplace.
With client and time pressures, small and medium-sized business and law firms as well as solo-practitioners and start-up entrepreneurs simply can no longer do business development and marketing themselves. Adding in-house headcounts for these functions may also not be practical and is very costly. This is where outsourcing can prove helpful and you can avail yourselves to experts and professionals who know their work and industries well.
One common question we often get asked after the “How can you help us reach our audience?” question is, ”What sort of financial commitment is required for a well-planned reaching out strategy?”
An acceptable standard in the business world is to set aside 2-5% of the firm’s anticipated revenue for development and marketing purposes. Of course actual budgets must look at a wide range of other variables, including the current image of the firm and the level of its awareness it already enjoys. However, let us assume for now there is some basic awareness already. With this rough figure in mind as a gauge, the next step is to identify clear tasks so that the budget becomes a function of its objectives.
- Do you intend to generate new clients or work to maintain your existing clients who may bring in new engagements for you, or both?
- Do you need a quick short term gain (like bring immediate awareness to something new in your firm), or are you looking for long-term sustained brand awareness of your firm, or both?
- A website revamp that is mobile responsive
- A rebranding exercise
- New Firm Brochures or videos
- Introduction of client friendly newsletters
- Employment of a social media strategy or blogs
- Reviewing your publicly viewed presence
- Traditional print advertising
- Giving talks, webinars to targeted groups
There are several approaches. Measuring returns for some of the above is difficult. Chances are that a combination of the above may be needed. What is perhaps more critical in making sure your set 2-5% is well invested, is to ensure frequency especially when generating awareness is key to your strategy. Prospective clients need to be continuously exposed to the firm, and often through a multiplicity of channels. To do anything less is money wasted.