This morning CBS news featured a story on the demise of iconic American companies including Hostess and Kodak. What are the factors contributing to this defeat and how do businesses and law firms protect themselves from becoming obsolete? Factors that contribute to the downfall of business include, not staying in touch with rising costs, changing tastes or new technologies, not evolving and maintaining the status quo. Kodak originated the technology for photography and in the 1970's held 90% of the photography market, yet has lost market share by not leveraging this technology in a digital world. Hostess, the creator of Twinkies, was slow to adapt to the changing tastes of a new market.
Scott Galloway, marketing professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, said reinvention is the key for the struggle of survival. Businesses and law firms that find ways to reinvent themselves are the most successful. Apple is an example of a company who understands the power of reinvention.
What is your law firm doing to reinvent your law practice?
The following are a few questions to consider;
- Do you use LinkedIn to build your network, make a contribution and stay connected or do you think LinkedIn is a waste of time?
- Does your web site provide updated content and value to your target client or do you have pages on your site that have been unchanged for 5-10 years?
- Do you stay informed on what is happening in your market by reading high value blogs, following thought leaders on social media sites including Twitter, and participating in targeted LinkedIn group discussions, or are you too busy?
- Is your bio updated and informative about the value you provide clients and what distinguishes you or is it chronological description of your educational background and dates of employment?
- Does your service to clients include collaboration with other professionals or are you going it solo?
- Does your search engine strategy include writing relevant blog posts, informative web site content, useful YouTube videos and on-line press releases or are you relying on “key word stuffing” and outsourced “link building” and content writing to increase your on-line visibility?
- Are you listening to your clients, conducting client evaluations, and providing remarkable service or are you doing what you have always done?
- Does your firm hold law firm retreats to review its strategic vision and target market annually to align marketing activities with your most important goals or are you winging it and hoping you will meet financial and billable hour targets?
The above questions are not inclusive and are meant to stimulate your thinking about how you are reinventing your law practice to maximize your success for prosperous and continued existence. What additional questions would you include in the list above? What strategies have you implemented to reinvent your law practice? SEO (Search engine Optimization) is another effective way to get your website and content found in Google. If you need a good SEO consultant.
How Solo Lawyers Can Thrive in a Down Economy
Today, I received a call from two colleagues who were going through divorce and wanted a recommendation for a lawyer, a divorce coach and a business valuation expert. The first names that came to mind were the professionals I heard speaking at the seminar.
Why did I recommend these professionals? There were two reasons:
1. They established credibility by speaking on a topic that conveyed their level of experience and competence.
2. I was reminded about who they were and the kinds of clients they helped by seeing them speak at the conference.
In a similar top of mind awareness situation, one of my clients told me they experience an increase in client calls every time they send the firm newsletter to their professional network. Another client has seen an increase in referrals from two law firms after setting up luncheon meetings. Last week, a lawyer told me his web site referrals have doubled since he has started his blog and updated his web site with client- focused articles.
Even though we are in a difficult economy, the demand for quality legal, financial and mental health professionals has not diminished. You can accelerate the growth of your practice and attract desirable clients by increasing your visibility and credibility with your target referral sources and the public.
The following are ten suggestions for staying top of mind with referral sources and prospective clients:
1. Learn and use LinkedIn to build your network and stay visible. Go to learn.linkedIn for in-depth tutorials on how to use LinkedIn
2. Read and comment on relevant blogs in your industry.
3. Commit to meeting with someone in your professional network at least once a week.
4. Start a firm newsletter and write about topics that are relevant to your target audience.
5. Write consistent press releases.
6. Speak on topics you are passionate about at conferences and events.
7. Start a blog and write about topics that reinforce your brand and are relevant to your ideal client.
8. Write one new article every month and update your web site. Recycle the article for a local magazine advertorial.
9. Join a committee, group or association and make a contribution.
10. Tweet about interesting, relevant and useful information for your target audience.
The above list is not inclusive and should be customized to your unique skills, interests and goals. The critical success factor is to select at least one strategy and implement it consistently.
Let me know what strategies you have found useful to stay top of mind with prospective clients and referral sources.