10 ideas for growing your marketing program and your firm – 1 step at a time.
With apologies for butchering the quote, Steve Martin used to joke, “You can be a millionaire… First you get a million dollars…” That’s like many marketing recommendations today. All you need to do is blog, make rain, optimize something, create a series, or do something else that seems easy, but takes much more effort to implement or maintain once you get started.
I don’t agree that there is ever just one solution, but how do you get just one thing started? Running your firm takes enough time, let alone trying to run a marketing program. So let’s try to keep things very simple here. Do something. If you want to try something new, start with a simple goal: 1. That’s all. No need to reach for more until you can do it the first time
Here are 10 things that you can accomplish when you have a goal of 1:
- Set up 1 local listing. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing all have local listing sites where you can advertise your firm for free. You get great exposure, and it takes 10 minutes to register.
- Update 1 listing. Add information to your local listing, directory listing (like Avvo), or LinkedIn. Could be something about your specialties, names of associates, a recent speaking engagement, or a case history. Just fill in the blanks.
- Request 1 review. Ask a client to post a review on one of those local or directory sites, or (when allowed) get authorization do it for the client. You better believe that someone doing internet research will read those reviews.
- Write 1 testimonial. Pay it forward and submit a peer review. Sites like LinkedIn even give you a byline – free exposure.
- Write 1 paragraph. Don’t start with a blank page. Let the relevant topic or timely example to find you. The ideas are out there as you read, work with clients, and interact with peers. When the idea hits you, stop and jot a few notes.
- Send 1 note to your clients or prospects. How about sending what you wrote in #5 (you’re now a blogger!), an announcement about a new associate, details of a recent win, or confirmation that referrals are the life blood of your business?
- Meet 1 potential referral contact. Think about your clients’ needs outside of your specialty. Do you know another professional who can provide assistance to a specific client? Chances are that professional has clients who need your services. That’s how the best referral relationships start.
- Hold 1 team meeting. Share examples of successful (and unsuccessful) techniques for converting prospects into clients. This may not be marketing, but improving your close ratio has the most direct impact on your bottom line.
- Update 1 website page. Add in a statement that truly differentiates you from your competitors, or some relevant examples that confirm your credibility. If you don’t have a website, conduct a search on options for creating one.
- Drop 1 advertising vendor. This is the fastest way to improve your bottom line. Cut the yellow pages budget or drop some other vendor that can’t provide specific results. Pocket the extra thousands, or hire a marketing expert.
Here is what I like best about the power of 1. If you can do something once, you can probably do it a second time, and so on. Before you know it you have a marketing campaign. As you try more things once, your efforts evolve into a sustainable marketing program that will grow your firm.
As Steve Martin used to say, “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.”
If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.