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Create and Monitor Your Marketing RBI


Janet Falk

Falk Communications and Research

Your Marketing RBI is a checklist of FIVE essential marketing activities to grow your practice. Step up to the plate regularly and review your score or Runs Batted In, whether you are a baseball fan or not.

These are the basic activities for connecting with prospective clients, lapsed clients, colleagues and referral sources:

  • 1.

    Networking

  • 2.

    Speaking

  • 3.

    Writing

  • 4.

    Participating in the trade association of your target market

  • 5.

    Extending your digital presence

Let’s take a swing with some examples. We will explore the five tactics individually in future discussions in this series.

Networking involves attending your regularly scheduled networking group(s). Review the list of members and note the date you had an individual conversation with each one. If it was more than six months ago, it’s time to schedule a call to catch up.

Are all these networking group members connected to you on LinkedIn? If not, extend an invitation request.

Maybe a client or someone in your circle would be a good contact for one of these networking colleagues. Before you make any introductions, ask your contacts for three-sentence bios, ensure they don’t already know each other, and confirm they’re open to a possible meeting. When you get the go-ahead, arrange a three-way Zoom call. They will connect and you will become current with each person’s activities.

Speaking may take place in a class, workshop or webinar. You might be the instructor, guest lecturer, speaker, host or organizer. You may be the guest on a podcast or a panel moderator. Gain public speaking practice by first presenting to your networking groups. These are friendly audiences in which you are already well known.

You may offer to speak to a special interest organization at your law school or undergraduate college. Reach out to the young professionals group of your local bar association. Members of these groups are always interested in having experienced attorneys share lessons learned throughout their careers to help rookies on their professional journeys.

If you are an attorney with significant public speaking experience, ask your networking contacts to suggest venues where you might speak to the groups and associations they belong to.

Give clients or colleagues a boost by inviting them to speak with you in this setting. You will enhance their professional stature and strengthen your mutual relationship.

Which of the many platforms for writing will you choose? A client alert, newsletter, blog, article for a legal publication or an article for an industry publication read by clients and referral sources are all potential outlets. Before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, consider the FIVE W’s with respect to your audience:

  • Who do you want to reach

  • What idea will they learn

  • What will they do next: call you, visit your website, request a checklist

  • When: does this have a time-sensitive deadline or is it timeless

  • Where are they looking for information

  • Why will they care about what you have to say

Having assembled these answers, you can now focus on the topic and identify the best vehicle to reach your audience. For example, a discussion on the finer points of a recent commercial real estate transaction is of great interest to your fellow real estate attorneys, so share that in a legal publication; it’s not appropriate for a client alert to the residential real estate brokers among your contacts.

As with speaking, it may be valuable to invite a client or referral source to co-author an article with you. The editor of a non-legal publication might look more favorably on an article co-written by someone in the industry than a lawyer on a solo byline.

Participating in the trade association of your target market is an opportunity that many attorneys overlook. Whether you focus on healthcare or intellectual property, your clients and referral sources are the gateway to members of professional organizations and local business groups who are potential clients.

Ask a contact to invite you to an event at their professional membership, industry or business group, so you can learn more about the association’s activities. After you decide to become a member of the organization, consider joining a committee where your legal experience will add value. In addition, serving on the program or newsletter committee will give you visibility and influence that will extend throughout the organization. Many associations welcome the perspective that a knowledgeable attorney brings to their sector.

Extending your digital presence refers to your website and your LinkedIn profile and activity on that platform, as well as your accounts on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media spheres where your target audience might be seeking and sharing information.

Take a closer look at your digital assets. If you last updated your website more than three years ago, it’s time to revise it.

Have you posted all your publications and client alerts on your website? Did you also include that news story you were quoted in?

Have you polished your LinkedIn profile recently? Are you actively adding to your contacts there? Do you post at least twice weekly? Are you reviewing your connections’ posts and commenting there?

Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, if your referral sources and potential clients are active there.

In addition, remember to promote online what you’ve done or learned from the four activities listed above. For example:

  • You heard about a tax-related topic from a speaker at a networking event

  • You will speak (or spoke) on a podcast

  • You co-authored an article published in an accounting newsletter

  • You shared the latest news from a government official who addressed the robotics trade association

Must you do all five activities? Yes. Make a nominal effort to engage in each one.

The great Babe Ruth said, “Every strike brings me closer to my next home run.”

Consider that when you don’t take a swing at an opportunity, potential clients and current referral sources will find an attorney who IS more visible and will contact that person instead.

Try to do them all—at least once a month. Then, focus on the approaches that are most comfortable for you and that align with the activities of your target markets: prospective clients, referral sources and colleagues.

Set a date each month to monitor your goal of consistently executing your Marketing RBI and track your progress to evaluate your success with each of the five activities.

You might be even more ambitious and set a weekly goal to check where you stand. I conduct my Marketing RBI review on Thursday evenings. That way, I still have Friday to swing for the fences and run around the bases.

In the next article, we will dig more deeply into networking activities and strategies to get you on base.

Janet Falk is the head of Falk Communications and Research in New York City. She provides media relations and marketing communications services to law firms and consultants.

Falk is a speaker at PLI’s upcoming Tips to Improve Your Remote Networking Success program and previously presented How to Ethically Introduce Yourself to Reporters and Speak About Your Practice, Cases and Other Matters, available from PLI Programs On Demand.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and official policies of Practising Law Institute.

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