SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE:
- Learn to plan and create benchmarks
- Tips on how to motivate your assistant to do marketing for you
- Create a process to collect information/articles/resources and build your referral network
Thank you for joining me today. I’m Dan Couvrette the CEO of Divorce Marketing Group. Every month we offer free teleseminars to give professionals ideas about they can better market their practice.
By the way, if you’d like a transcript of this teleseminar or others I will be mentioning please send an email to me and I’ll gladly send them to you – my email address is DanC@DivorceMarketingGroup.com. My phone is (866) 803-6667 (24)
The subject for today’s teleseminar is “How to turn your assistant into your marketing department”.
For the past 15 years we’ve been working with family lawyers, mediators, financial planners, accountants, and other professionals who want to attract divorcing people.
One the things we’ve found to be quite consistent with these professionals is that they don’t have time to market themselves. Our general experience has been that the professionals first, second and third priority is their clients and marketing is the fourth or fifth priority which rarely get’s the attention it deserves but the fact that you are on this call says that thinking in the right direction.
From our experience clients who have their assistants helping them with their marketing efforts see a bigger and faster return on their marketing investment.
For example we have a client who we do monthly consultations with who has her assistant on the call with us each month. We showed them that they needed to do regarding social media marketing and as result within two weeks of the call they had a blog and were blogging, they updated their facebook page, they started doing Twitter postings. That would not have happened without the assistant getting things done.
We have another client who had their assistant on a call with us when we were telling them what to do with the monthly enewsletter we provide them with and within a couple of days they had a system in place to capture email addresses of their client and professional referrals and they were ready to send out the enewsletter.
I don’t want to underestimate the value of the services we provide to our clients at Divorce Marketing Group but the fact is for any of our clients to get maximum value from their marketing programs they need to put some effort into utilizing those programs and that means they need to do a little or a lot of work on their end.
I say a little work or a lot of work because each client is unique in terms of where their practice is at (for example are you just starting out in your practice or have you developed a consistent flow of business or are you changing your practice from a litigation type of practice to a the mediation or collaborative practice what you’ll need to do will be different. Where your practice is at and where you want it to be will to a large extent determine what you will need to do to market your firm effectively.
So back to the title of this talk “How to turn your assistant into your marketing department” – where should we start?
Let me start by saying that for some of you people on this call you are your administration person/department – you do it all. For some of the people on this call you have an assistant or paralegal who can help and for some people on the call you may have a marketing person or marketing department in your firm so everybody is starting from a different place.
So let’s talk about what is consistent no matter where you’re at – whether you are your own marketing department or you have people who can help you out. No matter what your situation the first thing you probably need to do is to:
Create a marketing plan
For our clients at Divorce Marketing Group to a certain extent we help create the Marketing Plan for them by helping them focus on using and benefiting from our products and services but in most cases we still need the clients involvement to make sure the client gets maximum value from these products and services, let me give you an example.
We provide many of our clients with a monthly electronic newsletter and there are a number of ways our clients can use the e-newsletter to help them stay “top of mind with their clients” and help them stay “top of mind with their referral sources” and “enhance their website”. So using this example there are a few things our client needs (or their administration person needs to do):
1.If Divorce Marketing Group is looking after the clients website in most cases they won’t need to worry about the electronic newsletter being updated on their website because we’ll do that for them but if somebody else is looking after their website they’ll need to make certain the electronic newsletter is being added on a monthly basis – that’s a job for your assistant or if you’re the assistant you need to set it up so the person who works on your website is responsible for both doing the work and letting you know it’s been done (because you’re too busy doing other things to check)
2. We recommend that clients email the electronic newsletter to their clients and professional referral sources because doing so will help keep them “top of mind” with their referral sources. Now some of you on this call may not be using our monthly electronic newsletter but you do want to create something to send to your clients and professional contacts so a system needs to be put in place to capture all of your clients email addresses and all of the email addresses of the professional contacts that would be a job for assistant.
3. If you or your assistant is going to be looking after emailing something like our electronic newsletter to your clients and your referral sources they will need to set up an email system that gives you a professional looking product, is easy to use, we recommend is Constant Contact because we believe it’s the best email service – go to ConstantContact.com because it’s inexpensive ($15-$20 for most of our clients) plus it’s simple to use.
So with this example of getting a electronic newsletter out you can see that there are a number of things that need to be put in place to make sure the newsletter is fully utilized by:
1. Getting the client and professional contacts together
2. Making sure the e-newsletter looks professional
3. Making sure the newsletter is set up to be easily sent out each month
What I didn’t cover was the creation of the website which would be another step if you aren’t using our electronic newsletter and quite frankly (without sounding like I’m making a pitch for using our electronic newsletter) most professionals we work with would never, ever, get a newsletter together on a regular basis if they didn’t have our newsletter because it just doesn’t rank high enough on their list of priorities even though they appreciate that it has value
But let’s go back a couple of steps and start from the beginning because before you embark on a marketing program or before you enroll your administration people to become more active in the marketing of you firm you need to need to create a marketing plan.
By the way if you weren’t on for the beginning of this call I mentioned that you can email me and I’ll gladly send a transcript of today’s teleseminar and others I mention to you – my email address is DanC@DivorceMarketingGroup.com. My phone is (866) 803-6667 (24)
Enroll your staff and make them part of the marketing plan
Last week I was giving a talk to 20 New Jersey attorneys, primarily family lawyers and some of them may be on today’s call. I started the talk by asking the lawyers if any of them had ever accidentally ended up in Hawaii when they were on their way to work. Without exception none of them had been driving to work or taking their kids to piano lessons or where on their way to the gym and found themselves accidentally in Hawaii.
They all agreed that if they had been to Hawaii or any other destination outside of New Jersey for that matter they had done some planning to get to that destination.
First they had to decide where they wanted to go, they then needed to decide when and how they were going to get there, they then had to find out a little bit about the destination, they had to decide on a budget, they had to book a flight, they had to get a hotel, they had to find out what attractions they were going to see, what the kids might do, what restaurants they might want to eat at, what shots they might need, etc. In other words they had to do some planning.
The fact is that you really can’t get your administration people involved in the marketing of your firm until you have a plan and they will respond much better to a plan than to a variety of unrelated requests to do additional work.
It is wise to enroll your staff and make them part of the marketing plan rather than to just drop it on them. You can map out the rough structure for your marketing plan but it would be best to include your admin people at the planning stage so they have some input and therefore ownership of the plan.
Your administration people might tell you that they know nothing about marketing and would be of little help to you. If they have that concern you will need to help them prioritize their current activities to allow them the time to do new tasks that might include; gathering email addresses for clients, creating a data base of professional contacts, to learn more about marketing.
I know this is going to sound obvious but the first part of your plan might be to create a plan for creating a plan. In other words you need to figure out what your marketing plan should include. For some of you the first step will be to somehow set aside some time each week to investigate creating a marketing plan so you can then get others in your firm involved in creating and implementing your marketing plan.
For example part of your marketing plan might be to investigate social media and see how the use of social media could benefit your firm but instead of you looking into social media yourself you could pass that job along to your administration person and have them report back to you. By the way dozens of books have been written on the subject of social media. You can also type “divorce marketing Group articles” into Google and you’ll find an archive of articles and transcripts of teleseminars we’ve done on the subject of social media and other marketing related subjects you’ll want to learn about.
So perhaps the first task you could give to your administration person would be to read through the articles and teleseminar transcripts on DivorceMarketingGroup.com.
One thing we promise with our monthly teleseminars is that we don’t pitch our products and services but the fact is that we’ve designed our products and services to make it easier for our clients to market themselves and in most cases if the client didn’t have our monthly electronic newsletter to send to their clients and referral sources there would be NO electronic newsletter because they’d never get around to producing a newsletter.
The same is true for our Divorce Guides which are 28 page custom published magazines that feature our clients contact info and profiles plus 24 pages of divorce-related articles – which the clients can give to their clients and send to their referral sources.
If you don’t wish to use our products you can create your own newsletter and you might start with a quarterly newsletter which your administration person can help pull together by canvassing your professional contacts to see if they will contribute to your newsletter because creating three or four articles on your own might be too much for you to do. If you can write one article and combine it with articles from therapists, financial planners, mediators, lawyers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, etc. you’ll have a more useful newsletter and you’ll be nurturing the developing the relationships you have with your referral sources.
Steps you’ll need to take to create a marketing plan
So what are the basic steps you’ll need to take to create a marketing plan that you can get your assistant to help you with? We could devote the whole 30 minutes and more on creating the marketing plan but let me touch on just the highlights for a moment:
Your marketing strategy starts with defining your target prospects, the benefits of choosing your firm, and what makes your practice unique.
Include your assistant in this process.
Start by asking and answering a series of questions like:
1. Who are your target clients? Are they average families, high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs?
2. What are the benefits of choosing your firm?
3. What distinguishes your practice from others? Is it your outstanding service? The rates you charge? Your responsiveness? Your approach (such as litigation vs. ADR)? Your experience? Your area of expertise? Something else?
Once you have answered these questions you will be able to write your positioning statement — it should be something like this: “We are a leading family law firm in ABC County that is experienced in peaceful divorce. We help high net worth individuals settle their complex divorces, while keeping litigation as a final option.”
Again, if your admin person is part of this creation and clarification of your positioning statement they will be more supportive and involved in the marketing program.
Your marketing plan should include:
1. A time line for the execution of your marketing plan
2. A list of goals and objectives for your marketing plan
3. A list of strategies for your plan
4. A list of things that need to be investigated
5. Lists of specific media, collateral materials and service providers you will use for your; website, videos, advertisements for online and offline media, newsletter/electronic newsletter, firm brochures, etc.
6. A dollar amount for your budget and for each item on your list
7. Who in your firm will be responsible for executing these items
8. Dates for when you will analyze and review the results
Need help knowing what to include in your marketing plan. Send me your email and ask for our Essential Marketing Guide for Family Lawyers.
1. Read through the Essential Marketing Guide for Family lawyers. This guide is useful whether you practice family law or not as the principles outlined are pretty universal for anybody practicing law.
2. On DivorceMarketingGroup.com you will find a number of articles in our resource section. Please go to our website and read the articles that are most of interest to you.
3. Make it habit to call in to our FREE monthly, 30 minute, Marketing Teleseminar that we hold every month of the year.
By the way, you can read transcripts of past Marketing Teleseminars if you do a search on Google for “DivorceMarketingGroup.com articles” – you’ll get connected to one of the
4. Set aside time to learn about marketing, set a plan, and implement that plan – this is not going to happen by accident. You will probably need to spend 1-2 hours a week to create and implement a plan – probably a little bit more time up front if you have no plan at the moment.
Your assistant may have more ability in some areas than others, for example: If they’re good at setting up plans – have them be involved in that.
If they rather just be told what to do then don’t have them in on the planning but tell them what the overall plan is and what their role is so they have some ownership.
If they are good at organizing have them tell you what system would be best for maintaining and updating info on your clients and professional contacts. Find out how they can set up reminders to collecting data, etc.
If they use Facebook or LinkedIn ask them to tell you what they know about them and see how they can help you promote the firm. If they have an interest in LinkedIn and Facebook there have been a lot of books written on these two subjects so one of their jobs could be to read these books and make recommendations to you.
If they’re comfortable talking to people on the phone have them contact your referral sources to see if they have information, resources and articles they can send to your office that will be made available to your clients (make sure they ask them for electronic versions of the information and get the approval to feature the articles on your website and possibly include the articles in your newsletter or e-newsletter. Again, the goal is always to maximize the effectiveness of every action.
If you like writing your assistant can help maximize the effectiveness of your writing in a number of ways:
If you’re assistant creates a database of your profession contacts and referral sources here’s some possible ways they can effectively use that database:
1. Is to keep track of your contacts
2. To keep track of interests your contacts have
3. Keep track of interactions you have with your contacts
4. As a reminder to send a referral a thank you card (print) when you receive a referral from your contacts.
5. As a reminder to send a thank you card (print or email) when the prospective client retains your services or doesn’t retain your services.
6. As a reminder to send a thank you card when the referrals divorce is final or your work with them is final and include a little update about how the prospect is doing if possible.
7. Have them set up Google alerts for items relating to these interests and send info to your contacts when something of interest comes up
8. Get connected with your professional contacts through LinkedIn.
9. Get connected with contacts through Facebook
Have your assistant ask your referral sources if they have any articles or materials that would be of interest to your clients. Display that material in your office (get the assistant to set this up with a display rack), and/or on your website, in an information package you give out. Again your assistant should set this all up.
Writing articles and FAQs/Answers
Clients of Divorce Marketing Group have an open invitation to provide us with articles and FAQs/Answers.
Writing articles gives you: more exposure, lets people know you’re a thought leader, impresses potential clients, gives your website more valuable content, etc.
Here’s an example of what you can do with one FAQ/Answer or article to help promote your firm. Keep in mind that you may or may not need to write the article – perhaps a paralegal for example could write some faq/answers for you or research an article and either write the article themselves (and get your approval on the article) or provide you with the raw information that will help you write the article and/or FAQ answers. So once you have the article or FAQ/Answer you can do the following:
1. Feature it on your website (gives you more exposure, helps with SEO)
2. If you’re a client of Divorce Marketing Group we’ll gladly feature it on DivorceMagazine.com
3. If you’re a client of Divorce Marketing Group we’ll possibly feature it in Divorce Magazine
4. Send it to your referral sources (select) in print format or send an email with a link to the article on your website.
5. If it is newsworthy, highlight it in a press release and send out that press release to all of your contacts plus the media (we can help you do that or have your assistant help you do that). Check out Press2Wire.com – it’s an online press release service.
6. Submit it websites that feature articles (this should be part of your SEO (search engine optimization) program.
7. Include it in your monthly e-newsletter
8. Print out copies of the FAQs and give them to prospective clients
9. Print copies of FAQs/Answers and articles and send them to your referral sources.
10. Make copies of the FAQs/Answers and articles available to your colleagues within and outside of your firm.
11. If you give a talk hand out the FAQs/Answers to those who attend.
12. Send copies of the FAQ/Articles to local media including your Bar Association.
13. Offer to speak at other professionals association meetings (therapists, financial professionals, legal professionals and send your articles and FAQ/Answers to these groups and offer the information and offer yourself as a speaker.
Suggestion for creating FAQs answers – SpeakWrite.com
Suggestions to get you and your assistant up to speed on things you do to market your firm:
There are four Teleseminar presentations on DivorceMarketing Group.com that I particularly recommend that you read. I recommend:
1. 15 Strategies to nurture and develop your referral sources
2. Social Media Teleseminar – Part one two and three. Social media is the hottest area for the marketing of professionals but don’t forget that there are other ways of marketing yourself that are very effective.
A couple of other suggestions:
Given that you may need to become a better manager of your own time in order to cut out some time to work on marketing and you may need to help your administration person become more effective I would recommend a few books:
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
The Four Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss – http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ – No, I didn’t say 40 hour work week, I did say 4 hour workweek. Now I know for some of you that a 40 hour workweek would be less than you’re currently putting into your business and that might seem like a stretch so the possibility of a four hour work week seems completely unattainable but I promise the book is still worth a read as it will open your mind up to a whole range of possibilities for how you can streamline your business, more effectively manage it and uncover opportunities you didn’t know existed for your business.