Updated: Nov 18
At the start of this series I said that one of my frustrations when it comes to marketing is that so many people claim they have the one answer to marketing, for all people, for all types of businesses.
Your data is incredibly important, in fact I did a one hour webinar on collecting data which was aimed at family lawyers but could equally be aimed at mediators. It was all about hacks to do a better job of collecting data about your own firm, and mapping out your own customer's journey with the goal of improving it. If you want to get a copy of that you can visit our past events page and click on the link about reducing stress.
"Marketing is profitably using the results of studying short term and long term needs of those who can pay for a one-time, or in most cases, a steady flow of service or product placement. " Wikipedia.
profitably - I know you have already heard it but, followers and likes do not equal sales or dollars, you need to be figuring out what is converting
using the results of studying short term and long term needs - there is not a one size fits all approach, you need to know what fits your target market, and you need to keep revisiting what is working and what fits
Your data matters
While it isn't as obvious in the definition, you don't do this once. You will do this again in three or six months. People change. Their needs change. Marketing techniques change and the way that people communicate also changes. Sometimes family law changes and that creates a different dynamic for mediations which impacts your ideal client, and therefore your marketing strategy. Sometimes you trial something that in theory is great, but does not work in practice. Sometimes you discover that something you gave very little thought to was wildly successful.
You need to revisit the data, which feeds into the first part of that marketing definition.
You are not creating a marketing plan to be well-liked, to be popular, to have more followers than your competitor, or even to have a wider potential audience. At the end of the day your marketing has to drive dollars to your business.
This is why Step 3 above (revisiting the data) is important. You need to keep looking at what is working and then refining your approach. Even the best, most expensive and most effective marketing plans are refined over time.
Now a big part of that is sales, and while there is some cross over between sales and marketing I want to say to you for now that sales is the pointy end of this process, marketing is finding the right audience and then starting the conversation with that audience so that you then have permission to sell to them.
So for today we are talking about marketing, who will use your service, who can afford your service, who is your target audience, and how will you reach them.
How do I collect the data?
Honestly, I don't care, as long as you collect it. Use a word document, use an excel spreadsheet, use one of the many free CRM systems available, but just start collecting.
What should I collect? You should particularly focus on statistics around your chosen marketing channel (and which statistics will vary based upon the channel) and also focus on collecting data about new clients. Where did they come from (how did they first find out about you), and then after the matter has been finalised have some sort of system for recording those clients who are your 'ideal clients' vs those who aren't, or even those who were difficult (non payers, aggressive, too argumentative). There is no point persisting with a channel that is working, but is sending you people who you are not enjoying working with. They won't refer you any further work, and you won't grow your business the way that you want to (by reducing stress and also increasing efficiency).
If you want to get my worksheet that steps you through the above steps, and then helps you to come up with a strategy based upon the data that you collect then please complete your details below. My worksheet includes how to market if your clients are coming to you through Facebook, Instagram, Google, an existing email list or business referrers (so B2B). It also includes steps you through questions to help you to properly identify with specificity your target market, and then their needs and wants, and then some prompts to help you to keep your marketing on message and directed to those needs and wants.