In order to secure new customers and establish a strong reputation, your firm is going to need to participate in self-promotion. In other words, you are going to need a strong marketing strategy.
A strong marketing plan takes time, effort, and expertise. Many law firms choose to work with marketing consultants in order to ensure that they are doing everything that they can to build a strong presence in the marketplace. Marketing consultants can do a lot. They can help you to establish your company vision, they can help to build websites, they can craft marketing copy, and they can create advertising strategies. Regardless of what your priorities are, there is someone out there who can do as much or as little as your firm requires. Marketing consultants are a highly valuable resource that can transform a legal firm and help to drive new business.
If you plan on hiring a marketing consultant, there are three key things that you should know in order to help ensure that the engagement is a success. Our three top tips for working with a marketing consultant are outlined below:
- Know what you want out of the engagement
Like we stated above, a marketing consultant can do anything and everything. They can review an existing plan, or they can build a marketing strategy for you from scratch (and everything in between). Considering this, it is important for the client to have a strong understanding of what they want from the marketing consultant. The client is not expected to have all of the answers, but as a client, you should be able to outline what your goal for the marketing engagement is, what you hope to get out of it, and (if possible) what you would like the deliverables to be.
For clarity, let’s consider an example. Let’s say that you are not feeling confident about your website. You do not think that your messaging is strong enough to convert the amount of leads that you want to be converting, so you make the decision to hire a marketing consultant. If you simply tell the consultant “I want to improve my website,” he or she can make dozens of assumptions about what you are after and wind up going down the wrong path. For example, the consultant may assume that you mean that you want your site to rank higher on google search pages for relevant terms. They could wind up putting together a search engine optimization plan when in reality, you wanted help with messaging. A clearer way of outlining what you want would be to say something like “I am not happy with my website homepage. I think we could be converting more leads and I think there is a stronger way to communicate our message…I just don’t know how to best move forward.” With that direction, a consultant is going to do competitive research, focus-group test some messaging options, and come up with a recommended website upgrade plan for you.
It is all about being clear about what you want and expect.
2. Understand that you will have to do some education
No one knows your brand or company as well as you do, and that goes double for a consultant who does not even work with your company full time. When you start an engagement with a marketing consultant, you should expect to spend some time with them educating them about your company, your brand, your key value, and your marketplace. They will need a good understanding of both you and your business in order to be successful.
A good consultant is going to ask a lot of questions and check in with you throughout the project to make sure that they are staying in line with your business and what you want. Do not let these questions and check-ins become annoyances. Instead, frame them as opportunities for re-alignment that will ensure you get the most out of your engagement with a marketing consultant.
3. Keep an open mind
Sometimes, an outside perspective will see things that you will not. When you are working with a marketing consultant, remember to keep an open mind. If their ideas sound strange or radical, inquire about them. They may be seeing something that you are not. For example, we recently posted this blog on Newsjacking, which we are confident that not a lot of people in our target audience have heard of. Just remember, keep an open mind and you may just discover a strategy that completely transforms your business.