A marketing strategy that everyone in the business can get behind is a powerful tool for increasing your brand awareness and winning new clients. When it comes to law firms it can be hard to get fee earners to participate in marketing efforts. It might be that they don’t see how it has anything to do with them, or perhaps they feel like they’re too busy to do anything that might detract from their primary tasks.
It’s not impossible to get your team on board with your marketing efforts. Here are our tips to get you there.
Set clear goals
It’s hard to feel motivated to work towards a goal you can’t see. Does your team have the necessary context in which to frame their efforts? Show your team your overall goal for the firm and then work with them to build individual targets that are reflective of their existing workload. SMART targets are great for this.
It’s so important to include your team in creating targets. Imposing targets without their input is unlikely to go well. At best, you’ll end up with a stressed-out solicitor and the work still not done. Working with them allows you to break down a big deadline into smaller steps with a realistic timeline for each stage.
Once you have agreed these targets and timelines with your team members, you will need to hold them accountable. If nobody cares when a deadline is missed the work is unlikely to get done. You can support this process by building in specific time (for example on your time-recording software) which is allocated to marketing activities. Also, where appropriate, agree a budget so there’s both autonomy and accountability in the process.
Show them the value they’re creating
When you’ve worked hard on something it’s rewarding to see the impact you’ve made. There are plenty of ways that you can demonstrate the impact of the team’s marketing efforts. Hold a monthly meeting or send a report out to the team that celebrates both the statistics of your successes and key pieces of work produced by the team.
Let’s use a content marketing example. It might be that you’re celebrating a particular piece of thought leadership a member of your team wrote. Show the discussion that arose around it, its engagement numbers/ website hits Show how this reflects not just on the firm, but the author. Solicitors who are seeking to build their reputation could do much worse than to have a portfolio of published thought leadership pieces.
Explain how all this work impacts the firm’s overall goals, like lead generation and recruitment rates.
Building the story of your firm’s successes this way turns your team members into brand advocates. Armed with a better understanding of their collective achievements, they will be more engaged in the firm’s marketing efforts.
Play to your team’s strengths
When involving your team in marketing efforts it’s important that you take their strengths and skill sets into consideration. For example, if you know that a member of staff really does not feel comfortable attending networking events, maybe they can attend more technical seminars or online events as an alternative. Similarly, you can also provide or source some training on areas in which your staff might not be proficient – for example, LinkedIn training or using a CRM system.
Create an atmosphere open for feedback
When it comes to setting goals, the best place to lead is from the front. If you’re not hitting your targets, then there’s less reason for your team to strive for them. You must demonstrate it’s important by committing yourself to it as well. That being said, you have to be accountable as well.
Communication is the key to all relationships. Your team members have to be able to communicate their needs to you effectively in order for work to progress smoothly. An environment where team members are comfortable enough to give feedback is one where targets are unlikely to be missed.
Set clear service standards
A client’s journey with your firm should have several marketing touchpoints. For example, you might want to ask a client to review your firm on a third-party website. In that case, you need to ensure that there’s a clear expectation of what that involves, and who asks.
Goals that require client involvement (like feedback requests) require an obvious process that’s built into your standard of service.
Invest in tools and processes to make it easier
The easier you can make something the more likely it is that it will get done. Not having enough time is a legitimate complaint for a lot of lawyers, but if you can reduce the complexity of the task then it will take less time.
If someone is missing deadlines, then ask them what’s holding them up. Once you know what’s wrong, then see what you can do to solve it.
There are plenty of tools available to help make marketing easier for your firm. You could hire a content writer to draft blogs for you or upskill your staff with training. There are also plenty of tools available to make things easier that you can access for free.
Process is just as important. Make time to build the process for work to get done so that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing at every step of the project. This goes a long way to reducing project anxiety and increasing completion rates, and all you’ve done is explain how something is done.
As an example, you might need thought leadership pieces for the firm’s website. A solicitor has a topic idea and some good analysis but doesn’t have the time or the skill to write it out (which is ok – not everyone is a writer). In this case, we could establish a process for the person with an idea to be interviewed by a person with the time to write, who will draft a piece based on what they’ve talked about.
It seems simple, and that’s because it is. Recognising the good work that people do creates an environment where people are happy to work. If you’ve decided to demonstrate the value your team are creating with memos or meetings, these are a good time to name the people doing excellent work, so everyone knows.
We’re here if you need help
The Consortium team can assist your firm to reach its goals with service at a variety of levels. We offer staff training, marketing strategy and support. Let’s talk about how we can integrate with your team.