Marketing is a fickle creature. Some tactics work well and others fail miserably. To add to the confusion, there's no lack of advice floating around the Internet from "experts". Since advice on how to create great marketing campaigns is plenteous, it's wise to take a moment to identify the pitfalls of marketing.
Lack of Commitment
One of the greatest sources of grief for marketers is a lack of commitment. When it comes to investing in marketing, especially in the elder law business, it causes several problems. It's easy for doubt concerning a low-performing campaign to creep in premature. When doubt leads some to abandon campaigns before they've had time to mature, they waste money and time instead of saving it.
Instead of letting doubt derail your marketing campaigns, research and network with other attorneys who have successfully utilized a certain marketing method. It will help you eliminate doubt and lead to long-lasting commitment.
Failing to Offer Services that Resonate
Another pitfall is marketing the services that don't resonate well with the general public. Plainly put, some services are less marketable than others. When it comes to marketing elder law services, you want an easy entry into a client relationship. When it comes to establishing a relationship with a new client, I've always liked solving existing problems rather than preventing potential ones.
Dentists know that it's much more difficult to get someone to make an appointment to prevent a tooth ache than to treat a tooth ache. A painful tooth will always get immediate attention. The same principle holds true in elder law.
People tend to postpone estate planning and even advanced directives when there's no sense of urgency. They feel that they can always "get around to it".
However, marketing to crisis planning addresses a problem that requires attention now. From there, you can expand the relationship to estate work based on the work you've already done. What's more, you'll create opportunities to reach the rest of your client's family by baking it into your client process. Don't leave family outreach to, "Oh, by the way, if you could mention my name to your family..."
Getting Tricked into High Maintenance Marketing
High maintenance programs most often fail for lack of attention. Starting a social media campaign or even an email campaign may fail just because of a lack of consistent attention. Someone in your firm must be committed to social media to make it work.
With a professional practice that has complex components, someone who has in-depth knowledge must handle social media for the firm. Just throwing an employee into the fray with little or no experience in social media marketing usually fails. It's not that social media marketing doesn't work, it's usually neglected after an initial jumpstart.
Turning Qualified Seminar Attendees into Clients
Creating seminar content, delivering that narrative, and booking appointments is a consistent problem area for elder law attorneys. Since elder law and estate planning can be quite technical, presenters may over explain the technical aspects. Instead of spending time during your seminar clarifying your audience's problem, identify the cure. Assure the attendees that the cure is affordable and attainable.
Don't tell them how you build the engine. That leads to confusion and, ultimately, procrastination. Instead, tell stories about where your engine will take them.
Failing to Tailor Your Marketing to Your Locale
It's vital that you learn what works where you are. There are some states and population centers that are more resistant to certain marketing tactics than other areas. Methods that work in rural Tennessee may not be appropriate in Southern California. Soliciting good feedback and researching the nuances of the selected geographic area will save resources and money. Make modifications to subject matter and supporting content. That alone can make a difference once there is a clear understanding of the recipients’ attitudes.
Not Committing to a Marketing Budget
A lack of a budget for marketing seems elemental, however not enough commitment to a budget creates inconsistent results. My daughter, Amy, owns an advertising agency. She created a campaign for a dental implant specialist. He budgeted $1500 per month, and she convinced him to commit to at least six months without expecting results. In the fourth month business started to trickle in and by the six-month there was a consistent flow of new patients.
This concept of a clear and consistent budget is essential to marketing success. It works the same way in the industries we serve. When you know that others have been successful with a particular type of marketing campaign, be ready to commit a consistent flow of revenue to that campaign. Campaigns take time to develop their full potential. I have seen many campaigns cut short because of moderate to poor instant returns.
Marketing must be evaluated on all of its impact. The first question I ask a new marketing client is “What is a client worth to you in a lifetime?” The initial amount of revenue from a new client is not the client’s average lifetime revenue. The average client may be worth twice as much eventually as they are initially.
The marketing campaign brought that client to your practice. The marketing campaign should get credit for all revenue generated by that client. In addition to that, how much revenue will be derived from referrals from that client? That’s another overlooked advantage to powerful campaigns.
Kim has personally presented over 800 seminars and produced over 8,000 for other producers.