Top 10 Tips EVERY Lawyer Should Know

There will always, one can assume, be the need for some selling.But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer (or client) so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally marketing should result in a customer (or client) who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available….Peter Drucker, Management, Tasks,responsibilities,Practicalities (New York:Harper &Row 1973)pp. 64-65

I Haven’t alway been a Law student you know.

Before embarking on change in career in 2005 I had a very successful career spanning over 10 years as an International Marketing Manager for several Global Firms in various markets.

I have been involved in High Profile projects from the planning and conception stages through to major re-branding and restructuring.I have presented in the UK and in Europe and negotiated with firms in France, Belgium, USA and Canada and throughout the UK.

I have written marketing strategies for the following industries: Paint, Cosmetics,Industrial, Beverage, Packaging,Communications,telecommunications and legal Practice.

As my Law students days draw to an end and I enter the life as a trainee solicitor I take all of these skills with me and I always find it very surprising when I see marketeers on the internet showing the Marketing profession as one of just ‘advertising and promoting’.

I thought I would share with you some of my top-secret Marketing Tips gathered over my years as a Marketing Professional that you can apply to your business.

1. A bigger emphasis should always be placed on quality, value and customer service.
If your service is right then marketing becomes easier.So the first step for any business should be to focus ‘inward’.Look at your product and your service and ask do we do what we claim to do ?Are our clients and customers happy with our service.If they are not then, stop right there.

2. The second top tip is to find out exactly what your customers and client actually think of you.Go on ask your clients and customers.If you are doing a good job then they will be happy to tell not only you but others.When was the last time you asked your clients for feed back?Gather your testimonials and listen to what they say about you.Video testimonials speak volumes

3.Ok so you have a new client but what will make that client a ‘lifetime’ client.What will make them come back time and time again and never look anywhere else.Build relationships.Show your client that they are important and that what they have to say about your service is important.To do this you actually have to listen.

4 Adapt to the changing boundaries that are being broken by the use of internet .Adapt to the different ways in which business is being conducted around the world.A change of mind set is required but not just at the top but through ALL your employees.
Changing the way your firm listens, communicates and responds to the changing market WILL place you ahead.

5.By recognising that we can now communicate with other business in a different way should help you to start to expand your networks.These Networks include, peers,clients,suppliers, authorities.By using Social media such as facebook, linkedin and twitter you can grow YOUR network.
6.Recognising that the very nature of buying and selling has changed means you are already ahead of so many.But recognition is not enough, you have to be ‘in the game, to play the game’ if you want to trade, whether its Law, design,art or what ever your business is the days of the client walking through your door have changed.How long will it take you to transform your strategies?

7.Research YOUR market. Ok so you may have spent a year on twitter and you may have had referrals and gained new clients but do you really know YOUR market.When was the last time you spent some time reviewing what your competitors are doing?Its easy to take your eye of the ball and spend time working ‘IN ‘your business and not spending time ‘working on ‘ your business.GO back to basics.

8.Its not about ‘The brand’ – Thats the last thing you should be thinking about.You should only ask one question of yourself when thinking about your marketing that should always be – Am I a good: Lawyer, dentist,artist,Deisgner,video producer etc.

9.Start a blog.
Talk about your market.Information that can be shared and sources that can be useful to both clients and peers will automatically build your brand as a ‘By product’

10. Its YOUR business.Guard it well, look after it , nurture it and it will grow.Becareful not to ignore it and be dazzled by the bright lights of twitter.
Anyone who is a Marketing professional will tell you it all about : the market, what you bring TO the market, and who comes to the market and how loud they can shout or tweet.

If you really want to do your business good then think about :value marketing,brand building,geodemographics,database marketing,customer lifetime value,mass customization,market re-engineering,relationship marketing,loyalty marketing,competitive bench marking and imitation strategies,customer surveys, testimonials,video,blogs and most importantly do your job and do it well.As I become a solicitor I will be using ALL of these strategies and of course twitter , facebook and linkedin; because I like to talk.

Michelle Hynes-McIlroy LLB (Hons)

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