SOURCE: THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW

July 2 marks the halfway point of the year, and for many law firms, that means it is time to reflect on their busi­ness growth strate­gies and plan ahead for end of the year client gifts. Suc­cess­ful attor­neys know that mar­ket­ing is a huge part of the effec­tive­ness of these ini­tia­tives. It takes a care­ful eval­u­a­tion of your mar­ket­ing tools, cam­paigns, and over­all law firm goals in order to make the sec­ond half of the year stretch the bound­aries of what your firm is capa­ble of.

Although mar­ket­ing looks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent for busi­ness to con­sumer prac­tices and busi­ness to busi­ness prac­tices, here are some tips that will work for every­one.

You can rely on these seven areas:

  1. Growth Metrics and Reconfiguring

The very first item on your list is to sit down and dig deep into the num­bers. Take a look at your ana­lyt­ics from all your mar­ket­ing sources (both paid and unpaid). Review your web traf­fic and get a good han­dle on where you are get­ting the bulk of your online vis­i­tors from. Review your paid retar­get­ing cam­paigns and see which web pages are scor­ing high­est for return­ing vis­i­tors. Eval­u­ate the leads you received from offline sources like con­fer­ences, net­work­ing events, and print adver­tis­ing.

For each of your offline and online sources, cre­ate an esti­mate of how much the cur­rent and future busi­ness is worth. This exer­cise will ensure that you are being con­scious of how your mar­ket­ing dol­lars are being spent and will give you a data-dri­ven course of action when it comes to what should be invest­ed in more and what can be cut.

  1. Content Marketing Evaluation

Halfway through the year is a good time to stop and reflect on your con­tent mar­ket­ing plan’s per­for­mance. This includes dig­i­tal, print, image, and video con­tent that you are devel­op­ing in-house. Review the top pieces of con­tent that you gen­er­at­ed with all stake­hold­ers dis­cussing the fol­low­ing:

  • Why did this piece of con­tent work for our law firm?
  • What kinds of inter­ac­tion did it receive and from whom? (Shares, likes, com­ments, clicks to web­site)
  • What tar­get­ed indus­tries or demo­graph­ic groups do we want to reach that we are not cur­rent­ly reach­ing?
  • Is our cur­rent con­tent pro­duc­er (writer, video pro­duc­er, edi­tor, etc.) the appro­pri­ate fit for the con­tent our law firm is pro­duc­ing?
  • What is miss­ing from our law firm’s con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paigns?
  • What are the steps for fill­ing these gaps?
  • What could we cut?

Answer­ing these ques­tions is a good start to ensur­ing that your con­tent mar­ket­ing dol­lars are get­ting the best return on invest­ment. In addi­tion, this is a good time to take a look at the upcom­ing months and plan out the types of con­tent that your law firm will be pro­duc­ing before the end of the year.

  1. Client Appreciation Strategy

The end of the year is just six months away, which means that you need to begin think­ing about how you will hon­or the peo­ple who have helped you be suc­cess­ful this year. This might be some­thing as sim­ple as send­ing out hol­i­day greet­ing cards, or some­thing as elab­o­rate as an hon­orary black-tie din­ner. What­ev­er you choose to do, make sure that you include it in your half-year review so that you can appro­pri­ate­ly bud­get the time and tal­ent to make it hap­pen for your clients and refer­ral sources around the hol­i­days.

Client Appreciation Strategy

  1. Online Reputation Management

When things are busy, it is easy to let things like online biogra­phies and pho­tographs remain untouched and slide into antiq­ui­ty. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, most peo­ple look­ing for your ser­vices will look online first before they make a call. Out­dat­ed biogra­phies may under-rep­re­sent your skills or hold inac­cu­rate con­tact infor­ma­tion, mak­ing it hard for refer­rals to ever find you.

Old pho­tographs can be even more detri­men­tal. A great head­shot is often the lynch­pin decid­ing whether or not a poten­tial client feels that you are trust­wor­thy, ded­i­cat­ed, and approach­able. Peo­ple seek­ing legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion often are look­ing for the per­son they see online to match what the per­son looks like in real life.

At the year’s halfway point, it is time to take an hour or so and ensure that you are accu­rate­ly rep­re­sent­ed to the hun­dreds of peo­ple who will come into con­tact with your online pro­files.

  1. Award Calendar Updates

Awards and hon­ors are con­tin­u­ing reminders of your law firm’s sta­tus as among the best in your field. As such, the mid-year mark is a good time to both reflect on the awards your team earned so far and make a strat­e­gy for how to con­tin­ue the pat­tern of suc­cess.

To ensure the best chance of earn­ing fur­ther acco­lades, I sug­gest cre­at­ing or updat­ing an edi­to­r­i­al cal­en­dar spread­sheet designed to track: a) poten­tial awards; b) due dates for those awards; c) sub­mis­sions cre­at­ed; d) sub­mis­sions approved; and, e) sub­mis­sions sent.

Of course, you do not have to write every award sub­mis­sion or nom­i­na­tion your­self. But cre­at­ing a plan to cap­ture the “low-hang­ing fruit” of awards you eas­i­ly fit the qual­i­fi­ca­tions for is an impor­tant step to take at least twice per year.

  1. Social Media Review

Sim­i­lar­ly, it is wise to con­sid­er the social media chan­nels that you will be plan­ning on using for the next half of the year and devel­op a plan for those posts in advance. This plan should begin with the large-pic­ture met­rics and recon­fig­ur­ing that I spoke of ear­li­er. Then, once you can see which posts have been effec­tive, it is time to devise addi­tion­al con­tent that builds on your knowl­edge of what is work­ing.

Some key things to con­sid­er when you are review­ing and plan­ning for the upcom­ing months’ social media cam­paigns:

  • Stock pho­tog­ra­phy. Will you need to have images pur­chased, or can you take pic­tures in-house to assist with the need for pic­tures?
  • Spe­cial dates or cel­e­bra­tions. Can you cre­ate a spe­cial­ized graph­ic for Nation­al Child Safe­ty Aware­ness Month? What is your plan for hon­or­ing the Fourth of July? How about Thanks­giv­ing? Take a minute to put these things on your con­tent cal­en­dar so you have more than enough time to plan how you will address these spe­cial occa­sions.
  • Writing/production sched­ules. Are there any large-scale videos or spe­cial­ized pieces of con­tent that will need to be pro­duced (such as a white-paper or e‑book)? Give your­self at least a few months notice so that you can get all the involved par­ties mov­ing togeth­er towards the same goals, vision, and dead­line.
  1. Website Updates and Audit

At least twice a year, it is a good idea to do a full audit of the func­tion­al­i­ty and safe­ty of your web­site. Ensure that your links are in work­ing order, your con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem (CMS) is up-to-date with the lat­est secu­ri­ty pro­to­cols, and all of your online con­tent (includ­ing attor­ney biogra­phies) is up-to-date and in work­ing order.

In order to make the sec­ond half of the year as good, or bet­ter, than the first, it is vital to take stock at this half-way mark. Through care­ful reflec­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion with your col­leagues and mar­ket­ing stake­hold­ers, and fore­sight into what the future holds, this can be a great time to refresh and reju­ve­nate your mar­ket­ing plan.