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Creating Your Law Firm Marketing Calendar

Aug 11, 2008
When building a law practice, it is important to plan ahead and methodically market your practice week after week. You cannot build your practice and win over new clients without taking the time to market your services. There are no shortcuts. Time is a luxury that is often more precious than money, but you must make your law firm marketing plan fruitful or you won't succeed in your practice. Those are just cold, hard facts. Court dates, research on cases, family commitments, social commitments all eat away at every available minute of every day it seems. It's not hard at all to understand that feeling deep in the pit of your stomach of being overwhelmed by it all. There simply isn't enough time to do all of this and market your law firm, too.

The truth is, there is just as much time now as there ever was. The problem is not having too little time, it is in the way you are utilizing the time you do have. Chances are if you find yourself in this conundrum, your time is not being managed properly; denying you all the benefits that would offer. There are simple ways to get these backbone functions of your law firm marking plan on schedule, in sync and keep them that way.

The best way to do this is to develop a 12-month law firm marketing calendar. Each month should be broken down into detailed daily tasks. With a solid and organized plan of action, you will be able to refer to your law firm marketing calendar at the start of each day and know what goals you must accomplish before the close of business on that day.

For each month, the activities should include a variety of marketing strategies such as:

* Direct mail efforts

* Networking events

* Database contacts

* Promotional e-mail campaigns

* Presentations

* Trade shows

* Follow-up sales phone calls

* Warm calls into the database

* Press releases

It is important to stagger the different activities for maximum effect. A major event should immediately be followed by phone calls or e-mails to keep the momentum moving in the right direction. It is important to follow up each event with some type of correspondence. The key is consistency and frequency.

Direct mail outs should also be timed in coordination with the follow-up phone calls and monthly e-zines. The e-mail campaigns, on the other hand, should fall on different days. This way you can eventually track the open and conversion rates and find out which day of the week produces better results for your various promotions. It is very important to remember to keep in touch with your prospects. Initiate some form of contact with them every two to three weeks at the very least. This creates a powerful combination of individual and electronic methods of touching base with each client. It is also a key part of successful law firm marketing.

Microsoft Outlook can be very helpful in setting up this process. Otherwise, any calendar function will suffice. It is highly recommended that you start your law firm marketing plan by laying out the overall strategies you want to use and can afford. Break down each strategy step-by-step. Then determine the dates by which you will have each step completed. Write each of these steps down on your law firm marketing calendar.

It may be helpful to print two or three months at a time and hang it in a prominent place in your office. This can help you stay on track when planning out your week. It will provide you with the specific weekly action steps you have chosen to take in an effort to build your law practice.

Some other action steps you can take include:

* Set a goal for yourself to complete your marketing plan by a particular date

* Write down your business goals. Make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed (SMART goals)

* Find someone to hold you accountable for reaching your business goals: perhaps a mentor, business colleague or business coach, but not your significant other

* Revisit your business goals and marketing plan at least four times a year to verify that you are on track and to help you focus on the next steps

Successful law firm marketing depends on a combination of marketing strategies and a realistic and thorough plan of action. It takes a high level of marketing to make any business a success, and law firms are no different. It is probably advisable and very realistic to plan on spending at least half, if not a majority, of your business time on marketing and promotional efforts.
About the Author
Stephen Fairley is CEO of The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms generate more and better referrals and create a 7 figure law practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Attorneys: claim your FREE legal marketing CD '7 Keys to a 7 Figure Law Practice' at www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com
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