In Your New Year Marketing Plan in Place?
The New Year is coming fast. Are you ready?
It’s nearly a new year, and that means it’s time for a New Year Marketing Plan. No matter how you’ve done in 2019, I’m sure you want 2020 to be better. So what are you going to do in the new year that you haven’t been doing this year.
First Let’s Review
First things first, review what you have been doing. Take a look at what has and hasn’t been working for you. Where have your cases been coming from? If you’re not sure where your cases are originating, then that’s one thing you need to focus on in the new year. We’ll talk about ways to do this shortly.
If you have been tracking your cases, then you need to focus on two different things. Where have the most cases come from and where did the cases you enjoyed working on the most come from. Just because someone sends you a lot of work, doesn’t mean it’s work you want.
The Best Cases for You
Are you taking the cases you want to be taking? If you’re looking at the cases you’re being sent, regardless of how, you want to make sure they’re cases you want to be taking. For next year, try focusing more on the cases you actually want to be working on. You may need to continue taking other cases for financial reasons, but ensuring you enjoy your work is equally important. Burnout is a real thing.
In your review note how much of your time was spent on cases you liked, and try increasing it by 10% or more in the new year. If you’re aleady doing what you enjoy, then ask yourself how you might get more of those cases. Focusing on those channels that brought you in the most cases is the best way to do that.
Take the data you have on the cases you like. What brought them to your door? If it was through a marketing channel, digital or otherwise, then consider increasing your budgets in those areas. If it came to you through another channel, like a referral partner or the like, then is there a way you can increase the effectiveness of that channel?
If the channel is a single person, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get more cases from them. Instead of pressuring them to send more cases they probably don’t have, is there a way to find other, similar people that can send you the same types of cases?
Start Tracking Better
Of course if you aren’t tracking your cases now is the time to start. Begin simply, where did the case come from? Asking your clients how they found you is simple and should become part of your initial intake process. Creating a shareable spreadsheet of how many cases came from each source is also easy enough to create and update.
If you’re already tracking where your cases are coming from then it’s time to start tracking them more effectively. For digital referrals (Facebook, Google Ads, etc.) this is easy. All you have to do is start using Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs) on your links. Simply put a UTM is the gobbledegook you see at the end of a link when you click on it.
Adding UTMs to your content is easy, but can be time-consuming. Using a tool like this one is how I add UTMs to my links. Then you post your links where you would normally put them with all the tracking data. You can then add the various campaigns into your Google Analytics (or other analysis tool) to track where your cases are coming from.
This is a more detailed process, and I’ll try to put up a post in the future on how to do it more efficiently. Suffice to say, if all you add are the required items (source, medium, name) you’ll already be collecting great data that you aren’t right now. Utilize that information in your analysis and put your money and effort into the areas that are really sending you the cases you want.
Traditional media is both harder and easier to track. Personal referrals are easy. If your case came from Dave, or Janet, or Cliff, then you write that down and send them a thank you. If you’re getting cases from billboards, flyers, or other sources, it’s not as easy to track.
Of course you can use custom phone numbers for each item, but that will get expensive. You can also use custom URLs (yoursite.com/123) for different media, but some people won’t use them. You can also use verbal references (mention “Orlando” when you call) so clients can give you some clue as to how they found you.
It’s all about the attempt. If you can combine the use of some customization along with asking during your intake process, then you’re going to be getting better data than you were in the past. Again, use that data as best you can to focus on the efforts that are working and eliminate the areas that aren’t.
Try Something new
No matter how you’re doing and what is and isn’t working, it’s always a good idea to try something new. So take a look at the channels you haven’t been using or haven’t been utilizing well, and consider ramping up their use in the new year.
Where are your clients likely hanging out? Is it YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest? Are they likely to be at the bookstore, the hospital, church? How can you reach them in these spaces and what is the best way to do so?
Regardless of what you try, don’t go in and try to force yourself into the situation. Work in the community and become part of the conversation. Offer advice, good content, and follow the norms and rules of the community. Being an iconoclast is fine in some places, but will get you kicked out of church (literally.)
Get To Work
Marketing isn’t a science, regardless of what some agencies will tell you. Yes, you can track a lot more than you used to, and doing so will give you a better insight into where your clients are coming from. But there will always be those people who find you and you’ll never know how. That’s ok.
What you need to ensure you’re doing is tracking what you can, and putting your efforts into the places you know are getting results. You also need to try new things and make sure you’re not staying stagnant in your efforts.
What works today may not work in a year. By trying something new, you might find clients you didn’t know you were missing. You’ll also learn something and probably have some fun along the way. Focusing on coming up with a new year marketing plan is one way to prepare for the changes that will come.
And if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, or in putting those ideas into practice, then contact our legal marketing experts. We’ll be happy to offer some advice or a helping hand.