it’s just not enough to be the very best at what you do to keep bringing in new business and to stay top of mind with clients, prospects and referrals.
You actually have to market yourself.
The new year is a great time to take stock of your current marketing strategies and tactics, and reignite your efforts to grow your practice, business and personal brand.
Here are seven ways to reignite up your marketing in the new year.
1 – Update your banner images on various social media channels. This is a great time to take stock of the images you use on your social media platforms and make sure they reflect your brand and your business. Make sure your contact information is front and center on the banner images so that it is easy for people to reach out to you.
2- Update the About section on your LinkedIn company page and other social media platforms. Ensure that it reflects your company today, its attributes and values, and includes keywords so you can be found in searches. But don’t brag or include flowery or unnecessary language. And most of all, be relatable and speak in your clients’ language.
3 – Focus on LinkedIn. You knew I was going to say that right? Make sure your employees are spending time and effort updating their LinkedIn profiles and their profile’s key areas, which are the cover image, headline and the bio/about section. Also, provide LinkedIn training for your employees. I know someone who can do that for you 😉). This is a win win for your company and your employees.
4 – Smart companies should invest in developing their employees’ personal brands in 2023. Focusing on building both your brand and your employees’ personal brands is a win-win for everyone – your employees are among your strongest brand advocates and it enables you to connect with prospects on a deeper level and stand out from your competitors. A strong personal brand differentiates you in the market, enables you to establish yourself as a leader in your industry and gives you a competitive edge. Here are some ways to do so:
- Become an Expert Networker and Superconnector. A great way to build your brand is by strategic in-person networking. Attend industry conferences and strategically network with other attendees (just not your colleagues!). Just be strategic about with whom you choose to spend your time and money on networking and social events.
- Become a Thought Leader. Raise your profile by establishing yourself as a subject matter expert, which you can do by publishing value-added content. The purpose of your content is to brand you as a leader in your practice area/industry and publishing regular content (aim for one article per month) helps to keep you top of mind with your network.
- Speak Up. Speaking engagements are a great way to demonstrate your mastery of subject matter and connect in person with key people in your industry. They can also open doors, such as leading to additional speaking opportunities, article writing, media placements, committee appointments, referrals and the very best case of all – a new client matter.
- Leverage Opportunities. Maximize every speaking engagement before and after using social media. For example, post a photo of yourself on LinkedIn with other speakers or attendees at the conference – be sure to thank the conference organizers for inviting you to be a part of this event.
- Create a LinkedIn Strategic Plan. Everyone – from the most senior executives to the most junior employees in the workforce today – should be using social media – especially LinkedIn – to position themselves as a subject matter expert in their respective industry.
- Research your Competitors’ Marketing Activities. Look for inspiration as well as gaps in the market. What inspiration can you get from them and what can you do better than them?
- Master the Art of the “Humblebrag.” When you post updates on social media about yourself, think about “humblebragging,” which is the idea of striking the right balance between promoting your successes in a way that does not make you come off as arrogant or too boastful. “Bragging” about your successes should only comprise a small percentage of your social posts and should be done delicately. When you talk about yourself, adopt the mindset of show versus tell – so show your network how great you are versus telling them. You can easily do this through great thought leadership content as an example.
- Be a Leader. A great way to build your personal brand is to take on a leadership role within a leading association in your industry (remember to choose those where you will have the most opportunity to meet potential clients and referrals). Not only is this a great way to meet others in your field, but you’ll also have the opportunity to give back. If you aren’t sure what are the leading associations, ask colleagues, and conduct some good old fashioned online due diligence on what your top competitors are doing.
- Bolster Your Bio and LinkedIn Profile. One of the very first things that someone does when they want to find out more information about a lawyer is to Google them. And their web site bio is usually the first search result that appears, with their LinkedIn profile in second place.Your bio and LinkedIn profile are important elements of your personal brand, and you have complete control over the content in each of them. They are your opportunity to showcase your work, capabilities and areas of expertise, and what makes you stand out from your competitors, so spend the time to craft a bio and LinkedIn profile that truly conveys your value proposition. For more on how to do this, read my JD Supra articles, “How to Write an Engaging, Client-Focused Professional Bio” “Show vs. Tell – How to Create A Strong Lawyer Bio” and “LinkedIn 101: How to Master Profile Basics & Build Your Professional Brand.”
- Leverage Public Relations. Public relations is a powerful way to enhance your personal brand because it raises your profile and when you appear in third-party reputable media outlets, it gives you immediate authority as a subject matter expert. But not all media opportunities are created equal – meaning, what’s the point of being quoted or appearing in an article if the right people aren’t seeing it, or it’s the wrong kind of publication? Be very strategic in your approach for media coverage and target the publications that your clients, prospects and influencers read.
Read this article for more tips on building your personal brand.
5 – Update your pitch materials and practice descriptions. Do your pitch materials and practice and industry descriptions still accurately reflect what you do? Do they reflect the breadth and the depth of the work that you did over the past year and what’s to come? Make sure that you’re not missing any practices or any industry groups and amend the text as necessary. Do you have a one pager that describes your firm? And if not, create one so that when someone asks you for some information about your firm you’re not sending 20 pages. No one wants that. Send at most two pages.
6 – Audit and update your website. Make sure your web site content is updated. Make sure it’s SEO (search engine optimization) friendly. That means that you have backlinks and internal links on your site. Make sure you’re consistently updating your content to keep it fresh. Give people reasons to visit your site by regularly posting blog posts and news items – all with a client-centric focus.
7. Invest in email marketing. There is no better direct way to reach clients, referral sources and prospects (if your contact list is updated and segmented) than email. When you write a blog post or article, make sure to send it via email in addition to posting it on social media.
A great benefit of email marketing is that it’s incredibly easy to track your return on investment. Everything is measured with the use of emarketing software so you can determine who is opening your emails and when, who is clicking onto your site through your emails and more. Take the time to reconcile any bounceback emails and update your mailing list after every distribution. This will make your email marketing efforts more effective. Make sure your email marketing templates are up to date and send out an email newsletter at least once a month, if not once a week with client-centric, thought leadership content.
Investing in marketing is an important investment in yourself and your business.
Which of these tips will you try?
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