Articles for ELC Members

That’s Marketing

I read an interesting article in the Monday, July 17 edition of USA Today that is directed toward advertisers who they say are fixated on selling to Millennials. The main point of the article is that advertisers may be missing the boat because: “Baby Boomers are making up an outsize share of consumer spending”. It also points out that Baby Boomers are spending more on services rather than consumer goods. Reading this article got me to thinking about what great news this is for our members.

Why is this great news for our members? Because there are 10,000 Baby Boomers attaining age 65 every single day. This will continue for 18 years, and Baby Boomers control a significant portion of the country’s wealth. Unfortunately for them, statistics also indicate that 7 out of 10 of them will need some form of institutionalized care before they die, such as a nursing home. The average nursing home today costs over $90,000 per year and as you know, people can’t qualify for any public assistance such as Medicaid without first becoming paupers.

What, then, is my conclusion? Simply this – the market is huge! Your services are needed regardless of economic conditions. And, through your attendance at the 360° Practice Builder Class and membership in our group, you all have the necessary tools to help those people who really need your help providing that you do your homework, market your practice effectively, and establish the value proposition (see my article entitled “The Value Proposition” on the Members Portal).

What are my recommendations? First of all, you need to become acutely aware of the potential market that is literally within your grasp. Unless you are a hermit, no matter where you go or what you do you will be virtually rubbing elbows with people who need your services, or have friends or family who need your services. While it may be somewhat out of your comfort zone, I’d be willing to bet that if you were to strike up a conversation with someone you know or even someone you don’t know, you would find out that they or someone they know needs your help. If you do this faithfully and consciously wherever you go, I can almost guaranty you will develop clients. In such a situation, you must have an “elevator speech” to briefly explain what you do. Preferably, it should be no more than 1 to 3 sentences in length.

All of this is basic and can be accomplished with no financial investment on your part. As I said it may require getting somewhat out of your comfort zone, at least in the beginning, but you need to have the resolve to do so. As an example, when I first started practicing law my promotional efforts were proscribed by a very limited comfort zone. After a few experiences where I felt I missed out on a case because of my timidity, I consciously decided to get out of my comfort zone and promote myself more persuasively. Those efforts paid off, and it became much easier to do so going forward.

As I said, what I’ve described above should be basic for you. What’s next after you are comfortable doing the basics? You need to develop a marketing plan. Your plan should be simple in the beginning and then become more sophisticated as your practice grows. As someone once said, “Like a garden, you must constantly cultivate it to produce bounty.”

What would I do if I were in your place? To begin with, I would take advantage of the one hour telephone consultation with our marketing directors, Scott and Abbie Trimble of Harper Beck, to which you are entitled as one of your member benefits. Why not take advantage of it? They specialize in marketing for lawyers, and they are outstanding. They can help you put together a phased marketing plan whereby prospective clients will be both informed and motivated. Then, you need to follow through on that plan while constantly reviewing and updating it depending on your results.

What is a marketing plan? Here is a simple example:

  • “If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying ‘Circus is coming to town Sunday’, that’s advertising;
  • If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk him through town, that’s a promotion;
  • If the elephant walks through the Mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity;
  • If you can get the Mayor to laugh about it that’s public relations;
  • And, if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing.”

Principal and Lead Instructor Scott Solkoff is a member of the above assocations.

 

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