Before we dive into the different ways how to market, you must have a firm understanding of what real marketing looks like. First off, let’s get something out of the way. Marketing is not hard. Marketing in fact follows some pretty straightforward principles. But like anything, you have to learn them and more importantly you have to implement them.

So you can spend all of this time learning marketing, but never put it into action and never realize how much money you could be making OR you can learn a few simple marketing rules, put them into place, tweak it and test along the way, and start doing really really well. Which one will you choose?

Let’s start by talking about what marketing is and is not. It’s often confused with traditional advertising and selling. But it’s really much different than that. Let me talk about a definition that Joe Polish uses (who by the way is a genius marketer.) He is a pretty interesting guy. Joe started out as a carpet cleaner and figured out early on that he had to learn how to market to eat and feed his family. Fast forward many years later, and Joe teaches carpet cleaners how to build multi 6 figure businesses where others struggle. Joe says that sales is what you do when you have someone on the phone or in front of you. Marketing is very different. So Why Market Your Business?

Marketing is attracting someone who is pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified and pre-disposed to doing business with you. They become essentially “pre-sold,” ready to hire you before they ever walk in the door. You don’t find them, face to face, you structure your marketing so they come to you. The great Dan Kennedy calls good marketing the difference between being an annoying pest versus a welcome guest.

So real marketing which is direct response marketing, which means a way that a person can respond directly to a marketer through a website, an advertisement, a mailer, a postcard etc. and giving them a reason to do so, is a group of systems that deliver ideal prospects predictably and dependably in the right quantity that run on auto pilot .

They should be cost justified, measurable, accountable and track-able. You’ll never have to rely on referrals or hard selling people on your services. Marketing is NOT about an image, not getting your name out there, not branding, not copying other people’s advertising, not asking for referrals. It’s not a brochure or business card, or website.

Now marketing is advertising. What do I mean by that?

It is a type of advertising, a subset of advertising. With advertising you are promoting something right? It’s just that what I call traditional advertising bears no resemblance to what direct response marketers do. With traditional advertising, a company is trying to do a few things: build a brand image, through repetition. Meaning that if someone sees an ad, hears it on the radio or on TV, enough times, the company name, jingle, phone number repeated over and over will eventually stick. But that’s not really marketing. Often there’s no offer, there’s no call to action other than to call a number. Think of McDonalds TM “I’m lovin it” or Fed Ex TM-when it absolutely positively has to get there overnight.

What they are doing is very different than what you as a small to medium sized law firm needs to be doing. What they are doing is building an image, building a brand so people only think of them when they are hungry or they need to ship a package. Marketing is a form of advertising where you are trying to match a particular market (a group or subset of people) with your service. Direct response marketing is where your goal is to get them to respond directly as a result of seeing your offer. The overarching goal is to get them hungry to do business with you by making your marketing so compelling, so irresistibly intriguing that they wouldn’t think of doing business with your competitor.

The most important measurement of marketing success is your return on investment (ROI). Don’t ever forget that. Measure the lifetime value of your client and then you’ll start to learn what you can spend to acquire each client and have it be profitable to you and your firm.

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