Nine months ago, you most likely started 2018 fired up, with optimism and goals. Now that the fourth quarter is about to arrive, it’s probably obvious whether or not your law firm is meeting the goals you set. But it’s not just about this year – in addition to ensuring a positive end to 2018, a strong fourth quarter places your firm on the right path for next year.
Here are a few expert tips you should consider during the remaining months of 2018:
REEVALUATE YOUR BUSINESS GOALS
The fourth quarter is a good time to check in on the goals you set earlier in the year. Goals change when we have new information, so use this time to reevaluate the goals you set earlier in the year to see if they are still on point. If so, hustle to make them happen before the end of the year. If not, scrap them and come up with new and improved goals, including both short-term goals for Q4 and longer-term goals for 2019.
When time is of the essence, look for low-hanging fruit. One of your best bets for ensuring a healthy fourth quarter is revisiting potential new clients you’ve already met with, spoken to, and/or presented with your sales pitch. Make a list of your best prospects from 2018 so far and follow-up with them, starting with the most recent as you’ll have a better chance of closing them. Call back prospects from the previous quarter, and offer them a new type of incentive. Send out an email blast to create some business development momentum. You can and should also visit with exiting clients from whom you can get additional business – now is the time to cross-sell.
IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
Whether your website needs some changes, your social media engagement has lagged, or your vendors aren’t meeting your expectations, the fourth quarter is a great time to evaluate your current situation. Take a careful look at your 2018 marketing plan. Determine which goals you achieved and which you did not. Parlay this information into avoiding bad marketing expenditures in 2019.
While you still have time to achieve your overall 2018 marketing goals, you need to concentrate on the next few months. Where can you get the biggest return on your legal marketing investment? After allocating time and money for continuing what works, update your marketing plan with specific actions you will take, the marketing tools you will use, and the timeline you will work within.
KEEP AN EYE ON 2019
If you’re focused on ending 2018 with a bang, it’s easy to forget about starting strong in the first quarter of 2019. The biggest mistake you can make in the fourth quarter is failing to plan for the upcoming year. Waiting until January to plan for 2019 leaves you starting off already behind the curve. Lawyers should do their business planning for the upcoming year during the fourth quarter. Think about how your law firm’s services can help potential clients start their year strong and then build messaging and campaigns around it.
PLAN EARLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
December is full of holidays and celebrations, and one of the busiest months of the year for consumer spending. Too many firms treat the holiday season as a chore rather than an opportunity to reach out. Starting early ensures you have the time to brainstorm, test, plan, and execute your law firm holiday marketing plan without feeling pressured at the last minute. I have seen many law firms wait too long to plan for the holidays and wind up doing nothing, foregoing a huge opportunity to reach out and connect with former clients, existing clients, referral sources, and other professional connections.
Remember, the holiday season is gold for marketing person-to-person. Be sure to leave time for connecting socially. The holidays give you a great reason for making contact and networking when you might feel uncomfortable doing so otherwise.
Don’t mindlessly send out holiday cards that look like everyone else’s and arrive at the same time as the rest of the holiday mail. Don’t assume the best gifts are expensive, because personal almost always beats expensive. Instead of following what you did last year (and maybe the ten years before that one), why not come up with a new, creative idea to test as well?
LAW FIRM MARKETING EXPERTS
Want to learn more about how to make the fourth quarter a record-breaking success for your law firm? Contact the legal marketing experts at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. today. We have worked with law firms across the country to help them plan and execute effective marketing and business development strategies both online and IRL (in real life).