Highlights & Tweets from Day One of the 2015 Legal Marketing Assoc. Conference

Here are tweets and highlights from Day One (4/14) of the 2015 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) International Conference:

7 laws of Business Development (BD):

  1. The world of profitable matters is shrinking
  2. Stick to what you know
  3. Your main competition is big enough, getting enough, good enough (b/c many competitors are taking biz off-shore, etc.
  4. Realization is your metric.  Are clients happy, are we doing the right kind of work, to get referrals, etc.
  5. Technology will enable or destroy your firm.
  6. It is high time for individual lawyers to manage their individual relationships.
  7. Key to make lawyers look good to themselves, clients, etc.

The focus on profitability in law firms is starting to run away with the game.

 The Fifteen People – (you need to know for enhanced networking and BD:

5 Clients, 5 Prospects, 5 Investors (referral sources)

Gauge them on their consistency and quantity.  (I’ll add:  Filter with a lens of ROI.  Meaning, you have referral source A who sends tons of leads – that rarely turn into business.  Source B sends referrals periodically, AND they have a greater likelihood of turning into paying clients.  I advise my clients: Study how Source B understands you and your services as well as the prospects they send you, cultivate that understanding with other referral sources i.e. “replicate” more like Source B.  Plus – take care of Source B.  Be sure you are returning the kindness (serving) them.

“Alternative Fees” is code for “discounts.”

Measure your success via – Realization, - Retention, - Expansion

Prospects:  They are using someone, just not you.  Narrow your pool of prospects (and improve efficiency of the process) by comparing prospects to current clients --- they should look/act similarly.  Be prepared to ask prospects to FIRE their current firm.

Integrate into your pitch:  The cost benefit analysis of not switching to you.

Investors: Examples are contacts from accounting, real estate, insurance, finance, media.  Engage in join, in-person business development.  (I’ll add:  The better these entities understand your services and are interested in championing you to others, you’ll obtain an advocate working on your behalf during the time you work on client matters.)

Your referral source list should evolve.  You may have old acquaintances with whom you want to stay in contact, but who may not be a strong source presently.

 Winning examples from small/mid-sized firms:

Firm One instituted a motivational program to grown business development.  The program was somewhat exclusive in that there was an application process.  Members received guidance from the firm’s in-house business development manager and from an outside coach who helped foster the overall program.  Periodic off-site, intensive group sessions included training/guidance from the firm’s rainmakers (i.e. sharing best practices).  They set a goal for the initial class to bring in $1m in additional revenue – and the class achieved that.  The group members would indicate whether the program had a direct relation to particular BD matters, and eventually several members credited the program for all subsequent BD work because the program had augmented the ways in which they conducted their prospecting and business development.  What made the program successful:

  • Commitment from firm leadership
  • Proven track record
  • Participation of senior advisors
  • Interaction during group training sessions

Firm Two showcased a holiday project.  They started by asking their attorneys a single question, “What Inspires You?”  Some attorneys were willing to share, others were far more reticent.  Ultimately, they gained 100% participation for a project that demonstrated the fabric of the firm and showcased the depth and breadth of its members.  It was vulnerable and real, and it resonated with clients and others.  The results was a three-year project (other questions were posed in subsequent years around which the complete end-product was designed).  The themes were revealed on the firm’s website with statements and photos.

Firm Three transitioned a marketing-focus to a business development-focus.  The presenter reminded us that Marketing is a function of sending a message from one to many (think of a single advertisement expected to reach large groups of people), while business development operates in a one-to-one setting.  The firm focused on –Relationships, -Ownership, -Collaboration.  From the project, the business development team designed a one-page (two-sided) BD plan for every attorney.  The plans were tailored by the attorney’s interests, strengths, and goals, and include a brief list of key referral sources. 

 The Changing Role of the CMO

For the past two years, it’s been clear that Marketing and IT are on a path to collaborate for the amazing and demanding opportunities ahead.  Stephen White of Greefield Belser discussed the coming monsoon of digital related to sales.  First, he reminded:  Before starting a sales process, you must ideally get clarity with a compelling brand position, get noticed with a compelling brand personality and content, get chosen with a compelling custom pitch, and finally get results with a compelling brand experience.  Traditional marketers think of creative ways to garner attention, while today’s CMOs must use big data and analytics for a data-driven strategy that fuels growth.  To drive purposeful growth, White suggests the need for a digital sales force, people who can leverage technology to feed the marketing engine.  His current favorite digital tools:  HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, Eloqua (now owned by Oracle).


Tweets from the day:

(My @FlipCatLLC tweets)

“Imagine what the other side is thinking… Imagine what the other side is feeling…” From @DanielPink’s keynote

“The world of profitable matters is shrinking.” “Realization is your metric.” “Technology will enable or destroy your firm.” “Are your competitor referral sources providing crumbs or seeds?” From @highpercoach’s presentation on the Laws of Business Development.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service sells itself.” From the presentation on small/medium firm successes – by Paul Darwish of @GraydonHead.

“There has never been a better time to be a marketer in the world of professional services.” From Stephen White, @gbltd.

“Tying it together: @Daniel_Pink encouraged #Ambiverts, & that may be what’s required of today’s CMOs (bridge creative w/ technology). Re: Stephen White’s discussion on today’s CMOs.

“The market for Marketing-enabling technologies is anticipated to be $3bn.” From Stephen White.

@karajmckenna - We usually spend too much time trying to change people's minds instead of focusing on getting them to act. Give them an off ramp. (Meaning, give them a call to action.)

@HellermanBaretz – There is more data, but our capacity to consume data has not changed. V/ @AllenMatkins talk on Big Data & Big Law

@CRMSuccess – CRM systems tie it all together and give us insights. V/ @AdamLStock

@Laura_Sclafani – The brand, attorneys – are NOT the hero in the story.  The VALUE is the hero.

@BeaconLive – LinkedIn Groups for Legal Marketers hubs.ly/y0HRcV0

@gbltd – Look at the content on your website quarterly.  Is the content providing a good user experience?

@gbltd – Any automation that allows you to be more responsive should go at the top of your list. Responsiveness is key. V/ @JimDurhamLaw

I also RT’d during the day: 

@MarkWSchaefer “The first step in social media marketing is NOT social media…” from his blog yesterday at www.businessesgrow.com

@SMExaminer “New: 7 Takeaways from #SocialMedia #Marketing World 2015 bit.ly/1NZL7nw”  (See also #SMMW15 for other tweets from that conference.)

The LMA conference concludes today with more targeted sessions.  I will summarize and post those subsequently.


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