Lee Frederikson, Managing Partner, Strategist and Growth Expert at Hinge, shared seven strategies for generating good accounting leads in a post earlier this week.
Staying with what you may have done in the past to generate new clients no longer works, per Frederickson. One, there’s too many firms competing for the same work. And two, accounting services have become commodities – it’s difficult to differentiate between firms, and fee pressure becomes intense.
Sound eerily familiar to challenges you face as a law firm? Here’s Frederikson’s seven strategies that apply well to law firms with a little commentary from me.
- Become a specialist in an industry. Stop trying to put equal emphasis on all industries. Niches can lead to riches especially when you can accelerate your reputation as a specialist through social media. Get to know the industry, its people, and its challenges. You’ll be able to engage at a higher level and build trust with industry leaders and potential clients. LXBN (LexBlog Network) has numerous lawyers and practice groups which have been very successful by developing or showcasing niche expertise through blogging.
- Become a highly visible expert in your field. Develop superior expertise in an area, then couple it with high visibility on an important emerging issue. You can become the ‘go to’ lawyer or the lawyer’s lawyer in your locale or in some cases, nationally, on a growing legal area or industry. You already have baseline knowledge in certain areas as a lawyer. Take it to a new level. Follow sources and subjects to gain new information and insight. Share that insight with others as a way to further develop your expertise and to become visible. Social media, especially blogging, has made this possible like never before. Highly visible lawyers with niche expertise raise the stature of the entire firm.
- Do a major study on an important topic. Nothing adds credibility and visibility like the release of a groundbreaking study. Internet survey tools provide you the opportunity to survey a group or industry and prepare a report or findings.
- Publish very useful content. Forget the usual newsletter babble. As Frederickson says, “Don’t be afraid to share your secret sauce. Give away your secrets (they are already on the Internet!).” Cordell Parvin, a widely respected coach and mentor for lawyers in private practice, believes there is no substitute and no equal for publishing niche focused content. Doing so leads to recognition as a trusted and a reliable authority and a host of speaking engagements before potential clients. Parvin advises using a blog as your publishing platform.
- Get serious about social. Social media, particularly LinkedIn, is not a fad or a treat to utilization. It is another way of networking. If you aren’t there, you are missing an important communication channel to your potential clients. Social media is all building a strong word of mouth reputation and developing relationships – the two leading ways lawyers develop business.
- Invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A recent study of 500 professional services firms found that SEO was the single most effective tool for generating online leads. As Frederikson says, it works best when combined with very useful content (content that is also SEO optimized) and social media (to help share that content). I’ll take it a step further and say that social is not only important in developing a word of mouth reputation and relationships, but your activity on social media is beginning to heavily influence search results.
- Put them all together. The greatest impact on your lead quality and quantity will come from combining all of these techniques and strategies into a unified, ongoing campaign. It both distinguishes you from other firms and communicates a powerful message to potential clients. It clearly communicates that you provide value beyond the “me too” firms that flood the marketplace.
Thanks Lee, I always enjoy reading your blog sharing insight and commentary on the marketing of professional services firms.