In today’s legal marketing world there is constant, inescapable pressure to achieve recognition for your firm. So, how do you distinguish yourself and gain a competitive advantage? Or maybe a better question is: How do you become the Beyoncé of the legal marketing sector? Create your own Beyhive and turn your firm into a breakout star of Beychella proportions. Read on for tips that will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Five Lessons from Beyoncé to Apply to Your Firm
To be a successful legal marketer, you must establish your firm’s identity and brand, create and implement business development strategies, develop the relationships that will help grow your network, and identify and utilize the right platforms to reach your customers. This is no small task, especially since you’ll also need to stay relevant in an ever-changing legal market.
Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day (did I just create the newest relatable saying of my generation? LMK), but solid marketing certainly sped up her rise to fame. A firm’s marketing strategy is the key to their growth because, let’s face it, without marketing even the best firm is just LeToya Luckett. And if you’re asking yourself who she is, I think I’ve made my point.
Your Persuasion Can Build a Nation
An effective marketing strategy should include tactics for establishing a firm’s identity and brand. When it comes to Beyoncé, you know what to expect. She has perfected her brand, and she understands exactly who she is and why people love her.
Similarly, when an attorney tells a peer where they practice or a potential client sees your marketing, conclusions are drawn. You, of course, want these to be positive, but also aligned with the message you are trying to put in market. Beyoncé became Queen Bey by knowing what she does well and executing it flawlessly. She is a game-changer. After all, building a brand is to establish a recognizable identity that grabs attention, inspires confidence, and creates a connection with your audience. Firms that can grow a strong brand will most likely be the ones that build a strong, loyal base, just like the Beyhive. They don’t call it the Beyoncé Effect for nothing.
All the Business Devs, All the Business Devs …
As a legal marketer, you know that a cohesive marketing and business development strategy is critical to your firm’s growth. With a proactive strategy as your guide it’s easier to identify and pursue the right opportunities instead of simply reacting to all opportunities that arise. Taking a cue from one of Beyoncé’s hit singles, you can determine which cases to put a ring on or which to put aside in a box to the left. (See what I did there?)
It was named the best song of 2008 by Rolling Stone, won 15 awards worldwide, and became the anthem for all the single and taken ladies (and men) out there. “All the Single Ladies” releases the Sasha Fierce in all of us. It’s important to mention that the woman didn’t even need anything in her music video but an empty room to dance in. That song sent a powerful message of confidence about knowing your worth, setting your priorities, and not compromising on either.
Just like Beyoncé knew that if you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it, you know just how important retention is to securing future opportunities. In fact, in our 2017 Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Survey, 85% of firms said growing existing key clients is a top growth strategy. If you don’t invest in retaining and growing current clients, you risk losing them to the competition. Or, for lack of better words: don’t be mad once you see that he want it.
We’ll cover how to implement an effective business development strategy from multiple C-suite perspectives in our 360 Perspective: Law Firm Business Development panel at Accelerate.
Who Run the World? Connections.
How many times have you heard that it’s all about connections—the people you know and who they know? When you strategically manage and leverage your network, whether it’s made of current clients, firm alumni, etc., you have a credible entry into a whole new audience. You need to know who is in your network, nurture those relationships, and identify the right opportunities to leverage those connections.
When you think of iconic partnerships, it’s safe to say Jay-Z and Beyoncé top the list. Their careers have blossomed together and they’ve successfully leveraged their partnership to expand into each other’s fan bases. Not to mention, Jay Z has helped facilitate collaborations between Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and Jack White to name a few.
Our keynote speaker at Accelerate, J. Kelly Hoey, will cover the importance of networking and examining the most effective ways to connect with your own connections.
You Ain’t Never Seen a Fire Like The One I’ma ‘Cause (Through These Platforms)
There are almost no words to describe this but here I go. Secret. HBO. Visual. Album. Lemonade, Lemonade, Lemonaaadddee… I’m going to need an actual second because I literally cannot. Dying.
Okay. I’m back. This really comes down to two things: determine the right message and use the most effective platforms to amplify it. Legal marketers need to be flexible and capitalize on how the industry has changed. It’s time to embrace all types of platforms to reach our clients and potential clients.
To really grasp this concept, let’s take a masterclass from the extremely influential Lemonade album. For those of us who spend time in the Beyhive, we know why this album was produced. For those who don’t know, here’s the quick version.
Amid a flurry of rumors and drama, Beyoncé carefully crafted her message and then tailored it for each platform she used, flawlessly reaching customers through email, social, online, and television networks. With one piece of content and a masterful marketing strategy, she dismissed rumors, put on the second-highest grossing tour of the year, and blew our minds. I mean, how long did we wonder who Becky with the good hair was?
She understood that there is an art to communicating with customers (and potential customers) and that when executed correctly, all the stars will align. It’s in that same way a Legal Marketer who controls and communicates your message across multiple platforms gives your firm the best position for success.
In our Modern Marketing Plan session, we will discuss multiple tactics and how to use your channels effectively. In our second keynote, Ron Tite will talk about a flexible and dynamic marketing process and his #ThinkDoSay approach.
Becoming Beyoncé: I Dream It, I Work Hard, I Grind ‘til I Own It
To draw on your inner Beyoncé, start with a focused message around your firm’s identity and brand. Like Bey, you want the world to know (and appreciate!) what to expect from your firm. Effectively marketing that brand allows you to build a solid business development strategy to put a ring on the right opportunities. It’s also important to strategically nurture partnerships and cultivate connections— although it probably won’t result in your personal collaboration with Kendrick Lamar.
As a millennial and a marketer, I’m familiar with Queen Beyoncé as well as how successful her brand and marketing strategies are, but I did have to do a little research to tie this all in properly. And one piece of advice from Beyoncé’s Head of Marketing, Jim Sabey, stood out to me: “You have all these (people) who think they know what the world wants in music. And they have no idea. What Beyoncé understood early on … was that the industry fundamentally has changed, and that you can communicate directly to your fans.” As a legal marketer, you need to build the message you want to convey and communicate through the platforms that make the most sense for your audience.
One way to stay ahead and slay all day is to attend the Accelerate Business Development Summit this month at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina. During the Summit, we’ll touch on all the strategies and tactics mentioned above. If reading this doesn’t make you want to listen to the Lemonade album on your way to #LNAccelerate, I don’t know what will!