A senior partner may have told you that you will be successful by just doing good work and your satisfied clients will tell others. In 2011, do you think that just doing good work is enough?
The above quote comes from Cordell Parvin, who in my opinion is one of the leading legal marketing consultants around.
A lot of consultants and other professional service providers believe that “word of mouth” is the best type of marketing. If word of mouth includes referrals, than yes, I would agree that nothing produces more tangible results. It is a concept that modern marketing gurus refer to as social proof.
But to rely solely on word of mouth is a mistake. Marketing should be approached the same way financial planners recommend investing – with a balanced portfolio. In addition to referrals and recognition, there needs to be a web presence. If googling your brand name (your name or your firm’s name) doesn’t immediately bring someone to your own well-designed and professional looking website, you harm your credibility. You also need to be published in multiple venues. That doesn’t necessarily mean writing a book, although getting published will go a long ways towards facilitating the sales process. Go for the speaking engagements, whenever possible – it gives potential clients an opportunity to see and hear you. Plus, a speaking engagement adds to the social proof of your brand’s equity. Engage in social media, because it isn’t just for kids anymore, it is where the number one brands in nearly every industry are placing their bets. Starting a blog, getting started on Twitter/Facebook are easy enough that there really isn’t a good excuse not to do it.
Things that aren’t so useful anymore in marketing: advertisements. Whether it is yellow page ads, billboards, display ads in various publications, banner ads, etc., they just aren’t justified in the return on investment.