Focus on these two things (and leave the rest to your marketing team)
When it is working at its best, a productive relationship between a professionals in a firm and the marketing team should allow the professional to focus on two things only; no more. They are:
Building quality relationships with clients, prospects and referral sources
When professionals focus on these two areas only, good things happen. The amount of time invested in marketing can be reduced and can be focused on activities that drive value and results. It also delivers better results AND improved efficiency.
Lawyers & accountants and marketers each have their areas of expertise. As much as professionals may want to get involved with elements of the marketing that do not involve their subject matter expertise, they must try resist. Time is precious, so let each party focus on what they are trained to do.
Putting it into practice
Here's an example of how lawyer/accountant and marketing can work together to make the most of an opportunity. After identifying your target market and service differentiator (see 'where and why - two key components of your marketing strategy) the marketing department has researched different ways to promote the practice and discovered a large industry conference that offers an ideal speaking opportunity.
Here’s how the marketing department can make it happen:
Contact conference organizers to learn how & when speaker selection takes place.
Help prepare a speaker proposal.
Promote the upcoming speaking opportunity through the firm’s website, newsletters, social media channels, local industry networking groups or associations and online discussion forums. Help the presenter use their own social media accounts to raise awareness of the presentation and engage people who might not be able to attend - “Next month I am presenting at X conference on Y. What issues / questions do you have about this issue that you think should be addressed?”.
Review the firm’s contacts to identify people potentially interested in the topic. Promote it to the list and invite top prospects to attend as your guests. Ask the conference organizers if your contacts can receive a discount.
Help craft the draft presentation into a story that is logical, flows and fits into the allowed time. Prepare visual engaging slides that don’t simply repeat the speaking notes of the presentation. Arrange a run through (or 2 or 3) to allow the presenter to get comfortable with the material and provide feedback on the presentation style.
Get the list of registered delegates from the conference organizer and conduct some desk research on people to try and meet.
Approach top prospects on the speaker’s behalf ahead of time to book a time to meet at the conference.
Add all the contacts made at the conference into the firms' CRM system and add them to appropriate mailing lists.
Ensure the professional sends follow-ups to new contacts and conference organizers.
Arrange for the same presentation to be given via webinar.
Post the recording of the webinar onto the firm’s website.
Turn a transcript of the webinar presentation into a series of blog posts.
Include links to the webinar recording and blog posts in future newsletter and promote on social media.
Identify other potential conferences and send material introducing the speaker.
This is just one example of how marketing and the lawyer/accountant can work together to get the most out of an opportunity. As you’ve seen, the professional’s time is focussed on the two things marketing cannot do - subject matter expertise and relationships. This also illustrates how one presentation at a conference can be used in many ways and ultimately reach a much wider audience without the lawyer having to expend a great deal more time and energy.