by Tony Vidler
The first place you should market your practice and your own expertise is inside your own practice.
Begin Within. It is where you will have the most receptive environment for refining and crafting your value proposition and marketing messages, where you can “field test” campaigns and promotional ideas, and most importantly, it is where you can create your strongest brand advocates.
We have a tendency to take for granted that our own stakeholders are onboard and understand our thinking, and that our marketing plan is understood because we have run through it with them. Usually that is true too: we have run through it with them. Once. Maybe twice. And our people did understand it, but comprehending is not the same as committing to it is it?
Think of as you might a television or radio advertising campaign. If you were to spend an enormous amount of time and effort (and probably money) developing a marketing campaign or plan for one of those mediums and then ran the advertisement just once, or maybe twice, how good a return do you think you’d get on the investment?
Repetition is the key to creating staff and stakeholders who are part of the marketing of your practice. They need to be constantly engaged in the ongoing marketing efforts, and need constant reinforcement of the key messages and objectives. Most importantly, they need to continually hear and see your value proposition in action.
Apart from yourself and your family there is nobody else who has a greater stake in the firm prospering and continuing to get engaged and satisfied new clients onboard. The people within the firm should by the most vocal centres-of-influence that a firm can have. They should be the most engaged, and they in turn present the greatest opportunity to create truly engaged customers…
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you’ve run through the marketing plan with your team once or twice they are fully engaged. It’s importance in their minds will be largely driven by the importance you place upon it, and anything which is mentioned only once or twice a year isn’t that important is it?
Sell your own people first. Keep selling them on what your firm does, and the difference you make in clients’ lives. Begin within, and there you have one of the greatest opportunities to create great brand advocates. Begin within when it comes to marketing your firm, and don’t stop doing it.