Expert Witness Marketing Plan – Part IV

Sales Funnels in Marketing An Expert Witness

This is the fourth of the five-part series to help experts craft a successful marketing plan with ways of creating measurable goals and accountability.

Part one was creating the mission and vision, part two was competitor analysis, part three was self-analysis and now part four will start putting the pieces together to create a marketing strategy.

Here is where you need to trim down your expertise and all of the data gathered in the previous steps into something more manageable. What are your top three core expertise that is unique and where are the top five core markets where you will focus? Any more than that – and you will be playing a game of marketing wack-a-mole and not putting your efforts to good use in your marketing. Concentrate also on two prongs of your marketing strategy – expanding your services to your current clients and identifying and cultivating new clients.

Existing clients are low hanging fruit – you are a known quantity; they appreciate your professionalism and have seen you in action. If you are expanding your expertise or have branched out or added staff, your current clients should be the first to know. Current clients should be the first place you nurture your business. Ask for referrals, check-in with them to see if they are satisfied and if they have any more cases on the horizon. While marketing is often seen as a way to bring in new clients, current clients should also have marketing efforts applied to ensure you keep them happy and engaged.

To expand beyond your current client base, you will need to grow your business. This is where a sales funnel comes into play. A sales funnel is a way to look at bringing in new business – you are going to generate leads on clients, then you are going to qualify those leads to see if they fit into your ideal client persona and then move the lead into potential clients. This is done with marketing and business development.

Marketing and business development are often used as intermingled terms, but marketing is creating visibility and shaping how a potential client feels about the expert before they meet. Marketing is the top of the sales funnel, bringing leads to consider engaging the expert. Business development is the next step after visibility and covers the bottom two steps of the sales funnel. Business development qualifies leads to see if they would be a good fit with the expert witness and identifies potential clients based on whether they are the decision-maker on hiring the expert.

Let’s first approach the top part of the funnel – marketing. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What has been the most effective way I have gotten clients and is this still effective?
  2. What are the ways my competition is getting clients and should I also be there?
  3. What quantifies success in terms of marketing – is it more clients? Is it more quality clients? Can I accommodate growth?
  4. Does my website, business cards, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, social media, promotional items and business cards all look consistent, polished and professional? Is it clear right away what my expertise is and what differentiates me from my competition?

Once the marketing is in place, you need to concentrate on business development. You need to get out there in front of potential clients. Here are some ways to meet potential clients:

  1. Writing articles and white papers;
  2. Speaking and exhibiting at conferences;
  3. Attending networking events;
  4. Presenting to clients about cutting edge topics for their continuing education;

While it may be uncomfortable at first, with practice, it becomes easier and sometimes even becomes enjoyable. But business development is essential to growing your client base as an expert witness. You will meet the potential clients in their comfort zone, learn more about their practice and figure out who is the decision-maker in each firm. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is always the partner – depending on the firm dynamics, it could be a paralegal, case manager or claims adjuster.

Additional services to help with business development include appointment setting and coaching. You’ll still have to attend the lunch or meeting, but you will not have to make that first initial step. I can point you to a couple if you are interested – it all depends on your comfort level with semi-cold calling. This isn’t complete cold calling if you have done your marketing well. The potential client should have heard about your firm before you make this first initial contact.

Once you have made the first step of meeting a potential client, use a customer relationship management software such as Salesforce to track where you met that prospective client, what area of the law they practice, any hobbies or personal details and next steps is essential.

I will leave you with one final thought for this segment – there are expert witness marketing lists and services. They should be added to your marketing mix, but there is no substitution for building client relationships on your own and getting your name out there with the other activities that I mentioned in the previous paragraphs.

Article was written by Kristin Baldwin, at the Baldwin Network, an expert witness and legal marketing consulting firm.