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1: What is the Holiday Campaign Training About?

7 Thank Yous that Make People (and Keep Them Talking About You All Year) is a special training program focused on your holiday marketing campaigns. Many business owners think of the holiday season’s marketing needs with just two things in mind. First, that it really is just about saying thank you for business received this year and, second, that it can be handled like any other month of marketing in your annual campaigns.

This training section is about challenging you to consider a third dimension to holiday marketing campaigns. What if we told you the holiday season was the season for practice growth and development? That this is the best time of the year to build new relationships, solidify existing ones and position your law firm for explosive practice growth in the following year.

It’s true. The decisions you make in the holidays season can define your success the next year. Are you curious? Have you experienced what we are talking about and want to evaluate what’s working? Looking for great ideas for the perfect business gift from your practice or for ones that create T. O. M. A.? Jump in – and let’s start this training program to get you ready for success in the New Year!

2: Is It Marketing Training or Practice Development?

While this course has marketing objectives and tactics, it is a holiday marketing campaign after all, at its core it is a practice development training course. Thank yous are a result of saying thank you for business and knowing where business comes from, identifying the best sources and building more lucrative relationships is at the core of your practice development. In addition to discussing great thank you ideas, we are looking at where business came from this year, how to thank them for the business they sent to us, the relationships we want to build and/or strengthen, and where we can build new relationships next year.

We are also spending time at the end of this training section talking about how we identify, keep track of, monitor and maintain information on our community business network. We start by talking about apps and social media that can help us capture relationships. From there, the course takes a turn to talk about CRMs. CRMs, or Client Relationship Management, are software that are able to run our businesses and can, in this instance, be the brain behind our marketing efforts.

3: When Should I Watch This?
This is a course you can watch at any time. Even if it is New Year’s Eve, there isn’t a wrong time to talk about this type of marketing campaign. The reason why is because it’s not just about marketing. We are saying thank you for business but also discussing how to define your brand, thank people in a memorable way, and forcing ourselves to think about who the best source of business is for you. There isn’t a wrong time to think about this, in fact, it’s something you should think about frequently if you want to grow your business.
4: Let’s Get Training!
In this section, you will find our recent webinar on this topic. We have a clean recording for you right here to watch in case you missed the live session available to you 24 / 7 / 365. Want to look at our calendar of live sessions? Click this link to look at what is coming up in the coming months.
5: Highlights from the Practice Development Webinar!

We have the highlights from the webinar right here! This section has our favorite parts, attendee’s favorite sections, and the take-aways we think you should have on-hand. Check out these excerpts from the transcript:

When we work with clients related to the holiday season, we start talking about it in October with the plan they can execute to carry it through into January the following year because there is a lot to do when you’re comprehensive. Think about that for a minute, the importance of having a plan in place, you really want to make sure that you have one that can help you reach your goals. We’re going to talk about those plan elements as we move forward, but our goal here is not just to say thank you for business but have a message you’re going to use and incorporate into your business. Don’t forget, we also want to get people talking about you and your business. It is so important. Looking just at the holiday season to say thank you in some ways can be a short-sighted.

 

We’re going to focus on kind of how to created T. O. M. A. If that is a marketing term that is new to you or a little bit unfamiliar, T. O. M. A. is the acronym for Top of Mind Awareness. Really, what we are jumping into is how do we create that Top of Mind Awareness so in your industry, whether it’s law or a non-profit or a charity or a small business or brewery, all sorts of groups that we know are attending today, we want people in your community, when they need something in your services, that you’re the first thing that they think of. The holiday season can be one of the best avenues to say thank you for business sent to you during the year, but also to entrench and create you as that go-to source in your community as we move forward into the New Year…

 

… We are focusing on broadening the ways you’re reaching out to the people who are your business customers or your community partners who send you business customers or the ones who are your go-to sources for how you keep your business going year after year. We’re thinking about how do we activate them and move them forward to make sure that they’re going to continue to be sources for your business for the next year. This requires us to look back at the last year to find out what worked, what didn’t work, who was our best client, where did that client come from and evaluate how we are going to get more and do more next year.

 

The holiday season is an interesting animal in and of itself because the holiday season has its own marketplace. It has its own existing rules. Logically, you know this. Take a minute to think about the holiday season and your own experience with it. You’re probably thinking of holly wreaths and trees and lights and food and family and friends. This is a marketplace that has its own boundaries and rules within it. When I ask my son about it, his first thoughts are of Santa and reindeer, so even at the early age of five we’re starting to get notions of what this means. I asked my teenage Godson and he says turkey and football, again alluding to the different associations. My mother and I share memories of my grandparent. You can see the various tie-ins, but we’re looking at established traditions and feelings and the positive associations that come from an existing marketplace. This is something you want to be cognizant of and use to your advantage…

 

… We typically tell our clients between 10 and 20% of your annual marketing budget should be devoted to your holiday spend. Now, some of our clients split that holiday spend between another holiday, such as a birthday campaign or a Fourth of July campaign, and the holiday season, but you’re looking at a 10% or 20% spend of your annual marketing budget. This may be new for some of you. Some of you may not have those budgeting numbers in place so we would encourage you to put together the numbers for your marketing budget for next year. Look at this past year, and previous years, for historic purposes.

 

One of the things I always caution our clients to watch out for is the marketing budget may not be tangible. It may not be dollars, where you say “I’m going to write this $200 check for this.” Instead, it might be you showing up at an event or you taking someone to lunch. While some of those have dollar values, I would encourage you as the professional to put a dollar value on your time. That is crucial. Regarding your dollar value on your time, that 10 or 20% can also be made up from your time. A lot of the folks I work with have 10 to 30 very close relationships where they make sure that they have personal interactions during the holiday season, but those hours you spend have a dollar value so don’t undersell yourself or undervalue yourself by not having that time included…

 

…The Fourth Thank You is focuses on gifts that generate T. O. M. A. We talked about it a little bit earlier, but this is Top of Mind Awareness. These are gifts that are going to frequently remind your referral sources and your business professionals that you work with and your client, of you. They’re very consistent reminders that are welcome. They emphasize your investment in the person and the investment in your relationship. The T. O. M. A. gift is a gift that is going to not just happen at the holidays so if the first week of December rolls around and someone is receiving a gift from you, it’s not just going to be right then in the first week of December, it might be the first week of January and the first week of February and the first week of March and every month thereafter…

 

… As we talk about keeping track of those business relationship, this is a sticky place to be in. You want to think about how are you keeping track of those business relationships. The Excel spreadsheet or the notes on a Rolodex card or business card, those are the tip of the iceberg, but this is something you need to be thinking about in your business. How are you going to keep track of those business relationships? How are you going to move them forward? We talked about Evernote and Cloze earlier and this is the next step. The question becomes is it time to shift your business platform, your business ecosystem, to a Client Relationship Manager software? This is SaaS or software as a service. I often joke that a CRM is your Rolodex on steroids, but it is the goldmine of information where you keep everything. You can keep every interaction you have with anyone within the CRM…

 

… For lawyers, because I know we have many lawyers on the call, this can be a much different conversation. You’re CRM may need to have practice management and billing inclusion which is just the tip of the iceberg. For lawyers, Practice Management software is different and is similar to Client Relationship Management software. If you’re in the cloud and you’re a lawyer, I’d encourage you to look at Clio and MyCase. If you have a lot of billable cases or you’re doing billable hours, I would encourage you to look at Amicus Attorney and Rocket Matter. Again, this is not an inclusive list. We have a list of about 13 lawyer Practice Management software that are very powerful and can do quite a bit for you, again depending on what you’re comfortable with and what you like.

 

I see the question that just came in that says, “Should I have a Practice Management software as a lawyer and a CRM?” There’s some wisdom to that. There would be some wisdom to having both depending on what both of them can do for you, independently of each other. That is what we would want to talk about and explore together. Especially if you were going to have a traditional Practice Management software for lawyers and you were going to have a CRM, what I would say to you is the CRM that is not lawyer specific should have substantially more marketing functionality than normal so you might want to look at Infusionsoft or Hubspot or Insightly because that would be a good complement to a traditional lawyer Practice Management software.

 

Remember, this is about next year as well so I’d encourage you to be setting up for twelve months of success in the New Year. Ask yourself, what does that look like? Have you mapped out your marketing for the next twelve months? I know you’re saying, “Audrey it’s November so really that’s thirteen months.” You’re right. That’s thirteen months, exactly, but I would say holiday campaign and then your next twelve months of marketing. Are you ready?

 

Keep in mind, it takes nine to twelve touches to build any business relationship and so often we are focused on just getting the business card or the email sign up and we stop there. We forget about the fact that we need to include all the relationship components that come into it. If you can’t look at your top thirty community referral sources and say you know their name, their birthday, their anniversary, the name of their spouse, the name of their kids, why they went in to their practice or business, why they’re doing this, what interests them, what motivates them, what’s their Alma Mater? If you cannot answer those questions about the people that you work with, you maybe have just scratched the surface. You may not be diving deep enough to entrench yourself in the relationship with them so I encourage you to think about that as you move forward…

6: Holiday Marketing Campaign – Best Practice Ideas for Holiday Spend

We are excited for you to use the holiday marketing campaign to make a serious impact with your marketing. Your joining forces to reach your audience at a time when they are already surrounded by great advertising, good feeling and rushes of serotonin. As we have discussed, done the right way, your holiday campaign can merge right into the enormous holiday marketing machine. You can see immediate benefits, gain momentum to propel you into next year and, quite possibly, enjoy yourself along the way.

Setting a budget for your holiday spend can be hard. Especially when you have never done this before, have a tight budget or are unsure of what to purchase and the impact it will make. These are all factors that should be a part of the discussion. Here are our seven best practice ideas to get you started:

1. Define your law practice brand.

What do you always do? What are you known for? The holiday card? The web design? The pictures on social media? The host or hostess gifts you bring to events you will attend? What are your colors?

2. Get all your ducks in a row now.

You need brand images, messages, vendors, addresses, correct name spellings and timelines well in advance of starting anything. Waiting until a week before you want your holiday pieces delivered will not benefit anyone. You can use our Preparing for Holiday Marketing Checklist to ensure you have everything assembled early.

3. Pick a leader.

Who is going to lead the holiday marketing campaigns? You? A team member? How hands-on do you need to be? Will you break your holiday campaign into different components, with you handling some aspects and your team members handling others? Do not overlook this step! If you don’t plan now you will end up doing all of it and come to resent the holidays. You need to establish these rules so you can schedule time on the calendar where it is needed most.

4. Set your budget.

You don’t have to go all out and blow your budget on the holidays but this is a place where you should be prepared to spend money. Consider 10% of your annual marketing budget to be spent on your holiday marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that your time investment has a dollar amount on it. Even if you aren’t spending physical money, you may be trading sweat equity or your time instead. Factor this into your budget. Further, look at your schedule and make the realistic determination if you have the time and the energy to invest here. Do not hesitate to be protective of your time and selective in what you do.

5. Choose your gifts.

Your holiday card is your baseline. What will your gifts look like? Are you giving your time? To whom or to what? An event, a run, a charity? Will you select gifts that recur throughout the year? Will it be something personal that says you know who you’re giving it to? Check out our Holiday Excellence: The Top 12 Gifts List for great gifts to give during a holiday campaign.

6. Create your timeline.

Holiday marketing campaigns can often last from before Thanksgiving until well into the new year. While at first glance this may seem strange or counterintuitive, if you are setting personal meetings, coffee dates or attending events throughout the holiday season this will take time. We understand you cannot just stop working during the holiday season to market. You need to protect your time and one of the best ways to handle the impact is to look at a season of holiday marketing instead of an isolated one or two-week event.

7. Start next year’s marketing now.

One of the best things that marketing during the holidays does for you is it set the foundation for next year. Review your community network? Who do you want to build a relationship with? What are your objectives for each relationship? How are you going to track interactions? How will you make sure you stay relevant with them week after week and month after month?

These are the strategies and structure to be putting in place now as you think about your holiday marketing campaign. Remember, the holidays are just the beginning. What comes next is where the real work is.

7: 7 Ideas (and More!) for Thank Yous that Make People Smile.

In our training, we have broken down the holiday thank yous that make people smile into seven distinct categories. Here we share some of our favorites for you within each category. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it is just what we love and want to share with you.

1. From Fun and Whimsy to Formal and Traditional Ideas

When it comes to gifts that you are giving as a business it is all about you. Remember these points when designing your message:

• This asks the question – Who are you at work? What is your business message?
• These gifts highlight your or your business sensibility
• This is a strong and valuable statement when you are building a brand
• You trade personal opinion of recipient for brand strength to showcase who you are
• These gifts create loyal, identifiable, “followers” from thank yous

Here are some great examples:

• Dad Tactical Kit and the Zombie Survival Essentials – www.mancrates.com
• “You will have many happy adventures” – www.fancyfortunecookies.com
• Is Your Cat is Planning to Kill You and/or Bacon toothpaste – www.prezzybox.com
• Monogrammed everything (golf towel, corporate hats, etc.) – www.marleylilly.com
• Fresh holiday wreathes – www.lynchcreekwreaths.com

2. Gifts that Personally Say Thank You

Saying a personal thank you can make an impact because it shows you’ve been paying attention to the person you are saying thank you to. Remember these points when choosing this gifting strategy:

• Know your recipient, including his/her likes and dislikes
• Make your selection carefully
• Research shows gifts tailored to how the recipient will feel are extremely valuable
• Don’t forget personal gifts, can also mean you make something for the recipient
• Studies show people are still pleasantly surprised and happy to receive handmade gifts

3. Gifts that Do Good!

Many people do not want or need anything but they want to do good for others. Answer this question before you get started: Will you support what you support at the holidays or what the recipient supports? Don’t forget, the latter requires you to know a bit about the recipient.

4. Gifts that Create T. O. M. A.

These are gifts that are creating Top of Mind Awareness and are welcome, consistent reminders of you and your investment in the person. They will last well beyond the holiday season. Here subscriptions packages or programs are a great fit but must have verifiable tracking/delivery and be branded with your message.

Here are some great examples:

• Tech and Learning Subscriptions – What do you find valuable? Share it with others
• Wine, Beer of Liquor Clubs
• Food (always food!) – Consider www.Godiva.com and www.Zingermans.com
• Shop Local alternative here (a great option for community building)

5. Get Out There and Spread the Cheer!

Ask yourself what is going on in your community that you want to be a part of? This should include an analysis of where your professional and community partners are going to be. Do you have the event that is the community event to attend during the holiday season? Can you create it? Don’t forget to think about 1) how you will handle multiple invitations for the same date and time, 2) the host/hostess gift, and 3) the follow up after this crucial face time.

6. Create Memories and Experiences

Studies show many people would rather receive this than “stuff.” Pick your recipient type appropriately (is it a single person, a workplace team, a family) and consider these options:

• Sporting events you know they root for (could also for the team)
• Outdoorsy adventures to get away or locally (could also be for the team)
• Subscriptions to experiences such as Kindle Library, the WSJ or magazines the recipient picks
• Local Experiences Only – look around you and see what there is to do

7. Gifts that Only You Can Do!

This is one of the most powerful gifts you can give if you are in any type of service industry. The majority of consumers trust a personal recommendation over anything else; it is trusted because it is based on a real experience. Giving the experience not only says thank you but shows what you are good at (first person). The reasons why to give this are numerous; you can showcase your excellence in your field, your customer service, the list goes on and on.

Don’t forget to go one step further – 88% of all people online trust an online review.

Have favorite gift ideas you don’t see here? Be sure to share them with us

8: Additional Resources that Accompany This Practice Development Section

Whenever we have a training section, we find it gives rise to a whole bunch of other topics and resources that can significantly help you in your law practice. Here is our list of additional materials you may want to consider that accompany the 7 Thank Yous that Make People (and Keep Them Talking About You All Year) training section. These resources may have been mentioned during the training directly, plus a few we know can be of assistance based on questions from our clients.

Managing the Business – Is Software in Your Future? Strategies for CRM Success
Lions, Tigers and Bears, OH MY! Software is Not Created Equal
I Just Want to Practice Law – The Art of Hiring Who You Need
Relationships Matter – How to Create Them Out of Thin Air