Oftentimes our members come to us asking about whether or not sponsoring an event would be worth their while. Oftentimes, it is. If it’s the right kind of event and they are able to use our resources to make the most of it. Here are a few of our tips on how to determine whether it is worthwhile for your law practice to sponsor events and things to keep in mind when you do so:
1. Ensure the people attending the event are in your target market
Many of our member lawyers attend expos and tradeshows using our marketing resources. And before they do, one of the first questions we ask is — will the ideal clients you want to serve be there?
This is the first rule of thumb. While it seems obvious, this vital detail can easily be overlooked.
Take a good look at who the event is being marketed to and how it is being marketed. Are the people the marketing will reach the same people you want to serve? Do they need your services? Can they afford your services?
If so, an event sponsorship could be worth your time, if the following additional criteria are met.
2. Speak if you can, and always collect information, rather than just handing out takeaways
One of the biggest mistakes lawyers make when attending or sponsoring an event is that they focus on handing out brochures or business cards. But this strategy usually doesn’t result in any payoff for you because event attendees take your information, put it in their bag, and it’s very unlikely they will ever look at it again.
Instead, you want to use the event sponsorship opportunity to collect the contact information of as many people as you can, so that you can create a directed follow up campaign.
For example, many of our lawyers sponsor at new parent expos or business expos. In each case, we recommend that the lawyer try to speak, if possible, using our “purple worksheet” lead generation system to build their email list (the most valuable asset of your law practice when it’s managed well). And, also set up a booth or table with compelling giveaways for the audience, such as a copy of the bestselling book on legal planning for parents at new parent expos, and a copy of the LIFT Foundation System & Toolkit at business expos.
But, these free giveaways aren’t given away at the event. They are showcased, and utilized, so the lawyer can collect attendee contact info in exchange for sending the free gift after the event. And, of course a strategic follow up campaign designed to engage the event attendee in further relationship.
3. When budgeting for sponsorships, ensure that you’ve got a follow up strategy + booking one client from the event will pay for the investment required to participate plus the follow up necessary to make the most of the event.
Sponsoring an event will rarely do anything for your law practice if you merely attend the event and hand out business cards or brochures. But, if you are able to collect leads at the event and then execute on a strategic follow up campaign by sending a free gift, then calling new leads (or training someone in your office to do) and then sending out a series of targeted emails designed to create relationship + an email newsletter every week, now you’ve got something.
Most of the people you meet who need your services will not hire you right away. In fact, many studies indicate only 3% of people are ready to make a hiring decision the first time they come across you or your services. Here’s the great news, when you follow up consistently, you get hired by the other 97% over the following years, instead of marketing for your competition.
So to know whether an event is worth your time, energy, attention and money investment, first identify whether one new client engaged would pay for your investment in the event. If so, and the event will reach enough of your ideal clients, do it and set a goal of getting one client directly from the event and then building an email list of the rest of the people you meet at the event and following up with that list consistently so you engage many more clients from the event over time.
One of the key things we do to help our members make these kinds of decisions it to create a cash flow forecast that tells them exactly how many clients they need to engage each month, at what average fee, to reach their financial goals.
In addition, we give your member lawyers done for you lead generation tools + follow up campaigns to keep you top of mind with leads who will hire you over the coming months and years after an event. With these two pieces in place, you can always identify whether it will be worth it for you to sponsor an event in the future.
Are you ready to create the law practice you always dreamed of? Start here: