How often do you think about all those families with legal problems living within a 2 minute drive from you - and wonder how to get the clients in the door? You're not alone. Marketing a Mediation Practice can be tough.
I've been here before. You've helped me build my business and I'd like to give something back.
ALTERNATIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES
1. Ok so you've gone to the courts. You've met all the role players. Do you know that most courts in GP now have an in-house mediator? But he's so swamped with work that he facilitates very few mediations himself. Win him over. Resolve the single most difficult case on his desk (pro bono to win his trust). Start building a relationship.
2. Keep your promotions and pro bono to a theme. Women's month, Children's week, Mandela day. You get to put up posters at Government offices free of charge if you do this right.
3. Reach out to local welfare organisations. Keep your modus operandi similar to #1 and #2.
4. Where do people with children meet? Engage with the local schools. They have a debtors book, right? Many of these parents are struggling with child maintenance. Host talks at parent-teacher conferences. Explain the process and stick around to have one-on-one interactions afterwards. Answer their questions. Schools are an awesome place to advertise by the way. However, it could involve some costs.
5. Churches are a great place to meet families with legal problems. Keep your modus operandi similar to #4. Ask the pastor if they have programs around child care and divorces.
6. People are always looking for technical advice. Have a chat to the HR managers at the companies around you. Have them send out an email to their employees: meet them during their lunch break to answer questions around maintenance and family law.
7. Print advertising isn't dead just yet. Place an ad or a classified, or - even better yet - do an advertorial. Here you do an article and your company's name features in it. Place it on your website and your Facebook page!
8. Meet up with Community organisations (e.g. Round Tables, local philanthropists). Give back to the community - and do it in a way that's going to help your business further down the road.
9. Email a newsletter to your clients (like this one!). Add clients to the mailing list before archiving the file, then get in touch periodically. If your name stays fresh in their minds, chances are they're talking about you with their friends and colleagues.
10. Reach out to professionals who deal with potential clients. Law firms, psychologists, social workers. Add them on your website - I do on mine.
11. Do you have a website? Check out my revamped website at www.alternativedivorce.co.za. It took me 10 or 12 hours to get it up and it costs less than R400. Remember that digital marketing and social media isn't the end all of marketing, there are finer points to craft. If you want to learn how to get your website/Facebook hits up (or even just to set up a website like mine) join me for training at www.socialjustice.co.za.
12. I include links to my own accreditations on my email signature and website. This helps when engaging clients and to up your conversion rate from Initial contact -> Lead -> Paying client.
I really enjoy the questions and calls I get from you guys. Let's grow this community. Remember that every other mediator out there who's marketing and engaging, is making the public more receptive. Support them!
If you haven't accredited yet, I want to urge you to complete your accreditation(s) ASAP. Local accreditation can be done with SAAM (www.saam.org.za) at a fee of around R1200 in total. International accreditation can be done with the ADR Register at a fee of R1000 (the normal fee for members who have not trained with Family Justice / Social Justice is R2099). They were kind enough to provide a huge discount to our affiliates :)