Top Ten Tips for Marketing and Running an Efficient Elder Law Practice

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1 Top Ten Tips for Marketing and Running an Efficient Elder Law Practice Presented by: Anne McSweeney, LMSW Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA May 3, 2013

2 Elder Law Marketing Different than other marketing Based on referral relationships Based on credibility/expertise Educationally driven

3 Marketing: The Basics/Getting Started Does your firm have: Branding on your marketing materials? A unique logo for your practice? A website? Is it up to date? A tagline and an elevator speech?

4 1. Hiring Practices

5 Employee Roles Clearly define the role of each team member Attorney Office Manager Triage Person (and a back-up) Marketer LCP Model with Care Coordinator

6 Triage Person First point of contact at your firm Answers and triages all calls

7 Who Will Market Your Elder Law Firm? Social Worker RN/Nurse Sales/Marketing Rep Combination of Marketer and Care Coordinator Roles

8 Who Will Market Your Elder Law Firm? Social Worker: Previously established contacts within the medical/professional community Can provide care coordination/resource referrals if needed Sets your firm apart from the competition Will have basic knowledge of elder law issues

9 Who Will Market Your Elder Law Firm? RN: RN can do care coordination in addition to marketing RN may have contacts within the medical and professional community

10 Who Will Market Your Elder Law Firm? Sales or Marketing Rep: Focused solely on marketing efforts Have the basic techniques but need to understand the specifics of elder law marketing Typical hard-core sales person would not be effective

11 Traits to Look for When Hiring a Marketer Self-starter, highly motivated individual Ability to initiate and maintain conversation Comfortable with public speaking Medical background is a plus

12 More Traits to Look for When Hiring a Marketer Candidate should be organized and have a plan to market your firm Must believe in the Elder Law products Must have the ability to build a good rapport with people

13 How to Hire (and Retain) Exemplary Employees Hire through existing employees (friends of current employees) or networking Utilize recruiting services Give them a trial or probationary period Treat your employees well. This will come back to you. Give them the freedom to be creative with their ideas. Praise them often for a job well done.

14 2. The Triage Process

15 Goals of the Triage Process Create rapport with the client Weed out tire kickers and bring in the on-fire cases

16 More Details on Triage Phone calls should NEVER go to VM Triage person must be able to obtain certain, critical information Use a standard form Have a primary triage person and a back-up triage person Always follow up within 24 hours

17 3. Strategic and Marketing (Action) Plans: The GPS and Road Map of Your Practice

18 Strategic Plan Firm mission and vision statements S.W.O.T. Analysis: S - Strengths W - Weaknesses O - Opportunities T - Threats

19 Marketing (Action) Plan Tactical (day-to-day tasks) plan derived from your Strategic Plan Marketing (Action) Plan is critical but few take the time to complete this Work with about 6 months at a time Lay out an Action Plan

20 Examples of Goals Within Plan Contact Suzy Social Worker at Autumn Breeze ALF Goal: Lunch and Learn for Staff Create marketing collateral piece for next month. Educational in nature. Contact Connie Case Manager at Emory Rehab to determine if we can do an educational breakfast this month Begin planning the VA Seminar which will target Fulton County ALFs

21 Interactive Marketing Exercise: Do a brief S.W.O.T. analysis. Based on your S.W.O.T. analysis Create a 1-month fluid marketing/action plan that you can implement when you get back to your practices.

22 4. Intra-Office Systems

23 Intra-Office Roles Attorney Triage Person Marketer VA/Medicaid Specialist

24 Intra-Office Communication Cell phones for people in the field Client Review Project Checklists

25 Project Checklists List of all activities that should occur Assign task to specific workers Designate time frame to complete each task Track progress on each project

26 Activity Sets

27 Technology Systems Client Management System Remote access to files All information stored in one place Quick look at progress

28 5. Database Important Marketing Tool ACT, Time Matters, Daylite

29 Building Your Database Gather contact information Start a newsletter - this will help you build your database as well

30 Massaging Your Database 1. Your Marketer Should Know the Database 2. Marketer should be constantly updating and keeping track of contacts

31 6. Framing Your Firm as a Resource vs. a Vendor Education, education, education! Referral relationships How can you help the Healthcare Professional? How can you make their job easier? Public Speaking

32 More on Framing Your Firm as a Resource vs. a Vendor Newsletter o o o Print vs. Distribution schedule (monthly, quarterly, etc.) Created content vs. recycled content Lunch and Learns, Seminars, CEUs Educational giveaways and marketing collateral

33 7. Public Speaking Seek speaking opportunities to leverage maximum exposure Speaking makes you an expert on your subject and increases your credibility After you ve built up a database consider providing CEUs (and invite your database)

34 8. Elevator Speeches and Mission Statements Many times you only have a few minutes to get your point across You want to have a clear concise Mission Statement and Elevator Speech

35 Components of an Effective Elevator Speech 1. Your name and your company name 2. Definition of elder law 3. What sets your firm apart? 4. Anything else unique about your firm 5. Be clear, concise and articulate in your delivery!

36 Your Firm Mission Statement Formal, brief statement of the purpose of your firm Should guide the actions of your firm and provide a sense of direction

37 Interactive Marketing Exercise Take a few minutes and write down some bullet points that you would like to include in your elevator speech If time permits, put it all together and create your short speech

38 9. Building Referral Relationships These take time and effort Average of 7 marketing touches before the referral source knows you and will refer to you Persistence Boundaries

39 10. Tracking and Follow-Up You must have some sort of process for this Recommendation is to track every call that comes into the firm Make sure to thank your referral sources You should know your top referral sources

40 Interactive Marketing Exercise Off the top of your head, write down your top 10 referral sources. Then write down 10 additional facilities that you d like to be top referral sources and some goals of how to get into them.

41

42 Thank you and Questions? Anne McSweeney, LMSW Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA The Elder Law Key Marketing and Practice Management Strategies Designed Exclusively for Elder Law Attorneys

43 Top Ten Tips for Marketing and Running an Efficient Elder Law Practice Handout 1: SWOT Analysis Anne McSweeney, LMSW Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA The Elder Law Key

44 This product was produced for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Duplication of this product and its content in print or digital form for the purpose of sharing with others is prohibited without permission from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. How to Write a SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis is a planning tool for your business that allows you to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a powerful tool that can (and should) assist you in creating your marketing plan. In other words, once you construct your SWOT analysis you use this in the creation of your marketing plan. However, the SWOT analysis is a tool that is often overlooked. It will help you to focus on several of your key marketing objectives while identifying internal and external factors that will affect reaching your marketing goals. SWOT is an acronym that stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Basically, you will be considering these 4 areas as you prepare this marketing document. It is a subjective document that if you ask several key players of your marketing team to develop (separately) they would probably each create somewhat different ones. That being said, creating a SWOT analysis for your elder law practice requires a team effort. Brainstorming around your different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (with a variety of different team members) will bring more of these to the forefront and allow you to create a more comprehensive SWOT analysis. Let s take a closer look at the different parts of the SWOT analysis: 1. Strengths: What are some positive tangible and intangible traits about your law firm? These are internal to your practice attributes that are within your control. 2. Weaknesses: Factors that are internal to your law firm (that again, are within your control) but that take away from your firm s ability to meet your goals. When you look at your law firm what areas do you see that you can improve in? 3. Opportunities: External factors that exist in the environment. They exist for everyone in the marketplace. External chances to improve performance of your law firm (i.e. make better profits) in the environment NAELA Annual Conference May: 2-4 Page: 2

45 4. Threats: What are some external factors that could prevent or make doing business difficult for your law firm? Threats are external factors in the environment that can cause trouble for your practice. You cannot remove a threat; however, you can learn to mitigate it and overcome it. Example of a SWOT analysis layout: XYZ Elder Law Firm This is a fictitious SWOT Analysis designed to show you how to create your own Internal External Beneficial Strengths We have 2 social workers and an RN on staff Our complimentary phone consult and educational collateral allows referral sources to view us as a resource rather than a vendor. Opportunities Damaging Weaknesses Intra-Office systems are older and not as efficient as we need them to be. Our triage person just resigned and we have no one in this role. Threats Aging population and baby boomers on the rise huge need for Elder Law services. Growing number of ALFs/SNFs want to know about Veterans Benefits to help attract more residents to their communities. Many healthcare organizations are requesting Elder Law seminars as the information is needed for their patients it s confusing to most laypeople. There have been 5 new elder law attorneys that started practices in the Atlanta area this year. Our biggest competitors are very well versed in Veterans Benefits NAELA Annual Conference May: 2-4 Page: 3

46 Top Ten Tips for Marketing and Running an Efficient Elder Law Practice: Handout 2: Elevator Speech Anne McSweeney, LMSW Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA The Elder Law Key

47 This product was produced for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Duplication of this product and its content in print or digital form for the purpose of sharing with others is prohibited without permission from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Elevator Speech Components: 1. Your Name 2. Your Company 3. Definition of Elder Law or what Elder Law Attorneys do 4. What sets your firm apart 5. Anything else unique about your firm (for you all the CELA is huge and should be included. You will want to find out how many CELA s there are in your area probably not many and use this in your speech). 6. Your elevator speech should be clear, concise and to the point. Example: Hello, my name is Anne McSweeney and I m a social worker with Hurley Elder Care Law. We help seniors and their families find, get and pay for good long term care. Elder Law attorneys deal with the unique issues of the older population including Advance Directives (POAs, Living Wills), Medicaid Planning, VA Benefits, Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning. Many people hear that we are attorneys and think of litigation however, typically (besides Guardianships/Conservatorships) we don t do litigation. One of the unique aspects of our firm is that we have a social worker on staff this allows us to take a more holistic approach to providing care. In addition, we also offer a free phone consult if you (or your patients/families) ever have a quick question or need additional information please feel free to call and use us as a resource NAELA Annual Conference May: 2-4 Page: 2

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