Leveraging your most powerful marketing tool
So many businesses seem to talk the our-team-is-a-family talk, but how many actually walk the walk? As any effective business leader knows, your people are your greatest asset — and making them privy to that fact can have a huge payoff. In fact, a study by the American Psychological Society showed that employees who felt valued at work were more engaged and motivated than their underappreciated counterparts. When employees feel less like workers and more like shareholders in the business, they start to act with the business’ success in mind — becoming fully-fledged advocates in the process.
Team members don’t become advocates overnight, and the hard truth is that businesses have to be deserving of advocacy in order to inspire advocacy among team members. Below are some tips from LegalEase on shaping your team into advocates for your firm (and how to have a firm your employees will want to advocate for.)
How Advocacy Works
While you want to create a firm environment worthy of making team members proclaim their love for the firm from the mountaintops, there are far more effective (and less potentially avalanche-inducing) ways to be an advocate. Identify a few team members who are into evangelizing for your firm via social media and living the firm’s core values, and this team of advocates can be your marketing boots on the ground. If you’ve already gotten to this point: congrats on the advocates! If you’re still working on assembling your Advocate-vengers (that’s advocates and Avengers, but with less property damage), read on.
1. Start With Onboarding
In many ways, onboarding is like the first day of school. You’ve had all summer break to dream up your ideal persona, and now it’s time to show your classmates the new-and-improved you. Except instead of showing off your new Transformers (or Lisa Frank) Trapper Keeper that you begged for, you have the opportunity to create an environment for new hires where advocacy is both encouraged and deserved. By clearly communicating your firm’s goals and values and making new hires feel like they’re part of the team from day one, firm owners and hiring managers can inspire organic brand advocacy.
2. Make Your Firm Culture Known
Despite becoming the buzzword to end all buzzwords, corporate culture is still a valuable tool in creating a team of advocates. By communicating your firm’s culture to new team members, employees have the chance to learn what exactly it is they’ll be advocating for. Corporate culture starts at the top, so be sure team members of every job function have the chance to speak with firm leadership — and fully understand what the firm’s culture looks like at every level.
3. Get Involved
Be it through social media or in-person networking events, your team needs opportunities to advocate for your firm in order to, well, advocate for your firm. With that said: Getting active in your firm’s community is a great way to demonstrate some of your core values while getting some firm visibility, and can provide better opportunities to interact with real people than a networking event ever could. As mentioned earlier, corporate culture and advocacy starts at the top — so make sure you’re rolling up your sleeves and showing team members (and your community) that you can walk the walk.
4. Show Appreciation
While many business owners may suggest showing your appreciation for staff when their advocacy bears fruit, we think it’s too late at that point. To be effective firm advocates, team members need to be consistently recognized for their hard work and made aware that they are a key component of the team. Call us products of participation trophies, but it’s like the modern prophet Deion Sanders says: “When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good, they pay good.” You can’t make your team look good, but you can (and should) make them feel good.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a team of advocates — but by putting some of the above tips into practice, you’re inspiring advocacy that can have a major impact on the way you market your firm. While you work on turning your office into a team of advocates for your firm, let the marketing professionals at LegalEase handle the rest of your marketing plan.