Mediating is an incredibly rewarding profession. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t quite sure how to approach marketing our services, making it difficult for mediators
Mediation referrals can come from lawyers, but that can be difficult in some cases, too. What’s the best way to market your services and get more referrals from attorneys? There are a number of steps you can take to better market your practice.
Know Who You Are
Mediation isn’t a well-known profession, so knowing how to define your services is the best way to bring in referrals. Mediation is dispute resolution and conflict management. However, you need to develop the best way to label your services before you begin marketing to others.
Make it clear what you do so more parties that require your services will not only reach out to you in person but also search for your services online. If you have a particular niche, identify it. You may even want to obtain any industry certifications available within that niche to help define what you have to offer.
As you talk about the services you offer with prospective clients, you’ll need to build some trust in those services. It’s important that individuals trust your ability to successfully mediate cases, so building some credibility and trust is absolutely essential.
You may want to offer free seminars and blog routinely. You’ll want to reach out to clients within your area of expertise so they know who you are and how you can help. Remember to attend as many events and associations as possible. You may even want to offer some additional value to clients as you’re getting started.
Keep all of the marketing materials that represent your brand, so you’ll want to be able to create quality marketing materials that help portray you in a positive light. Use professionals to design your logo, your website, and even your business cards to help portray professionalism.
Don’t ignore online outlets like social media to help build your credibility. It’s a solid way to connect with lawyers and many other professionals who may use mediators in the near future.
If you’re new to the world of mediation, don’t overlook the importance of experience. The more you can meditate, the better you’ll be able to represent your practice. Keep in mind that your practice isn’t going to grow overnight, so take the appointments you can get at the outset, then you’re more likely to build the necessary connections to keep you busy over the coming months and years.
Often listing yourself on a Mediation Panel with your local courts is a good way to build that experience that will help shape your business. You’ll likely have to donate a bit of your own time every month, but when your time exceeds the required donation amount, you’ll get paid for any other hours you put into the job, and lawyers may choose you for other clients because of your experience in this area.
The need for networking if you’re looking for mediation referrals cannot be understated. You’re going to build the trust and credibility necessary to move forward if you utilize these events properly.
Many mediators write off the need for this kind of opportunity, but the reality is that networking makes sense because trust is built faster from these kinds of clients than from almost any other channel. Often after networking, you’ll find that one referral leads to another, your reputation slowly begins to grow on its own.
When you spot a good networking event, there are many things you should do. Smile, greet people, and remember names! You’re there to offer your services, so take what you need with you! Remember to truly tune and listen to those with whom you speak. Looking over that person’s shoulder for the next person you want to speak with is never a good idea at these events.
Instead, work to memorize names, faces, and truly connect with those you meet. You’ll also want to create an elevator pitch in advance with your name, your company’s name, and a few sentences about why they should choose you over anyone else to handle their needs. You may want to go as far as making appointments with those you’d like to further appeal to.
Marketing doesn’t always come naturally to mediators, but it’s a powerful way to grow your business as you work to get started. Referrals can be an essential part of a mediator’s business plan, and connecting with the right attorneys will put you in a position to get additional business in the future.