We know that marketing and BD professionals are critical to getting the most out of a firm’s membership and to the success of the network. As such, WSG recently held two meetings to bring together firm marketing and BD professionals to discuss how to best leverage a firm’s membership. These highly successful meetings, held in Austin, Texas and in Copenhagen, Denmark in April, serve as important steps to sharing knowledge and building relationships across the network. As a marketing professional within your firm, WSG encourages you to develop a more strategic approach to your firm’s WSG membership through the following three strategies:
1. Implement “The Basics”
We know that the more a firm leverages and engages the network, the more they benefit from their membership. By implementing “the basics” your firm will immediately expand the reach of existing content, demonstrate expertise and leadership and build visibility with fellow members as well as with clients and the general web community. It’s a long-term relationship and it starts with these basics:
• Maintain robust and up-to-date firm and professional profiles on the WSG site. Sync information on your firm site with WSG’s site by implementing the WSG Import Module.
• Share your latest firm news, articles and blog posts to the WSG site. Utilize RSS feeds to automate sharing.
• Include the WSG logo, description and links on your firm’s website to promote your membership and the value it brings to the firm and clients. Visit the WSG Brand Guidelines to download logos and descriptions.
• Develop a plan to ensure strategic engagement, visibility and relationship building by firm professionals through WSG meetings and events as well as practice, industry and association groups. This includes active engagement in the WSG Marketing and BD group!
• Regularly track referrals and collaborations through the WSG Referral Tracker Tool, allowing you to track inbound and outbound Network referrals with one simple tool.
2. Integrate WSG Into the Firm
WSG’s integration of knowledge, expertise and client service providers from the legal, investment banking and accounting professions creates better opportunities for providers and clients alike. However, people need to know and understand this in order for your firm and clients to benefit. Consider the following:
• Ensure that key stakeholders, from firm leadership to practice area leaders to marketing and business development professionals, understand the benefits and opportunities of WSG membership and work to leverage them.
• Communicate the value and benefits of your WSG membership to firm professionals. Ensure professionals across the firm understand how to access and utilize membership to better serve clients.
• Communicate the value and benefits of your WSG membership to your clients. Tout what your membership means to them: immediate access to prospects, information and leading experts with a known record of superior quality service.
3. Develop Strategic Relationships
WSG membership is made up of not only member firms, but also the over 19,000 individual professionals within each member organization. Each individual has their own personal WSG account focused around their areas of practice and interests, enabling members to move well beyond the “primary contact” model to locate expertise and build relationships to benefit the firm and its clients. Some important relationships to include:
• Relationships within your firm to optimize firm activity and engagement across the WSG network.
• Alliances based upon professional areas of practice, interests and participation in WSG groups (practice, industry and association).
• Connecting with marketing/BD professionals across member firms to identify business opportunities and share knowledge.
• Between firm and WSG marketing team to further discover and utilize the breadth and depth of the WSG Network.
Membership is not “one size fits all” and WSG offers a wide variety of opportunities and resources, making it easy for firms to customize your membership. For more information and resources, we encourage you to visit the WSG Knowledge Center and view advantageous documents on the WSG Marketing Materials page. If you are not already in touch with a WSG Marketing staff member, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to discover more ways to optimize your firm’s membership.