With only so many hours in the day, and a seemingly never ending to-do list, it helps to stay focused on a few key marketing fundamentals that can help keep your business development efforts moving forward. I’m not talking about the longer term marketing strategy that needs to be done periodically, but the simple things you can do on a daily basis to stay in the right marketing mindset. Although many of you are already doing some or all of the following, it helps to be reminded of some of the simple but powerful ideas to help turn your best intentions into action.
1. Visualize Your Dream Client
Developing a strong visualization of the “dream client” you are trying to attract is a powerful way to consciously (and subconsciously) manifest the type of new business you desire. It is a simple exercise that can have a powerful effect on how you position your firm for success. In a perfect world, who would your ideal client be and what type of referrals would they send you? Matching your actions and marketing choices to meet the exact needs of your “perfect client” encourages clarity and innovation. Why should they hire you? What would you say to them about your firm when you meet them? Where do they work? What do they read? Perhaps is a 50 year old female with fibromyalgia as the perfect social security disability client or a 35 year old man who fell from scaffolding for workers’ compensation. The list is as endless as your creativity. Creating your dream client persona is a great step to helping you stay on track and confident in how you spend your marketing resources.
2. Get Out of the Office
Yes, it’s as simple as that. Physically networking with other attorneys, professionals and business people expands your connections and allows for those chance encounters that can only happen in person. We are sometimes lulled into complacency with the abundance of technology that seemingly connects us 24/7, but being in the physical presence of potential new clients—and even more importantly—existing clients, is critical to building awareness of your firm and personal brand. Go to conferences, take a client to lunch, and try to make time for those informal corporate gatherings you are invited to. It’s worth it and will more than pay back in new opportunities for the time invested.
3. Just Say No
Being fearful of where your next client will come from sometimes makes you want to accept every possible case that might come your way. Even if it’s not certain to be profitable, outside the strengths of your firm or even whether or not there’s a good chance for getting paid. Although we all need to keep the lights on, most times it is better to stay focused on attracting the work that you really want at rates that will help you to succeed.
4. Respect the Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes or in most law firms that 80% percent of your business success will come from 20% percent of your clients. Which of your clients provide you with the most work? How about the most revenue? They are not always the same! If you do track this important metric, how are you building and improving on key client relationships? Too many lawyers spend their time and resources going “big game hunting” and forget that the very best prospects may already be doing business with you! The reverse hold true as well (see Just Say No above). Making room for your next great client involves discipline, selectivity and once in a while allowing a client to move on.
5. Leverage Your Writing
Creating relevant content is one of the most important marketing activities you can do in the digital age—but how you leverage it is just as important. Make sure that the precious time spent on crafting articles and blog posts is maximized by posting at regular and frequen intervals. Participating in online groups and posting links to your content on the appropriate social media sites like LinkedIn and Google+ not only helps with more potential referring attorneys and prospects seeing your smart ideas, but also helps with the all-important search engine optimization that keeps you popping up more frequently in online search.
Of course there are many other keys to growing your practice but these 5 fundamentals are a good start to keeping the right marketing mindset for the important work of developing new business for your firm.
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