“Focus! If you chase two rabbits, both will escape” (ancient Chinese proverb)
This article is for you if –
- You own a small law firm
- You understand the need to market your services
- Your problem is that the marketing rabbit just never seems to make it to the top of your priority list. You’re always too busy chasing billable hour rabbits.
Why is it so difficult to focus on marketing? The root cause I believe is loss aversion – the tendency (deeply ingrained in all of us) to put more effort into avoiding loss than we do into acquiring the same gain.
“If I spend two hours on a marketing plan to acquire new clients” you think to yourself “I lose two billable hours. I’ll find the time to do marketing later”. “Later”, of course, never comes. For most lawyers, marketing takes them right out of their comfort zone, so it’s something to be tackled in the hazy “never-never land” of the future.
The solution: 4 steps to Focus
- First, set your own personal goals -
- Your income goal: Ask yourself “How much do I want my firm to put in my pocket every month?” Don’t be afraid to go high here – keep it real but motivating!
- Your lifestyle goals: What sort of work/leisure balance are you after? How much family time? What sort of working conditions? And so on. Indulge in a bit of day-dreaming here; visualisation is a proven path to achievement.
- Your personal development goals: What do you want to get out of practicing law? How do you want to grow as a person? What new competencies would you like to acquire? What reputation are you aiming for? What will be your legacy?
- Next, set your firm’s business goals. Base them on the answers to these questions -
- “What profit must we achieve for me to reach my personal income goal?”
- “What is our average profit per new instruction and how can we grow that?” (Go to the flowchart in “Shoestring marketing” for help).
- “How many quality new instructions do we need every month to reach that profit goal?”
- So now you know exactly how many new instructions you need every month and achieving them becomes your core business goal. Build your marketing plan around that goal.
- Most important of all: Chase one rabbit at a time! Set aside time to focus on marketing, and nothing else. Stay focused and motivated with a daily reminder of your goals and of your plans to achieve them.
This article first appeared in GhostDigest and also appears on the DotNewsConnect blog.
Jack Crook, Director at DotNews, is well known to law firms as the author of LawDotNews since 2005. Jack’s legal qualifications (LLB Lond and LLB Rhod) are supplemented by many years of practical experience in law, in marketing his own firm, and in helping other small and medium sized professional firms to prosper by using simple, low-cost, effective marketing strategies.