Get More From Your Marketing Time by Doing These 6 Things (Plus a Bonus for New Lawyers)

You get it - business development/marketing is an important part of being successful attorney, but it can take lots of your time, and you don't have that much to spare.  So how do you get the most from the time you do spend on marketing?

  1. Know what you really want out of each one of your marketing efforts.  

    Get pretty specific.  Lawyers often spend time spinning their marketing wheels, because they know they should spend time on business development, but they don't really know what to do or what they are going to get out of a particular task, other than the feeling that they are doing something.
  2. Know whether you will get it.  

    Once you know what you want out of a potential marketing effort, think about whether that proposed activity will get you there and is in line with your marketing plan.  For example, some attorneys might see a change in the law that they think they should write about.  Maybe they think commenting on this change gives them some credibility.  If that's all they're looking to get out of such an article or client alert, great.  However, if their goal is to bring in business, this effort may not be one that gets them there.
  3. Know who you will reach, who you want to reach, and what they want.  

    The above client alert is problematic because it starts with the attorney thinking about what would make a good article, rather than focusing on the audience that the attorney wants business from, or to connect with, so it will not be as helpful in accomplishing the attorney's marketing goals.  If the attorney writes a client alert about a nuanced change in the law that only affects a small percentage of the attorney's clients in a small way, the time spent to write that alert will not go too far in bringing in new business.  Perhaps the attorney would get more new business by writing an article about a common, basic issue that many clients are likely to see.*  Focus on the people on the other end of your marketing efforts, makes sure you put the right people on the other end of those efforts, then think about whether they want to hear the information you are thinking about delivering, or whether they are likely to share that information with people that you are trying to reach.
  4. Know whether you will reach those people, how many of them you will reach, and how you can reach them.

    Efforts spend on marketing are wasted if the information is not reaching the intended audience.  In fact, the effort spent to create an article, for example, is just the beginning.  You must also put effort into making sure that information reaches the right audience, in the right way, at the right time.  Think twice about leaving that effort solely to any marketing people at your firm.  They are often very helpful but if they do not understand your goals, or have your insight into a particular industry or type of client, they cannot do as much as you can do by working with them.
  5. Give your audience a reason to look at what you are putting out there.  

    We are all flooded with lots of information these days, so your potential reader/listener needs to know why you are sending/telling them something valuable.  Think about your title, introductory language, and setting the stage for the rest of the information you will share.  Notice titles that catch your attention and note trends among them.  You can even keep a file of them as inspiration for your own marketing efforts.
  6. Know how much you can use that same item you produce.

    This is an often-missed step.  Your time is valuable, and you probably have little to spare, so make sure the time you spend on business development gets you as much value as possible.  For example, that client alert on a shiny, new, subtle change in the law that is complicated and took forever to write may go out, be skimmed by a  few people, read by even fewer, be irrelevant a week later, and never see daylight again.  A straightforward article on a basic topic in your industry that is constantly relevant may be much more valuable for your desired audience and much easier for you to write.*  Maybe you even explain that issue regularly and can pull and edit the last email you send explaining it to turn that into an article.  That is an item that you can use over and over again, that is easier to do in volume, that a reader may reference repeatedly, that they will share, and that you can build into a library to increase your credibility in a given area.​

*New Lawyer Bonus: 
​​Writing articles on the basics in your practice area is a great way for new lawyers to write business development content early on!  In fact, you may even be better at it than more senior attorneys, becuase you can better remember what it is like not to know even that basic information.  That means you can explain a topic clearly to a non-legal audicence in a way that can get more difficult over time.  Plus, covering basic topics keeps you fresh in that ability to relate to those who are new to a legal concept.  

By Women Lawyers News

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