The start of the New Year is when people are trying to make a commitment to improving their mental and physical health by going to the gym, cutting back on social media, or cutting back on carbohydrate intake. Yet, when considering the goals for 2022, lawyers may be best served by considering their marketing aspirations and how best to get the greatest return on their personal marketing investment.
Lawyers can take the following steps to ensure that they are using their time wisely. Whether you call these resolutions or annual tasks, they are essential to health marketing.
Identify the obstacles
Consider what marketing issues you are having and what makes it difficult for you to develop business.
For example, do you recreate the wheel every time you present a deal? Do you lack the patience to follow up on the contacts you have made during an event? Only by taking the time to think about what marketing tasks you’ve had problems with will you be able to solve them and build systems to take the pain out of it.
Create personal systems
Having easy-to-use systems in place can help you remember to follow your new business arguments or provide a place online where you keep a boilerplate text to use when following up on those you meet.
If there are marketing tactics that you want to use regularly, but in the past they’ve slipped through the cracks or seem too time-consuming, a regular periodic reminder on your calendar can sometimes be a big help. If you have a marketing department, work with them to help resolve these issues. Chances are they have great ideas and technologies for the systems to be put in place.
Focus on existing customers
Before chasing the shiny new dime, focus on making your existing customers as happy as possible. The adage that the best source of new business is an existing customer is true.
Not only are you more likely to generate business from someone who has given you work in the past, but existing relationships are often the source of referrals. Meet with your existing customers, especially when there are no outstanding issues. Find out how they fare in their role, what they think about your work over the past year, and find out their aspirations for 2022.
Forget about being in sale mode, just listen.
Think first of the objectives, then of the tactics
Consider your goals for 2022. Would you like to get more work from existing clients or new clients? Are you interested in cross-marketing your abilities and area of ââpractice internally to other members of the firm?
While it is essential to include tactics such as seminars, press campaigns, and targeted marketing in your marketing mix, the most valuable time you will spend in the marketing process is at the beginning, thinking about your Goals.
Exercise your marketing muscle
Consumer surveys indicate that finding the time to exercise is the number one resolution Americans take each year, but what about exercising your marketing muscle?
By committing to just one meeting per week, or even one meeting per month, with someone you usually don’t work with, you will be able to better describe your practice and branch out to grow your network. As a result, meetings will become easier and at the same time you will develop your network and skills.
Update your contacts
Whether you’re using LinkedIn, a customer relationship management system, or just the address book that came with your email, be sure to include any new contacts you made during 2020 into the list.
Connections that you lost touch with but were close to many years ago can also add great value to your network. Don’t limit your network to those who could be potential customers. The more professionally diverse your network, the better it will serve you.
Audit your social networks
Take a look at your social media channels and be bold in thinking of the best ways to improve them. Do you need a stronger LinkedIn profile, or does your website bio need to be updated with new cases or issues?
January is a great time to take a look at the different places your name appears online and find ways to refine the information you are disseminating.
Continuously Provide Benefits to Customers
Throughout the year, be aware of ways to help customers, whether that’s introducing them to people they want to meet or offering them ideas to help their business.
A general counsel I know said he liked his law firm because one of their partners gave him excellent advice to help him restructure his legal department. While the company probably wasn’t paid for this work, it was something this client appreciated.
Finally, if you find that you are not good at finding ways to help clients who go beyond your work with them, organize a brainstorming session with other lawyers in your firm, a consultant. in marketing or, if you have one, with your in-house marketing professionals. Going the extra mile in a competitive environment can make a huge difference.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. or its owners.
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Deborah B. Farone is the founder of Farone Advisors LLC. She is a consultant to law firms and other professional services, speaker and author of “Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing” (PLI 2019). She is the former CMO of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she was responsible for creating the marketing departments of both companies.