As we wind down the clock to 2017, one of the most important pieces of advice I dispense to forward thinking law firms and lawyers: commit yourself and your team to developing and implementing a solid marketing plan and budget as a key to effective business growth.
Sure, most everyone has good intentions but what we’ve seen over and over defies explanation. Like most things at the beginning of a new year, look new and shiny. Fast forward to March and the “plans” made are already forgotten, and life resumes its usual routine. Here’s what’s missing: expert coaches on the ‘outside’, not actually practicing law and responding to client demands to hold everyone accountable and maintain the plans on the ‘front burner’. There must be a catalyst to ensure forward motion.
Growing a prosperous business is not a one-man or one-woman proposition. It takes a village to ensure consistent, persistent steps are taken on a regular basis over years and decades to make the climb.
So, as we can see a new year in our mind’s eye, we offer a few steps to make 2017 a more strategic, deliberate year for your firm’s marketing efforts.
Three reasons why firms should create and implement an integrated marketing plan and budget are:
1. Bring focus to the firm’s marketing communications.
If there’s one thing smart business people (including lawyers) need is a large dose of focus. A thoughtful marketing plan and budget will help your firm (and especially legal marketers) facilitate an effective marketing program on a day-to-day basis if there are benchmarks of what you are trying to achieve and for whom. It is also easier to turn down the occasional attorney “pet” project if it is not included in an overall plan or budgeted for.
2. Create a measuring stick for results.
Law firms are notorious for spending lavishly on projects which have no probability of yielding anything. By planning and implementing a cohesive and integrated marketing plan driven by a detailed budget, you can measure the effectiveness (or not) of reaching your stated goals reached by the prescribed action items.
3. Get some skin in the game: commit to your business.
Realistically, if a firm (and its legal marketing team) can’t (or won’t) dedicate focused thought and energy to develop a solid marketing plan and budget to grow and develop business, the legal marketer will move on, and the firm will continue to do what it’s always done and see the same results.
No one ever said building a prosperous business is easy. It does, however, require planning, commitment and focus, or, what we like to say:
The secret sauce to marketing success is the consistent, persistent massive amounts of action over a prolonged period of time. It’s not rocket science, folks. Success is spelled out in the steady day-to-day connections you make in your structured relationship building, reputation-enhancing, and continuous follow through and outreach.
To make 2017 a more strategic, deliberate year for your firm’s marketing efforts, click the button below for a free consultation.