The most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States? To get fit and healthy, according to Nielsen data.
A laudable goal, of course, but as purveyors of Enlightened Legal Marketing, we counsel you to think about the health of your practice, too. Purposeful client development is about more than billable hours – it should provide stronger client relationships, more stability of income and more enjoyable work. No offense to six-pack abs, but those are some resolutions worth fighting for.
Our 10 legal marketing resolutions for 2018:
- Think about what’s next. Get curious about how the legal profession is changing – and where your place might be in the new reality. One good place to start: The Future of the Professions by Richard and Daniel Susskind. Calibrate Legal’s Jennifer Johnson Scalzi reviewed the book; as she wrote, “If the Susskinds are correct, the entire social rationale for the professions’ existence is disappearing – and their role as stewards of the world’s expert knowledge will inevitably be superseded.” That certainly merits consideration. We’d also recommend following “Today in Legal Artificial Intelligence,” a daily roundup compiled by Market Intelligence, and Robert Ambrogi’s Law Sites Blog. (And maybe a marathon of Battlestar Galactica.)
- Update your bio. More than 80 percent of in-house counsel use lawyer bios to research new providers. Is yours up to snuff? Review our guide in Forbes, “Beware the Seven Deadly Sins of Attorney Bios.”
- Manage your online reputation. After you have updated your bio, look at your online presence as a whole. Attorney at Work provides simple tips for monitoring your name, maximizing your Google results, addressing negative reviews and maintaining at least a little privacy.
- Talk to your clients. Law firm clients who are asked for feedback are reported to be more satisfied, more likely to recommend their firms and less likely to switch. If you do no other marketing activity in 2018, do this one. Experts from the Legal Marketing Association share some thoughts for getting started.
- Make a plan. You will be 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down, according to research from Dominican University. There’s a great worksheet to get you started here. If you are an associate and need some ideas for where to begin, check out The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist.
- Execute your plan. Consider some tested methods for following through on resolutions – tell a friend, build in some rewards. Make business development a habit. (A friend says “Spend as much time building your business as you do brushing your teeth.”)
- Connect with your next generation of clients. In 2018, members of Generation Y will be 23 to 38 years old. They will purchase more legal services – both on the corporate side, as they ascend within organizations and start their own companies, and on the personal side, as they find new needs for estate planning and family law. How can your firm appeal to Millennial tastes? The Lawyerist lists “What Millennials Want From Their Lawyers.” Interactive websites and fixed fees top the list.
- Get clarity on your brand. We don’t mean your logo – we mean your firm identity. Who are you? What do you stand for? If you’re not sure – or if each attorney at your firm would have a different answer – consider a positioning exercise like Firesign’s Firm Foundation, which can brand your firm in two weeks.
- Mind your network. “It’s not what you know, it’s who knows what you know,” as Kelly Hoey professes in Build Your Dream Network. (Read the book, or at least this crib sheet.) Indeed, your network will be your No. 1 source of referrals, new work, new hires and job opportunities. Build and cultivate your network with purpose (and good manners and honest dealing).
- Call a timeout. Go on vacation; take that sabbatical. Harvard Business Review credits extended time away from the office with a decline in stress and stronger overall well-being. With the help of a lawyer/touring rock musician, we provide some advice for going on the road.
If your firm looks to attract, win or retain more clients in 2018, we would love to help. Contact us today.