I recently returned from a trip to the States where I was attending a marketing course with some business friends. On the last evening of the conference a big night was called for so we headed out into the night and took a taxi to a restaurant. After a good meal and a few glasses of wine we decided to go to one final bar closer to our hotel for a nightcap. The taxi dropped us off and drove off into the night and we went to walk around a corner to a bar when we were stopped by a policeman.
“You can’t stand there” he said to us all. When we asked why he said if we continued to stand there he would have to arrest us for our own safety. Somebody had been shot in the next road and we were not in a safe place (local knowledge needs improving on the next visit). We took his advice and marched swiftly back to the safety of our hotel.
I travelled to Baltimore in search of one or two new marketing ideas or to hone current skills as I realise that this is vital if I want my businesses to be successful. This follows my Golden Rules Of Marketing4Solicitors Rule Number 1 – whatever business you are in, whether it is law or marketing, accountancy or a butchery, if you fail to become an expert in marketing you are letting new business slip through your fingers every single working day of your life.
I know that I always have to improve my marketing skills to ensure that my businesses grow and that is why I will travel far and wide for ideas, read hundreds of books every year and watch webinars and listen to seminars every week of my working life.
We all know that the law is facing challenging times now, in addition to those being faced by all other businesses during the recession, but there is still enough business being transacted out there for every solicitor to make very strong profits. However, you have to accept my Golden Rule Number 1. You can fight it by saying that you are a solicitor and being great at that should be enough, but then you put yourself firmly and squarely in the category with most other solicitors out there at the moment, and guess what their businesses look like? Yes, they are struggling. If you want the same results as them you can of course keep on doing what you have always done but you must accept that you will now, without doubt, see declining results.
However, as we approach the last month of 2010, you could see 2011 as the opportunity that you need to really get to grips with understanding and becoming a master of marketing your practice. Swallow up law firm marketing resources, read AND APPLY the advice in my emails, buy some of my products, read non-law firm marketing books, look at marketing in other sectors and apply them to your own, but DO SOMETHING different to market your firm and keep on doing something different and trying new marketing initiatives.
You can have a successful law firm in 2011, but you have to make a conscious decision to do so, then you have to back up that conscious decision with lots of action that you consistently take. If you shoot one arrow at a target you might be lucky and hit, but if you shoot hundreds of arrows one after the other at the target your chances of success increase dramatically. It is exactly the same with marketing. If you only ever try one marketing activity which fails and then you give up, that is your one arrow shot. You can only succeed by constantly shooting more marketing arrows at the target until you start to hit some bull’s-eyes. Then you will see your practice surviving and thriving throughout 2011 and well into the future!
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Author: Nick Jervis