Sadly my children are getting to the age where they have twigged that the guy with the big white beard and the red coat might not actually be real. Megan at 11 has definitely realised, and I am pretty sure that Samuel at 9 is there or thereabouts, but at the same time they still have that hope, excitement and intrigue that just some part of the magical story might be true. I must confess, that being a big child at heart myself, I have always loved their excitement at Christmas time so I am keen to see it last as long as possible, hence this year’s ‘strapline’ I have created around Christmas:
Stop Believing: Stop Receiving!
I know, slightly cruel and barbed, but with just three sleeps to go it is holding out pretty well and whenever I say it they quickly get back on track. I have several friends who are also using it now. Can you use it too?
Marketing shares this with Father Christmas. If you start a marketing project and do not commit to it absolutely and completely, it is more than likely to fail. If you ask your partners to support a legal marketing campaign and they only partially commit, the minute your campaign does not fly off the blocks like a sprinter at the Olympics they will use every trick to pull you down and to stop the campaign. I have seen this several times and it can be brutal. Why it happens is somewhat bizarre, after all your fellow partners will share in any success of the campaign through increased profits, but a human weakness and desire to see you fail, or the campaign fail, shines through. It is more likely than not because they do not understand the marketing, or that they are ‘jealous’ that you have had the idea, but whatever human frailty causes this I have seen it happen so many times that I know it is not a one off. This is why whoever is in charge of marketing needs to obtain full commitment from other partners to proceed with the project, and then be left alone without interruption to make it work over an agreed period of time (months or years usually).
But this does not just apply to partnerships. If you are a sole trader you may well set out to sabotage the success of your own law firm marketing campaigns. You might not give them enough time to break through ‘The Dip (excellent little read by Seth Godin)‘, the period where nothing seems to be happening with your campaign so you give up on it; just before the period when it was going to start to produce results.
Once you have decided on a new marketing project, you must totally commit to it for a sustained period and do all you can to make it work until that period arrives. If you hold any doubts they will do their utmost to stop the campaign from working. In challenging times you do not need anything standing in the way of your successful marketing. You must make every campaign as successful as possible.
There are going to be plenty of challenges in 2011, but there are also going to be huge opportunities. How much you invest in and commit to the marketing of your law firm will play a big part in how well your firm performs next year. But just like this year, if firms make the commitments that my consultancy clients have made this year, they will buck the majority trends and increase their profits, some substantially.
So make sure you keep on believing in your marketing, commit to it unequivocally and keep working at it, improving it, testing and measuring it, and you will keep on receiving the new client instructions that you desire.
However, the minute you Stop Believing, you Stop Receiving, just as it is with Santa.
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