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6 Power Tips For Creating A Law Firm Marketing Plan Part 1

May 24, 2008
Creating a law firm marketing plan is critical to the long-term financial success of your practice. One of secrets of highly successful attorneys is that they make time to plan for the future. We recommend meeting at least twice a year to evaluate achievements, set new goals and work on your law firm marketing plan.

I was recently coaching a partner in a small west coast law firm about their plans for this year when he said, I'm not sure I see a point in setting goals because everything seems to quickly conspire against us and we easily get so caught up in the day to day operations of the firm that we don't have time to focus on our goals. Then by the next time we meet, the priorities have all shifted."

Perhaps you can relate. It's easy to set goals; the hard part is staying focused on them long enough to accomplish them.

Here's the first three power tips for lawyers to stay focused and achieve your law firm's marketing and business development goals.

Here are the first three power tips.

Tip 1. Have a Written Plan. If a goal is important enough to have, then it's important enough to write down. Carve out 2 hours, get out of your office, turn off your cell phone, and go somewhere creative and relaxing. Here are some of the areas to consider:

o Financial goals for your business. Do to just focus on the money, focus on how you will get there. If your average trademark client spends $5,000 with you, how many new clients will you need to break $500,000 this year (answer: 100)? That works out to about 2 new clients per week. Unless you want a volume law practice, you will need to develop a way to up sell clients into higher end services.

o Practice Area specific goals How many new estate plans do you want to do in the next 6 months? How many new trials are you willing to take on this year?

o Marketing Goals All the top law firms in the country recognize the importance of marketing and business development. You need to set measurable marketing goals. I will meet with 4 new referral sources every month. How are you going to meet them? Who is going to set those meetings up? Who will do the follow up?

o Strategic Business Goals This is where you start to think big about your practice. Challenge yourself, how can you come up with another $100,000 this year? How can you go from your current 5 referral sources to 30 in the next 6 months?

o Personal Goals Perhaps you need to schedule a vacation for yourself every quarter. Maybe you have an idea for a new business venture. What place does your family, friends, and significant other hold in your life?

Tip 2. Make Sure You're Written Goals are S.M.A.R.T. Goals. This is a well known acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Timed. A good goal needs to incorporate all of these criteria. It is not sufficient to say I want to be a millionaire lawyer. That statement may be measurable, but does not include time frames, it does not lay out a specific game plan for how you will accomplish this goal.

An example of a SMART goal is: I want to meet in person with a minimum of 4 different potential referral sources every month for the next 6 months and ask them to send me business.

Tip 3. Ask Someone to Hold You Accountable. Accountability is key when it comes to keeping your marketing commitments. Whether it's your firm partner, an attorney in a different firm, or a law firm marketing consultant, set up a regular time to meet with someone you trust and who has your best interests at heart and request they keep you accountable. Simply knowing that they will ask you about your progress every week can make a big difference to a lot of people.
About the Author
The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms and solo practitioners generate more and better referrals and fill their practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from applying our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Stephen Fairley founded the company in 1998. For more information visit www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com
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