Ellen Ostrow, Ph.D., Founder, Lawyers Life Coach ™Personal and Career Coaching for Women Lawyers, has a great web page where she talks about re-defining marketing. Here are some of her astute observations:
- Marketing is developing a sense of yourself and your strengths and communicating this to others with the goal of helping them solve a problem. [My thought: marketing should be driven by your defined goals. My goals include developing relationships with the larger litigation firms in town and becoming a referral prospect when those firms have conflicts. I am going to lunch with the local power-hitters all summer long].
- Even more importantly - marketing is the best way to implement your career plan and control your life. Clarifying your vision of your "perfect" client and developing a solid sense of your strengths and the work you want to do empowers you to further your own success.[Being an independent practitioner allows you to think about who you want to provide legal services to. I am working on defining my perfect client and then marketing to that goal.]
- Designing your career, developing a network consistent with your goals, and acquiring a client book are the pathways to real career autonomy. [Amen! One bad client can ruin the whole experience of being a lawyer. As Matt Holman at the Non-Billable Hour Blog says, don't be afraid to fire a client].
- Without a plan, most lawyers won't market because they view it as difficult or unpleasant. But developing your own individual marketing plan enables you to make optimal use of the time you have and to avoid time wasters that don't fit with your priorities. [I would submit that marketing is a mandatory for no other reasons than to make a lawyer think about how he/she wants their practice to look and feel down the road].
- Leveraging is a way to get maximum usage out of the work you're already doing. It's a great time saver. [Don't re-create the wheel. Leverage the relationships you already have. I printed my complete client list and am going back through the list looking for ways to leverage the relationship I enjoyed most over the last year. I'll do the same with my contact list next]