Vol. 81, No. 6, June
Marketing Plan Should Reflect Your Strengths
by Paramjit L. Mahli
No matter how limited your marketing dollars or experience may be,
you're more likely to
succeed if you have a plan. Best of all, the
plan need not be complicated.
Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
published by Free Press in 1989, says to "begin with the end in
mind." Like planning a trip, you choose a
destination and then figure out how you're going to get there, where
you're going to stay, and what
you're going to do and see.
Some people think that formulating a plan in your head is good
enough. Wrong. You won't
see the holes, gaps, and pitfalls. Here's a checklist for getting a plan
1) Take inventory. Assess your strengths and weaknesses
to help you decide what
marketing to implement. For example, if you don't like writing but
you're gregarious and enjoy
speaking, then giving seminars and presentations might be more
appropriate for you. Consider
assigning the task of writing articles to someone else in your firm.
2) Know your target market. Take the time to clearly
identify and understand your
target market _ especially if you're in a small firm or have your own
practice. Knowing your
client market will save you time, money, and frustration. It will save
your limited marketing
dollars because you will know how to reach these prospects, what events
they attend, what their
reading habits are, and so on, thereby making it easier for you to
implement your marketing
plan. Do not rush through the client profiling process; the information
you gather will be the
foundation for many significant decisions.
Paramjit L. Mahli of The Sun Communication Group helps small
to mid-sized law firms
increase their visibility, build their reputation, and grow their
business by using public
relations. She also developed the teleseminar "How to Grow
Your Law Practice on a Shoestring Budget."
3) Know yourself and your work habits and
patterns. Monitor yourself for a week, and determine how much time
you spend with clients, how much time you network, and when you
do these activities. Knowing your patterns will improve your networking
endeavors. For example, if you are a morning person, then consider
networking events; on the other hand, if you prefer the evening, then
that is when you should
schedule events. Knowing your individual rhythms will make all your
activities more effective.
4) Set up a blog. If you don't have a Web site and are in
a financial bind, consider
setting up a blog. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to do. Include
your biography and
information that clearly demonstrates how your practice can benefit
prospects. Case studies
and testimonials are effective ways of demonstrating your expertise.
Regardless of which marketing tactics you choose, the key to the
success of your
marketing is consistency and making adjustments when the need arises.
More is not necessarily
better; doing a few things right is considerably cheaper and far more