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    Marketing Plan Should Reflect Your Strengths

    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.

    Paramjit L. Mahli

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 81, No. 6, June 2008

    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 People, 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 onto paper:

    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. 

    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 and marketing endeavors. For example, if you are a morning person, then consider attending breakfast-related 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 business development 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 effective.