A simple marketing plan for lawyers

The experts and gurus tell you you’re not doing nearly enough to market your legal services. They provide you with a laundry list of tasks you need to do and you had better do them, they say, or you will be left behind by your competition.

Screw ’em.

You don’t have to do everything. I certainly don’t. Not even close.

I write a daily blog post, I occasionally do some guest posts, and I spend about five minutes a day on social media. Okay, you got me, I also do a lot of reading. But I am not consumed with doing everything others say I must do. I don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, and you shouldn’t either.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” Teddy Roosevelt said. He was replying to a request for more guns and soldiers during the Spanish American War. His generals wanted more. He told them they were fine with what they had. You are, too.

Yes, there are other things I’m working on. Because I want to, not because I have to. I’ve got the basics covered.

You may be different. You may have more time than I do. Okay, let me re-phrase that–you may want to spend more time on marketing than I do. You may love posting and pinning and tweeting and commenting and sharing and instagramming. You may be a video stud or a mobile maven.

And that’s fine. It’s great, in fact. God bless you. You’re doing what you enjoy and it’s working for you. That’s the way marketing should be.

Because if it’s not, if marketing is something you loathe in all it’s forms and iterations, you shouldn’t do it. Why make yourself miserable? Partner up with someone who likes marketing. Or get a job.

Because marketing must be done.

If you want to do more, do more. Not because you see other lawyers doing more and you think you must keep up with them. Do it because it makes sense to you and you want to do it.

Start by learning about what’s possible. This blog is a good place to start. My course, The Attorney Marketing Formula, provides a system for marketing legal services and includes a simple marketing plan for lawyers. My other course, Make the Phone Ring, shows you how to do marketing on the Internet.

I mentioned Teddy’s quote in a previous post where I also quoted Mark Zuckerberg. He said we often start projects with the hard parts, figuring we can always do the easy bits. He says that instead, we should start with what’s easy. This way, we will have started and starting is the most important part.

If you start, you can get better, maybe even learn to like it. If you never start, that can’t happen.

Starting is easy. Starting includes things like reading and thinking and making notes.

So don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, or what anyone says you must do. You can market your services any way you want. Find out what’s possible, do something and see how it goes. And start with easy.

Mark Zuckerberg’s advice for success in business

mark-zuckerberg-on-charlie-roseMark Zuckerberg was interviewed recently by Charlie Rose. Mashable published twelve quotes from that interview.

I clicked through the quotes in the slide show and didn’t think much of them. Perhaps they lost something outside the context of the actual interview.

But then I came back to one of the quotes, one that at first blush, seemed not to say much at all. The quote I came back to was Zuckerberg speaking about business:

“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

It seems simplistic, doesn’t it? “Start with the easy things.” But it is truly profound.

Many people who start a business project, myself included, tend to focus on the hardest parts first. My thinking has been, “I can always do the easy things, I need to conquer the toughest challenges first because if I can’t lick those, this project will never get off the ground.”

How about you? Do you start with the easy things or, like me, do you first jump into the deep end of the pool?

Perhaps we equate “easy” with “having less value,” but in the practical sense, that isn’t true. The things we can do without a lot of thought or effort are often of greater value because they allow us to get started and getting started is the most important part.

Most business projects never see completion because they never get started. They remain ideas, Someday/Maybes, wishes and dreams.

How many projects have you conceived in the shower or while out for a drive that never got past the idea stage? In the light of day, when you thought about those ideas, you saw how difficult they would be. “I can’t do that. I don’t have time to do that. I don’t have the money to do that. Maybe some day.”

Perhaps you did get started, but you started on the difficult things first and saw first hand the immensity of the challenge. Now you know you can’t do this. Maybe some day.

What if you did the easy things first? What would happen?

You would learn things you need to know. Meet people who can help you. Gain confidence. And momentum.

If Mark Zuckerberg had thought about Facebook as anything more than what it was when he started, a little dorm room project, he may never have started. It was easy for him in the beginning, and fun. The hard parts came later after he was committed.

The most important part of any project is getting started.

Start with easy.