Hopefully, you have a marketing strategy and someone to manage its implementation. You have measurable goals and you’ve identified the tasks to accomplish them, right? And, you’ve established a budget with which those goals can be accomplished. Wonderful! It's great to plan. But things change. Revenues don’t come in as expected, sometimes more and sometimes less. And new opportunities present themselves. Do you not seize them because they aren’t part of the plan and aren’t in the budget? Maybe? Probably? Here is a simple test to help you make such decisions, and to help establish your planned marketing tasks.
Does it help you to be in the right place at the right time? Marketing is about just that – being in the right place at the right time.
If you think about some of your greatest accomplishments (that big client, big case, perfect spouse, great house, etc.) there was a certain element of being in the right place at the right time. Sure, it takes more than that to be successful, but it certainly gives you a leg up. But if you are not at the right place at the right time, then your chances of even having that opportunity dwindle precipitously. Where is it that you need to be? In the mind of a potential client or referral source. When? At the time they are making the decision to hire a lawyer or refer someone to one.
So, where is the right place? You must identify two categories of individuals – those who are your ideal client and those who are effective referral sources.
Who are your ideal clients? Take some time to identify them. When writing a novel, play, or script, most writers spend a good deal of time identifying and defining their characters. While many of the traits and histories generated in that exercise are never known to the reader or audience, it helps in creating the story. Spend some time thinking about your ideal clients. Remember there may be more than one type. Once you define them, it will be easier to take the next step. Then, do the same thing with your referral sources. One of the common traits that most effective referral sources must have is knowing you and knowing what you do.
Now, when is the right time? You cannot usually predict when one of the “right place people” is going to be at the right time.
So, you must make sure that you are there (in their mind) often enough to increase your chances of being there at the right time. But you cannot be there so much that you turn them off. Because being in the potential right places generally costs money, few lawyers ever hit that point.