Attorney marketing can encompass a number of areas. You might have a media campaign; direct mail, educational marketing, PR, Internet or you might focus your legal marketing on building a referral network. Whatever your attorney marketing approaches, you can focus, assure and enhance your positive results with an effective weekly planning meeting and appropriate delegation.
If you start out attorney marketing without any sort of direction or plan, it is also likely you will be wasting money, right? In target shooting it is “ready, aim, and then fire – so too with attorney marketing. Well, the trick is to continue this thinking throughout the marketing life of your firm. The need for focused lawyer marketing does not run out like a warranty. The marketplace, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your circumstances change over time and so should your legal marketing stance.
How To Do An Effective Weekly Planning Meeting:
Each week, it is imperative that you sit down with yourself and some paper and get focused on your lawyer marketing. This is your time to think about the practice and where it is going, to consider your mission and goals and what you can do to make them real, and to take a good look at the status of your attorney marketing.
The meeting itself should be scheduled on your calendar as at least a thirty-minute block of time. You should have no interruptions and be able to hold the meeting each Friday towards the end of the day or perhaps early Monday morning. Out of this meeting, you will come up with a fully prioritized to do list as well as a clearer picture of where the practice stands and what you need to do to meet the long term goals of the firm, in your personal life, and in attorney marketing.
How to Make/Prioritize Your Empowering List:
For the first part of your meeting pull out your firm mission and 1, 5, 10-year goals (if you have them – if not do make them) and review them. Next put something on your “weekly to do list” that will further at least one of your firm one year goals (you can put more of course). Next, put down the items of all types that must (or it would be best if completed) get done during the upcoming week. Now, for each task, you need to rank it using the letters A, B, and C. To do this ranking A = important and must be done by a lawyer; B = less important and does not require a lawyer (although you personally might have to do it); C = not very important and does not require a lawyer (although you personally might have to do it).
Next, among the A’s, rank each item with either a 1, 2, or 3. The items marked with a 1 must be done within two days. The items marked with a 2 must be done in three to five days, and the items marked with a 3 can wait until next week if necessary. Do the same with the Bs and Cs.
For example, if you have some attorney marketing task that needs to be done by Monday, then you would mark it an A1. If you have a client that needs specific information from their file by Friday, you would probably mark it a B2 and delegate that to a paralegal. If you have a doctor's appointment on Friday it would also be a C2 since it does not require a lawyer but you need to do it although you could reschedule it if necessary.
Delegate any tasks that are B or C level of importance if you possibly can. If you can’t delegate it ask yourself why? No staff? Not enough staff? Not trained the staff? Staff not effective? Fix these issues so you can delegate. Create a form to use that you can give to each team member. Include the following information for each task:
· Today’s date
· Due date for task
· What is to be done
· Who is responsible for this task
· Why the task is important
· How often to report to you on progress or status
· Further instructions
The goal here is to stop doing as many B and C tasks as you possibly can. You make your money doing things lawyers do (associate, partner and managing partner lawyer things) not other things. This will free up your time to do more A tasks, and you can attend to important matters like growing your practice through attorney marketing. If you have associates now you can do less technical work and do more legal marketing that is the lifeblood of any practice.
You should always keep your marketing goals in mind as you prioritize your list and delegate tasks. The success of your attorney marketing will grow as the skill and effectiveness of your managerial and entrepreneurial time and skills grow.