If I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard one of the following statements about marketing, I wouldn’t exactly be rich, but I’d have a lot of quarters:
“We don’t need to do any ‘marketing.’ Everyone in our industry knows who we are and what we do.”
“I’ve never marketed myself. I get my clients by referrals.”
“The firm’s marketing doesn’t concern me—I do my own marketing.”
“This isn’t really ‘marketing’ because we’re not sending this newsletter to clients, only to other lawyers.”
“We’re too small to do any marketing.”
“Marketing costs too much. We can’t afford to do marketing.”
“We don’t do marketing. Those ads and billboards are tacky.”
“We’re not focusing on ‘marketing’ right now; we’re focusing on ‘business development.'”
These statements, and many others that I’ve encountered, exemplify some of the common misperceptions about marketing: it’s a cost, it’s expensive and it’s a luxury—nice to have but not necessary for financial success. What falls under the heading of “marketing” also tends to be understood narrowly—communications directed only at clients and prospects, printed brochures or a website. Many people confuse marketing with advertising, which can be part of your marketing efforts, but isn’t all there is to marketing (kind of like squares and rectangles, all advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising). There’s also the tendency to see “marketing” as separate function from and unrelated to “business development.”
These outdated views lead to the prevalence of what I call “reactive” marketing.
Marketing gets relegated to the bottom of many lawyers’ to-do lists (somewhere below filling out time sheets for the month). It gets short shrift in terms of resources—time, money or both—and it’s often one of the first functions to be cut in times of financial stress. There’s no marketing strategy, no marketing plan and no tactical implementation of any marketing tasks. Instead, any marketing that does get done is usually a reaction to random events—a meeting with a client or prospect that leads to the realization that a bio or practice page is hopelessly inaccurate or out of date—or worse, missed opportunities to bring work in or work that goes to a competitor.
What if I told you there was a better way to view marketing—one that would actually make marketing worthwhile, even profitable for you?
What if I told you that adopting a marketing mindset was key to financial success?