We’re ending the week on a high note, with a guest post from Lance Godard, of The Godard Group. For over 30 years, Lance has worked with lawyers and law firms to help them craft their messages, so if you’re looking for someone to help you with your content, look no further than The Godard Group. Today, he gives us some solid tips for conducting a quarterly tune-up of our marketing/BD plans.

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Just as you regularly perform maintenance on your car, you need to regularly tune-up your marketing and business development efforts, objectives and plans in response to changes in your practice, your client base, your experience, and your network. In fact, it’s a good idea to do that quarterly, because three months is enough time to determine how well your plan is working or, more to the point, how well you are working your plan. Here are three things you can do:

  1. Honestly assess progress against goals. Obviously, a single quarter doesn’t provide enough data to evaluate whether or not your plan will bear fruit, but it is long enough to see how well you’re performing against what you wanted to do. That means, for example, if you set the objective of writing one client alert each week but have only produced two in the first 12 weeks of the year, you need to adjust your expectations (there’s no sense beating yourself up if your schedule doesn’t permit you to write more). That doesn’t mean that you should dial everything back, but it does mean that you should assess at this point whether the marketing and BD activities you planned at the beginning of the year are realistic, and that you can and will actually carry them out.
  2. Refocus efforts on existing clients. It’s easy to build a plan around the “new:” new clients, new opportunities, new regulations, new industries. But most lawyers – and you’re probably one of them – are only able to devote a limited amount of time to identifying and pursuing new clients because they spent most of their time assisting their existing clients. If that’s what you’ve done over the past quarter, now might be a good time to refocus your efforts on getting additional work out of the people with whom you spend the most time. Challenge yourself to learn about those clients, to ask them questions that go beyond the scope of the work you’re already doing, to get introductions to new contacts at the company in other divisions, and maybe even other locations. The knowledge you gain will give you valuable insight into the challenges facing those companies, while at the same time position you to provide additional value because you’re more in tune with the things they care about. More importantly, it will alert you to additional opportunities to assist them.
  3. Follow the market. It’s a good idea to confirm that the objectives and tactics you identified three months ago are still relevant to the market you serve. Is medicinal marijuana still a factor for employers in your state? Have you helped a client get through a thorny regulatory issue that didn’t even exist in January? Maybe you’ve developed a new skill or experience in a different industry that opens the door to work you didn’t even contemplate doing when your first wrote the plan. In all of those cases, you need to revise your plan take into account those unexpected opportunities: what they are and what you’re going to do to go after them.

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There’s no time like the present to review your marketing efforts, rethink your marketing objectives and tune-up your marketing and business development plan.