Heat WaveIt’s hard to believe its only the end of April and we’re already talk about the summer heat.  But, as we all attempt to get ready to survive the heat wave that will undoubtedly accompany the dog days of summer, it is still vitally important to your law firm’s development that you take some time to review your progress and evaluate what your next steps might need to be.  Human nature has us start the year with gusto and all sorts of promises of new plans of marketing campaigns and renewed management involvement only to find ourselves back in the same ruts just about this time.  So, break the cycle!  So, do a mid-year check up!

Make a list of all of the projects you intended to start in January or February and really investigate where you and your team stand in regards to their implementation.  I would hope that your team members were a part of the decision-making process that helped create and implement the projects at the first of the year.  So, they should have buy-in, right?  If so, then they should also make their own lists of the projects they “thought” you all were implementing and where they think you all stand on them.  Now, I realize how hard it may be to even recall “the list” since it has been since January that you developed it and started implementing all of these great intentions, so I’ll even get you started:

  1. Website updates/redesign – add video or info graphics
  2. Implement new case management software/processes and procedures internally for certain practice areas
  3. Implement new bonus/pay structure for staff and attorneys based upon performance/case settlements and fees collected
  4. Ghostwrite a book
  5. Start a newsletter campaign/e-newsletter campaign
  6. Start a client targeted referral marketing campaign
  7. Start a professional referral marketing campaign
  8. Start working on your social media and digital marketing campaign
  9. Develop, train and implement a client experience/service standard for your firm
  10. Develop a succession plan for yourself and for the firm

Now – how do you and your firm measure up?  You must be honest with yourself.  It would probably be best if you allowed your staff and executive team members to give you their feedback so that you get a true assessment of where you are.  What did you do?  What did you totally miss the mark on?  Now, determine how to adjust your current actions so that you can get back on track.  Now is a far better time to do this then at the end of the year when it is too late!  We all get too busy working in our practice to work on it.  This is why having a firm development firm assist you and hold you accountable on a monthly basis helps you stay on course.  But, you can do it too.  It just requires that you set your calendar for monthly, quarterly or at least 6 month check-ups and check-in on yourself and your progress and you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.  But, to be honest, I have seen so many lawyers, good ones, great ones and even lawyers who were great entrepreneurs/marketers who just didn’t have the time or focus to keep their projects in line and moving forward without someone (or many someone’s) to hold them accountable and keep them on track.  I would dare say that 99% of the most successful lawyers (those who do a great deal of marketing) have at least one person who handles their firm development and growth projects.  They are involved in every step of the process from brainstorming the ideas and determining how the implementation is going to affect the staff and processes/procedures to determining how to track/measure the success of the campaign and the final reporting.  And, throughout the entire project, they are continually holding the partner(s) accountable for and keeping them focused on his/her part in all of the steps. This is why having only a marketing agency or an internal marketing director is not going to get your firm the growth and development your firm wants.  In order to develop, you need a law firm development firm who knows both the marketing side of development and the business side of development and growth.  They are the only ones who can see the big picture and will be able to help you and you firm not just market, but grow and develop successfully by measuring and reporting your progress.  You can’t prepare for the heat wave alone!  It’s time to hire the HV/AC professionals!  Welcome to summer 2017!  It’s gonna be a scorcher!