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Marketing: Positioning

“Holiday Marketing” vs. Strategic December Business Development

About this time each year, law industry publications are rife with advice about “holiday marketing.” The advice tends to be about gift-giving protocols and using social events to network and create relationships.

However, today’s legal environment requires more substantial analysis and strategy, a “Holiday Marketing 2.0” if you will. Here's how

You're known, but will you be remembered at the critical time?

There’s nothing more frustrating than learning that a prospect or client who knows you well has hired someone else for work that’s in your sweet spot. Or, you see a conference promotion where others are speaking about a topic about which you’re known to be an acknowledged expert. How does this happen?

What does it mean to "be involved" in something?

Being "involved" communicates absolutely nothing. Yet, lawyers' bios are rife with such empty verbs. Your bio may be the first substantive exposure many legal service buyers have to you (aside from whatever the source of a referral said about you). Don't waste the opportunity to make the impression you intend.

Relevant, Useful, Valuable, Indispensable: "Valuable"

Value refers to the relationship between the client's perceptions of worth, utility, or importance of the impact attributable to you, and the amount they paid you to obtain that. It applies equally to prospects and contacts. Value goes beyond dollars, to include their time and attention, calendar space allocated, etc. Here's the key to measuring value .

Relevant, Useful, Valuable, Indispensable: "Useful"

The second rung of the Impact Ladder is usefulness. It means making a difference. It increases your significance to business people, and sets you apart from mere lawyer-technicians. Usefulness doesn't have to involve giving legal advice or performing a legal service. You're also being useful when you... 

Relevant, Useful, Valuable, Indispensable: "Relevant"

For many senior lawyers, the Holy Grail of law practice is to become regarded as indispensable to clients. These lawyers are the first ones called when a client must make an important decision or deal with a serious problem. The "indispensable advisor" status is at the top of a ladder that consists of four escalating degrees of stature, based on your increasing impact.

Adopt a Business Problem

Too many of lawyers' conversations with prospects and clients are thinly-veiled begging for work. Do you really want to be positioned as merely “another skilled lawyer with his hand out?” Instead, position yourself more advantageously by adopting a business problem that drives demand for your most valuable service.

No, it's not "all about relationships."

The new relationships are not personal ones between individual buyers and you, but "idea relationships" between organized groups of buyers (such as an industry) and your ideas. Whether or not they like you or would enjoy spending time with you -- or not -- is not germane. This is “professional intimacy,” not "personal intimacy."

Match your ideas to the audience

Last week we suggested ways to match your creativity with the times. The third leg of the positioning and alignment trilogy is making sure your ideas are delivered to different audiences with the correct perspective. To each person, we are what we talk about or write about. Here's how to match them properly.

Your practice's "Executive Threshold"

At what point do the basic skills that have enabled you to be a successful lawyer become counterproductive? By this we refer to your “practitioner” skills, i.e., all the things you do to apply your technical legal skill to a client’s matter. Above a certain size practice, you need to begin the process of evolving consciously from a practitioner to an executive. Here's how.