Isn’t the need self-evident? By that I mean, if you don’t plan what road your marketing should take, any frivolous (activity) path will get you there – to paraphrase the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which I’ve mentioned before.
If you are going to the grocery store or on vacation, don’t you at least “think” about how you will get there? Of course. So, why would you give your career, your livelihood, or how you will pay for your kids’ college education less thought? Unfortunately, that is the case for too many lawyers, who just believe the legal work will always be there, which is amazing in this day and age.
I ran across an article on planning on NewIncite.com that points out four good reasons for planning:
- Marketing activities will be more strategic and tied to business plans;
- Documenting a plan allows it to be shared with everyone in firm, who can all help sell the message (See "Marketing Should Involve Everyone in a Law Firm");
- Helps manage the budget and negotiate with vendors; and
- Keeps everyone on tract when day-to-day “firefighting” (i.e., client demands) get in the way.
Although the article wasn’t talking about lawyers or law firms, the points are applicable to our industry nonetheless.
If you are still not convinced, let’s revisit the idea that the work will always be there. That’s just wrong for so many reasons, it too should be self-evident. Planning leads to a more focused and effective approach, which leads to more business generation, and that is job security. Believe it when I say that “Rainmakers Don’t Get Fired.”
That alone is reason enough to plan your marketing and business development activities, rather than chasing your career down a rabbit hole.