It is important to have a plan if you want to build your law practice and having a written marketing plan will greatly increase the likelihood that you will actually follow through. But for attorneys, there are many obstacles that get in the way of marketing. Most lawyers are more comfortable doing actual legal work than spending time on marketing activities. Then there is always the lure of the billable hour (how can I spend time on non-billable work when there is still billable work to be done).
Probably the biggest challenge that attorneys face is that they are trying to change their behavior. They are not accustomed to spending time building their reputation or on business relationship building and some of these activities do not feel either natural or comfortable. So even if a written plan is put in place, executing that plan can be difficult.
One way to increase your odds of success is to focus on one new thing at a time. If you try to execute on too many new things at once, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed (and as a result, unmotivated to follow through). Instead, start off slow. If meeting potential referral sources for coffee is on your list, focus just on that for a month or two. If you prefer to focus first on building your reputation, get going on that article you have been meaning to write. Or join a trade association and get active so that you can start meeting people in the industry you are targeting.
There are many paths to marketing success and where you start is not that important. You are investing in your future and some of today’s activities may not bear fruit for years. So the important thing is to get going on something. You can always add more activities to the mix once you are comfortable with one new activity. In contrast, if you try to do it all at once, you may find yourself doing nothing at all. Instead, you’ll have a nice marketing plan sitting on your computer and nothing to show for it.