I am interrupting my stream of articles on Power Niche Marketing to talk about something that is incredibly difficult for most people: developing the motivation to actually do the sales and marketing that is necessary to develop a successful legal career.
To start, consider the reason not to do anything:
If you work eight hours in a day on billable legal work, you get paid for the eight hours – end of story. No particular upside, but not much downside either.
If you don’t work that day on billable legal work but do work in the nature of marketing, it may turn out to be worth nothing or, if it is worth something, it is nebulous and off in the future. This means that at least on a short-term basis you probably aren’t going to get paid for your work that day.
So it seems like a no-brainer. If you have billable work to do, you should put that first, and if there is leftover time, then you should do some marketing.
However – alas – that is a sure-fire recipe to keep your “job” but have long-term career failure.
Now here I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. All of my prior articles have touched on this concept – I have told you things like “get out and about” – “don’t just sit there” – “build a power niche.”
And, intellectually, you know full well that you have to do this or you will end up not having clients and toiling away in the back room, etc. However, it has been a long day – you are tired – you want to see your family – and you could always do the marketing “tomorrow.” And so the years pass……
What do you do about this?
Being honest, I have absolutely no idea…..
This is something you just have to decide to do and just do it.
And it is really hard to do – i.e., to change your behavior to exit what is likely a comfort zone into a place where you are uncomfortable.
Even though I don’t have anything to say here that is different from the typical “motivation” or “how-to” book, I will make one point, which is that it is a lot easier to train yourself to do what you need to do on marketing early in your career than later. The more you get set in your ways the harder it is to change behavior.
So maybe that is my advice here…. pretend that on the first day of work your boss told you “if you don’t bring in a client in the next twelve months, you will be fired…..”
Pretend that is what happened and act accordingly.
If you are more senior in your career, I guess you could do the exact same thing but it will just be harder to do. Pretend your boss/managing partner came in and said you have twelve months to bring in a client or you are out!
In either of these cases, of course you don’t know if you will actually be able to bring in a client; however, I suspect you will do what is most important; namely, change your behavior to be an appropriate mixture of legal work and marketing.
And your career will be enhanced.
If I were Tony Robbins, I would end by saying here, “You can do it!”