“Get out there and do some marketing!!!!” shouts the managing partner at you.
“Don’t just sit there — get out and do it — bring in some clients dammit!!!”
“Yes, M’Lady,” you respond with alacrity. “I will get right on it.”
And so you go out and:
- Duly write a long article touting your expertise in Montana Utility Regulation. You have citations, research, and a ton of time and effort. A great job!
- Go to a conference and duly, well, duly, do what is it you are doing there? Perhaps seeking out that guy you already know and saying hello to him. Then after clinking glasses you wander around the room three times with a look on your face that you hope doesn’t seem empty and fearful. Finally, you slink out.
- Agree to speak on a panel and pay — money — for the privilege of doing that. Wow, no one could object to that could they? Your managing partner will be so proud.
- Have a marketing meeting with your colleagues. And you talk about all sorts of ideas you “will” do right away.
- Ping people on the internet with spam or semi-spam or anything, just to show activity.
- Spend a lot of time with someone from the media and get quoted in an article. Wow! You are quoted in the newspaper. You can’t wait to tell your managing partner and show her the article too. Woohoo. That PR is really paying off.
There is so much more of this. I could go on and on and on….
Bottom line is that you are showing a flurry of activity but completely wasting your time and, worse yet, wasting your firm’s money too. None of this will do anything for you, except perhaps if your managing partner isn’t that perceptive, it will give her the illusion of progress.
There are a few things that actually work. One of them is this. It is really easy to do:
- You call up an existing client — yes, one you already have — and you suggest having breakfast to talk about your client’s business — not “your” business, but your client’s business.
- You have that breakfast and you learn as much as you can about your client and the industry your client is in. You find out what your client’s organization is trying to accomplish and what your client — personally — is trying to accomplish.
- And then — armed with this extraordinarily valuable information — you try to help your client achieve their business goals.
Trust me here, please. Skip all the other stuff and just do what I just said. You will be amazed at the results.