6 Ways To Be Your Own Legal Marketing Coach

While it’s always beneficial to have an outside opinion, not everyone has the budget or inclination to hire a CMO or marketing coach. And let’s be honest-even the most expensive coach can’t force attorneys to put their ideas into practice. By pulling from a coach’s overall strategy and adapting the ideas to your own daily marketing initiatives, you can propel yourself forward…on your own. Here are my best tips for being your own marketing and business development coach.

1. Be accountable to SOMEONE.
One of the greatest benefits of a coach is that you are always accountable to them. Identify someone (Spouse? Partner? Paralegal? Assistant? Colleague?) to keep you on track and ask them to check in and remind you to work on marketing and business development. If you’re not comfortable asking for help, set time in your (Outlook?) calendar and send yourself reminders. Even better? Enlist a partner in your marketing and business development journey and keep each other honest on what you’ve been doing to further the cause.

2. Get organized.
I present all my clients with a marketing binder at our second meeting. It contains a first draft of their marketing plan, articles that I think will help them with their efforts, and worksheets to keep track of their successes and challenges. While your binder doesn’t have to be as elaborate, it’s smart to have one place to collect all your ideas and plans. Print out relevant blog posts and articles, keep contact info for potential collaborators, list ideas for speeches or seminars and keep a list of referral sources.

3. Have a plan.
Though it may not be a formal marketing plan, you should, at the very least, sit down and brainstorm your marketing and business development goals. Then formulate a specific course of action (ie. Write one article a week; start a blog; set up 3 speaking engagements…) for reaching those goals. Keep in mind that the goals don’t have to be finance-related. Connecting with 5 old clients can be a fantastic goal if most of your business comes from referrals, while writing a book (or e-book) can help you build credibility within your practice area.

4. Send yourself inspiration.
I’m always passing on information to my clients that I think is relevant to their marketing goals. You can do the same. Sign up for tips and emails on marketing blogs (they don’t have to be law-related) and funnel them into a specific folder for you to peruse when you have the time to concentrate. Set aside an hour on the weekends, at night or early in the morning once or twice a week to clean out the folder and keep the tips or advice that you think you can apply.

5. Remove yourself.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to be somewhat objective when evaluating your progress and initiatives. Step back and look in from outside. Read your articles or blog posts, look at your marketing materials and view presentations from the point of view of clients, potential clients, colleagues and referral sources. By putting yourself in their shoes you’ll speak more directly and create more powerful materials.

6. Make marketing a priority.
Marketing coaches help clients by steering their focus towards business development. Do the same for yourself. Just as I mentioned above, set aside time (as you would if you had a formal coach) to strategize and work on your plan of action. The only way to achieve results is to be dedicated and committed to the process.

No one can make you a successful marketer-except you. By adapting some of the strategies of marketing professionals, it becomes simply a matter of time and focus to help you reach your goals. Stay on track, stick to the plan and constantly refresh your thinking and research with new ideas and advice. As hard as it may sound you CAN be your own coach!