This post is the first in a series.
For over 25 years, I’ve worked with companies selling products and services to lawyers. In that time, I’ve spoken with many executives who decided that they either couldn’t afford outside marketing/business development assistance or they knew enough to continue tackling their marketing challenges internally.
Early in our conversations, when discussing their goals, they most often cited a desire build their revenues to a size that would allow them to attract acquisition partners or increase profitability. And yet today, most of those DIY companies continue to struggle, grow, or survive. They do so without a plan, and often market by the ‘seat of their pants’.
So, here are 3 reasons why DIY doesn’t work in the legal industry:
- You lack objectivity
Let’s face it. For many legal entrepreneurs, your product or service isn’t just your business, it’s your baby. You’ve developed it because of a void you identified in the market…and if it works for you, it must be good for others. But successfully marketing and building a business takes more than good ideas and passion. It requires the ability to evaluate market forces with neutrality.
- You’ve become your own focus group
You’re the expert; nobody knows your product/service as well as you. Time and again, I’ve encountered companies that are so convinced of the benefits of their product/service that they fail to listen to their market. Plus, in an over-charged communications landscape you may not be connecting with your prospects using the channels they prefer. Successful companies find a way to involve their customers and their prospects in both their product development and their communications.
- Your personal preferences
An early mentor taught me that the only personal preferences that ever matter are the preferences of your customers and prospects, not your personal preferences. Everything from messaging, to imagery, to the use of color and type style must be geared to your buyer persona(s). Take yourself out of the equation and put yourself into the shoes of your prospects. Will your marketing appeal to them?
To summarize, DIY marketing won’t work if you’re too close to your business. You’re the expert at what you do, but can you honestly stay abreast of all the changes to the marketing mix? And can you afford to take your own advice?