You probably have heard me ask for this pledge as a mantra from new disciples, “My business is not different.” Wonder why? Well, as business owners, when people are beginning to learn the way to run a healthy business, at some point, the tactics or strategies that are less palatable inevitably lead them to say something to the effect of “That won’t work for me” which translates to say, “My business is different.”
Now I am not here to say that every single strategy works every time with every business. In fact, we KNOW everything doesn’t work every single time and that is why we always measure everything, and we always test new ideas. The bottom line is you just don’t know what is going to work. Even after years of being in business, I can be stumped about marketing ideas at times. Being teachable is the key to truly experiencing success in business and being teachable means trying, testing and adjusting through data, not what you “think” happened.
The only way to correctly do this is to start somewhere in collecting data, as much data as is humanly possible. Using a CRM to help you collect the data, as most people know we use and recommend Infusionsoft, will save you pounds of sweat and hours of frustration. You can enter your expenses around your lead sources and your application is set up to collect leads, manage those leads as they move through the funnel into prospects and finally allow you to monitor the lead, prospect and client behavior such as engagement and spending. If you are just starting out, it is likely fairly simple for you to monitor lead sources and efficiency, but before long you hope your firm will be too busy to do this manually.
When I was building the bankruptcy firm in Phoenix, we did not invest in one or two lead sources expecting to see big results. Instead, we created a diversified lead-getting strategy, one strategy at a time, one report at a time. When our data indicated a lead source was failing, we retested the same strategy with different images or different verbiage. Then we waited and watched. When we had to, we divested a source completely if it did not perform. Many times, what I was sure was going to blow the roof off our leads, limped along producing only the occasional good lead. And conversely, there were times when some idea crept into the mix of lead sources that produced regular, reliable leads–unexpectedly. Had we gone on our feelings only, we would have missed out on business; we certainly would not have hit our multi-million dollar numbers when we did.
Our biased thinking can be our greatest hindrance in becoming a success. If we think we will not be successful, we’re right. And, if we allow our ego of “being right” rather than of humbling ourselves to try techniques and practices that feel different or “un-lawyerly,” we have already conceded the fight. Practicing law and running a business are separate activities. Sure, you must be a good attorney, but now, you must also be a good businessperson. And being a good businessperson means learning marketing, staff management, operations, human resources, and a host of other disciplines. Your law practice is not different.
You might have a vision of a solopreneur practice or you may have a dream of a giant firm with satellite offices and hundreds of lawyers. Your goal has been realized before. Those who have built what you are now building figured out the formula. All that is needed is to follow the pattern of success which is simply being willing to stay the course and shift with the bends in the road – and have the wisdom to know when to do which. The data is your map as you move forward just as the data is what drove growth with other firms.
As you dig deeper into your firm’s marketing and reporting, remember to open your brain to ideas that may sound like too much trouble, too expensive, or are just “Not You,” and as you embark on new tactics, remember to build-in data collection and reporting in order to have access to your numbers regularly to determine next steps.
Your practice area may be different, your audience may be different, but again, your business is not different. Just remember: create a plan, build in data collection, review your reports and move ahead.