Was 2017 a Digital Marketing Fail for Your Firm?

I'm noticing a tendril of similarity in the posts coming up in my feed over the last few days.

They go something like this:

  • I really wanted to do X in 2017;
  • I didn't get X done, or didn't get X done to my satisfaction;
  • In 2018 I'm really going to focus on X;
  • Hear me roar.

Before you leap into the fray and start wildly planning stuff left, right and centre, perhaps a few minutes to reflect on the problem would help.

You Don't Know Why You're Doing It

Let's start a blog. Why? Because I read somewhere that's what we should be doing.

Doing something purely because someone said you should has been a bad idea since Eve.

Whether it's starting (or re-starting) a blog, doing a podcast or sharing live video you need to understand why you're doing it.

Specifically, you should be thinking about:

  • who you want to reach;
  • what they care about;
  • how what you're producing will help them in that area; and
  • the benefits you hope to receive from doing that.

The days of randomly posting whatever you feel like are over (and have been for about a decade). There is simply too much generic, watered down fluff on the internet for anybody to want to read/listen to/watch another generic item.

Answer those questions first. Find out WHY.

It Wasn't Important Enough

If it's not important, don't bother. You'll be pushing molasses up a sandy hill for a year.Click To Tweet

You weren't too busy. You just didn't think that your law firm's digital marketing was important enough to take a priority position. Other things took that priority position instead.

We can assess this question fairly easily:

  • which of content production/social media use/email marketing/website review found a regular spot in your calendar?
  • If by some miracle you actually put those things there, how often did the allocated time get spent on the appointed task?
  • Which things, if they came up, did you allow to displace those calendar appointments?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that:

  1. nothing, or nearly nothing, had a regular location in your calendar;
  2. if it did, you didn't regularly do the things that you had in your calendar;
  3. you allowed pretty much everything to shove those calendar appointments out of the way.

Which brings us back to the original question: just how important is this stuff?

Because if it's not important, then don't bother. You'll be pushing molasses up a sandy hill for the entire year, only to find that you climbed the wrong hill and didn't bring a water bottle.

But if digital marketing is important, then treat it that way. Give it a priority that aligns with the importance you ascribe to it.

You're Making It Too Hard For Yourself

use salami tactics on yourself - slice by slice.Click To Tweet

Within 5 minutes of reading this post you could have done a live video and published it.

The problem with lawyers is that we sit down in our “planning sessions” and develop grossly optimistic marketing plans. They almost inevitably fail within minutes of their production, because the aspirational amounts of energy and focus you think you have right now almost never match the reality of tomorrow.

If you over-commit because you want to “do it better” this year then there's a really good chance that you'll end up doing nothing.

Instead, use salami tactics on yourself – slice by slice.


An Example of Salami Tactics for Content Production

Mary wants to blog more consistently this year.  Mary has a multi-disciplinary practice and could write with authority about a tonne of stuff. She prefers writing and isn't a natural speaker. But instead of going crazy, Mary's going to start with a 10 part series on intellectual property for startups. Here's how she does it:

  1. Wednesday – 30 minutes, writing the first draft of a blog post;
  2. Friday – 30 minutes, finalise the blog post;
  3. Monday – post it and share it on social media.

One post, each week, without fail.

Perhaps after week 5, Mary's relaxed about her ability to do those posts now, so she's going to add a podcast.  Because she's smart, Mary knows that she can take her existing topics and turn them into podcasts easily. Mary might read out her podcasts, or might just use the headings and speak from her expertise.  She'll record the podcast on a Tuesday (10 minutes) and then post it on Wednesday before she starts drafting her blog post.

Mary can layer up topics, posts and podcasts now throughout the year. She's started on topics she knows well, and she's going to get faster and better at it.

By the end of the year, Mary's going to have 50ish blog posts, 45 podcast episodes, and a habit of producing great content. She'll be getting feedback on her topics and she'll have a much better idea of what her audience loves and what they don't.

Mary is a winner.


This Year – Don't be a Goose

The reason you didn't get as much done last year as you'd hoped is that you never really got started properly.

Kickstart yourself using salami tactics, understand why you're doing it, and give it a real priority.

Then you'll know why everyone says you “should” be doing more digital marketing.

Need help with the whole thing? Click here and let's work together.

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