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Cathy Kenton By Cathy Kenton • May 21, 2020

Can you Afford to Take Your own Advice? (DIY Marketing Part I)

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 they couldn’t afford outside marketing/business development assistance, or they knew enough to continue tackling their marketing challenges internally.

When discussing goals early in coaching sessions, executives most often cite a desire to build revenue to a size that will attract acquisition partners or increase profitability. And yet, many businesses that take the DIY approach fall behind at reaching those goals. Why? Because they march towards the idea of increased revenue without a clear strategic plan, and often market by the ‘seat of their pants.’

So, here are three reasons why DIY doesn’t work in the legal industry:

You lack objectivity

For many legal entrepreneurs, your product or service isn’t just your business; it’s your whole world. You’ve developed it because of a void you identified in the market and assume if it works for you, it must be ready for others— and almost always, that isn’t true. 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 Subject Matter Expert

You’re the product expert; nobody knows your product or service as well as you. I am not arguing that fact. However, time and again I encounter executives that are so convinced of the benefits of their product/service they fail to listen to their market. Today’s over-charged communications landscape begs the question: How sure are you that you are listening to your prospects ? Successful businesses find a way to involve their customers and their prospects in both their product development and their communication plans.

Your personal preferences 

An early mentor taught me that the only preferences that ever matter are those 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?