With the 2012 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference now in our rear-view mirror, we have almost reached the mid-point mile marker of the legal marketing race of 2012. Attendance at the conference demonstrated a commitment by both firms and individuals to sharpen and refocus strategy, tactics and skill sets. If you did attend, are you on your way to demonstrating value to the firm that will enable you to make a return trip to victory lane? If you were unable to attend the conference this year, it is not too early to begin "qualifying laps" to gain support for the 2013 conference in Las Vegas.
Typically, as individuals, we ask the question, "what's in it for me?" (WIIFM). Certainly, the WIIFM question plays a part. However, the questions most firms and partners typically ask are "what's in it for the firm, and what's in it for me as a partner?" While attending educational and networking conferences like the LMA Annual Conference, follow a simple plan for success. For the firm and partners, focus on generating at least:
- One new idea or improved process that can be implemented immediately. This should be something simple, yet impactful, that does not require approval beyond the marketing department's "authority." The goal here is continuous improvement and a quick win as a team.
- One new idea or improved process that absolutely must be implemented in order to accelerate or maintain competitive advantage. While we may not set any speed records with this goal, as it requires building consensus and momentum, we have an obligation to bring the information forward and see the change through to execution. The goal here is magnification of or emphasis on the world beyond our firm’s door and our ability to harness firm resources to effectively compete.
As an individual, to refuel your passion:
- Patch your flats. We all have areas of competency in which we excel and those in which we would more effectively perform our role with enhanced attention. Perhaps the conference helped to illuminate a "flat" of which we weren't previously aware. Select a new area of competency for emphasis. Utilize conference materials and LMA resources such as the Online Learning Portal and QuickStart Online Course to improve contribution levels.
- Tune-up your engine. For the experienced legal marketer, tune-ups are vital to long-term longevity in the profession. One of the biggest advantages of LMA conferences and seminars is the opportunity to discover alternate routes for success to solve on-going challenges or take advantage of new-found opportunities. Keep a journal and map out a multi-year strategy for continuous improvement.
- Draft momentum. Sometimes the life of a legal marketer can be a lonely profession. Building authentic relationships with others provides a support system and safe place to vet ideas, which helps with the occasional pot hole on the course. Follow up and catch up with your trusted legal marketer network on a regular basis.
LMA conferences are educational and fun. If you have been sidelined by a rain delay or left revving your engine at the starting line, don't despair. It is not too late to impact race results for 2012. Dig out those personal notes and speaker-provided presentations and dust off the relationships you initiated or nurtured. The race is on!