Monday is a great day to remember your priorities and what you want to accomplish for the week and in the year.
I’m continuing with the theme that small changes over time can have a big impact on your life and business!
Remember the post below where Ford Harding noted that all rainmakers have systems for generating new business?
Decisions you make today can determine your destiny.
In other words, your future is in large part determined by the choices and the habits that you form today.
We are habitual people. Much of what we do on a day-to-day basis is habitual.
Change your habits and you can change your life.
If you are not currently getting the results that you want in your business, or you are not currently in the habit of implementing systems for marketing or business development, ask yourself what you can do differently?
Just as in order to be physically healthy we must not overeat, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise, get enough rest and manage our stress levels, if you want your business to grow and be healthy you must routinely (habitually) engage in marketing and business development, have systems in place that streamline your practice, work on continuous innovation and improvement and provide top client services.
Now, you may be asking what should I do to grow my business? What marketing habits do I need to create?
I am a firm believer in the notion that success leaves clues. We can learn a lot about what it takes to be successful by studying those successful people in our field. That’s why I spent the first part of 2006 interviewing highly successful mediators and putting together the Mediation Business & Marketing Success System. Now, I understand that market conditions change. I am not saying that there is one cookie cutter approach. You will need to tailor your efforts to your geographic location, your market niche and all the rest.
Yet, there are success principles that if applied and consistently acted upon will lead to results.
Marketing strategies for mediators and conflict specialists are not complicated.
Remember, sometimes just doing a few things consistently over time can yield big results.
Here are some strategies that have worked for me and others:
1) Join organizations in your target market and take on leadership roles. Get involved, provide value to those you desire to serve. You will build trust and credibility, increase your network and likely increase business referrals.
Action step: What local organization could you join in your market niche? For example, say you do employment mediation like I do — could you join your local employment law bar association and get involved?
2) Writing — do you like to write? Are you in the habit of writing on a consistent basis? If you are a blogger then aim to write an entry at least once a week. One mediator I know endeavors to get two articles published in industry magazines a year.
3) Speaking — once you’ve identified your target market, the associations people belong to, see if there are speaking opportunities. You can leverage your writing into speeches. Or, another successful strategy is to have a negotiation or other skill building workshop that you provide to lawyers or people in your target free of charge. Have what Michael Port calls a free event you can invite people to.
4) Networking — as Ford Harding noted, rainmakers build their networks and over time, the larger the network the more business generated. In thinking of providing value to people ask yourself what you know, who you know or what resources you have that could benefit someone else. A natural networking activity for me is to give people books. When I meet people, I sometimes get an inspiration that they would really love or benefit from a certain book I’ve read. I am working on forming the habit of following through on these hunches and sending along the book. (I have not yet made this a habit but am consciously working on it, I just bought another copy of a great book to send along to a client).
5) Follow up — do you have an email database of all the lawyers you’ve worked with (or parties for non-litigation niches) or referral sources? We all get busy and people will call you again or refer business to you when you are top of mind. On a consistent basis you may want to create a system for following up with people. This is definitely something I need to work on. My goal is to get out a email newsletter quarterly with valuable articles and information on negotiation or different issues relevant to my niches. I know mediators that work the court referral program that collect email and contact info from the parties they work with and then don’t follow up. How can you make this a business building habit?
Do you need to outsource this? Have your assistant put it together? Hire a ghostwriter? There are services that provide email newsletters. I don’t know if they are too generic to be effective or if you can add your photo and a personal message. [I’d be happy to hear from those of you who may have used these services and what results you’ve gotten.]
What business development efforts have you done over the last year or longer that have worked? Continue to do that which is working. Make it a habit.
What marketing and business building habits can you form today? Write them down weekly.
E.g. My goals this week: write blog entry on divorce mediation, write blog entry on dealing with angry people part 2; attend networking breakfast; create email newsletter; follow up on leads/referrals.
Begin today. One day at a time. Once a week (Monday is a good day) prioritize your week. Intentionalize marketing until it becomes a habit.
Form positive business building habits today!
NEVER GIVE UP!
Your partner in the process,
p.s. If you want to learn from mediation experts check out the success system at www.mediationmarketingsecrets.com our summer sale is on.