While much has been written about how to network and build business during the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the advice has focused on short-term activities and gains. And while the recommendations are solid (as marketing and biz dev are critical during a downturn), a basic principle of marketing cannot be ignored: Marketing and business development are long-term endeavors. In professional services like the law, those who succeed are consistent over the long term with their marketing and business development.
However, marketing is time-intensive and requires the involvement of the attorneys themselves. This becomes a Catch-22 — marketers and publicists need access to lawyers’ knowledge and expertise (I call our role in the process “knowledge extraction”), while lawyers’ time is stretched thin as they meet aggressive billable targets.
That’s why, as COVID-19 disrupts every aspect of our society, I see an opportunity. While some lawyers are busier than ever in areas such as bankruptcy, healthcare, insurance, employment and cybersecurity, others aren’t faring so well, as M&A deals and court proceedings are put on hold. For those attorneys, now is the time to focus on the labor-intensive marketing activities that form the foundation of any successful practice.
Here are six ways lawyers with coronavirus-induced free time can build for the future:
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