Obstacles in Marketing:
What? I Have to Make Time for That, Too?

By Irene Leonard, Lawyer Coach    

All right; let's assume you have your personal marketing plan in place. You think you know what you have to do to get the clients you want. You notice you have all these ideas and yet you don't get around to any or even one. Whether you're an introvert following Karen Summerland's suggestions, or you're calling referrals as suggested by the LawLady, you find you're still not doing it. Now what?

Becoming aware of your particular obstacles like: lack of time, an unclear plan, not knowing what to do, procrastination1, lack of self awareness, fear, and limiting beliefs or assumptions eliminates inertia.

For example, I had a difficult time writing this article. I blocked out time to write it on numerous occasions and then didn't do it. Lack of time was not the issue. I was procrastinating . I had to look deeper at what were the reasons I was not sitting down to write.

I realized three things. One - I did not know what I actually wanted to say although I knew the topic. Two - I realized I had way too much to say. And three - this overwhelm stopped me from even starting.

I had to become aware of those blocks so I could come up with a plan to limit the focus of the article. To get back on track I had to take "time" to "think" about the following points: 1) what stopped me from writing the article; 2) content and; 3) actually writing the article.

Let's look at the reasons why you are not implementing your plan - assuming you have written out your personal marketing plan. The most likely impediment to failing to market is you don't have the "time". This is a big one. Clients ask me all the time - how are they going to find the time to 'develop' their practice when they are already busy with the 'work' of their practice? The irony is that it will take more time to figure out.

First, fully commit to business development. You have to really want to do this. You must carve out specific time. Decide what you will say "no" to in order to say "yes" to marketing activities.

If, you are still not there with your marketing plan, examine your limiting beliefs or assumptions about marketing. Some examples of limiting beliefs include:

What are your limiting beliefs?

Another obstacle is fear, which often underlies limiting beliefs or assumptions. It is important to identify your fears in order to overcome procrastination. Some fears that may stop you, include:

What are your fears? How do they stop you?

If you still don't follow through, it may mean you do not know how. If you've never done this before - it is unrealistic to think you should know how. You may have a vague idea to contact Mr. X. But how will you make contact? By phone, email, letter, in person? When? What will you say?

Not knowing, combined with some limiting belief stops a lot of my clients from taking action. The trick is to come up with a plan that includes an improv script that answers the questions, how, when, and what. Once you are motivated and know what you will say you are more likely to carve out time and do it.

So that brings us back to time. You need "time" to figure out each step including the unidentified steps of your marketing plan. Time to learn and then time to do. The obstacles are related or circular, but they always come back to taking the time to increase your self-awareness.

How do you operate? What motivates you? What stops you besides the excuse – lack of time?

Because we are all different you need to find out your own obstacles. What are the reasons you don't market? What will you do and what won't you do? Determining that will take you time.

Irene Leonard, lawyer and professional business coach. Irene works with lawyers to overcome their marketing and practice obstacles. For more information visit her web site www.coachingforchange.com or call (206) 723 9900.

Create Time to Market:
  • Choose what you will have to say "no" to in order to say "yes" to marketing
  • Block out time on your calendar
  • Make yourself accountable to someone
  • Plan what you need to do
  • Learn how much time things actually take
  • Set limits
  • Make marketing activities compelling
  • Come up with positive rather than negative thoughts concerning marketing - For example: "I have time to market."
  • Break marketing down into smaller bites
  • Get determined
  • Choose a wise use of your time.
  • Use a to do list.

By Irene Leonard, lawyer and professional business coach. Irene is the author of Create the Practice You Want: Law Practice Development Workbook. For more information visit her web site www.coachingforchange.com or call at (206) 723 9900.


1See my website http://www.coachingforchange.com/procrastination.html for tips on defeating procrastination. There are many reasons or excuses for not doing things you know you should do