Lawyers, Don’t You Dare Give Up On 2017!

by Nancy Myrland

Lawyers, Don't You Dare Give Up On 2017

About this time of year, the articles encouraging you to begin thinking about your 2018 marketing and business development plan are plentiful.

Similar to when the stores start decorating for the holidays in October, it somehow makes what comes in between that time feel less important, or less relevant. You just want to skip a few months to get to the good stuff. Looking at those bright, shiny objects in December are much more exciting, aren’t they!?

We Begin To Absolve Ourselves

Looking ahead to 2018 can also be a great diversion as it absolves us of what we didn’t accomplish in 2017. I am among the first to help my clients stop beating themselves up when they don’t accomplish all of their goals during the year, encouraging them to gather the pieces and create a plan that will help them focus on accomplishing them in the next few months. Let’s learn from the past and make the future better because of it, right?

Don’t Drop The Ball

What I don’t want you to do is to drop the ball on the rest of 2017. It is an entire month of your year. Do you know how important a month is in the life of your practice?

To gain perspective, let’s call this month anything else. Let’s say it’s January. Can you afford to stop marketing you and your skills in January? How about February? Can you afford to write off 1/12 of your year simply because others seem to be doing the same thing? No, you can’t and you shouldn’t.

What I’m Not Saying

I’m not saying don’t take some precious time to enjoy the holidays, taking in all of the sights, sounds, people, festivities, rituals, services, and everything else that is a part of the holiday that you observe. Those are important.

What I am saying is that there is no better time to get a head start on 2018 than by finishing 2017 in a way that makes a difference. The best time to dig in and build your practice and your reputation is yesterday. The next best time is today!

Sure, I would love to help you put together your business development plan for 2018, and I’m here to talk about that, but I also want you to weave in some activity that will help you stand out from others who are beginning to slow down and ignore December.

You Have A Huge Opportunity

Similar to when many lawyers, firms, and companies began to pull back on marketing and business development during the recession because it was just too expensive, we all had an opportunity to stand up and stand out if we just took the time. The playing field was a little quieter because many perceived a poor economy as a time to cut back on essential practices that could help establish and nurture their relationships with their clients and prospects, resulting in a stronger practice.  Something is very wrong about that, isn’t it?

Be The One

The same thing goes for December. I want you to be the one that takes the time to stand up and stand out by starting or continuing a few easy marketing, business development, and networking practices. These don’t have to take a lot of your time. They can, but they definitely don’t have to.

5 Easy But Effective Ideas For Your December

  1. Write a longer note of appreciation on ten of your most important clients’ and contacts’ holiday cards, telling them how much they really mean to you. Don’t just sign your name. Be the one that says more about the importance of your relationship, vs. simply signing or stamping your name. If your name is already stamped on the card, you can still write something.
  2. Commit to scheduling two online meetings with out-of-town clients, prospects, referral sources, colleagues, or media with the goal to catch up on what they are doing. This isn’t the time to talk about you, but to find out how they are and how their year has gone. Use a tool where you can see one other. The power of video is amazing. Use Zoom or Skype. They are both easy.
  3. Meet with two other attorneys in your firm who you don’t normally talk to, but who you want or need to get to know better. Step out of your comfort zone and know it’s okay to ask someone else for a half hour of their time to get to know them and their practice better. If you are a solo, meet with attorneys or complementary business professionals. Again, this isn’t about you. If they ask, great, but don’t let that be the primary goal of these meetings.
  4. Take two clients or prospects to breakfast or lunch. Ask them to bring you up to date on what concerns them the most in their role and their industry. Ask them about trends and who might be impacted by them. Ask them what they would like to see happen in 2018 that would have the most impact on their job and their industry.
  5. Write at least one article that summarizes what you learned from these meetings. If you are going to quote one of your sources, ask him/her for permission and the correct link to use in your article to give them credit. If they want to stay anonymous, respect that and speak to the information in a way that describes what you’ve been observing or learning from your clients the past few weeks. Publish it on your blog, on LinkedIn Publisher, in your LinkedIn newsfeed, Medium, on your Facebook Page or Newsfeed, in Facebook Notes, on your firm’s intranet, or in a simple end-of-the-year email you send to your clients (or all of the above).

How Am I Supposed To Find Time To Do This?

If doing all of that sounds overwhelming, trust me, it really doesn’t have to be. Let me help you see how you can do this.

Looking at all 5 ideas above:

  • If you did those on different days, you’ve only used a small portion of 8 days.
  • If you only worked 8 hours a day in December (which I know isn’t true, but let’s dream), and wanted to get it all over with in the same day, you could.
  • Assuming that same idyllic 8-hour day…and let’s say you don’t work on weekends or after the 20th of December (which I have a feeling isn’t going to happen either), you have 112 hours in December to complete approximately 10 hours of business development activity. That is less than 1/10 of your working time, which should be manageable. As the one in charge of managing and growing your practice, it needs to be manageable.

I Think You Get My Point

All of these ideas and so many more are available to you if you just decide you are going to do them. Yes, these are very basic, but I wanted you to see how easy it is to make an impact in a very short time and in a month when others are winding down and forgiving themselves for skipping this kind of effort during the holidays.

Be The One.


Written by:

Nancy Myrland

Myrland Marketing & Social Media on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.