The last 6 months of planning have all led up to this, THE LAUNCH.
‘Launching’ basically refers to all of the things you do to get your new business or product into the world.
My new program, IP Made Simple, is scheduled to make its debut next month, and before that program hits the ground, I have a lot to do. I have to-do lists, calendars, and outlines. My mind is spinning just thinking about what has to get done so that I can host a free webinar series in August and my first live workshop in September. Right now, I am working in a kind of organized chaos.
Some of my most pressing concerns include:
- Finish the website, www.ipmadesimple.com by July 27;
- Create and launch a Twitter and LinkedIn campaign to promote my free webinar series;
- Decide whether I want to be on facebook and/or Pinterest;
- Write a press release;
- Contact media outlets that might be interested in doing a story about my new program;
- Find free and inexpensive websites that promote events for entrepreneurs;
- Set-up and learn all of the technology that make my webinars and workshops possible;
- Look for partners to promote IP Made Simple; and
- Personally contact every attorney, entrepreneur, and anyone who might know an entrepreneur that I know to let them know what I’m doing now.
I could go on like this, but the bottom line is launching a business right takes a lot of work, and as you can see, that work has nothing to do with the law. Other than editing and practicing my material, the webinars are pretty much complete and I put together the workshop months ago. Right now, I am strictly working on the business.
For those of you who think that you can just hang out your shingle, throw up a website, do a little networking, and the clients will show up, I’ve got some news for you. It doesn’t always work that way. There will be exceptions, but for the most part, lawyers (and everyone else for that matter) have to work a lot harder to be heard over all of the noise and information bombarding our clients. If you want to be seen, heard, and hired, you better be prepared to put in the effort necessary to promote your business and demonstrate why you deserve your client’s hard earned dollars.
If you want to be a successful solo attorney, stop calling your firm a practice. It’s a business. Treat it like a business. If you don’t know anything about running a business, I suggest that you start reading. I highly recommend books, blogs, and magazines aimed at entrepreneurs and small business, especially those having to do with sales & marketing.
When I started IP in Focus 3 years ago, I did not plan anything or do any of the above. The extent of my first launch consisted of making an inexpensive website, getting some business cards, and attending networking events to talk about my new firm. I didn’t understand the purpose of a website, so I made a really bad one. I didn’t understand my audience, so I ended up wasting time and money networking with the wrong people. Even though I am on LinkedIn and Twitter, I didn’t really understand how to use them effectively until recently (and I’m still learning.)
Today, I am determined not to repeat my past mistakes. I have spent the past 6 months planning, rethinking, revising, getting feedback, tweaking, learning, reading, and working hard to get my new product into the world. If you are about to embark on your journey as a solo, I hope you strongly think about doing the same.
You may be the best lawyer in the world, but if you can’t run your business, if you can’t get your message out to your prospective clients, if you can’t close the deal, then it doesn’t matter.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.