Business Development Mistakes: Copying Others

This is the last in a five-part resource series on the most common mistakes lawyers make as they try to develop business.

Mistake Five: Copying other people

Possibly because we don’t feel confident in our judgment in matters related to marketing ourselves and building our businesses, lawyers spend an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about what other lawyers are doing to build their businesses and then doing the same things.

The problems with that are many fold, but the biggest problems are:

1. it is likely that those lawyers don’t know any better than you what they are doing, so you are really not getting any significant advantage by copying them; and

2. if they do know what they are doing, it is because they have figured out what works FOR THEM and it won’t necessarily be transferable to you, your personality, your skill set, your interests etc.

If you start doing things just because you see other people doing them you will likely end up wasting a lot of time, it won’t work and worst of all you won’t enjoy it.

By all means, keep your eyes peeled and take whatever ideas and inspiration you can get from what you see others doing, but just like everything else in this profession, the magic is in finding your own voice and your own way of doing things.  When you have figured that out, the rest will follow naturally.

And just because I am on a roll, here is a bonus mistake for you:

Bonus Mistake: Not having any fun. This really will be fatal to the whole endeavour.

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Jane accomplished the impossible: she made me enthusiastic about marketing and the business side of law. Her encouragement, advice and support have been invaluable.

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- Partner, 10+ years

Jane is a force of nature. You may think you can cruise in your career, but from the second you’re in her presence, you’re inspired to do more, be more and aspire to more.

- Partner, 10+ years
In the past, I’ve been frustrated by marketing advice that’s so vague it’s meaningless. Jane provided me with concrete, practical advice… she is a straight-talker and fun to work with!”
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