Start Small - Speaking Engagements

This past week I was talking to a friend of mine. She said, “My to-do list is so long that I just sat down and took a nap.”

Sound familiar?

Or how about this:

Ever have a project you need to finish around your house, whether it’s gutters to clean, rooms to paint, or laundry to fold? You look at this big project and think, I’m never going to finish this, so why start in the first place?

As a lawyer, chances are you are an ambitious person. You are usually high achievers with confidence in your abilities. While this serves you well in most aspects of your life, when building a marketing plan this can lead to biting off more than you can chew.

Don’t worry. You are not alone. Often marketing is a new skill and takes some time to get used to. We want to make sure that we are not overwhelmed by the size of the goals themselves.

In this third installment of the “Start Small” blog series, we are going to take a look at how to break down a larger goal into doable, achievable steps.

Goal: Speak at a Major Industry Specific Conference

Speaking engagements are one way to raise your profile among peers and prospective clients. These coveted spots are not just handed out freely. It takes time and legwork to get to that level, legwork you can start now.

1. Plan ahead. These agendas are developed well in advance of the conference. Pick one that aligns with your target market and know their process for choosing speakers.

2. Don’t expect to selected as the keynote speaker or a featured speaker with your first pitch. Volunteer to be a facilitator or moderator of a panel on a topic that’s in your wheelhouse. This is a great opportunity to align yourself with other respected industry leaders and fill a much-needed role for conference planners. If you make it about them, it will be about you (my golden rule of business development).

3. Continue your involvement with the organization – consider becoming active on a committee or writing articles on timely and relevant topics and submitting them for publication.

4. As your involvement with the organization increases, so will your reputation as a contributor to the group.  Keep your eyes open for the right time and right topic to present.  As an active participant in previous conferences or on committees, you will be recognized by those developing the conference agenda.

5. Lastly, if selected to present at a conference, be sure to hit a home run!  Your presentation should cover the material as described in the brochure.  Be prepared and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the material.

There you have it! Break your bigger goals into smaller steps and build on your success one step at a time.

In my new book, Intentional Marketing: Building Your Legal Practice One Relationship at a Time, I have included the IMAP, my individual marketing action plan template. There I break down in detail how to turn your goals into achievable action items. You can purchase the book through my website at