As a lawyer, you have pressure every day to serve your clients, meet court deadlines, participate in the management of your firm, bill your clients, collect your fees and myriad other tasks. In addition to keeping the marketing wheels on the bus of your practice, whether you are in a large firm or are a solo practitioner, you are exclusively responsible for driving new revenue for yourself and others (See Attorney at Law Magazine March 2016 article, “You Are the CEO of Your Practice: Now Think Like an Entrepreneur”). The reality is many lawyers are also introverts, gaining strength from introspection and analysis, not from spending time with large groups of strangers.
One way for introverts to maintain sanity on the marketing front is to ensure you are always working from the inherent strengths and personality preferences you have. Notice, I didn’t say “skills.” You obviously have skills as a lawyer. I’m talking about identifying the character and personality traits that make you an exceptional lawyer and applying those strengths to your marketing efforts.
StrengthsFinder – Identify Your Strengths
When we bring a new coaching client onboard, we always have them take the Gallop Organization’s StrengthsFinder assessment. The results provide insight into your top five most dominant strengths. Just to give you a flavor, there are 32 possible strengths ranging from analytical, achiever and discipline, to strategic, self-assurance and competition. The StrengthsFinder organizes strengths into four domains of leadership: executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking. You likely won’t be surprised to see your top five strengths, but will appreciate this fresh perspective on your greatest strengths. With your strengths identified, you can build a marketing plan around activities that support and enhance your strengths.
Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – Find Your Personality Preferences
Another tool we use with our clients is a version of the original MBTI developed by Carl Jung and Isabel Meyers. The MBTI focuses on your personality preferences; activities you prefer over others. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you sensing or intuitive? Are you thinking or feeling? Are you judging or perceiving? Interestingly, the most common type for lawyers is ISTJ, followed by ESTJ and INTJ. To summarize, most lawyers are introverted, sensing, thinking and judging souls. ISTJs are also thorough, responsible and dependable. In addition, they are extremely organized and hard working. ISTJ is also the most common type within the ranks of corporate CEOs.
Marketing as an Introvert
Once you have identified your strengths and MBTI type, it’s time for a little self-analysis. Consider the following marketing activities that are more likely to gel with your inner “I”:
- No Schmoozing Necessary – Many “I’s” feel varying degrees of social anxiety when pressed to attend networking events with large groups of people. Extremely effective networking can be accomplished one-on-one with key contacts.
- Focus Your Efforts: Your Contact Action Plan – Introverts need focus and accountability. Remember you are not building relationships with all of your LinkedIn or Outlook contacts. Rather, you need to create a list of 10-15 A-level prospective clients and referral sources and spend 80 percent of your marketing time building those relationships.
- Write Articles – Most introverts I know are really great writers. Take this skill and approach the publisher of a trade association magazine your clients or referral sources read with a timely and relevant article you want to write. Once your article is published, post it on your website, promote it on social media and add it to your LinkedIn profile.
- Tend to Your Newsfeed – On your own time and without having to interact live with people, you can post comments on your LinkedIn newsfeed. On each contact profile, you can send a message. If you come across someone in your newsfeed doing something spectacular, send them a nice note asking how they are and inquiring into their lunch schedule over the next couple of weeks.
- Staying Energetic – By the time introverts leave for the evening, they are likely “peopled out” and need some introspective time to regroup and decompress from the day. Try to clear your mind of the stress of the day. Participate in activities in the evening that energize you. Give yourself the downtime you need every day to power back up.
- Post a Blog –There is no better way than blogging to update clients and referral sources on current changes in the law, or to discuss the high points of a case you just handled.
- Talk to Other Successful Introverts – There are a lot of us out here! Find a fellow introvert and talk to them about how they built their practice.
Taking the time to learn more about your strengths and personality preferences will help you develop a marketing plan that is highly focused and honors your personality strengths (StrengthsFinder) and preferences (MBTI). By leveraging your strengths you will achieve greater success in marketing.