Strategic marketing communications executive Leticia Mooney, of Brutal Pixie, answers a question she commonly receives from the legal professionals she works with.
As a communication strategist who works with the legal profession, I am sometimes confronted with the very blunt question: “Why is all this business stuff even relevant to me?” It often happens when I speak at events like Legalwise Seminars, because so much of what I talk about has its roots in corporate strategy.
The challenge, particularly for solo practitioners, is that they are busy doing the work, and don’t feel that the ‘business stuff’ is relevant. Unfortunately, the reality is that without good thinking about corporate strategy – or someone to do it for you! – you will be exactly this busy in five or ten years’ time.
Being able to exit from your business into a higher role, higher function, or even more leisure time, takes planning. And while some find it painful and difficult, that planning comes back to the ‘business stuff’ of strategy, customers, business plans, and scale.
The business thinking drives how the rest of your business performs: How its customer service functions, how your staff (if any) relate to the business, how you nurture loyalty, what you say to the market, and how, where, when and why you say it.
There are a great number of foundational strategic frameworks (such as Blue Ocean Strategy and the McKinsey 7-S), and the best communications are in alignment with – as PwC puts it, ‘coherent with’ – the corporate strategy.
As a lawyer, particularly if you work in a solo or micro practice, understanding the business thinking is crucial to the growth and sustainability of your practice. Even, eventually, to how you scale back and exit.
Critically, your strategic coherence (or lack of it) will underpin the performance of your marketing. There are many ways you can achieve your strategic goals, and those tactics become the foundation of your sales and marketing.
As BackBay Communications discovered, in a study of 200 of the largest asset management firms, the very best use content marketing as the foundation of an integrated communication strategy, and use it to teach rather than promote.
The key word is ‘integrated’: Not only is every marketing and PR effort working hand-in-hand, but it is serving the core, corporate strategy. If you want to be the best of the best, the ‘business stuff’ is where it all begins.
Blue Ocean Strategy: https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/
McKinsey 7-S: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/enduring-ideas-the-7-s-framework
BackBay Communications study: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171115005288/en/New-Research-Content-Marketing-Underpins-Integrated-PR