Many attorneys place equal importance on every task in their firm. They do a little bit of everything and hope for big change.
For example, an attorney may spend one hour each week on marketing so they can “check the marketing box” and move on to the next task.
There’s a concept we talk a lot about in our programs called Minimum Effective Action — the least amount of effort that gets the result you want. It teaches us that just doing a little bit won’t necessarily make the difference — we need to do enough to move the needle.
This means the small amount of marketing activity you do could be entirely insufficient to get any results. In other words, it could be too little to matter.
Maybe you’re experiencing this right now. You occasionally go to networking events or send a few emails to prospects, but you don’t consistently see new clients coming in because you haven’t hit the necessary threshold — you haven’t done the minimum effective action needed to achieve real results.
A big part of it is understanding which tasks produce results, but you should also be careful to not do too much. Overcommitting your time to effective activities can actually be counterproductive, so you need to find the right balance.
Allocate Your Time
As business owners, we spend a lot of time doing the legal work, meeting with clients, marketing our practice, etc., and since time is our most scarce resource, time management is extremely important.
Most attorneys, though, don’t have a clue how much time they should spend on something.
For example, an hour used on marketing could be spent on client work, and vice versa. There’s a trade-off that takes place, and without being disciplined about understanding the minimum effective action, you run the risk of spending insufficient time and money on something that leads to no result — or you overspend time and money unnecessarily.
Either way, you’re wasting valuable resources.
Finding the minimum effective action is so important to the business process that we use it in all our member programs and Practice Alchemy. We want everyone to understand the minimum amount of resources and activity required to hit the threshold of effectiveness.
In the programs where we handle marketing for attorneys, we know what moves the needle and what doesn’t. So, we find the minimum effective action and offer a package based on the value it delivers. Since we know what minimum effective action is required to get results, we don’t need to include bells and whistles in our programs that don’t matter.
Likewise with our Practice Growth program, we help attorneys think through what actions are necessary for growth and what actions are a waste of resources.
I want to encourage you to compare all your actions to the results you’re getting.
Is your marketing getting the desired results right now? If not, then maybe you haven’t crossed the threshold of minimum effective action.
Or, maybe you’re getting great results from your marketing but it’s costing you too much time and money. You might scale back and achieve the same results.
This concept isn’t limited to marketing, so think through every area of your practice and try to find the minimum effective action needed to get the results you want.