A lot of law firm marketing is absolute science fiction. Some people in the marketing profession are suggesting that they can help lawyers catch the big fish. These people are selling diet pills to the gullible. genImage-3.aspx.jpg The biggest fish every caught was snagged today in the Mekong River in northern Thailand. If you read the Reuters account, you will see no reference to a marketing professional. Marketing is about the following: 1) Having an offering that is actually valuable to the prospective client 2) Being able to genuinely differentiate yourself from your competition (that means knowing thyself and thy competition) 3) Communicating appropriately with the prospective client which involves an unimaginable amount of listening Can we help people market effectively… yes, by being effective catalysts to help them choose a sensible strategy and helping them acquire the skills necessary to execute it. Marketing, however, like fishing, is a routine… a methodology… a way of life… that is repeatable and repeated. The reason is that probability theory is a big part of marketing… yes, a numbers game. Over time, out of X tries, you will succeed Y times. If X/Y is 1/3 or better, you are on fire. So those who promise you the big fish are deceiving you. Because like the biggest catfish ever caught, the catchers were fishermen who do this habitually and repeatedly. Anyone who tells you they can train you to go out one time and catch the big fish is indeed offering you a worm and I would recommend against taking the bait. (For the true marketing professionals out there, I realize I am focussed here on a tiny fragment of the overall marketing process — indeed “sales” — permit me the lattitude to make the point for those for whom marketing is not a primary are of study).