1. Start the New Year with a marketing calendar. Take a yearly calendar and in each month fill in the names of your key clients noting how and when you will be in contact with them. Every key client should have at least one contact activity monthly. That activity might be a phone call, mailing a newsletter, client work, sending an article, lunch date, personal note, and so on. Clients want to hear from you; they want to know they are important whether or not you are currently working on a matter for them.


  1. Research 2008 industry predictions. Research the industries that your current clients represent and find out what the 2008 predictions are for them. Based on this information, identify any areas where your clients may need your services. This is where you can find new opportunities and be ahead of the curve based on their needs.


  1. Communicate with your clients. Based on the above analysis, call each client that you believe will need your help and schedule a meeting to discuss the anticipated changes in his/her industry that affect him/her and what needs to be done (how you can help).


  1. Write a newsletter. If you have quite a few clients in a specific industry that would require new or different services from you, write a newsletter that is targeted to this group. Don’t drop the ball, though; follow-up with client meetings. Plan to write and send newsletters at least quarterly.


  1. Cross-sell your firm’s services. Review the services you currently provide to each client and the services that are available within your firm. Identify services that your client might need that someone else in your firm can provide and set up a meeting. Cross-selling is an important opportunity that should not be overlooked.


  1. Build your referral network. Review your referral sources and evaluate their needs. Ask yourself how you can improve your relationship in 2008. What business can you refer to them? Can you make important introductions? Capitalize on visibility and don’t overlook fellow speakers and panelists.


  1. Identify your prospects. These are the people that you know or would like to know. Break the list down into “hot, warm and cold” prospects. Prioritize the hot prospects (people you know) and create a short, workable list. Develop an action plan that will include how you will reach each of the hot prospects and methods to communicate with all the others. Targeting a new prospect may take months before they become a client. Start now.


  1. Budget appropriately for marketing your services. Whatever your budget is, you should break it down into three categories. Marketing to the “universe”, prospects (this includes referral sources), and clients. Spend only 10% of your budget marketing to the universe. This is everyone in your market (however you define that). The purpose of marketing to them is to move them into the prospect/ referral group. Spend 30% of your budget on prospects. This group is significantly smaller, and more targeted. Your goal here is to communicate with them and build relationships. Spend 60% of your budget on your clients. Each client represents new business either directly from him/her or through referral. And it costs far more to gain a new client that to keep a current one.


  1. Update your database. Review your database and correct all addresses, titles, company names, mail lists. Get rid of those people who have moved with no forwarding address or are deceased. It is important that your client and contacts are not only on your mailing list, but that your information about them is correct and they are receiving important information from you and your firm. A newsletter from you or an Announcement of a seminar or other information is important to building and maintaining your relationship.


  1. Send an Annual Report. Send your clients an end-of-the-year report on your firm (end of 2007). Tell them how your firm has improved (technologically), grown (new partners, associates, practice area, experience, etc.), significant cases, and the good things your firm has done (pro bono work, charities, etc.). Remind them of your practice areas, services you provide and thank them for their business.


Marketing is an ongoing aspect of your business. In today’s competitive marketplace, you cannot grow complacent. If you do not act, nothing will happen.