3 easy-to-keep New Year’s resolutions – weight loss optional.

Remember all of the things you wanted to do in 2011 to build your firm’s business? How many of those plans did you actually implement? Or did the act of doing business get in the way of the plans to grow your business, until it was too late in the year to impact the business?

All too often, we forgo even the most basic marketing activities because we don’t have the time, or they won’t have much of an in-year impact. Let’s make it our New Year’s resolution to change that starting today. Here are three simple tactics to help get you started:

  1. Educate – Tell a story about something that may be of interest to a prospective client, like something a client learned while working with you, or vice versa. Start by writing 3 general bullets about it on a sheet of paper, then turn those bullets into paragraphs. Add an introduction and you’re done in 15 minutes. There’s no need to go for a Pulitzer Prize, just keep it simple. Notice that I’m not harping on any tactical execution, like blogging, seminars, or social media. The goal (and challenge) is to become an educator. If your stories are interesting, people will find them, and you.
  2. Meet – Get out there and meet others who may directly or indirectly influence your business. Don’t worry about whether you’re officially networking or selling, and don’t feel that you need to run out and join a formal group. In fact, try to avoid all of that. Attend a trade or social event that you would normally blow off. Be yourself – a nice person with whom others want to associate – and it will probably be a refreshing change for the folks you meet. As you meet new people, make sure you keep track of names and contact information (“Do you have a card?”) to help build your list that you will use for your Educate activities.
  3. Measure – Set some basic goals, so you have a baseline to measure actual results. I wrote a separate story about 2012 planning for your firm, but think about your (and your associates’) personal goals as well. When in doubt, just guess or start with “1” as your goal. Write 1 story this month. Attend 1 business trade event. Meet 1 person who may be a source of referrals. Update 1 paragraph on your website. If you want to challenge yourself, make an end result the goal, like meeting enough people to generate 1 referral. Once is better than nonce, and you can build from there.

By starting early in the year, these activities will have a much better chance of making a real business impact in 2012. Plus you will be building tremendous momentum for the future. Now if I could also lose 10 lbs, everything would be perfect.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.

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