Many of you find client development to be very difficult. Schooled to be “technicians,” most of you have no training in the area of marketing and can feel at a loss in knowing where to start. To help you with this, I have a tip that has worked for many people: enroll a marketing partner – someone who can act as a support system for your forays into the marketing game. They can not only help quell the anxiety you feel about going out and marketing yourself, their partnership with you can inspire behavioral changes that exceed what you would do on you own.

I know from personal experience that you are more likely to follow through on new behaviors and try new strategies when you talk to another person about them. Trying to change your own behavior and overcome your own entrenched resistance is much less likely to work when you keep your intentions to yourself. We humans are completely unreliable when we make vows to ourselves – they are the first ones we break.

After all, if it’s an undeclared promise, no one but you knows when you fail to follow through. If you commit to yourself that you’ll have three marketing lunches a week, then fail to make it happen, there are rarely any consequences – at least in the short run.

But, when you have someone to talk to, strategize with, and learn from, you’ll be more willing to stay the course and step outside your comfort zone. This is what makes the traditional mentoring relationship so powerful – a mentor can not only act as teacher and collaborator with you, they can also hold you accountable for the commitments you make. It feels much worse when you have to go back to your marketing partner and admit that you didn’t invite anyone to lunch.

So, if you need an extra push to step outside your comfort zone, I highly recommend you find a marketing partner of some kind, be they an older attorney who can mentor you, a practice advisor with marketing expertise or a colleague from another firm who can serve as a coach. If you are serious about making a change and incorporating new habits, you’ll be surprised at the difference their help and support can make.

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