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4 Steps to Create an Effective Personal Business Development Plan

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Do lawyers have a “personal brand”?

In my last post I compared building a personal “brand” with a personal business development plan. Which is more effective as a means of marketing you and your legal services – are business basics or an unforgettable public persona the winner?

I haven’t changed my opinion – it’s the former by the way – so as promised I’m going to explain how to create your effective, simple and straightforward personal business development plan.

The model we use is the OGTM which allows you to cover off your Objectives, Goals, Tactics and Measures on one easy-to-follow and easy to update piece of paper.   But what do those four words cover and how could you complete each part?  Let’s have a closer look …

1. Objectives
Are your objectives realistic and achievable?

These are your overriding objectives for the year.  There probably won’t be more than 2 or 3 and I would suggest the first should be financial, i.e. how much do you want to bill?

The others could be around breaking a new industry sector, winning one new major client or cross-selling your particular skills into an existing client of the firm you find interesting.  Whatever your shortlist, it should be based on realism, but with a dash of aspiration.


2. Goals

Your goals are the landmarks you need to hit in order to realise your objectives.  If you take breaking into a new sector as an example, your three goals could be to have 2 articles printed in the trade press, to speak at a major industry event and to run your inaugural own event.

3. Tactics
Identify who publishes news for your desired trade sector

Your tactics are the ‘stuff’ you’ll need to do in order to achieve your goals.  Taking the previous example, the tactics required to get an article published would include identifying publications you’d like to be published in, identifying and contacting the editor, and pitching one idea per quarter.  These are a sequential list of practical stage directions you can pick up and put down when you have time available for BD that will make even the most ambitious objectives realistic and achievable.

And remember every tactical plan has to take into account the absolute No.1 BD priority: follow up on every new enquiry and every new contact.

4. Measures
Using numbers can help gain perspective on your achievements.

You’ll notice all of the above examples have numbers near them.  This is so you can measure progress (and don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit a milestone, it’ll keep you going) and so you know exactly where you are at any given time.  Working in hard numbers will immediately improve your success and progress because it’s much more objective to woolly ideals like ‘increase market share’ or ‘boost profile’.

And this follows across the page (logically) in 4 columns.  If it sounds like a structure you could use please email me and I will gladly send you a blank Word template to get you started.

I’m now going to close by saying something that may sound counter-intuitive.  All of the above relates to your external push for visibility.  There is a place for personal branding internally and in my next column I will try and explain how to create, use and leverage a personal brand to accelerate your career progression.

If you would like to have a chat about your own personal BD plan, please drop me a line and we can find a time to have an initial free 30 minute meeting.

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Doug McPherson

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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