How many times have you heard the phrase, "Don't reinvent the wheel?" But as many times as you've probably heard it, you probably still do it -- all of the time.
One of my favorite strategies to employ with clients is what I call 'repurposing.' It simply means using what you already have and not reinventing the wheel. You probably have more than enough things on your 'to do' list already without doing the same things over and over or having to create things out of whole cloth each time you do them.
Repurposing in action
You probably do some repurposing, but I'm willing to be that you can find even more to repurpose (and save yourself time, effort and money in the process) that you hadn't thought about.
On the business side of your practice, repurposing means using work you've done for other clients and just 'tweaking' it for new clients. Do you face the same issues over and over in your practice? If so, you can probably repurpose motions, explanatory or opinion letters to clients, requests for documents, etc. Create forms and checklists based on past experience. If you've already done it once, use the work you've already done, rather than trying to start over in your head.
Marketing is a great place to repurpose, particularly with all of the new technology that's in place for marketing. Don't think you have time to blog, do seminars, write articles, network and follow up with individual clients by sending them information relevant to their business? If you're doing one of those things, chances are that you can repurpose what you're doing into at least two more, with minimal effort. In fact, you can repurpose your legal work into your marketing efforts as well.
Still not clear? Here are some examples
1. You've handled a thorny issue for a client which required some legal research
- Turn the research into an article to be published;
- Create a seminar based on the issue for clients, potential clients or your local bar association;
- Develop a case study based on the issue for your website and other marketing materials;
- Request that the client write a testimonial for you about how the issue affected their business before and after your involvement (if ethically appropriate and permitted in your jurisdiction);
- Add the information to your next newsletter to alert other clients that might encounter a similar issue;
2. You've given a seminar on a particular topic:
- Give the same seminar at another venue or to another client or potential client;
- Turn your seminar notes into an article and publish the article on your website and in your firm's newsletter;
- Create an abbreviated version of the article and turn it into a blog post (or series of posts);
- Submit the article to industry publications your clients read and/or to your local bar publication;
- Send the printed copy of the article by mail to a targeted list of clients or potential clients who might be interested in the topic;
- Send the printed article to seminar attendees as a reminder of your talk;
- Where appropriate, create a checklist based on the seminar presentation, or a shorter reference guide for clients;
- Post the reference guide on your website and/or blog;
- Record the seminar on audio or video and put it on your website;
- Turn the audio or video into a CD and include it in 'welcome packets' to new clients or in promotional materials you send about your firm;
- If the topic is a timely one or is related to recent news, create a press release or write a letter to the editor of a local publication alerting the public to the issue.
The more you think about it, the more opportunities to repurpose you'll be able to identify. Challenge yourself to come up with ways to use everything you do in your practice more than once. Before you put a project away, ask yourself which other clients might be affected by the same issue or might be interested in hearing about it.
What examples of repurposing have you used in your practice? I'd love to get your comments and feedback.
If you need help putting repurposing into action in your practice, feel free to contact me.