I caught a post today from Jaimie Field, one of my Legal Marketing Extraordinaires, Rainmaking Recommendation #91: The Mathematics of Time for Rainmaking where she breaks down the myth that you don’t have time to make rain. She’s right. I don’t care how busy your practice is, you can find the time to make some rain.

We are going to start with a few assumptions:

  1. That you are required to bill 2000 hours per year, and
  2. That you like to sleep.

That means you have to average 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of billable time (I’m giving you two weeks of vacation a year – am I nice or what?) or 160 hours per month. So let’s talk about just one month of time (and we aren’t even going to discuss working weekends): On average, there are 20 business days per month. 20 business days x 24 hours per day = 480 hours total hours. 480 hours – 160 hours (8 hours of sleep per night for 20 nights) = 320 hours left 320 hours – 160 hours of billable time per month = 160 hours left Even if you work out 1 hour per day for those 20 working days you have 140 hours remaining per month.  Those 140 hours per month (and remember, this is only during the working week, this does not include weekends) equals 7 hours per business day to use any way you want.

Fine. You’re busy. I get it. Plus you have to add in a commute, the gym, watching a TV show or game. But even with all that, you still have a good three hours a day in which to market, or goof off around the office, hang out on Facebook, or play video games. Which one’s going to make you money? Here are some suggestions on what to do with some of those three hours: 15 minutes or less:

  • Make a phone call to a client. Not to “check in,” but provide a value proposition.
  • Email an article to five contacts, with a personal note.
  • Review the firm’s recent blog posts and share to your personal Facebook feed.
  • Go find and follow 10 clients on Twitter.
  • Go find and follow 10 leaders in your client industries (gurus, industry publications, industry associations, etc).
  • Subscribe to your competitors blogs, newsletters.

30 minutes or so:

  • Meet a client or referral source for coffee.
  • Walk the halls and speak to a couple partners outside your direct practice area, and find out what they are working on.
  • Review your matter list for the past couple years. Make a list of clients you can call when you have only 15 minutes or less.
  • Review the Twitter/Blog posts from your clients, industry leaders, or competitors. Forward and retweet relevant ones to your networks.

1 hour or so:

  • Present a CLE presentation to a client
  • Go to lunch with a partner in your firm who shares a client. See what you can do to cross sell your practices further with other clients.
  • Call your marketing director and go to lunch/coffee. Discuss ideas of what you can do in 2014 to increase your rain.
  • Write a blog post of a recent decision, or something hot in the news.
  • Attend, or lead, a webinar.
  • Review and edit your bio, taking into account SEO and your client (their industry, their business problems, your legal solutions).
  • Start working on your holiday cards. Don’t send the firm’s card. Send you own, with a personal note.

2 hours or so:

  • Research a byline piece for an industry journal or trade publication.
  • Take a client, referral source, or influencer out to lunch.
  • Attend a local industry networking or educational event.
  • Participate in a local industry as a leader (committee member, board of directors)
  • Edit an article you are preparing for a local industry or trade publication.
  • Prepare slides and materials for an upcoming webinar or CLE.

3 hours or so:

  • Drive out and visit a client.
  • Take a client to a game or show.
  • Work on that chapter for the LexisNexis treatise you committed to last fall and is due next month.
  • Before catching that plane home from your most recent out of town depos, go visit a local client/referral source.
  • Read the 10-Ks for your top clients, highlighting potential points of discussion for your upcoming meetings.
  • Prepare your Chambers submissions for this year.

I think you can see where I am going here. We can all find all the excuses in the book to not market. Sure, it seems overwhelming to say, give us 250-500 NON-BILLABLE hours per year. But, using Jaimie’s equation, we’re talking 5-10 hours per week. 1-2 hours per day. I’d say the ROI will make it all worth it.