Rainmaking Recommendation #236: How to Spend Your time on Rainmaking (the Pandemic Edition)

Way back in 2013, I wrote a blog entitled: The Mathematics of Time for Rainmaking.  In it, I dispelled the myth that I hear from my clients who are in Mid-market and Big Law firms: “I don’t have the time to do Rainmaking.”

So, I showed you how much time you really did have. Let’s run the math once more:

Again, we are starting with the following 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 with two weeks provided for vacation.  (And by the way, if you are not taking your vacation time, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.  We need to disconnect from all work from time to time for mental health’s sake – even if the pandemic has forced you to stay at home for a vacation.)

This means you have to bill 160 hours per month, but as we know, it takes more than 1 hour to bill an hour.  The average lawyer has to work 10 hours to bill 8. So you have to work 200 hours to bill 160.

So let’s talk about just one month (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 – 200 hours (to bill 160 hours) of billable work per month = 120 hours left

That leaves 30 hours per week for you to use on all of the rest of the stuff in your life. This equals 6 hours per day.

Six hours to use for meals, working out, family, administrative work for the firm, and Rainmaking. 

I understand that many lawyers who have been working from home have also had to care for children. I am not expecting you to spend 6 hours per day on your Rainmaking Activities. You can spend as much time as you feasibly have available. Even as little as 15 minutes will work, but you have as much time as you would like to put into it up to those 6 hours. 

And if you are spending 2-3 hours per day binge-watching Netflix, or getting lost on Tiktok, Instagram, or Facebook, then you have no excuse. And by the way, I’m not knocking any of these activities – sometimes you need to shut down, but studies have proven that these can become addictions and will totally suck your time away.

Let’s break it down into various activities you can do in specific time periods:

15 Minutes:

  • Post an article you’ve read on Linked In that relates to your practice area or industry focus
  • Comment and like other’s post in your feed
  • Write a mini-blog (less than 300 words) and post it to your social media
  • Call a current client to provide information about something valuable to them
  • Email 5 former clients and old referral sources to schedule a time to meet them either virtually or via telephone at a later date
  • Read a blog or article written by leaders in the industry in which you focus
  • Find and connect with 5 leaders in the industry in which you practice on Linked In or Twitter.

I also suggest that you set a timer for 15 minutes, and when that timer goes off, you stop.  There is a tendency to get sucked into a social media site, and before you know it, you have lost a substantial amount of time. 

30 minutes or so:

  • “Meet” a client or referral source for a virtual meeting or telephone call.
  • Create a list of your old clients and referral sources to use when you have time to contact them
  • Call current clients to strengthen the relationship
  • Start a list of blog (or video) topics that you can write about in the future that would be of interest to your clients and prospective clients

1 hour or so:

  • Contact a partner in your firm in a practice area that is compatible with yours and discuss clients to see what you can do to cross-sell your practices.
  • Write (or start) a blog post.
  • Attend a webinar to learn more about your target market.
  • Listen to a podcast about your industry focus

2 hours or so:

  • Attend a virtual networking event.
  • Write (or start) an article for an industry journal or trade publication.
  • Rewrite your Linked In “about” section to reflect what your clients need and not just what you do.

And, for those of you who have marketing and business development professionals in your firm, reach out to them for assistance.  For example, you can ask them to research industries to help you with your marketing.

You can spend your time how you want, but if you’re going to be a Rainmaker, you have to find the time to do so.   In those 6 hours, you can find a way to carve out at least 15 minutes each day or more.  If you can find a way to spend 5 hours per week for 50 weeks, that’s 250 hours of Rainmaking activities per year. 

The amount of time you have for work and everything but sleeping is 4,000 hours (again, not including weekends); in the grand scheme of things, 250 hours is a drop in the bucket, but the return you will get will be enormous.

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