#27 Why are IP experts hesitant of self-promotion and business development? (Part 2)

Reason #2 Conservative culture

The culture of self-promotion in the field of IP is very conservative. The legal field including intellectual property law has always been subject to heavy restrictions of marketing and self-promotion. Not only have the legislators regulated how IP experts should promote their services but also the professional associations have been extremely strict in determining what is acceptable and what is not in terms of business development. Even today some jurisdictions do not allow IP experts to advertise at all. Also, being different, which is extremely efficient way of promoting your IP service, is oftentimes frowned at.

The change for more liberal approach in legal marketing started in 1977 in the United States with the case Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977). In the case, the Supreme Court upheld the right for lawyers to advertise their services based on the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech). The case lead to a situation where legal advertising bounced to the other extreme, as lawyers started to excessively advertise on billboards, television, radio and all the other possible channels. This was not a desirable situation either and possibly only deepened the irritation for legal advertising for the more conservative attorneys.

It is extremely important that the consumers and client prospects are protected from fraudulent advertising that takes advantage of the vulnerable position of such person. Some regulation and rules are in place, obviously, to keep up the good reputation of the profession of Intellectual Property Experts and for the protection of the prospects.

However, if you think that your intellectual property service can help your IP prospect in their business or if you can solve a painful problem for your IP prospect, you should to sell and market your services to them. When you know for sure that you can improve someone else’s business success, you should be able to influence them. On the other side, if you think that your IP service is does not provide value for your prospect or otherwise it would not be a good fit, you should not try to sell them your IP service in the first place.

Selling, marketing and self-promotion should always be done with the success and prosperity of the prospect and consumer in mind.

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