Highlighting risks for your clients is an important part of effective lawyering. But clients want more than a laundry list of risks. They want solutions so they can sleep better at night. Click here to read more.
I presented a seminar to a group of elder lawyers in the spring. In this webinar, I discussed why in general, selling is difficult for attorneys. I also provided some tips for making the sales process easier. You can now watch the webinar in full by clicking here.
It is important to have a plan if you want to build your law practice and having a written marketing plan will greatly increase the likelihood that you will actually follow through. But for attorneys, there are many obstacles that get in the way of marketing. Most lawyers are more comfortable doing actual legal work than spending time on marketing activities. Then there is always the lure of the billable hour (how can I spend time on non-billable work when there is still billable work to be done).
Probably the biggest challenge that attorneys face is that they are trying to change their behavior. They are not accustomed to spending time building their reputation or on business relationship building and some of these activities do not feel either natural or comfortable. So even if a written plan is put in place, executing that plan can be difficult.
One way to increase your odds of success is to focus on one new thing at a time. If you try to execute on too many new things at once, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed (and as a result, unmotivated to follow through). Instead, start off slow. If meeting potential referral sources for coffee is on your list, focus just on that for a month or two. If you prefer to focus first on building your reputation, get going on that article you have been meaning to write. Or join a trade association and get active so that you can start meeting people in the industry you are targeting.
There are many paths to marketing success and where you start is not that important. You are investing in your future and some of today’s activities may not bear fruit for years. So the important thing is to get going on something. You can always add more activities to the mix once you are comfortable with one new activity. In contrast, if you try to do it all at once, you may find yourself doing nothing at all. Instead, you’ll have a nice marketing plan sitting on your computer and nothing to show for it.
Lawyers should always focus on finding ways to give value to their clients and prospective clients. Trying to close business all the time is likely to backfire because pressure does not build trust. For more on this, my latest tip in the MBA Lawyer’s e-Journal.
My latest LPM Tip in the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Lawyer’s e-Journal.
My latest LPM tip for the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Lawyers eJournal.
Lawyers are good at asking questions. Making effective use of this skill (especially if you take the time to listen to the answers) will enhance your marketing effectiveness. Read more in my latest article in the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal (pg. 16).
Being thorough is a good quality for a practicing lawyer. But it may not be the best way to communicate when trying to sell your services as a lawyer. My latest tip in the MBA’s Lawyer’s eJournal.
Lawyers are actually pretty good at marketing when they make the time. Writing articles, researching novel issues, giving presentations and serving on relevant committees are all things that many lawyers feel comfortable doing.
These activities are all very important (they help raise the profile of the lawyer and of their firm). But they don’t make clients pick up the phone and call you (at least not necessarily). That requires follow up. Larry Bodine does a good job of identify easy ways to do the necessary follow up. I’ve also written about this dynamic in the past.