Browsing Category 'legal marketing’ RSS

Looking for ways to build your network?  How do you find meaningful ways to stay connected to potential referral sources?  How do you build relationships with professionals who can help you advance your career?  In my latest podcast, Peter Resnick, VP at Charles River Associates, talks about the ways he has leveraged his relationships to build a multi-million dollar practice.

 

13 Killer Mistakes Lawyers Make When Marketing

Date January 23, 2018 Comment Comments Off on 13 Killer Mistakes Lawyers Make When Marketing

13 Killer Mistakes Lawyers Make When Marketing

My latest webinar (please excuse all the “ums”.  I haven’t done one of these in a while!)

Trying to Make a Difficult Change? Tell Everyone!

Date January 7, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Trying to Make a Difficult Change? Tell Everyone!

Trying to Make a Difficult Change?  Tell Everyone!

smallerThe New Year has just passed and if you are like most professionals, you probably made a few New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe you decided to make some personal changes in your life (lose weight, get in shape, visit your parents more often); or maybe you have some new professional goals (do a better job of meeting deadlines; give better feedback to junior associates, paralegals and support staff; start looking for an in-house job; or spend more time marketing your practice.)

Whatever new goals you have established, now the hard work comes:  sticking to your stated goals.

There are a lot of things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will stick to your agenda.  Setting aside planning time each day to make sure that you are actively working towards your goals is one good strategy. Putting notes in your calendar is also a good one (this past year, I increased my trips to the gym by one time a week simply by putting in a recurring appointment at 6:00 a.m. every Wednesday.)

One strategy that is particularly effective is to make “public commitments”.  If you want to make changes in your life, tell a lot of people.  The mere act of telling your goals to others is one way to hold yourself more accountable.

This past year, I decided that after thinking about it for 5 years, that I was finally going to launch a podcast.  So I started telling a lot of people.  As a result, I found myself getting a lot more focused on taking the steps I needed to make the podcast a reality.  Five months after I began putting together a guest list, I now have all the equipment and software I need along with theme music and over art!  I announced that the podcast will launch at the end of January and I am well on my way to finishing the first episode. CounseltoCounsel, the podcast, will be ready for “prime time” by the last week in January.

If for some reason I am unable to follow through, I’m not directly accountable to anyone. But by telling many people in my network about the project, I have created a much deeper commitment to achieving my goal.

So whatever your professional or personal goals may be for 2018, tell your colleagues, friends and family.  They won’t make you lose weight or spend more time marketing, but you will feel a greater obligation to follow through on your commitments.  And that can be just the right catalyst you need to achieve those goals.

Connecting With Your Tribe

Date November 30, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Connecting With Your Tribe

Connecting With  Your Tribe

thetribeLaw is a profession that attracts individuals who enjoy solitude (according to the ABA, as many as 60% of attorneys are introverts.) If you ask most lawyers how they feel about networking, you are likely to get a  lukewarm response.  Getting out and making small talk is simply not a high priority activity for a lot of attorneys.  But as I’ve written on many occasions, leaving your office and meeting other professionals is the best way to advance your career, position yourself for future job opportunities and build your law practice. Read more…

Overcoming Fear of Networking

Date October 24, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Overcoming Fear of Networking

Not Feeling Well

For most lawyers, networking is right up there with getting root canal or spending time in a Porta Potty.  It’s a necessary and useful activity.  But it is not fun.

Attending networking functions can feel uncomfortable to many professionals.  What if you don’t know anyone?  What should you talk about? How do you find business leads or job opportunities in a large crowd?  But networking can help you increase your circle of business relationships.  It should be part of your overall marketing and career strategy.  Read more…

Documenting Your Networking

Date October 11, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Documenting Your Networking

Documenting Your Networking

business-cardWhile social media has become an important tool in building business and personal relationships, nothing can substitute for the bonds that are created through in person interactions.  Going to networking functions is still important whether you are looking for a new job or trying to build your law practice.  But how do you make the most of your interactions at a networking meeting?  What should you do with the business card that someone hands you?

Read more…

What’s Your Story?

Date December 8, 2016 Comment Comments Off on What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

Good marketing involves good story telling.  This is true whether you are marketing yourself as a candidate for a new job, marketing your company to a prospective hire or marketing yourself as a professional looking to generate new business.

Telling a “good” story is not always easy for analytical professionals.   Lawyers, for example, are accustomed to “documenting” and being  “thorough”.   But good storytelling is not about being thorough.  If you want to craft a good story, one that will make your point and one that will be memorable, it is important to be selective.  Give the details which make your point.  Avoid the facts which dilute or potentially contradict the message.  It’s okay to be selective as long as you don’t distort the truth. Read more…

Building Your Practice Through Non-Profit or Civic Involvement

Date February 25, 2014 Comment Comments Off on Building Your Practice Through Non-Profit or Civic Involvement

There are many ways to build your reputation as a lawyer and cultivate relationships that can turn into referral sources.  The important thing is to stay involved in activities you enjoy, otherwise, you will find yourself making excuses to avoid that activity and you won’t enjoy the activity enough to make it worth your while.  When I do marketing training, I always ask who likes golf?  I tell the attorneys who don’t raise their hands to avoid it because it is unlikely to be a positive experience and unlikely to help you build your relationships.

As a lawyer, there are many non-profit and civic causes where you can lend a hand and make a valuable contribution.  If you are thinking about the best way to do that, on March 19th, I am participating on a panel with the Massachusetts Bar Association.  Click here for more information.  The program is free for MBA members and can be accessed remotely.

It’s Never too Late to Set New Goals

Date January 22, 2014 Comment Comments Off on It’s Never too Late to Set New Goals

It’s Never too Late to Set New Goals

If you are like most of your colleagues, the New Year has come and gone and so have your New Year’s Resolutions.  Change is hard and in the high pressured field of law, resolving to spend more time on non-billable work may be easier said than done.  While there continues to be slow and steady movement towards project based billing in private practice, the reality is that most lawyers still bill by the hour; and most law firms still pay close attention to billable hours in determining how much of a contribution you are making to your firm.

In the short run, a lot of the incentive is to maximize the hours you bill.  But for most attorneys, building your own practice is what will give you more career satisfaction and more control over your destiny.

So you resolved to spend more time on marketing in 2014.  But as we approach Groundhog Day, that resolution may seem like a distant memory.  The good news is that its never too late to start making change.  So here are some tips for how you can be more successful with your Groundhog Day Resolutions:

1.  Don’t try to change everything at once.  Choose one or two things that you want to do differently this year.

2.  Resolve to spend a fixed amount of time every week on marketing and put it in your calendar (perhaps 15-30 minutes every morning before you become consumed with client demands).

3.  Choose marketing activities you think you would enjoy.  If you like to write, write about something you want to be known for.  If you like to speak, get out and speak about something that will reinforce the reputation you want.  If you enjoy playing golf or attending sporting events with referral sources, do that.

4.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.  When you work on a client matter, think about whether there are other prospective clients who might want to know about an issue.  You’ve already done the work.  Can you turn it into an article, check list or blog post?

5.  Recycle your marketing.  The goal is to be visible.  Once you have written something, send it to individuals on your mailing list (start a mailing list if you don’t already have one).  Create a newsletter that links to items you and some of your colleagues have already written (again, focusing on the subject matter where you want to build your reputation).  Publicize your speaking engagements through a newsletter, on your website and in a LinkedIn update.

6.  Send out articles (or links to articles) to people on your mailing list.  “Thought this might be of interest to you.”

7.  Get involved in a recreational, civic, non-profit or hobby related activity that puts you in contact with the kinds of people you want to meet.  Again, choose activities you enjoy (i.e. not things you think you “should” be doing).   You are much more likely to follow through and participate and you are much more likely to be relaxed.

Truly building a law practice can take years.  So the sooner you get started, the sooner you will start to see the fruits of your labors.  But don’t feel like marketing is an all or nothing proposition.  Resolve to do a little more this year than you did last year and you will make a real contribution to your own success down the road.

Focus Your Marketing Message Like You Focus Your Camera

Date October 30, 2013 Comment Comments Off on Focus Your Marketing Message Like You Focus Your Camera

Focus Your Marketing Message Like You Focus Your Camera

Good marketing is the art of differentiation. If you present yourself like any other lawyer in the marketplace, potential clients and referral sources are less likely to remember you when they encounter a need you can service.

This is a hard lesson to embrace in a competitive field for legal services. Most of the clients I work with are concerned that if they do not mention everything they do, they will miss out on opportunities. But by not focusing your marketing message, the opposite is true. You run the risk of being memorable for nothing.

Think of it as you would when taking a photograph. A good photographer will focus in on those elements in the scene where they want your attention drawn. If your main subject is out of focus, then you often end up with a bad photo and the viewer doesn’t know where to focus his or her attention.

So if your primary practice focus is creating estate plans for middle class couples, don’t be afraid to tell that to the potential clients and referral sources you meet. If the individual is looking for a good divorce lawyer and you happen to do some of that work, you can always indicate that as the conversation progresses. Similarly, if they are selling a home or have a potential conflict with a business partner, and that is work that you have successfully handled, then you can add that to the conversation, as well.

The point is when someone asks what you do, try and limit yourself to one or two (possibly three), types of matters that you handle and who are the most likely clients for that work. Like a good photograph, a focused marketing message will stick longer in the memory of those who you are relying on for your work. You can always clarify that you also handle the type of matter that the individual needs help with. But keep the focus of your marketing message on those areas that you want to be known for. A focused message like that is much more likely to stick.