What Weight Loss Teaches Us About Legal Marketing

I am happy to report that I have officially shed my “COVID-15”. After several months of going to the gym every day and eating more protein and far fewer refined carbohydrates, I’m finally seeing results.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, as I do every morning that I go to the gym, it occurred to me that there is a marketing lesson here. I’ve always resisted weighing myself on a daily basis on the belief that somehow I would be discouraged in seeing the ups and downs of my weight loss. But a family member of mine is doing Noom, and according to Noom, weighing yourself every day is encouraged. While you may not see direct progress each time you step on the scale, weighing yourself regularly keeps you focused on your goals.

Marketing success is very similar. Measuring your marketing activity keeps you focused on your marketing goals. In legal marketing, your success is based on the sum total of all your activities. The important thing is to be slow and steady in posting on social media, participating in networking events, giving presentations, having coffee, sending items of interest to your contacts, etc. (depending on what you enjoy doing and what makes sense for your practice.)

While you don’t need to measure your activity on a daily basis, taking the time to assess your activity and review your plan is important in growing your practice.

If you want to measure your own marketing activity, complete my marketing audit (10 minutes), and schedule a time to speak to me for a free consult. I’m always happy to help lawyers reflect on their careers and on their marketing. #legalmarketing #lawyers #goalsetting

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Getting Past Adversity is the Key to Your Marketing Success

Yesterday was not a great day. I was driving on the highway and a car in front of me hydroplaned. In a matter of seconds, I smashed into it and then into a concrete block on the side of the road. You can see that the result in this picture. The car is probably totaled.

Fortunately, I survived with just a few bruises and when I went to the auto body shop today to take pictures, the watermelon I left in the car was still intact. Also, we were thinking of getting a new car anyway so could have been a lot worse.

High speed accidents are pretty scary. Everything seems to be moving in slow motion and then BOOM! You see it unfolding and there is nothing you can do. If you are lucky like me and you walk away unscathed, it is important to get back in the drivers seat (whether it is the same car after it has been repaired or into a different car). Then you should think about whether there is anything you could have done differently. In my case, the answer was a definite no. The driver next to me simply lost control of her car.

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Episode 63-LinkedIn in 30 Minutes (with Kristyn Brophy)

LinkedIn is a critical marketing tool for lawyers. This has been underscored this year as the world of in-person networking has remained largely shut down.  But as the world opens up and we find ourselves at conferences, networking functions, meeting for lunch or coffee, LinkedIn will continue to be an important tool in the marketing tool bag.

In this episode episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, we do a quick dive into LinkedIn and talk about how to make the most of LinkedIn. My guest Kristyn Brophy has a lot to say about using the platform more effectively.

Kristyn has worked in-house at a number of major law firms in the Boston area .  More recently she joined Legal Internet Solutions Incorporated as Director of Client Strategy.  She is a fountain of knowledge about legal marketing, social media, and the newest platform in the social media ecosystem, Clubhouse.

Find the Counsel to Counsel podcast wherever you get your podcasts or click here to listen on your desktop.

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Simplicity is the Key to Marketing Success

You don’t have to be a professor of English literature to come up with language that communicates what you do. In fact a complex message is likely to get lost.  We are bombarded all day long with marketing messages. The ones that stick (and the ones that will lead to quality  referrals–i.e. work you want to do), should be understood by a child in elementary school.

Here are two slides from a great presentation I heard in the Fall (“Sizzle or Suck”) that elaborate on this point in a very meta way (simplicity to get across the point that simplicity is key).  The presenters included

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Introducing “The Jennys”-For Creativity in Professional Services Marketing (Because “The Stevies” Was Already Taken”)

Some of my best (and worst ) inspirations come to me at 4:30 a.m.  That happened to me in early February when I woke up thinking about all of the creative marketing ideas I’ve heard about in the last 12 months.  Some of them have come from clients, some from fellow ProVisors members, and some from lawyers and other professionals I meet who have a flair for garnering attention.

I decided at that moment that it would be great to give out awards for all of this creativity.  I then began ruminating in bed about Latin phrases I could adapt (“The Juris Doctor Awards”, “Marketing In Limine”, “In Re: Marketing”).  Suddenly, I was hit with a brilliant inspiration!  I’ll call it “The Stevies”.  Later that day, in a moment of greater clarity, I reached out to a graphic designer to start working on the artwork.  Several days later, I received the sad news:  The Stevies was already taken.

Despite the fact that my award was really just for fun (?parody), I decided that it was better idea to use another name and not risk a cease-and-desist letter (thank you Dan Batterman for that advice).  After some deep thought

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Battling an Epidemic of Spam Filtering (and “User Error”)-Tips to Improve Your Communication

I’ve always made a habit of responding to email messages within a day (even if just to say I’m sorry but I’m busy right now and will try to get back to you next week–or something like that).  While I don’t always live up to this standard,  I believe it is common courtesy to acknowledge that someone is trying to communicate with me (unless they are simply trying to sell me something).

While I consider responding to emails in a timely fashion the professional thing to do, I recognize that some of the people I am trying to reach are overwhelmed and simply don’t have the bandwidth to respond.

Many lawyers make effective use of auto replies

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Recycling Can Increase Your Marketing Efficiency

For many lawyers, carving out time for marketing activities is challenging. When there is billable work to do, spending time on things that don’t immediately generate revenue is hard to prioritize. Of course as I’ve written many times, making marketing a habit will ensure more marketing success in the long run (see Mindlessness is the Key to Marketing Success).

One hack that can help you generate more marketing activity without adding a lot of time to your day is to recycle. If you have some content that you can use in a variety of ways, that enables you to better leverage your time.

For example, if many clients are asking questions about a particular subject, you can turn that into a blog post. That blog post can become a LinkedIn post. Similarly you can then turn that into a presentation and maybe include links in a newsletter to a workshop you are planning.

Another marketing hack is to take evergreen marketing content and promote it more than once. If you post on LinkedIn, different people in your network will see it and are online at different times. Posting the same contact more than once is a

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Creative Ways to Differentiate your Law Practice (without showcasing your expertise)

I joined the ProVisors business network in June of 2019.  There are many things I love about the group and during the pandemic, it has been a great way to stay connected to a very giving group of professionals. While meeting wonderful people has been the best part, my involvement with ProVisors has also been a great lesson in how to differentiate yourself.   In the network, there are many lawyers, accountants, financial planners and other trusted advisors who do similar things.  So “choosing your lane” and making yourself memorable is important.  Many ProVisors members do that well.

Sometimes I hear great tag lines that describe the expertise that the professionals bring to the table (e.g. Call me when you need to manage your client’s message with a megaphone or a muzzle.- Judy Rakowsky, a public relations professional; Call me when you are in the back of a police car or in the back of an ambulance– Chris Murphy, a lawyer who does criminal defense and plaintiff’s personal injury; I bring death and taxes to life-Jenn Taddeo, a trusts and estates lawyer; When the Feds come knocking, I’ll do the blocking-Jose Sierra, a white collar attorney—who is now in-house.)

I have also met a number of lawyers and other professionals who have found very creative ways

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“Mindlessness” is the Key to Marketing Success

If you want to grow your law practice, having a good strategy is important. Figuring out who are your ideal clients and what are the ideal matters you want to work on is an important first step in building a marketing plan.  Creating a niche practice area is an important way to ensure that you have differentiated yourself from the competition. Mapping out who are your key referral sources and how you can build relationships with these referral sources is essential. The process of coming up with a marketing plan is anything but mindless. A scattershot approach that lacks focus is far less likely to be effective.

But once you have a strategy and you move to implementation, it is important to shift gears. Successful execution requires consistency.  Short bursts of activity followed by long breaks where you just focus on billable work, is not a good way to keep your name top of mind with your network.  Since it is hard to predict when your clients, prospective clients, and referral sources will hear about a legal problem that you might be able to solve, slow and steady wins the race.

Shear willpower is unlikely to ensure that you will have the consistency you need to remain visible.  Given the time pressures on most

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Business Development in 2021 with the Law Firm Success Group [on the C2C podcast]

 

The New Year is finally here and without getting into it, let’s just say that many of us are happy to welcome 2021.  A new year brings hope, a chance for a new beginning, and if you are in private practice, a great opportunity to ramp up your marketing and business development. In the latest episode of the C2C Podcast, I speak with Alay Yajnik, award-winning business coach and founder of Law Firm Success Group. Alay’s firm helps law firms owners across the country make more money, get better clients, and take more vacations.  I’ve already appeared as a guest on his podcast  the Lawyer Business Advantage.  Alay and I discuss

Read moreBusiness Development in 2021 with the Law Firm Success Group [on the C2C podcast]