You’re a good lawyer, but what you need to do in order to put food on the table is get clients in the door. I know – it’s not your strength. As a practicing consumer bankruptcy attorney, I know this feeling well. For years I didn’t think I had it in me to market my law firm.
I read, I did what everyone else did, and I listened to the self-professed legal marketing gurus who swore they knew the keys to my success. Turns out, they knew the keys to their own success – and those keys were in my wallet. They got fatter, I got thinner (and it wasn’t because I was dieting).
Once I sat down to actually learn this stuff on my own (and believe me, it was just slightly easier than going through law school) I came up with a list of the top five mistakes we all make when it comes to marketing our law firm. They are:
- Watching How Other Lawyers Market Their Practices. Yes, there are lawyers who can market like nobody’s business. They sneeze and new clients walk up with tissues. Yes, they have techniques they follow. I couldn’t care less. You are a different person, and you come to the table with your own life experience. By doing what they do, you’re pretending to be them. And it’s a lot easier to be an original than faking it.
- Spending Money To Substitute For Action. Spending on Yellow Pages ads, TV spots, and websites built by corporate entities in the hopes that you will score big time is a losing proposition. Your stuff has to be better, smarter, and more in tune with what your clients want. A lot better, in fact.
- Not Realizing It’s Your Life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like marketing your law firm or don’t think you’re good at it. You went to law school and sat through three years of Socratic Method – you can figure this stuff out. If you can’t, better close up shop and look for a job while you’ve got the chance. You either spread the word and engage in profitable legal marketing or you end up working for someone who can.
- Listening To Legal Marketing Gurus. If they’re so good at marketing a law firm, why aren’t they running one? They may be dynamite when it comes to moving widgets, but nobody knows your clients like you do – nobody.
- Failing To Measure Results. If you don’t measure your results constantly, and do so using real tools rather than just asking clients where they found you, you’re wasting your time and money. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, take it out back and kill it quickly and mercifully. Re-load and repeat. Often.