The key to failure in marketing legal services


Bill Cosby was once asked if he would share the key to his success. He famously said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

And yet that’s exactly what most people do.

They take middle of the road positions on issues because they don’t want to offend anybody. They write articles or blog posts directed to everyone, instead of addressing the specifics of their niche market. Or they don’t target a niche market at all because they don’t want to exclude any potential business.

Because this is what most people do, most people get mediocre results. Successful people don’t try to please everyone. In fact, they may do their best to antagonize a large segment of the population.

Name a successful political pundit on the right. How about Rush Limbaugh? Now, how about on the left? Let’s go with Chris Matthews. What do they have in common, besides being financially successful?

Both have millions of fans and. . . both have millions who hate them.

Instead of being on the right and the left, suppose they were centrists. Do you think they would be as successful?

The savviest politicians and political commentators know, the better you are at turning OFF those who aren’t your audience, the better you’ll be at turning ON those who are.

And it’s the same in marketing.

It’s all about passion. If you have it, and if you can get people fired up about something, either for OR against, you’ll be more likely to stand out from the crowd. Yes, there will people who are turned off by what you say or do, but guess what? They probably weren’t going to hire you anyway.

I’d much rather have a list of 100 people who love what I do and tell everyone about me, than 10,000 people who might not remember subscribing to my list. Those 100 fans will bring others who will do the same.

Don’t try to please everyone. Dr. Huxtable says it’s a prescription for failure.

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