3 marketing fundamentals for every attorney


Marketing can get complicated. Metrics, meta-data, KPIs, keyword strategies, and so much more.

If you’re just starting to market your practice, or you like keeping things simple, there are three essential concepts you need to know:

(1) Your ideal client

Who are your ideal clients? What do they look like, where do they live or work, what are their problems (legal and otherwise), and what solutions or benefits do they need or want?

Where do you find them? How will you communicate with them? How do they typically find an attorney who does what you do?

You need to know this and be able to articulate this, especially since one of the hallmarks of an ideal client is the tendency to refer business.

(2) Why you?

Why should a client choose you instead of any other attorney?

This is your “value proposition” or Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

What do you do or offer that’s different or better? How are clients better off when they choose you?

What’s the “one thing” you want people to know and remember about you?

(3) Professional relationships

One of the best ways to grow your practice is to develop new alliances with centers of influence in your niche.

What strategic relationships do you you need to develop–for referrals, joint ventures, endorsements, introductions and information?

Look at your existing contacts. What do they do, who do they know, how do they–or can they–help you and your clients, and how can you help them?

Knowing these 3 fundamentals, and focusing on them, can go a long way towards helping you grow your practice.

The Attorney Marketing Formula shows you what to do.


If you want someone to tell you more


TV detective Colombo was famous for his trench coat, cigar, and glass eye, but even more famous for the way he would get witnesses to reveal things they didn’t intend to reveal.

At the end of the interview, everyone would stand up and get ready to leave, the witness would relax, and just when they thought they’re in the clear, Colombo would turn to them with his trademark, “Just one more thing”.

He would catch the witness off guard and often find out something he could use to solve the crime.

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that you do something similar when you interview a witness, prospective juror, or anyone else who isn’t being forthcoming.

Many ex-purts tell us to prompt witnesses who don’t say much with, “tell me more,” “what happened next,” or other questions designed to get them to continue talking.

It turns out there’s an even simpler way to get people to tell you more.


After someone has answered a question or volunteered information, don’t “fill the empty space” by asking another question–break eye contact, turn to your notes, and say nothing.

Often, a few seconds of silence is so uncomfortable for the witness, they’ll continue talking.

Sometimes, they volunteer precisely the information you were looking for, the very thing they didn’t want you to know.

And you can leave your raincoat and cigar at home.

How to get more referrals from other lawyers


Are you a perfectionist?


Many lawyers are obsessed with getting the details right. So are many artists and creative people and business leaders.

Perfectionists often create superior results, but their obsession with making things “perfect” often causes them to procrastinate.

Maybe you can relate.

How do you do good work and get better results without getting ensnared in the net of perfectionism?

The answer isn’t to fight your natural tendency, it is to re-focus it.

Instead of obsessing over every detail, train yourself to obsess about the details that matter.

The things that deliver the biggest return on your investment.

The 20% that delivers 80% of your results.

In your writing, that means giving extra attention to your headlines and email subject lines. They do the heavy lifting by getting more people to read what you wrote.

In a negotiation or a closing argument, you don’t have to win ever point or collect every dollar, as long as you’re getting enough to be able to call it a win.

In your marketing campaigns, you don’t have to attract everyone with a problem you can solve, as long as you’re attracting a preponderance of your ideal clients.

There will always be room to improve, but if you’re getting good results, let go of the things that aren’t important (or delegate them) so you can focus on what’s important and what you do best.

You don’t have to be good all marketing if you’re good at getting referrals


Where to sit in a meeting


What’s the best place to sit in a conference room? It depends on the role you’re playing in the meeting, or the role you want to play.

This 12 minute video explains the science behind the options we face when we choose where to sit.

Many of these insights are obvious, but there are some interesting ideas you may be able to use in your next meeting.

Note, this covers general meetings, (board meetings, staff meetings), not adversarial encounters, (deposition, arbitration, negotiation), but some ideas are useful in those situations, too.

If you have a lot of meetings and you want to finesse the seating arrangements, this video can help.


Could you do this?


I was at our local Staples store the other day and noticed that they had set up a sizable “meeting space” in the store, with tables and chairs, a white board and a screen for presentations.

There was a sign-up board that listed several local organizations, e.g., networking groups, toastmasters, etc., that had upcoming meetings.

Staples is obviously offering this free space to generate more foot traffic, something that has no doubt been waning in recent years.

People come to the meetings and some buy office supplies. And every time one of the groups advertises or promotes their next meeting, the name and address of the store gets free advertising.

Many restaurants do the same thing. I used to do breakfast and lunch presentations at restaurants with meeting rooms.

This makes sense for restaurants and office supply stores, but I also know some law firms that do it, offering their conference for meetings to business and networking groups.

If you like this idea but don’t have a conference room, you could offer free faxes or notary services.

This is a simple way to get other businesses and community leaders to mention your firm’s name, and bring more prospective clients and centers of influence to your door.


A simple way to get more people to listen


When you speak to prospective clients or anyone else you want to persuade, they are often skeptical about what you offer or propose.

To overcome this, you want to make them feel safe so they will open their minds and listen to your offer.

One way to do that is to use words that align with the idea that what you’re proposing is “normal”–not unusual or risky.

This can be as simple as using the phrase, “If you’re like most people. . .”

For example,

“If you’re like most people, you want your loved ones to be protected in case something happens to you.”

“If you’re like most people, you want your business to be safe from claims and lawsuits. . .”

“If you’re like most people, you want your property to close quickly. . .”

Most people will agree that they want what “most people” want.

They’re listening.

You also got them to focus on a problem you just happen to be able to solve for them–and tacitly admit that they want a solution.

Clever you.

You can (and should) use this in your newsletter


If you love what you do, 2 things happen


When you love your work, you look forward to getting to the office each day, your work is relatively easy to do, and you almost always get better results.

The other thing that happens when you love what you do: the people in your life can sense it.

Your clients and prospects, colleagues and centers of influence see your passion. They see your confidence and the ease with which you carry yourself.

They know you’re happy and successful, and they are drawn to you.

What happens when you don’t love your work? When you have to force yourself to do it? When you are basically phoning it in?

You feel unfulfilled. Unmotivated. Unhappy.

You aren’t excited about getting to work, and your results aren’t always what they could be.

And people sense this about you.

They see the furrow in your brow or hear the tension in your voice. They get a sense that you’d rather be somewhere else.

The same dynamic occurs at the micro level. If you love Twitter, for example, you’ll eagerly be there every day–you won’t have to remember to post or force yourself to come up with something to say.

Or hire someone to do it for you.

If you hate Facebook, it will be a chore. Something you dread. Something you have to force yourself to do.

Of course, loving/not loving are extremes. You may love some aspects of your work and hate others. A little introspection can help you identify what you need to change.

And change you should.

Because while you can make a nice living doing competent legal work and showing up every day, if you want to earn a fortune and be happy, you should do what you love, not just what you’re good at.

If you’re ready to take a quantum leap in your practice, go here


The perfect law practice


If you could design the perfect law practice (perfect for you, that is), what would it look like?

Why not take some time and write it out?

Consider things such as:

  • Where would you have your office(s)?
  • Which practice area(s) would you focus on? Eliminate? Add?
  • How much would you earn?
  • What types of clients or cases would you have? How many?
  • What billing model(s) would you use?
  • Would you work for a big firm? Own the firm? Would you have partners?
  • How many employees would you have?
  • How would you build your practice? What marketing methods would you use?
  • Where would you live? How long would you commute?
  • How many hours would you work per day/week? How many weeks would you take off each year?

Don’t stop there. You’re designing your perfect practice (and life) so make sure you have everything the way you want it.

Once you’ve done this exercise, put it away for a few hours or a day or two, come back to it, add or modify it, and then ask yourself two questions:

1) How much of this do I already have in place?

You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you already have much of what you want, or close to it. If not, you’ll know exactly what needs to change.

2) How do I get from where I am to where I want to go?

Asking this question will help you create a list of things to do, think about, or research. It will also prompt your subconscious mind to start looking for answers.

If you take the time to do this, develop a plan and begin working on it, the impact can be life changing.

This can help you plan your ideal practice


A newsletter is a sales letter


The objective of every newsletter your write is to get your subscribers to do something.

To call for an appointment or to ask questions, to reply and give you their opinion, or to share something you wrote with people they know, just to name a few.

And, you have to convince readers to do that.

That’s why you write a newsletter, after all.

This doesn’t mean being pushy or sales-y or anything less than professional. On the contrary. Your professional demeanor is an important element in persuading readers to listen.

But you can’t be boring.

Too many lawyers see the function of their newsletter as a mechanism to deliver information. Information is valuable but it’s not everything.

And too much information is often. . . boring.

You need to talk to your readers.

You have to write copy that addresses their emotional needs in a relatable way.

You want to come across as authoritative, trustworthy and likable. Someone who understands what your readers want and how they think.

And, once you’ve done that, you want to tell them what to do next.

Before you send your next issue, read it out loud and ask yourself how it sounds. If a lawyer sent this to you, what would you think about them?

If you want to see how to do it right, head over to this page


Sorry, I’m not the right attorney for you


One of the advantages of developing a profile of your ideal client is that it allows you to quickly see who is–and isn’t–a good fit for you.

Knowing who isn’t right for you allows you to spend more time and resources marketing to and attracting those who are.

Most lawyers promote their services to “everyone” with a certain problem or need and qualify the ones who respond when they speak to them.

What if you did some of the qualifying first?

What if you aim your marketing bullets primarily at people with a specific type of case, in a certain business or industry, or who represent a certain amount of annual billing?

What if you didn’t advertise to, network with, or invest time or money getting your message in front of people who are likely to be a poor fit?

What if you spelled out in your marketing documents the kinds of clients you prefer to work with or cases you prefer to handle?

Two things will happen. First, many prospective clients will disqualify themselves and you won’t waste time speaking with them.

Second, you will attract more of the type of clients you want.

They will be attracted to your clarity and confidence. Clients prefer lawyers who specialize and when you specialize in clients like them, that’s even better.

This will help you develop a profile of your ideal client