Make it easy for clients to find you, hire you, and work with you


In the world of marketing and client relations (which is a sub-set of marketing), one of the best things you can do is to make things easy for your clients and prospects. 

Because the easier it is for them, the better it is for you. 

Here is a simple checklist of things to do, and a reminder to do them.


  • Website (SEO, links from authority blogs, other professionals)
  • Referrals 
  • Advertising
  • Content (Blogs, articles that get indexed, shared, etc.)
  • Networking and speaking
  • Handouts 
  • Directory listings
  • Newsletters


  • Website (About/bio, service descriptions, FAQs, navigation, contact forms)
  • Testimonials, reviews, success stories
  • Everywhere: Explain “why you” instead of doing nothing, doing it themself, hiring someone else, or waiting
  • Flat fees, guarantees
  • Simple hiring documents: agreements, disclaimers, authorizations 


  • Explain everything, copy everything
  • Keep them informed about everything 
  • Remind them of deadlines, appearances, updates, appointments
  • Encourage them to contact you with questions
  • Be available. Tell them what to do if they can’t reach you, after hours.
  • Don’t nickel-and-dime; give them the benefit of the doubt
  • Make it easy for them to refer, post a review, promote your content

I’m sure you can add to this list and you should. Then, periodically, survey your clients (and prospects) about how you’re doing (and not doing) so you can continue to improve.

Because the easier you make it for your clients and prospects, the better it is for you. 


Mo (value)


Clients hire you because they want value from you. They want the results you deliver via your legal services, but there are other ways you can give them value. 

Give them more value than they expect, more value than other lawyers deliver.

This doesn’t mean giving away your core services or discounting your fees. (Don’t do that). 

You can deliver more value with

  • Bonus services. Include add-ons or small additional services they need or might need soon. 
  • Better terms. Payment plans, guarantees, more manageable retainers, hybrid fees.
  • Information. Forms, guides, reports, templates, checklists, seminars, and other things they can use in their business or personal life.
  • Speed. If possible, give them the results they seek in less time than they think it will take. Return calls and emails quicker. Show them into your waiting room a few minutes after they arrive.
  • Support. Proactively refer them to other professionals or businesses who can help them with business or personal matters. Promote their business, their charity or cause. Give them advice, feedback, or a shoulder to cry on. 

Ultimately, clients want to feel good about their decision to hire you. They took a chance on you and may be nervous about that. Show them you will protect them, work hard for them, and treat them exceptionally well. 

The more value you deliver, the more value they will deliver to you. They’ll be easier to work with, give you more work, recommend you, promote your events, and otherwise help your practice grow. 

The Attorney Marketing Formula


I don’t know


We tell clients that if they’re not sure about something, it’s okay to say “I don’t know”. In fact, we encourage it. But when a client or prospective client asks us a question and we don’t know the answer, we’re often uncomfortable “admitting” we don’t know.

Because we’re supposed to know. 

And if we don’t know and we should, or the client thinks we should, we look bad. So we avoid answering the question directly, change the subject, or stall. 

That can be even worse. 

It makes it look like you’re hiding something, aren’t the expert we purport to be, or want them to cough up more fees before we answer what the client believes is a simple question. 

What should we do? 

I don’t know. No, really, it’s one of those things that doesn’t have an easy answer. 

Is it a complex issue? Unsettled law? Unclear fracts? What is your relationship with the client? What do you need to ask them before you can provide a complete and accurate response? How much time is available to answer?

And, is it the type of question you ordinarily get paid to answer?

Clients don’t expect you to know everything. Or tell them everything. But you should tell them something. 

Tell them what you do know, or tell them some of the issues that make it difficult to answer on the spot. And then tell them you need to do some (more) research, ask them (more) questions, or give it some thought.

Or tell them there are issues that are outside the scope of your practice area and you need to consult with (or refer the client to) another lawyer.

Of course you could also just tell them you don’t know or you’re not sure and, say it with me, “you don’t want to guess”.


The worst clients are (sometimes) the best clients 


Most lawyers are leery of clients who already have an attorney and are looking to switch. They’re often considered difficult to work with, impossible to please, micro-managers, complainers, and a one-way ticket to trouble. 

And that’s often true. But not always. 

Sometimes, their attorney is the problem. Sometimes the chemistry isn’t right. Sometimes the client had unreasonable expectations, perhaps because someone was in their ear about what to expect, and they have now come to their senses.

Yeah, it’s complicated. It could be a combination of factors. Which suggests the wisdom of spending time to find out instead of rejecting them at the first sign of (potential) trouble. 

One thing is certain, dissatisfied clients are motivated and if you talk to them while they’re looking for a new attorney, or thinking about it, they could be easy to sign up and a great client, at least for you. 

When you don’t do the same things their previous attorney did, when they are relieved that they found you and wondering “where were you when I first starting looking for an attorney,” not only could they be easy to work with, they could become a great source of referrals. 

I know, you might think that’s crazy talk, especially if you’ve been burned by “problem clients” in the past. And, if your gut tells you “no,” you probably should go with that. 

But sometimes, your gut is trigger-happy and you should sleep on it before you decide. 

In fact, instead of avoiding prospective clients who are unhappy about their case or their attorney, you might consider “specializing” in them. Focus on people who are dissatisfied with their current provider. Marketing is easier when you target this type of client, especially when most attorney are so quick to avoid them. 

Yes, they might be trouble. You have to get good at sizing them up and lay out ground rules for working with you if you agree to represent them. If you do, and you hit the right notes with these clients, you might find this to be a very lucrative niche for you. 


I don’t like my doctor


Pretend I’m talking about my lawyer because it works the same way. So there’s this lawyer (doctor) I “use” and I trust her medical skills (which is why I have continued to “use” her, including for two (minor) surgeries) but now that I’m “better” I don’t think I’ll go back to her if I have another issue.  

It would be convenient to go back to her, and a hassle to find someone else, but I can’t say for sure what I would do. 

Remember, “all things being equal (e.g., skills, trust, convenience, value, results, etc.), people prefer to hire professionals they ‘know, like, and trust’. 

I know her. I trust her. But I don’t like her. Use her again? Not sure. Refer others to her? Probably not. 

Much is said about the importance of trust, and rightly so. Not enough is said about the importance of liking. It should be, however, because in the competitive environment we find ourselves in today, likability makes the difference. 

You can only go so far in a professional practice built mostly on transactional relationships. If you want sustained growth, you need loyal and committed relationships that all but guarantee repeat business and referrals. To achieve that, you need people to like you. 

So, why don’t I like my doctor? The usual reasons. Essentially, not making me feel cared for or appreciated. 

She doesn’t listen as closely as I would like her to (or at least pretend to), and doesn’t respond as thoroughly and patiently as I’d like. 

I get that she’s busy. And that I ask a lot of questions and aren’t that warm and fuzzy myself. But I’m not asking for too much. Maybe just taking an extra second or two at the end of an appointment to assure me before turning and scooting out the door. 

Show me you care about me. Give me a reason to like you. And maybe I will. 


The case is closed; your relationship isn’t


You finish the case and send the client a letter explaining that the case is closed. You tell them what happened, what to expect, how to get their documents, and so on, and thank them for allowing you to represent them. 

Your letter allows you to protect yourself, in much the way a letter declining representation does, and provides other benefits. This article does a good job explaining these benefits, the risks for not sending one, and a description of what should go in your letter.

But I write about marketing and would be remiss if I didn’t point out how your closing letter (or a secondary letter or document) can bring you more business and solidify your relationship with the client. 

What should you say that speaks to that subject? That depends on your practice area, your relationship with the client, and other factors, but here are some options to consider:  

  • Thank you again for choosing me/your firm, how they helped make your job easier (with examples), and how you enjoyed getting to know (and work with) them and their team, partners or family
  • A summary of the steps you took during the pendency of the case, or a recap of what you’ve previously sent them, so they can see how much you did to earn your fee
  • If the case was lost or the result was disappointing, some perspective about that
  • A request to fill out a survey about their level of satisfaction with the work you did and how you treated them
  • A request to leave a review and instructions about how and where to do that; copies of (or links to) reviews by other clients as examples
  • A list of your other practice areas, a description of how to recognize when they might need them, and (optionally) an offer for a free consultation or special offer
  • Asking them to contact you about any future legal issue because you know a lot of good lawyers who handle things you don’t handle
  • A request to share your report, presentation, brochure, business card, web page, etc. with people who might need or want information about a legal issue and how you can help them
  • A request for referrals and details about what to say and do to make it easier for them and the people they refer
  • Telling them you will continue to send them information they can use in their business or personal life (and/or requesting them to sign up for your newsletter) 

And then, in a couple of weeks, call them to see if they got this letter, if they have questions, and to once again thank them for choosing you as their attorney. 

The case has ended; the relationship continues. 


Do you care about your clients?


I see a doctor who is well regarded in her field, technically skilled (at least as far as I can tell) but severely lacking in bedside manner. She tells me what to do but doesn’t explain why or solicit questions. If I ask, she’ll answer but oh-so-briefly and (it seems) begrudgingly. 

She makes me feel like she doesn’t care about me. Like I’m just a billing code to tick off on her way to her next patient. 

I get that she has to see so many patients a day and doesn’t have time to chat. But that’s part of the job.

It wouldn’t take much. Asking how I’m doing (besides medically), telling me she’s happy when I tell her I’m doing better, an occasional smile or light moment, or even mentioning the crazy heat we’ve been having—you know, the kinds of things humans do when they want other people to feel like you give a fig. 

Why don’t I leave? Because I’m a big boy and can take it, and because it would be inconvenient to have to find someone new, especially since I’m almost done with my treatment. 

But I do think about it. A lot. 

So, I stay. But would I return? Recommend her? Probably not. And if I was writing a review, I’d write what I just told you.

I know she may be under a lot of pressure and may have problems of her own. It doesn’t matter. Patient care is a crucial part of her job.

She may actually care about her patients. But unless she makes them (us) feel like she does, she’s not doing her job. Or doing herself any good.

Lawyers have the same challenge, of course. Making the people we serve feel like we care about them. 

So simple. And some of the most effective marketing a professional can do. 

Here’s the formula


Want vs. Need


You want that cool task management app that does “everything”. But you don’t need it. You need a piece of paper and a pen. Or the free app that comes on your device. 

You may want a lot of things you don’t need. If you can afford them and they give you a benefit, why not? 

But ask yourself why you want it. 

Will it make you more productive? Help you earn more? Save time? Give you a harmless way to distract yourself from long hours of work? 

Is it fun? You’re entitled to have fun, you know. 

It’s okay to buy things or do things you want but don’t need. You don’t need a reason. 

And neither do your clients. 

A client may need your basic service but want your deluxe package. Give it to them.

People want things they don’t need and their reasons are their reasons. They might want convenience, to feel safer, or feel more important. 

If they want to give you more money, let them. 

On the other hand, be prepared to give them what they need when they can’t afford what they want. 

Make sure they get what they need, but if you really want to make them happy, give them what they want. 

That goes for you, too. 


 Successful bastards


Some lawyers are good at their work but severally lacking in people skills. They may be self-centered, short-tempered, or rude. They yell a lot. And always seem to focus on the negative. 


Or maybe they just don’t have much of a personality. They’re all business. They rarely smile or say anything lighthearted or uplifting. Maybe there’s a good person inside their rough exterior but most people don’t get to see it. 

And yet they are successful lawyers. What’s their secret?


They surround themselves with employees and partners and business contacts who have the people skills they lack. An assistant who is nice to the clients and makes them feel good about their case. A partner who is good in front of a crowd or a camera or a jury. 

They’re charming. And good with people. 

In an ad agency, they’d be account executives. Wooing prospects and taking the clients to lunch. In a law firm, they are the rainmakers and trial lawyers. 

And there’s a place for both. 

The point? Don’t try to be something you’re not. 

If you’re better with the books than the folks, if you’re as exciting as drapery or as bad as Leroy Brown, let someone else on the team be the face and personality of the firm and keep the clients happy. 

Even if you’re good with people, if someone else on the team is better, let them do the job. Or at least be around when there are clients in the house.

On the other hand, if you’re all warm and fuzzy and clients don’t always take you seriously, make sure to introduce them to your partner who channels Perry Mason. 

Know thyself. And get ye some buffers. 


Your best marketing investment


Your clients can fire you at any time and for any reason. And they might. Today could be the day they say Sayonara. And tell everyone they know that you’re a bum.

You need to be on your toes. Never take your clients for granted. Follow up like crazy. Give them the benefit of the doubt. 

Not just to protect yourself, but because client retention is the key to long-term success. 

Getting new clients is profitable. Keeping clients is far more profitable because it creates equity in your future.

It starts with how you think about marketing in general, and clients in particular. Think “clients,” not “cases”. “Relationships” not “transactions”. 

Cases are a one-time thing. Clients are for life. At least that’s how you should look at them and why you should continue to invest in your client relationships. 

You began investing when you attracted them, helped them believe in a better future, and worked hard to deliver. In return, they gave you their trust, and as long as you don’t do anything to lose it, will reward you with repeat business, referrals, introductions, and positive reviews.

As a result, you won’t have to scramble to find clients, spend a fortune on ads, or do things you don’t want to do.

When you invest in your clients, you invest in your future.