You need another project

Share

If I looked at your planner or task app, I would no doubt see several projects you’re working on, or are about to do. That’s good. When you finish one project, or run out of steam and don’t want to work on it right now, you have other projects you can work without delay. 

That’s how you stay productive and get things done. 

At the risk of overwhelming you, I’m going to suggest you add one more project to your list. 

Not another regular project related to your work or personal “Areas”. Something different.  

It might be a side business, an investment, a social or political venture, or a hobby. Something fun and exciting to work on when you’re not doing what you usually do.

Maybe you’ll finally write the novel you’ve dreamed about, or do something else creative. Maybe you’ll start an online business that brings in extra income or (finally) allows you to retire. 

Your new project or initiative will give you something exciting to look forward to, and work on when you want to. No pressure. No guilt about taking time away from your usual work or obligations. 

And there’s the thing. Even if your new project or venture doesn’t go anywhere, even if you fall flat on your face or abandon it in a few weeks, you will have learned some new things, been able to forget about the news or your problems, and restarted your dream machine. 

We all need to tilt at windmills from time to time. It keeps us sane. And sometimes, leads to great adventures. 

Share

The quickest way to generate additional income for your practice

Share

The quickest way to increase your revenue is to sell new services to your existing clients. It’s easier and faster and more profitable than finding new clients for your existing services. 

Your existing clients know and trust you. They hired you once and will hire you again. And you can communicate with (sell to) them at no cost. 

Start getting excited. 

Hold on. What if you don’t have another service to offer? 

Could you re-configure your existing services to create a “premium” version? Something worth more that can justify a higher fee? 

(Start working on that.)

How about optional add-ons or extra services to add to your current services? Perhaps an annual consultation package advising clients about taxes or investments, for example. You might team up with other professionals who specialize in those areas. 

Could you develop a smaller version of your standard services, without all the trimmings, to appeal to clients who don’t need (or can’t afford) your standard package? How about branching out to different niche markets with specialized services for those markets, or by appealing to different languages and cultural features?

Could you develop a consumer “division” of your business firm? Could you start a small business division for consumer clients who are interested in starting or buying a business?  

And, if you don’t want to develop a new service, or change any of your existing offers, there are always referrals—to and from other lawyers and businesses who may be able to reciprocate.  

Your clients have lives and interests beyond the services they hire you to perform. Find out what else they need or want and figure out a way to help them get it. 

Share

A simple marketing and management checklist

Share

There are a lot of things you can do to increase the gross and net income in your practice. This checklist can help you identify strategies that might be a good fit for you to use or improve: 

MORE CLIENTS

  • Client relations
  • Referrals
  • Following-up/Staying in touch
  • Networking
  • Advertising/Lead Generation
  • Public Speaking/Seminars
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing (Blogs, Articles, Books, Audios, Videos, Podcasts)
  • Event Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

MORE OFTEN

  • Stay in touch (clients, prospects, business contacts)
  • Repeat Services/Updates/Maintenance
  • Other services (Yours, Partners’, JVs)

INCREASE FEES

  • Higher Rates
  • Bigger Cases/Clients
  • Upsells
  • Addons
  • Bundling/Packaging
  • Sell Value, Not Time

REDUCE COSTS

  • Better Employees/Vendors
  • Better Training
  • Outsourcing
  • Parnters/JVs
  • Systems
  • Personal/Professional Development
  • New Skills
  • Better Tools/Equipment

Which of these strategies do you currently use? Which need improving or expanding? Which should you let go of or downsize to make room for something else? Which seems like a good fit for you and is worth starting or exploring?

Share

Are you giving clients too many options?

Share

Have you ever heard the expression, “A confused mind says ‘no’?” Research confirms it—when we have too many choices, we often choose nothing. 

A confused mind says ‘no’ because it is confused. 

When you give people too many options, you make their decision more difficult. In your marketing, therefore, rule number one should be to make things simple for clients and prospects, and that usually means giving them fewer options. 

Do you have an ad that describes all of your services? Do you feature all of your practice areas in your content? Clients might be impressed by your capabilities, but they’re usually looking for the solution to one problem. Too many options or offers, especially when most of them are not currently relevant, make decisions more challenging, which is why people tend to say no. 

This is also true with content creation. If you give people too many articles or blog posts to read, videos to watch, or events to attend, it is more likely they will choose “none”.

This doesn’t mean you should eliminate other options. It means featuring or leading with the best, the most relevant, the most likely to become a gateway to your other content or services. 

Post everything on your website, but make the visitor dig for it if they want it. Or send it to them later in your email sequence.

But just as offering too many options can lead to confusion and fewer “sales,” offering only one option can do the same. If the prospective client sees they can hire you for service X and service X doesn’t tick all the boxes for them, they have no other choice but to say “no”. 

Which is why it might be better to give them two options instead of “hire me or don’t”. 

When I created my first marketing course, I thought about offering several packages but eventually settled for just two: Basic and Deluxe. Instead of “yes” or “no,” the choice became this package or that one and it resulted in more sales. 

If you want more people to read your content, sign up for your list, or choose you as their lawyer, don’t give them too many options, or too few.

Share

It’s an investment, not an expense

Share

Yesterday, I talked about following up with prospects and clients before, during, and after the case or engagement. Most lawyers get it. But many lawyers don’t do it because it takes a lot of time. 

I say it’s worth the time because it helps you get new business, keep clients from leaving, and generate positive reviews that can multiply that effect.  

But (surprise) lawyers are busy. Even if they want to do it, it’s too easy to let it slide. 

I mentioned having an assistant do it. Have them make the calls, send the emails, and otherwise manage follow up and other marketing activities for you. Yes, there is a cost, just as there is a cost to you if you handle this function yourself. If you take an employee away from their other work, that work might fall through cracks and cause problems. 

I say it’s worth the risk because the benefits outweigh that cost. Especially if you have a reasonable volume of cases or clients. 

Think about it. Do the math. If you hire someone part time and pay them $4000 per month, and they’re able to save one case or client per month or get one client to return, your costs would be covered, wouldn’t they? And if that assistant is able to stimulate clients to provide more reviews and more referrals, and this generates two additional cases (or saves) per month, you would double your investment. 

Over time, these numbers would compound.

You know I’m a big proponent of making referrals a primary marketing method for most attorneys. If you’ve read me for a while, you also know that you can stimulate referrals without explicitly talking to clients about the subject. But, let’s face it, talking to clients about referrals is a powerful way to get more of them. A lot more. 

If that’s not something you want to do, have your marketing assistant do it for you. 

I built my practice primarily with referral marketing. A key to making that happen was delegating as much as possible to assistants. 

It was an investment, not an expense. And it paid off in spades.

How to talk to clients about referrals

Share

It never stops

Share

You may not want to hear this, but here it is: lawyers sell legal services. 

Yes, you’re a professional and tiy are hired to provide professional services. No, you’re not a salesperson. But when a new client signs up, or an existing client hires you again, a sale has taken place, and you made that happen. 

And guess what? Selling doesn’t stop when they sign the retainer agreement. In fact, it never stops. 

You sell them on hiring you and then you sell them on staying with you.

You sell them on upgrading to your deluxe package or signing up for your monthly plan. 

You sell them on coming back to you after the initial case.

You sell them on giving you their other legal work. All of it, now and forever. (Or at least asking you about it so you can introduce them to other lawyers who can do the job).

You sell them on sending you referrals. And, once they’ve done that, on sending you more referrals. 

You sell them on introducing you to other professionals and influential people they know and work with. 

You sell them on providing you with reviews and testimonials, sending traffic to your site, promoting your events, and passing out your business card and brochure. 

And you sell them on having reasonable expectations about the outcome of their case (so you can exceed their expectation).

Of course, it’s not just prospects and clients you sell. You also sell insurance adjusters, opposing counsel, co-counsel, judges and juries, your client’s partners, directors and officers, and everyone else in your world. 

It’s all selling. And it never stops. 

And that’s a good thing because that’s how you build a more successful practice.

Share

The simplest way to get more (of anything)

Share

You want new clients. Repeat business. Referrals.

You want more people making an appointment, booking you as the speaker at their event, posting a review, signing up for your list, or liking and sharing your post.

Bottom line, you want more people to do something.

The simplest way to accomplish that? Ask them again.

Because they forget. Or aren’t yet convinced. Or need to give themselves permission to spend the money.

If you don’t ask again, if your messages (email, calls, conversations) are “one and done“ you are missing out on as much as 50% of the sales or “yesses” to whatever it is you’re asking.

Maybe more.

I know you know this makes sense. I also know you might not want to do it, or do it as much as you could, because (a) you don’t want to appear needy or greedy, or, (b) annoy anyone.

But think about this:

If you have something valuable to offer, something people need and want and will benefit greatly from getting, you need to do everything you can to help them get it.

If you don’t, how will you feel if something happens to them that might have been prevented or mitigated if you had followed up?

This doesn’t mean you should pound on people to sign-up. Just remind them, respectfully, but repeatedly, and keep doing that until they get it.

And guess what? They want you to do this.

They want you to tell them again. Remind them of the benefits and/or what they’ll lose if they don’t take action.

They appreciate being reminded of an approaching deadline. They appreciate that you respect them enough to stick with them while they figure out how and when they can sign up.

Sometimes, they need to hear from you again before they’re convinced of the seriousness or urgency of your request or offer.

Assume they didn’t get your previous message or got busy with other things. Assume they need to hear more reasons, more examples, or what more people say about your services.

Because they do. If they didn’t, they (might have) signed up the first time they heard from you.

Follow-up is essential to building your practice. And you need to do it.

The only thing you have to figure out is how often.

But you don’t have to figure that out in advance. All you need to do is figure out the next follow-up, and put that on your calendar.

The easiest way to follow-up is with email

Share

It just takes one

Share

Public speaking at industry events and conferences has long been an effective way for lawyers to build their authority and reputation.

But there are some challenges.

  1. You can’t just waltz in and expect to be selected to speak. You have to build your authority and reputation outside of those events before you are recognized and invited (or accepted) to speak.
  2. Being a good lawyer doesn’t mean you’re a good speaker.
  3. You can build your reputation and authority, and an email list, through less demanding forms of content creation. Articles, a blog, a newsletter, interviews, podcasts, and the like, provide much greater exposure and many more leads. And your content will live online forever, continuing to do so.

On the other hand, speaking at a convention or industry event offers a big benefit. It allows you to put on your bio that you spoke at said event.

They invited you to speak, so you must be good at your job.

So, do it once or twice. Get yourself invited to a panel discussion or to the center stage. You’ll forever be able to say that you did this, as I shamelessly do when I mention speaking at an ABA convention.

But there is one additional benefit for speaking at these events. You get to meet influential people, which can lead to referrals, introductions, and other marketing and business opportunities.

And this should be your primary goal when you attend any event, even if you’re not one of the speakers.

It just takes one. Because if they are the right one, it can lead to massive growth in your practice and career.

How to take a quantum leap in your practice

Share

Getting unstuck

Share

It happens. You’re spinning your wheels or losing ground. What’s worked for you before no longer seems to. You’re bleeding money or exhausted out of your mind, scared or frustrated or angry, or all of the above.

You’re stuck and don’t know what to do about it.

The answer is to do something. Change something. Try something and keep trying until you get your mojo back.

Because you can. Nothing has to stay the same. Trust me. I’ve been there. And lived to tell about it.

I have some suggestions for you. To get you thinking. Maybe you’ve tried some of these already, or thought about trying them. Maybe you need to hear them again before you’re willing to try them, or try them again.

Quickly read through this list of strategies and note anything that catches your eye. Come back to it, meditate or journal on it, or talk to someone about it.

And then try it.

  • Fix a health issue. You can’t move forward if you’re not feeling well or don’t have enough energy. Maybe you need a new eyeglass prescription. Maybe you need to get off some meds. Maybe you have an addiction you need to free yourself from. Maybe you need to eat better or sleep better.
  • Fix a relationship issue with your spouse, child, law partner, employee, or friend.
  • Change your marketing. Try a new strategy, eliminate something, expand something. Learn more, get help, change your process. Your troubles might all go away when you’re able to get some new clients or better clients.
  • Hire someone: an office manager, a virtual assistant, a business coach, a consultant. Maybe you need a new accountant or financial advisor. Bringing some new ideas and/or personalities into your life might be just what the doctor ordered.
  • Fire someone. Someone who is making things worse, not better.
  • Change your practice area or target market. Something more lucrative or a better fit for you.
  • Delegate more. The source of your “stuckness” might simply be that you’re trying to do too much yourself. My philosophy: Only do those things that only you can do; delegate everything else.
  • Find an accountability partner to keep you on track.
  • Cut overhead. What can you eliminate? What can you reduce? Could you renegotiate your lease or move to another building? Find cheaper alternatives for anything? Every dollar you save allows you to do something else.
  • And/or. . . spend more on things that are working.
  • Farm out unprofitable cases; refer out troublesome clients.
  • Simplify (everything).
  • Make your workspace more pleasant to work in. Change the lighting or the furniture; get rid of the clutter. Buy some plants.
  • Track your time. You might find a lot of waste.
  • Reduce your work hours. Take more breaks. Take a vacation. Get more sleep.

Okay, one more. Try a side-hustle.

No, really. A business project unrelated to your current career or practice. Not as a way to supplement or replace your income, although that might happen, mostly as a way to shake the cobwebs off of you by doing something completely different.

You’ll learn new ideas, meet new people, discover different ways to market your services or build your career.

You might also have some fun, which might be the very thing that’s missing in your life.

Yes, this means diverting time and money away from your core business. But doing something else part time might be just what you need to jumpstart your core business.

If this isn’t in the cards for you right now, at least study other business models. I learned how to market my legal services, in part, by looking at what other professionals and business owners do.

The answer to getting unstuck is to do something different. Find something and run with it.

Quantum Leap Marketing System for Attorneys

Share

Getting to “yes”

Share

Do you have any clients or prospective clients who need one or more of your services but can’t seem to pull the trigger?

Of course you do.

They might have legitimate reasons for waiting and one day surprise you with the go ahead.

They didn’t have the funds, and now they do. They didn’t trust you (enough) and now they know you better. They needed approval from someone and finally got their blessing.

On the other hand, they might want to do it, plan to do it, but never get around to doing it.

Because they don’t feel the urgency to do it.

They might never feel that urgency. Unless you tell them something that tips the scale in favor of “now”.

Which is why you drip on them, via your newsletter or other mechanisms, providing them with reasons and social proof, and reminding them of the need to do it by continuing to show up in their mailbox.

Drip, drip, drip, and one day, they’re ready.

That’s a great plan. But there’s something else you can do to help them reach the tipping point.

And it’s pretty darn simple.

If they don’t yet feel the urgency, you can create that urgency through the use of scarcity.

Find a way to trigger their innate FOMO, their fear of missing out, by limiting the quantity of your offer or the dates when it is available.

Even something as simple as “There’s only one appointment left this week” can work.

Now before you say, “that’s manipulate and I won’t do it,” remember, these folks need what you’re offering, want to say yes, and plan to say yes, but have been dragging their feet.

You’re doing them a favor by giving them a reason to do what they want (and need) to do sooner rather than (possibly) never.

You and your little friend, FOMO.

Email is the best way to drip

Share