The quickest way to generate additional income for your practice


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. 


Who, not how


When you have a task to do, before you start, ask yourself ‘Who can do this for me?” Delegating or outsourcing work saves you time, leverages other peoples’ skills, and lets you focus on what you do best. 

This philosophy and practice has been game changing for me.

In fact, in my practice, my motto was to “Only do what ONLY I can do (and delegate everything else).” 

You might want to follow suit. 

It’s not always easy to do. We resist delegating things because we believe we do them better, but that’s not always true. I’ve had employees who did things I could never do as quickly, efficiently, or as well. 

We also resist because it’s risky to entrust certain tasks to other people. If they make a mistake, we pay the price or we have to spend more of our time fixing their mistake. But while that is generally true, crunch the numbers and you’ll see, in the long run, you come out ahead. 

“It’s quicker and easier for me to do it myself.”

Also not true. Yes, we have to invest time training and supervising others; the question is, is that investment worth it? For me, it is almost always more than worth it. 

So, that leaves our egos. We don’t like the idea of turning over our work, our important clients, to other people. But you get used to that. Especially when you see how much more profitable and satisfying your work is. And, did I mention how much more profitable it is?

Will it be as profitable for you?

Make a list of the things you do that ONLY you can do and imagine what it would be like if you could spend almost all your time doing just those things. 

Yeah. . . it’s worth it. 


Your website is down


I needed a haircut. The place I go to instituted a “cash only” policy during the lockdowns, but I use plastic for just about everything and don’t carry much cash. I went to the shop’s website to make sure I would have enough with me (and hoping they’d finally gone back to accepting credit cards). 

Their website was down. 

I told the owner this when I got to the shop and she said she never checks the site and would tell her niece who takes care of these things for her. 

Turns out, the site was down. The hosting company had emailed her niece that the company had been sold and she needed to (do something) but their emails went to an email address she no longer uses.

Her website is back up, but it looks like it was down for about two months. An eternity for a retail store that depends on new business. 

How much business did she lose? 

How much business would a law firm lose if their site was down that long? 

Which prompted me to tell you this story and remind you to regularly make sure the hosting and domain names for your website are paid, the site is up and displaying properly, the subscription forms are working, the downloads are still downloadable, the links are linking, and everything is as it should be. 

And to check your spam folder (and old email addresses) to make sure you’re not missing anything. 

It doesn’t take a lot of time, and can spare you a bunch of trouble. 


A simple way to get more reviews


Good reviews (and testimonials) from happy clients are one of the most valuable tools you could have in your marketing toolkit. But don’t expect clients to supply them on their own—you have to prompt them. 

The easiest way to do that is with surveys.

Give every client a survey or link to one online and ask them to fill this out at the end of the case. “How did we do?” is a simple way to get more clients telling you how you did, which can then be converted to a review or testimonial. 

Ask what they liked, and what they thought you could improve. 

If you get a negative comment, talk to the client, fix whatever needs fixing, and improve your systems for the future. 

If you get a positive comment, ask the client if you can use their comment in your marketing or ask them to post it as a review (and give them the link to a review site). 

Surveys should provide multiple choice responses, to get the client thinking about how you did and begin filling it out, and open-end questions with blank spaces, to prompt them to say what’s on their mind. 

The survey should ask about the results you delivered, how they were treated, if they were kept informed, were they seen on time at appointments—all the usual areas clients typically appreciate and/or complain about. 

Send surveys after the case or matter is done and also perhaps once or twice a year. Some attorneys include a blank survey form with each billing statement. Get clients in the habit of seeing blank survey forms and they’ll be more likely to fill them out (eventually). 

You can even send a survey after their first appointment, before you’ve done any work. Ask what they heard about you, why they chose you, and how they’ve been treated so far.

But wait. There’s more. 

Keep your eyes (email) and ears (conversations) open. Whenever a client compliments you or thanks you for (anything), thank them (or tell them they’re welcome) and ask if you could use their comment in your marketing (or ask them to post a review). 

Send the client a note quoting what you heard them say, so that when they agree that you can use that, they know what they’re agreeing to. Before you do this, “edit” their words (if you need to) for clarity and effect, to make a great testimonial or review even greater. 

Finally, if you want clients to write better reviews or testimonials, show them copies of great reviews or testimonials from other clients so they know what a good review looks like, and because when they see what other clients have said about you, it makes it more likely that they will also leave a good review. 


Plan 9 From Mars


For some reason, when I thought about the idea of planning (for next year), I thought of the title of what many consider the worst science fiction movie of all time. 

I only watched a few minutes, many years ago, but I think it was about Martians invading Earth. 

I’m pretty sure their plan failed, but I commend those Martians for thinking big, which is the point I want to make today.

If you’re going to plan (something), for next year, or any year, make it big. 

Don’t spend a lot of time planning how to redecorate your office when you can plan a new marketing strategy that might allow you to buy a new office building. Or three. 

Big plans force us to be creative and do things we’ve never done before. They force us to focus.

Even if your big plans don’t materialize, thinking big helps you sort out what’s important and make that your priority, instead of getting bogged down with a multitude of small ideas which, even if successful, won’t amount to a hill of beans (I’ve got movies on the brain).

Big plans give you a chance to win big. 

The Pareto Principle says 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts (plans, ideas, activities, projects…). Figure out a handful of big ideas that can deliver big results, and then narrow down your list to just one or two. 

One or two big ideas that could transform your business or life.

In the book, The One Thing, author Gary Keller puts it this way: 

“What is the one thing you can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary”.

Your big plan might fail (and you’ll have to return to Mars) but if you’re going to work on anything next year, work on something big, so big it could take care of almost everything else.

No pressure. But I need your answer on my desk first thing tomorrow. My ship leaves at 9.


Adapt or die 


In marketing, nothing works forever. At least you shouldn’t count on it. 

Laws change, rules change, trends and interests change, and you need to be prepared to respond when they do. 

If your advertising used to work like gangbusters but it’s a different story today, your ad copy, keywords, or offers might be the culprit and need an update. If you do seminars and response is down (attendees, percentage of client conversions), it might be because of an increase in competition, or the economy has thrown a monkey wrench into your marketing machine. 

Or it might be something else

No matter what the reason, you need to adapt. That might mean:

  • Reducing your overall ad budget or eliminating marginal campaigns
  • Increasing your ad budget but changing your copy or offers
  • Starting a new practice area or eliminating one that’s draining your resources
  • Changing the markets and clients you target
  • Reducing overhead and riding out the storm
  • Spending more time on X and less time on Y
  • Hiring different staff or advisors
  • Changing your fee structure and billing practices
  • Adopting marketing strategies you’ve never used before or resurrecting strategies you no longer use
  • Focusing more on evergreen strategies, e.g., referrals, and less on the flavor of the day
  • Improving marketing and sales training for you and your staff

But you need to do something. 

But don’t wait for response to drop or your profits to languish. Be nimble and get ahead of things at the first sign of things going in the wrong direction.

Because you’re in a business and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.


If your clients wrote your marketing plan


Your clients know what they want (and don’t want) from you and can give you insights into what you can do to attract more clients like them.

Which is why you should survey your clients and find out what they want, what they like, and what you can do to get more clients and increase your income. 

You can use surveys to learn about

  • Your image in the marketplace
  • Your services, fees, offers, and benefits
  • Your “client relations”
  • Your content—what they like, what they want more of, what they want you to do differently
  • Your marketing, advertising and social media—did they notice your ad? What did they like about what you said? Why did they choose you instead of other attorneys?

You can learn a lot by asking questions. 

But surveys aren’t the only want to find out what your clients (and prospects) think about what you’re doing. You can also do interviews, going more in depth and asking follow-up questions, and find out what they “really” think. 

Another way to do “market intelligence” is by tracking metrics—opens, clicks, downloads, sign-ups, how long a visitor stays on a page, etc. 

Finally, you can find out what clients think by listening. Nothing formal, just listen to what they talk about, what they ask you, how they feel about their situation, and what they complain about regarding your competition (and about you). 

It can be a lot of work, but if you have the numbers, it could be worth the effort. If you don’t have the numbers, or don’t want to invest the time or money, stick with surveys. 

At the least, survey every new client, to find out what they want and why they chose you, and survey every exiting client (at the end of their case or engagement), to find out if they got what they wanted. 

Surveys are easy to do and can tell you what you’re doing right and what you need to improve. 


A simple marketing and management checklist


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: 


  • 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


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


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


  • 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?


Keeping your powder dry


What do you do when someone won’t call you back? I had an adjuster write to me on a case and ask me to contact him to set up a time to talk, ostensibly about settlement. 

I called. I emailed. Called and emailed again. No response. 

The statute was coming up soon but this was a small case, not worth filing on unless there is no other choice.

What do you do?

You could keep trying. More calls and letters and emails, increasingly urgent and sterner, maybe threatening, or maybe using some humor. That’s what most lawyers do most of the time, and it works most of the time. 

Another option is to go around the adjuster. 

Call their supervisor and ask if the claim has been re-assigned, “because I can’t seem to get ahold of him and I’m going to have to file soon”. 

The supervisor looks at the file, see’s it’s ripe for settlement, rattles the adjuster’s cage, and you get a call. 

That woks. But sometimes it pisses off the adjuster (and his supervisors) and since you will have to deal with one or both of them on other cases, maybe it’s better to use the “idea” of talking to the supervisor to wake up the adjuster. 

Leave another message for the adjuster and ask if they’re still handling the claim. Tell them you’re concerned they might not be getting your messages, or they’re ill, (and you’ll have to file soon).

And then you say if you don’t hear from them, you’ll contact their supervisor to find out. 

Not in a threatening way but in a way that suggests, “this is a problem for both of us, let’s work together to resolve it”.

You know they don’t want you to call their supervisor. It makes them look bad. They also don’t want to force you to file because it makes more work for them (and they look bad). So they call. 

By positioning the issue as a mutual problem, you increase the odds of getting a mutual solution.

You can always play hardball. But maybe it’s best to save that for another case.


Yes, it is all about you


People connect with people, not businesses or law firms. Your clients may like your partners or employees and think highly of your firm’s reputation, but they hire and refer you. 

That’s true of consumer and business clients alike. 

When they have a friend or business contact with a legal situation or question, your clients tell them about YOU, not your firm. 

They hand them your card. Tell them about their experience with you, the lawyer they know, like, and trust, and say, “Call my lawyer” — not, “Call me firm”. 

They promote your brand. You should too.  

Tweet (or whatever it’s called today) in your name, or at least create a handle that includes a version of your name, NOT your firm. 

Promote your speaking events, even if your firm is conducting the event. Write articles and keep a blog with your byline, not the faceless entity you call your employer (even if it’s your firm). 

When you are introduced, people should hear about you, your capabilities and your accomplishments. And hear something personal about you.

Because you are the one people will talk to, connect with, hire and refer.

It’s all about you, you stud. 

You may work for the biggest and best firm in town, and that’s worth mentioning. But you are the main attraction, no matter how wet behind the ears you may be. 

It’s your career. Your name and reputation. They are your clients. And you are their attorney.