Better than other lawyers? Could you be more specific?


You want prospective clients and the people who can refer them to see you as the better choice. But saying you’re better, or your services are better, or your “service” is better, isn’t convincing. You need to tell them why. 

How are you better? What do you do other lawyers don’t do and why is that a benefit to your clients? 

You need some “better” adjectives. 

Here are a few to consider and the meaning behind them:

  • Faster (You get the work done more quickly; your clients can enjoy the benefits and peace of mind sooner)
  • Efficient (Modern methods, tech, allow you to deliver high-quality work product at lower expense)
  • Reliable (You don’t cut corners and put your clients at risk; highest standards, ethics, proven methods) 
  • Transparent (You explain everything and show your clients everything you’re doing, when and why, and invite them to ask you anything) 
  • Reasonable (Fairness: fees, costs, procedures)
  • Comprehensive (Your documents and processes are thorough and cover everything your clients need and want)
  • Simpler (Your documents, processes, fees, billing, are easier for your clients to understand; fewer questions, confusion)
  • Newer (New services, methods, content, partners, employees, offices, computers, and how your clients benefit. Careful, though; “new” implies risk, so make sure you address this.)
  • Guaranteed (No fee unless recovery, no fee unless satisfied; yep, money-back guarantee. If that makes you nervous, put a limit on it, e.g., first 30 days or “up to X dollars”) 

They all mean “better” but tell clients why you are better. Make sure you prove everything, however, by providing examples, specific numbers, and by answering FAQs and objections in advance. 

Stress-free legal billing and collection policies


Hope and opportunity


That’s really what you sell. Your legal services are merely a means to an end. 

Clients want their problems to be fixed. They want to recover their losses and be protected against future harm. They want their pain to stop and the pleasure they seek to start. 

And they want to know they have you by their side, fighting for them, defending them, advising them, and helping them achieve their goals.

Hope and opportunity. That’s why they hire you. And your presentations, articles, and conversations should feature these. 

Clients aren’t especially interested in how you do what you do. They want to know that you can and will help them feel better and sleep better and be more prosperous. Clients choose you because of how you make them feel. They stay with you and tell others about you because of how you continue to make them feel.

In your marketing, talk mostly about the big picture, the benefits, and not so much about how you do what you do. 

Other lawyers may point to their impressive track record, but clients will choose you because you did something those other lawyers didn’t do. 

You made them feel good about themselves and their future.


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.


Why you shouldn’t focus on getting new clients


You want more clients, of course, but the best way to get them isn’t to focus on new clients but to focus on your existing clients, professional contacts, friends and subscribers. 

Sure, you can get new clients through advertising and speaking and networking and writing, and I’m not saying you should give that up if it’s working for you. Or you’re new and don’t yet have a lot of clients or contacts or much of a list. 

I’m saying it’s easier to get more of what you already have, your existing or “warm” market, than to do everything from scratch, which is what you do when you focus on strangers in the cold market. 

In your warm market, you have leverage. In the cold market, you don’t. 

It’s easier to get an existing or former client to “buy” more of your services. It’s easier to get referrals from clients and business contacts who already know, like, and trust you. It’s easier to get better clients and bigger cases when you have a good reputation in your existing niche.  

Focus on your warm market. 

Learn all you can about their businesses, their industries, and their local market. Strengthen your relationships with the people in those niches and their advisors. Stay in touch with them and help them in ways that go beyond your core services. 

When you do, not only will you get more clients from your warm market, you’ll also get them from the cold market. 

How? Your reputation. Word of mouth (as opposed to actual referrals, but you’ll get these, too). 

People will hear about you and ask you to speak at their event or ask to interview you for their podcast or blog. People will hear your name a second or third time and decide to talk to you about their legal issue. 

You want more clients and you’ll get them by focusing on people who know your name and what you do. 

Just the way it works. 


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. 


Attraction marketing


The best way to find prospects is to get them to find you. You don’t want to chase people and they don’t want to be chased. So don’t do it. Because it looks to prospective clients as bad as it feels to you.

How do you do attraction marketing? By making yourself and your solutions attractive to prospective clients. 

You do that with:

  1. An effective website. It doesn’t have to be complicated (or expensive), it just needs to do a good job of telling people about you, what you do and how you help people. Include a form that allows visitors to request an appointment or get more information, and/or sign up for your newsletter.
  2. Content. Educate your market about their problems and available solutions. Tell them their risks and options. Share examples and stories to illustrate and inspire people to see that you are the best choice for them.
  3. Referrals. Equip your clients and contacts with information about your services, how to recognize your ideal client, and how to make an effective referral. Keep them informed about new content on your or blog and other channels, so they can share this with people they know who might like to see it.
  4. Staying in touch. You don’t lose posture by continuing to contact people who know, like, and trust you because they hired you or connected with you in the past, as long as you have their permission. If you continue to share valuable or interesting information, and remind them about what you can do to help them and the people they know, they will appreciate you and tell others.

These are the primary sources of new clients for many attorneys and they can be for you. Done well, they not only allow you to maintain “attractive” posture, they are likely to enhance it.  

Yes, you can also advertise, network, do public speaking, conduct seminars, write articles, and do other things to market your services, without chasing anyone. But you may not need to.

Isn’t that refreshing?


No, you don’t need to find time for marketing


You don’t need to find time for marketing your practice. You already have all the time you need. 

I’ll prove it. 

To make this simple, let’s assume the marketing activity you think you don’t have time to do is creating content. Things like writing a blog or newsletter, creating videos, doing seminars—that kind of thing. You’d like to do it, but you’re busy. So you don’t. Or you don’t do it as much as you’d like. 

Answer me this: if you were paid your usual hourly rate or fee to create said content, would you “find” the time to do it?

Me thinks you would. Time is time, money is money. If you could earn $500 per hour (let’s say) creating content, why wouldn’t you? 

The good news is that if you create that content (and do a decent job of it—not great, decent), you can be paid as much for your time as you would doing your other work.

Because your content will bring in new clients who pay you as much. That’s why you do any type of marketing, after all. 

Marketing isn’t (shouldn’t be) a cost; it’s an investment. 

At a minimum, you should break even. Your profit will come from repeat business and referrals on the back end. 

But you could do more. A lot more.

Even if your content is “only” decent, it will live forever on the Internet and continue to bring in more business while you’re doing other things. 

I know, it sounds good but you don’t believe that writing some blog posts or article can bring in enough new business to cover the costs of your time creating it. 

Or, you don’t believe that writing “decent” content is enough.

Talk to some other lawyers who use content marketing in their practice (and have done it for a while) and see what they tell you.

Or try it for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised. Or very pleasantly surprised, as I was when I started doing it.

This shows you everything you need to know


Your marketing plan


One of the biggest components of a marketing plan is the allocation of resources. How much time or money will you allocate, and on what? This will depend on the marketing methods you use, your practice areas, your target market, your objectives, and other resources available to you, such as your staff and your contacts.

Your plan might call for something like this: 

  • 25% prospecting (networking, advertising and lead generation, speaking, content creation, working with referral sources, etc.)
  • 25% following up (scheduling consultations, return calls/email, closing, newsletters/staying in touch, etc.)
  • 25% client relations (added value for clients, cross-selling, up-selling, stimulating reviews and referrals, creating offers or incentives, etc.)
  • 25% promoting (your services, your website, your content, events, etc.) 

You might have these same broad categories, but different sub-categories. You might advertise primarily for lead generation or to build name recognition in your niche. You might might allocate more time for certain marketing activities and little or none for others.

You might invest 50% of your “marketing time” working with existing clients and prospects, or include working with your referral sources, joint venture partners and professional contacts.

The point is, you get to choose how to spend your marketing time (and dollars), and on which activities. Figure out what works for you and schedule everything.

Start by making a list of the activities you currently do (or plan to) and put these in appropriate categories. Then, consider the total time and dollars you do or will invest each week or month, and then divide up that total by category, as above.  

This is, of course, just one way to do it. It may not be the right way for you, but it is a place to start. And that’s all any plan gives you.


Survey says!


“Got a minute? Please take my one-minute survey about your favorite ways to market your services.”

That’s how easy it is to survey your clients, readers, or audience. You can survey them by email, in a blog post, during a presentation, even when you’re chatting in person. “Can I ask you a question?” Yeah, that’s a survey too.

Why do it? Because surveys can help you learn what your audience wants or needs, what they think, what they do, and what they might do in a given situation. And you can use this information to improve your marketing. 

Surveys can help the people you survey recognize the need for your services and generate more leads and appointments. They can also help you build your list. 

Surveys can show clients and prospects what others do (or mistakenly didn’t do), building interest in your solutions, offering social proof of their need, and creating urgency for taking action. 

Surveys also provide you with material you can use in your content, improve your offers and packages, and identify better ways to describe what you do and why people need to talk to you.

In short, surveys help you build your practice. 

You can survey new clients about how they found you, why they chose you, if they have other issues you can help them with, and if they know anyone who might need to talk to you or get a copy of your report. 

You can survey former clients and find out if they need an update, need help with any other legal matter, or know anyone who might like to read your latest article.

You can survey prospective clients, subscribers, social media connections, or visitors to your website. You can distribute surveys via flyers, advertising, or at the bottom of an article.

Surveys are flexible and powerful. And everyone who sees your survey, even if they don’t respond to it, sees your name and learns what you do. 

It’s all good. And it’s all easy to do. 


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.