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. 


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.


How do you know if it’s working?


Everyone says, “Do more of what’s working and let go of (or change) what isn’t”. I said it myself yesterday. But how do you know if something is working? 

Sure, the numbers. Your return on investment. How many new cases or clients, how much revenue, how many leads, what percentage you close.

Are you hitting your KPIs, getting lots of butts in seats, increasing your list of subscribers and followers? 

Yes, the numbers tell the story. But not the entire story.

Because there are things you can’t measure. Testimonials, reviews, and new referral sources which haven’t (yet) paid off but could soon rock your world.

Invitations to speak in front of a prestigious group, being endorsed by an influential professional in your target market, or meeting the right person at the right time.

You can’t measure these things. Or predict their effect. The small case that doesn’t pay much (or anything) but leads to a big referral. Writing 20 articles that nobody reads and then someone does read one, likes it, forwards it a friend, and it goes viral and brings in a steady stream of new business. 

You don’t always know something is working. Or where it might lead.  

The numbers aren’t irrelevant and in some situations (advertising) they are critical. But you can’t always count on the numbers. So, I propose another way to tell if something is working. 

Are you having fun? 

Fun? Yes, fun. 

If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’ll want to continue. You’ll do it regularly and enthusiastically, without forcing yourself or reminding yourself. You’ll be more creative and consistent. And your excitement in the doing, not just the results, will attract clients and referral sources and opportunities galore. 

Do more of what’s fun. Because if it’s fun, it’s working. 


Start before you’re ready


You want to create a new and improved marketing plan. You do some research, talk to some people, figure out the steps, allocate funds, set some goals, and schedule time to do what you need to do. 

Logical. Thorough. But often a waste of time. 

Why? Because you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know if the information you’ve collected and the decisions you’ve made will get you where you want to go. The only way to know that is to start.

Do something and see what happens. 

Once you see what happens, you adjust. You do more of what’s working, change or abandon what’s not. 

If it’s working, or you feel good about those first few steps and want to keep at it, you give it more time, add more elements, change your pace, change your words, and fine tune your approach. 

Research and planning are fine, but at some point, you have to do something. The sooner you do, the sooner you know if you’re going in the right direction.

Pick something and start. Before you’re ready.

Call some old clients, even if you don’t know what you’re going to say. Outline an article or presentation, ask a friend if you can join him at his next networking breakfast, get some quotes for a makeover of your website.  

Starting may be the toughest part, but it is the most important. 

When you take action, even a little, you learn things, meet people, get ideas, establish some momentum, and feel good about taking the first step. 

Or you don’t. 

You might mess up, hire the wrong people, waste time, spend too much money, hate everything you see or write or do, and want to give up.

That’s okay, too. 

Get some help. Try it a different way. Take a break and come back at it with fresh eyes. Or kill the idea and do something else. 

Try lots of things. You’ll learn what you like, what you hate, what you’re good at, and what you never want to do again. 


Eventually, you’ll find something that sticks. 

And that’s your plan. Messy, exciting, and ultimately your path to success. 

Helen Keller said, “Life is either a big adventure or nothing.” Clearly, she was talking about marketing legal services. 

This will help you create a simple plan


A simple marketing plan


It’s got to be simple or you won’t do it, right? At least not consistently. You can always do more if you want to, but if you’re pressed for time or don’t want to do anything else, this plan can deliver meaningful results. 

And I promise, you can do this. No matter how busy you are.

There are only 3 things you need to do:


Again, you can do more but it’s better to contact 2 people a day, every day, than what you can, when you can, because when you do it daily, it becomes a habit, you get better at it, and your results compound. 

You can contact them by phone, text, mail, email, or a combination thereof. Or, if you roll that way, you can talk to them in person. 

Who do you contact? Your choice:

  • Existing clients
  • Former clients
  • Prospective clients
  • Business or professional contacts

In short, anyone who has or could hire you, provide referrals, or send traffic to your website. 

What do you say to them? That depends on who they are and how you know them (and how well). Some examples to ponder:

  • Welcome aboard (new clients, new subscribers, new seminar attendees)
  • Nice meeting you
  • How can I help you? (What do they need or want, besides legal services?)
  • Thank you (for hiring me, for your referral, for your review, etc.)
  • Just following up (with prospects, clients, and others you’ve talked to or communicated with, after a meeting, conversation, or consultation)
  • Here’s something I thought you might want to know (article, website, news story, a report, gossip)
  • Just checking in (see how they’re doing, say hello, find out about their family, client, business, etc.)

Okay, so that’s part one. Easy to do, but extremely effective. Try it for 30 days and you might be pleasantly surprised. 


Send an email to everyone you know and keep them informed about the law, their market or industry, your new blog post or article, someone else’s blog post or article, or anything else you think will benefit or interest them. 

You don’t have to call it a newsletter. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. You don’t have to sell anything or promote anything. But provide a link to a page where they can learn more about you and your services or event.

Tell them something, remind them to do something, warn them about something, share something, or tell them what you’re doing they might want to know. 

If weekly is too much, send it monthly. But send them something as often as you can.

Because no matter what you send, every time you show up in their inbox, you remind them that you’re still around and can help them and the people they know. 


You are your business, and your business is you. To become more successful, work on yourself as much or more than you work on your business. 

Read 10 pages of a good book. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts for 30 minutes. Watch videos, take classes, or talk to people who can teach you something you need to know. 

You can read about marketing, business, writing, speaking, negotiating, productivity, and the tools and resources for making what you do easier or better. You can also read about leadership, managing or working with people, history, creativity, and anything that inspires you.  

Professional development is important; personal development arguably more so.

Bonus tip: Take some of what you learn and put it in your weekly email. 

Okay, that’s it. A simple plan. Commit to doing these 3 things consistently. It may be (nearly) all the marketing you need to do.

For a more comprehensive marketing plan, get this


3 a day


Marketing your law practice doesn’t require you to do big, difficult, or time-consuming things. At least not all the time. As I regularly note, you can accomplish a lot in just 15 minutes a day.

The key is to do it consistently. 

Schedule 15 minutes in your calendar every workday for marketing. It is arguably the most important appointment of your day. 

During those 15 minutes, you can do anything related to growing or improving your practice. If this is a new habit, however, I suggest you decide in advance what you will do. 

One way to do that is to pick a number. I suggest the number 3. 3 calls, 3 emails, 3 pages. That’s easy, isn’t it?

Here are some examples of what you could do:

  • Comment on 3 social media posts by people you know or would like to know
  • Call 3 old clients and say hello
  • Email 3 professionals in your target market—invite them to (something), ask them a question, share something you have in common
  • Collect 3 business cards
  • Like, comment, or share 3 videos of people in your target market (as a precursor to connecting with them)
  • Contact 3 people in your existing referral network and ask how/what they’re doing
  • Follow-up with 3 prospective clients you’ve spoken with
  • Send 3 thank-you notes, birthday cards, or holiday cards

3 calls or comments or emails today, another 3 tomorrow. Or mix and match, one comment, one call, one email.

Over time, you’ll connect or re-connect with a lot of people. Some will want more information, some will want to speak to you about their situation, some will see how you can help one of their clients or friends.

You could also use your 15 minutes to

  • Brainstorm 3 ideas for an article, blog post, or presentation
  • Write 3 pages (or paragraphs) for your new lead magnet, report, or book
  • Find 3 keywords to add to one of your ad campaigns
  • Find 3 groups that need guest speakers at their event
  • Find 3 blogs in your target market that accept guest posts
  • Find 3 podcasts or channels that interview lawyers

It’s just 3. It’s just 15 minutes. But it might be all the marketing you need to do. 

Marketing is easy when you know The Formula


Legal marketing made eas(ier)


Would it be okay if I showed you how to make marketing your practice easier? How to get the same (or better) results with less effort? So you don’t overwork yourself or hate what you’re doing and stop doing it?

I’ll take that as a yes.

Okay, grab a pen. Here are 3 things to do to make your life easier and your practice more profitable.  

(1) Don’t do everything.

There are a lot of marketing strategies you could use but you’ll drive yourself crazy (and get poor results) if you try to do them all.

Choose no more than two or three primary strategies and focus on those. Learn all you can about them, get good at them, and make the most of them. They may be all you (ever) need.

Me? I chose referrals. Later, I added advertising. Later still, I started a blog and a newsletter. 

Fewer strategies are easier and usually lead to better results. The same goes for the tools you use to implement those strategies. 

(2) Don’t do everything yourself

Delegation is your friend. Let your staff do as much as possible and/or outsource. 

Me? I only did things that only I could do. I saved time and got better results because I didn’t do things I wasn’t good at or didn’t enjoy. 

(3) Look for additional opportunities that are low-effort/high-impact

There are other things you can do in addition to your primary strategies that have the potential to bring in new clients, new business contacts, and opportunities you might not otherwise discover.

For example, speaking and networking might not be something you regularly do, but if you are invited by a client or business contact to speak at or attend an event in your target market, or as a guest on a podcast in that market, go for it. Go flap your gums and shake a few hands.

Something else that is relatively low-effort but high-impact is writing a book. (Low effort because you can get help). Publishing a book is a great way to build your reputation, generate leads, and make your other marketing strategies more effective. 

The key word is ‘leverage’. Things you can do that are easy, don’t take a lot of time, and have the potential to deliver excellent results. 

The other keyword is ‘focus’. Do a few things and do them well. (But, never say never to other ideas.)

The Attorney Marketing Formula


Have fun with this


If marketing was fun, would you do it more? Get better at it? Get better results?

No doubt. 

So, how can you make it fun? 

First, by believing that it can be fun. Not drudgery, something you enjoy and are good at. Because if you don’t believe that this is possible, you’re always going to have a rough time. 

And then, you draw a line in the sand and do only those things you like doing and delegate or outsource or ignore everything else. 

You don’t have to do paid advertising or social media. Not one bit. You don’t have to go to formal networking events and talk to strangers. You don’t have to get on stage or in front of a camera and do presentations. 

Unless you want to. 

Do what you enjoy or find a way to make what you do enjoyable. 

Yeah, but what if I don’t like any of it? Not. One. Stickin. Bit?

Really? You don’t enjoy doing good work for your clients and treating them with kindness?

That’s marketing. The best kind there is. 

You don’t like staying in touch with the people who put food on your table? That’s marketing, too.

You don’t like providing information about your practice area and your services with people who tell you they want to know? 

C’mon now. 

Anyway, do yourself a favor and make having fun a priority. “If it’s not fun, I won’t do it” would be a good mantra. 

If you don’t want to write a 500-word newsletter every week, write 150 words whenever you feel like it. 

No rules. Do what you have time to do and want to do, and don’t worry about anything else. 

If it’s not fun, don’t do it. 


Start with what, not how


I’m guilty of this myself. Trying to figure out how to do something or improve something when that’s the wrong question to start with.

The right question is, “What do I want?“

Because when you know what you want (to be, do, or have), you can almost always figure out how.

Asking “how“ before you know “what“, often leads to wasting time on less important projects or goals.

Finding solutions without a problem.

Example? You’re trying to figure out how to set up a new website. All your energy is dedicated to looking for ways to do that, or finding people who can do it for you.

If you had first asked, “What do I want?” you might have realized that you want more opt-ins to your email list, and while a new and improved website might help, there are other things you can do to get what you want that don’t require a new website.

“What” is more important than “how”.

If you’re not sure of what you want, or even if you are, a good follow-up question to ask yourself is “why?” Why do I want that? Why is it important to me?

The answer to that question will confirm that what you said you want is indeed important and valuable to you, (or it isn’t), and provide you with the motivation to move forward.

Why do you want more opt-ins? Because this is a simple way to get what I want: more clients from the visitors to my website.

First, figure out WHAT you want (and why). Then, figure out HOW to get it.

Email marketing for attorneys




Building a business or law practice, especially from scratch, is best done quickly.

If you want to build yours, run, don’t walk. Sprint, don’t jog.

Here’s why:

  • Building fast gives you less time to think and more time to do. Once you have some sound marketing strategies in place, spend most of your time executing those strategies, not refining your plans or making new ones.
  • Building quickly means you’ll talk to more people, create more content, get more subscribers, do more presentations, and so on. You’ll have more opportunities to find things that work and get better at doing them.
  • Building quickly allows you to compress time, that is, to do in minutes what might otherwise take hours, by finding ways to do things faster and by productively using the spaces between activities that are often wasted.
  • Moving quickly forces you to adopt routines and simple daily activities, which are the building blocks for success.
  • Whether you are new or seasoned, the faster you move, the sooner you find bigger cases and/or better clients and referral sources (and employees), which lead to compound growth as first time clients become repeat clients and referrals lead to more referrals.
  • Moving quickly allows you to create personal momentum. You get faster (and better) at what you do, delivering more outcomes to more clients and bringing in more revenue and more success stories, which leads to more of the same.
  • Moving quickly allows you to discover flaws and eliminate them, make mistakes and fix them, and get better at what you do.
  • Fast is exciting, and excitement is contagious. You’ll be perceived in the marketplace as someone who is going places and doing things and attract people who recognize your pace and energy and want to work with you.

Don’t confuse “fast” with “busy”. They aren’t the same thing. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being productive.

You can build quickly even if you aren’t particularly busy. But only if when you work, you run.

How to build your practice bigger, faster