How much is your marketing budget?


How much do you budget each month for marketing? If the answer is “zero” you might want to re-think that because it means you’re doing all of your marketing yourself or you’re not doing it at all.

While marketing professional services cannot be completely outsourced or delegated, there are many tasks that can.

And if something can be delegated, it should be.

So you need a marketing budget to hire talent, buy tools, and generate traffic to your websites. You should also have funds available to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Just as a separate bank account for savings makes sense, it’s good to have a separate bank account for marketing. It’s also wise to fund your account with automatic deposits from your general business account.

You should set up this account even if you’re not yet sure how you will spend the money. Putting $100 or $200 a month into your marketing account (to start) will not only allow you to have the funds available when you decide what to do, watching your fund grow every month may “force” you to find ways to spend it.

My daughter gave me a gift card for my birthday and I immediately deposited it with Amazon. I haven’t spent it, but it’s burning a hole in my digital pocket. Knowing the money is there means that every time I log into Amazon I go looking for something to buy.

The same thing will happen as you accumulate funds in your marketing account.

Knowing you have the money available, you’ll think about marketing more often. You’ll consider doing things you may have previously rejected or put off. When you’re busy doing legal work, your subconscious mind will be working on marketing ideas, and prompting you to take action.

What about budgeting time for marketing? After all, so much of marketing professional services–networking, speaking, relationship building, (some) writing, and other things you can’t delegate–require your time.

Yep, you can budget for this, too. Just as you can set aside regular time for personal development (e.g., 15 minutes a day, an hour a week), you can (and should) do the same for marketing.

Don’t dabble with marketing or try to do everything yourself. If you want to build a successful practice, you have to invest in it. I can’t tell you how much to budget for marketing but anything more than zero is a good start.

Get a marketing plan with this


Thinking is hard but it pays well


If you have multiple practice areas or offer a variety of different services, which one or ones do you promote?

Your best sellers? Your weakest? Your most profitable?

Do you lead with a low priced “entry level” service, seeking to create a new client, and then offer additional services through upsells and on the back end? Or do you lay out all of your wares up front and let the client choose?

If you advertise, which service(s) do you feature? Or do you offer information to build your list and talk about specific services only after they subscribe or inquire?

What do you highlight on your website? When you speak or write, what examples do you use? When someone asks you about your work, what do you say?

If you are a family law attorney, handling divorce and adoptions, but you’re not getting much adoption work, do you double your efforts and promote that or do you continue to advertise and promote divorce? Or do you do both?

Even if you have one practice area and offer one service such as plaintiff’s personal injury, you still need to decide where you will focus. Do you list a variety of different injuries, types of torts, or causes of action, or just one?

These are things you need to think about because they are fundamental to your “brand” and to how you conduct your marketing activities and spend your marketing dollars.

They are, of course, also an argument in favor of specializing. It’s a lot easier to make decisions about where to advertise or network or speak when you offer fewer services to a smaller segment of the market.

But I’m not going to bust your chops about that today. I’m just going to remind you to spend some time pondering these things and making some decisions.

You thought I was going to give you the answers? Sorry. No can do. It’s too complicated. There are too many variables. You have to answer these questions yourself.

All I can do is ask the questions and encourage you to explore your options.

I can also point out that the ultimate way to answer these questions is to test and measure your results.

Run ads for two different practice areas or services and see which one brings in the most inquiries or leads, which one converts to the most dollars on the front end, and which one results in more profits long term.

So you advertise your divorce services and your adoption services and see.

Testing allows you to make a decision based on hard evidence. That’s the “science” of marketing.

Of course marketing is also an art. Don’t ignore your instincts or your heart. If you think your market is ready to learn more about adoption, or you’re passionate about the subject, go for it. Even if the numbers don’t add up.

For help sorting things out, get this


Have you done your marketing workout today?


You don’t have to fall in love with marketing any more than you have to fall in love with exercising. You keep doing it because you love the results.

Do it long enough, however, and you might fall in love with the marketing itself.

At some point, your brain will associate the positive results you’re getting with the activities you’re doing. You’ll get a chemical rush in much the way you do when you exercise. Eventually, you’ll do the activities as much for the enjoyment of doing them as for the results.

When that happens, you won’t have to force yourself to do the activities, they will be a natural part of who you are and what you do. When you wake up in the morning, you won’t think about legal work necessarily, you’ll think about writing a blog post or calling someone to invite them to lunch.

How do you get to that point? You keep at it, a few minutes every day, no matter what else is going on in your life. You get your marketing workout done, no matter what.

You do the laps. You do the reps. And you keep doing it, over and over again, until the day comes when you realize that you can’t keep up with all the new business you’re bringing in.

Like exercise. One day you look in the mirror, and you don’t recognize yourself.

Like exercise, the hardest part is getting started. After that, the hardest part is to keep going, to get through the pain and the desire to quit, until it’s a part of your daily routine.

Here’s how to do that:


Schedule marketing time on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself and don’t miss your appointments. If someone wants to see you or talk to you during that time, they’ll have to wait until you finish your appointment.


If you’re completely out of shape, don’t start training for a marathon, start with a 15 minute walk. Keep a list of easy things you can do that are marketing related, things like writing down names of people you want to talk to or ideas for articles or blog posts or presentations.


Like a trainer at the gym, find someone who will hold you accountable to getting in your workout, but also someone with whom you can share ideas and cheer each other on.


Write about your tough days and your doubts, your victories and goals. Take notes about your execution. Write down ideas.


Read, takes courses, and never stop learning. Associate with other professionals who value marketing and do it every day.


Take pride in your progress. When you hit a milestone, treat yourself to a nice dinner or a weekend getaway, or buy yourself a new toy.


Don’t measure results in days or weeks, give yourself months or years. If you give yourself a year before you evaluate your progress, it won’t matter if you mess up today. You’ll shrug it off and get it right tomorrow.

Eventually, you’ll see a breakthrough and you will literally be a new person. Like many formerly out-of-shape people who start walking and eventually get into the best shape of their life, you’ll find yourself saying, “I’ll never go back”.

Marketing is easier when you have a formula and a plan 


How to simplify your marketing


If you have ever assembled a piece of furniture from Ikea, you know that some items are more complicated than others. Even with detailed instructions and proper tools, it’s easy to mess these up, or take much longer than you were led to believe.

The same is true of any task or project. The more complicated it is, the more moving parts or steps, the more likely it is that you’ll get it wrong.

Some tasks and projects are so complicated we put off doing them. Or we make the effort, get flummoxed and frustrated and swear we’ll “never do that again!”

Marketing legal services is like that. Do yourself a favor and make it simpler.

On the macro side of the equation, that means using fewer strategies, and for each strategy, fewer techniques.

Try lots of things, and then settle in with a few things that work best for you. That’s what I do, and that’s what I recommend.

On the micro side, you simplify your marketing by using fewer apps and targeting fewer markets. You use forms, checklists, and “scripts”. You memorialize your process, in writing, to make it easier to train new hires and temps and so that you can continually examine your process and improve it.

When marketing is simpler, it is easier and takes less time. You get better at it and get better results.

It’s the 80/20 principle. Figure out what works best for you and do more of it.

Simplify your marketing by doing more of fewer things.

Referral marketing is one strategy every lawyer should use. Find out how


What word or phrase defines you?


The US Navy says its core values are “Honor. Courage. Commitment”. It is what they stand for, their ethical compass. It is also a promise, to themselves and to the country they protect.

What’s yours?

What is the one word or short phrase that defines you in the context of your career or practice?

What’s your thing?

Mine is “referrals”. When an attorney wants to know my core marketing philosophy, it is that every law practice should be built on a foundation of referrals.

When you hear my name, I want you to think “referrals”. That’s how I built my practice and if I could only teach you one marketing method, referrals would be it.

How about you? When I hear your name, what do you want me to think? What is the word or phrase that defines you and your core beliefs?

It might have something to do with your practice area, target market, or your reputation. It might relate to your biggest passion, a personality trait, your mission or long term goal.

Picture your word or phrase as a banner above the front door to your office or at the top of your website. What does it say? Write down the first thing you thought of.

Whatever it is, you don’t need to make it public. You may at some point, but this isn’t an exercise in creating an advertising slogan or marketing message. It is a way for you to go inside yourself and find your core.

Later, you might use it to create a slogan or commercial message. For now, emblazon it only on the insides of your eye lids–for your eyes only.

Look at it often and ask yourself how it makes you feel? Does it make you proud? Content? Excited? Does it feel like the right choice for you?

If it feels good, live with it for awhile. Eventually, but only if you want to, you can use it to fashion something for your clients and prospects.

My website banner says, “Earn More. Work Less.” That’s my promise. The benefits I offer.

It’s the “what”. Referrals are the “how”.

When you’re ready, this will help you create your marketing message


Do more of what works


Let’s talk about your practice. And get you more clients like your favorite client.

So who is your favorite client? Don’t give this a lot of thought. What’s the first name that comes to mind?

Got it? Okay, now why are they your favorite, or one of your favorites?

Is it their personality? Is it because they pay you lots of money? Is it because they don’t question you or complain?

Maybe all of the above. Maybe something else.

Whatever it is, write it down. In fact, you should probably write down all of this because once we’re done here, you’ll want to do this for your next favorite client. Maybe your top ten.

Now, think about where you met your favorite client or how they found you. What did you do that precipitated their becoming a client?

Were they a referral? Answer your ad? Did you meet them networking? Did they find you online?

Whatever it was that brought you together, you should probably continue doing it. If your ad in a certain journal brought them to your door, no doubt you’d like other clients like him to find you the same way.

If they found you online, what did they search for? What page did they land on? What did they do after that, and what finally convinced them to take the next step and contact you?

Next, it’s time to do a deep dive into your favorite client’s world. Find out what they do and who they know.

The Law of Association says that we tend to be like the people with whom we associate most. Your client’s friends and colleagues, therefore, are likely to have similar attributes, needs, and the ability to pay, and your favorite client can refer them to you.

Find out what your favorite client reads, who he listens to, and where he spends his time. Study him. Become on expert on him. This is valuable intel. Use it in your marketing so you can do more of what’s working, and get more clients like your favorite client.

How to create a profile of your ideal client


Are you getting stale?


You’ve been a lawyer for more than a few years and you’re good at what you do. So good, you could do most of your job in your sleep.

You know the forms to use and the words to say. You know the best places to park at the courthouse. You know the judges and other lawyers, and they know you.

Your job has become routine. Easy. Life is good.

Don’t get too comfortable. Before you know it, some rookie lawyer will come along and eat your lunch.

They may not know what you know or be able to do what you can do, but they’re fresh and hungry. Everything is new and exciting. They’ve got energy and drive and something to prove.

And let’s not forget that they have been using computers since pre-school.

If you’re not careful, as their practice grows, you may see yours diminish.

But you can stay ahead of them by re-inventing yourself and your practice. Become a new lawyer again. Look at everything with fresh eyes.

Imagine that you have just opened your doors and you don’t have any clients. Get hustling and bring some in before the end of the month.

Take classes in your practice area and also in practice areas you know nothing about. Take classes in business, marketing, sales, writing, and speaking.

Take some cases you’ve never handled before. Find another lawyer to associate with you or mentor you.

Start over, from scratch, and build your practice again.

In the military, for a day or for a week, a unit will periodically stand down and review all of their operations. You should do the same thing. Examine all of your office management procedures and forms, look for holes that need to be patched, find expenses that can be reduced or eliminated, and processes that can be improved.

Do the same thing with your marketing. Find ways to make it better. Eliminate things that aren’t working, do more of  the things that are, and find new ways to bring in business you’ve never tried before.

Examine every piece of paper in your office and every electron in your computer. Resolve to get organized, eliminate clutter, and streamline your workflow.

And from this day forward, do something new every week. New ideas, new projects, new people, will keep you fresh and alert and sharp and open new doors for you.

Get excited about the future you are about to create and then go eat someone else’s lunch.

Get your marketing plan here


Five keys to growing a law practice and increasing cash flow


You probably know most of what I am about to tell you, but knowing something doesn’t mean you’re doing it or that you can’t do it better. So consider this a helpful reminder to regularly examine these five areas of your practice:

1) Marketing

Marketing is everything you do to get and keep good clients, and it should be your top priority. Examine the marketing activities you now do and see how you can do them better. Look at other strategies you can implement. Look for ways to expand what’s working and minimize or eliminate what’s not.

2) Systems

Every practice should set up and maintain manuals that detail every aspect of work flow and office management. Detailed checklists, forms and templates, and the like, help you do what you do more quickly and efficiently, train new hires and temps, reduce mistakes, save money, and increase profits.

3) Personal Development

Everyone associated with the practice needs to continually re-fresh and improve their professional and personal skills. These include staying current on law and procedure, learning how to use technology, and improving their writing, speaking, salesmanship, marketing, and productivity skills and habits.

4) Human Resources

Hiring and outsourcing are an important part of improving profitability. You need to regularly review who’s working for you, what they’re doing, what else you can assign them, training, scheduling, and incentives. You should also consider when to hire additional staff or replace the ones who aren’t doing a good job.

5) Infrastructure/expense management

Every dollar saved is a dollar earned. This category includes offices, leases, service contracts, technology, library, supplies, repairs, insurance, etc. Can you get it for less elsewhere or by buying in bulk? Can you negotiate? Can you eliminate it? Also look for ways to make the work environment safer, more compliant, and more pleasant for staff and clients.

Of these five categories, most lawyers should focus 70-80% of their time and resources on marketing. When you bring in more clients, bigger cases, or higher fees, the rest of the things on this list will be relatively easy. When you don’t, the rest don’t matter.

Marketing plan for growing a law practice: Go here


Building a successful law practice without marketing


Is it possible to build a successful law practice without doing any marketing?

The answer is no. It’s not possible, because there’s no such thing as practicing law without marketing.

Everything you do in your practice is marketing. Everything.

You’re either doing a good job of it or you aren’t.

The way you treat your clients is marketing. Treat them well (good marketing) and they will come back to you and send referrals. Treat them poorly and they won’t.

Building a successful law practice takes more than just winning the case or delivering the work product. Not when clients can choose one of your many competitors instead of you. Building a successful law practice means getting a lot of little things right, to make your clients feel appreciated and see the value you deliver, and you either do a good job of that or you don’t.

When someone asks, “What do you do?” the way you answer that question is marketing. Your response either tells them how you can help them or someone they know, and makes them want to know more, or it doesn’t.

Good marketing or bad marketing, but marketing nonetheless.

Do you have a website, social media accounts, or a listing in a legal directory? Do other lawyers ever send you referrals? Have you ever handed out your business card to anyone?

You’re marketing.

You might hate marketing, and refuse to admit that you’re doing it, but doing it you are.

Even if you have a job that doesn’t require you to bring in clients, you’re marketing. Every day you go to work and “sell” your employer on continuing to employ you. Do a great job of marketing and they might give you a raise. Do a bad job of marketing and they might let you go.

Everything you do is marketing.

The question is, how well are you doing it?

No matter how well you are doing it, or how poorly, you can improve your marketing and get better results.

You can also do MORE marketing. There are other ways to attract clients than whatever it is that you’re doing now.

Speaking, networking, writing, advertising–they all work. You can do some of them, or all of them, or you can decide to stick with what you’re doing now and do more of THAT.

So we agree, then, you are marketing. You can improve your marketing and you can do more of it, but you cannot avoid marketing, and you can’t build a successful law practice without it.

Need a marketing plan? Here you go 


What’s next?


What are you working on right now? What will do after that?

What project(s) have you lined up for next week, next month, and later this year?

It could be anything: hiring a new virtual assistant, updating your website, or getting trained on a new contact management system. Whatever it is, you need to know what’s next.

I just finished a project (Lawyer to Lawyer Referrals) and I’m already working on the next one. I also know what I’ll do after that.

For me, knowing my next project gives me time to think about that project before I start it. I can do research, outline and plan. My subconscious mind will cogitate on the subject and prompt me with ideas and questions.

Knowing what’s next also means I don’t have any “dead air”. I go from one project to the next without missing a step. And if I have any challenges with a project, or it fizzles out, I always have something else to turn to.

It’s exciting to think about what I’ve got lined up. Thinking about future projects inspires me to finish the current one.

I don’t know my next ten projects, just the next two or three. But I have a list of hundreds of ideas to draw from, and as I complete the next few projects, I’ll have the next few lined up.

Mind you, I’m not obsessed with planning. I like a little spontaneity in my life. When I stumble upon a new idea that excites me, I’m fine with pushing aside my other projects to make room for it.

No matter what productivity system or method use, or if you don’t use any, develop the habit of always knowing what’s next. Whenever you start a project, ask yourself, “What’s will I do after this?”

When you know what’s next, your productivity will soar.