Teach and grow rich(er)


You know the value of educating prospective clients in your target market about the law in your practice area(s), the risks, the options, and the benefits to be had working with a lawyer who does what you do.

And why that lawyer should be you.

You’re also hip to the value of educating other lawyers who don’t do what you do, because they have clients with problems they don’t handle, but you do. Those lawyers don’t always have someone to refer their client to, which is where you come in.

The easiest way to get on their radar is to provide them with information about your field of expertise. Teach them everything they need to know to spot issues and explain the risks and options. Educate them about the law and procedure and ethics, the way you would if you were teaching a continuing education class.

The more you teach other lawyers about your field, the more you will be seen as the expert they want to refer their clients to when those clients need help.

But you don’t have to create continuing education classes to do that. Create some reports and articles, forms and checklists, and other resources that speak specifically to lawyers.

What do they need to know? What do they need to ask their clients, and tell them? And make sure you tell them that you’re available to answer their questions and to speak to their clients.

Okay, I can see you nodding your head. This makes perfect sense. But there’s something else.

Wait for it. . .

You should also educate other lawyers who do exactly what you do.

What?! Teach my competition what I know? Why would I do that?

Because they can (and will) get this information somewhere and it might as well be from you.

When your competitors have a case they can’t handle, because it’s too big for them or they have a conflict or they’re too busy to take on more work, they will think about the lawyers they know and respect and refer that business to you.

As the go-to expert in your field, you’ll not only get more referrals, you’ll build your reputation and get invited to speak and publish and network with the stars.

Build a bigger practice by helping other lawyers with theirs.

Here’s how


What if I don’t play golf?


Playing golf is a great way to meet other professionals and prospective clients and many lawyers do. But what if you don’t play golf and don’t want to learn?

Sorry, you’re out of luck. No clients for you!

No, there are many ways to meet prospective clients and referral sources that don’t require you to take up a sport or do anything that doesn’t appeal to you.

You can meet people at formal networking groups where professionals and business owners go to meet people, hear speakers, and exchange ideas and leads. You can also meet people informally, as you go about your regular day.

But you don’t have to do any of this. You can meet the kinds of people you want to meet through the people you already know.

Your clients and existing referral sources can introduce you to the professionals and business people they know and do business with.

Lawyers, insurance agents, financial planners, real estate brokers, of course, but also business executives and other influential people in their industry or market. If they’re consumers, they can introduce you to their friends and neighbors.

This isn’t the only way to network, but I can’t think of anything better.

You’re talking to people who know, like, and trust you and are willing to help you. They know people you would like to know, and all you have to do is ask.

But you have to help them help you. You have to tell them who you would like to meet, by name if you know it, or by occupation, business or industry, or other identifying factors.

Tell them who would like to know and ask them to introduce you, or ask them to tell their contact about your upcoming seminar, or about an article you just posted on your blog that might be helpful to them, or anything else that will connect you with the people they know.

This is a remarkably effective, highly targeted way to grow your network. And doesn’t require you to wear any funny pants.

Here’s how to get started with your clients


Simple dimple


Let’s face it, marketing can be a pain in the behind. There’s a lot to learn (and keep up with), a lot to do (and/or supervise people who do them), expenses, compliance issues, and the cost of our precious time.

Which is why a lot of people hate marketing. Including me.

But we do it because of the results it delivers and the lifestyle this affords.

But there’s marketing and there’s marketing. It’s not all the same. I don’t do anything I really detest and you shouldn’t either.

Because when you force yourself to do something you hate, you resent doing it, cut corners, and get poor results. Not to mention the ill effects of constant stress.

When it comes to marketing (or anything else), it’s always better to do things you enjoy or are at least comfortable enough to continue doing. And if you can’t find strategies out of the tin that fit that description, choose something and find easier ways to do it.

For me, easy means simple. Certain methods may be more profitable, but if it’s not simple, I don’t do them. I’m not willing to pay the price for complexity.

In my practice, as a young (starving) lawyer, that meant focusing on referrals. It was simple. It meant doing good work, treating people right, and staying in touch with everyone.

I could do that. And I did.

Later, I gave my clients handouts (reports, referral cards, etc.) they could share with people, and did some other things to generate even more referrals.

But I always kept it simple.

We have more options for marketing today, but referrals should always be at the top of every lawyer’s list. Your clients and business contacts can send you all the business you can handle, and/or introduce you to people who can.

Once you’ve got referrals squared away, you can add other strategies. A content-rich website or blog and/or a newsletter are also relatively simple.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather write something once a week than go to a weekly meeting.

More good news.

You can build a very successful practice using just one or two effective strategies. Find something that’s simple and appropriate for your practice, temperament, and resources, and once you’ve chosen them, stop looking. At least for now.

Instead, get better at implementing those strategies. They may be all you need.

How to get more referrals from your clients


New clients from old contacts


It’s exciting to meet new people, whether prospective clients or business contacts who can send you referrals, and this should be a regular part of your practice-building routine.

That doesn’t mean you need to get dressed up and go to networking events, however. You can do this without leaving your home or office.

My “Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals” mini-course makes this easy. It shows you how to find them, what to say, and what to send them, and is not just for other lawyers but for any type of business or professional contact.

But I don’t want you to do that. Not yet, anyway.

Because it’s a lot easier to get referrals by re-connecting with your old contacts. Including (or maybe especially) your old clients.

People who would know your name if I mentioned it to them. People who will remember you and ask how you’re doing since you last spoke. People who have sent you referrals in the past, or would have if they had had any to send.

Because they know, like, and trust you.

Yeah, those people.

Your old contacts will take your call and respond to your email. And most of them will be glad to hear from you.

They’ll want to know why you’re calling or writing, of course. Just say something like, “I saw your name (or thought about you) and wondered what you were doing since the last time we spoke”.

Catch up with them. Business, family, life. Ask about them. They’ll ask about you.

This is easy to do, doesn’t take a lot of time, and can bring you a lot of repeat-business and referrals.

And you don’t have to ask.

If they have legal questions or need help, or they know someone who does, they’ll tell you about it. Simply because you’re on the other end of the phone or sitting in their email inbox.

If they don’t, that’s okay. Confirm that you have their best email and ask if you can stay in touch.

And then stay in touch.

Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals (for professionals) and Maximum Referrals (for clients)


Paying clients for positive reviews


How much is a good review worth to you? A client who says you helped them, made them feel safe, gave them tremendous value and solved their problems, someone who ssays they recommend you to everyone who needs help?

You’ve gotten great reviews before, so you know how good it feels when they show up. You also know they are worth a small fortune.

They bring you more cases from people searching for a lawyer online. More referrals from professionals who check you out before they refer their clients to you. And they make your other clients feel good about their decision to hire you because they can see that others say you’re the best.

Who wouldn’t love to get more positive reviews? You can’t buy that kind of marketing.

Ah, but you can. You already do.

No, not with cash. Don’t be silly. You pay for positive reviews by giving your clients an incredibly positive experience with you.

You don’t just do the work and deliver the results. You do more. You invest your precious time to serve them, go out of your way to take care of them, surprise and delight them, and build a relationship with them.

When they notice and thank you and say they appreciate what you do for them, there’s only one thing left to do.

Give them the link to the review site you favor and thank them, in advance, for sharing their experience and recommendation.

Okay, one more thing. After they post a review, thank them again.

In writing.

Send them a handwritten note and tell them how much it means to you that they took the time to write that review and say those nice things about you.

You’re not done paying until you do.


What would have to be true for that to happen?


I’ve heard versions of this question from different sources. I like it because it makes you think, not just about what you want but the prerequisites for making it so.

“What would have to be true for me to double my referrals this year,“ for example.

What conditions would have to be in place? What additional skills, knowledge, or contacts would you have to acquire? What would you have to do?

A question like this can lead you to new insights, ideas to research, and projects to get to work on.

It will also make you think about things you know but haven’t thought about or done.

You can take it deeper. If you said you would need to have more referral sources to double your referrals, you might then ask, “What would have to be true in order to get more clients and professional contacts to send me more business?“

You might get even better answers by making the question more specific: “What would have to be true in order to get 50% of my clients to send me 1 additional referral this year?”

You can use this approach for any goal. “If I wanted to work a 4-day week and continue to earn what I now earn, what would have to be true?“ for example.

You can also ask follow-up questions: “If [that] was true, what else would need to be true?“

The key to these types of questions is that they are assumptive. When you ask this way, you direct your subconscious mind to look for the answer you’ve told it is there. It will keep looking until it finds it.

Choose a subject. Phrase the question any way you like, as long as it assumes a favorable response. Write down the ideas that come to mind.

Any of these ideas might be the precise idea you need to make your goal come true.

How to get your clients to send you more referrals


Put this in your phone


A Connecticut attorney and long time subscriber recently wrote a newsletter article with some common sense advice for her readers about what to do if they get served.

Essentially, “It’s scary. Don’t panic. Call or text me (and her phone number).“

Good advice for any lawyer to offer his or her clients, because anyone can be sued or subpoenaed, most don’t know what to do and may indeed panic, and we want them to know they can and should turn to us for help.

Which is why this attorney also recommended her readers program her phone number into their phone, “because you never know when you might need it”.

This is also smart because while most clients won’t get served, they might think of other legal issues they need to ask about and having the phone number programmed in their phone makes it more likely they will call.

It might also prompt them to think of their attorney when someone they talk to has a legal matter. “Let me give you my lawyer’s phone number. . .” means more calls for the lawyer.

I really like her final suggestion, that readers program her phone number not under her name but under the word “Lawyer,“ because, ‘“when you need a lawyer, you might not remember my name but you will certainly know you need a lawyer.“

Small thing, but a big thing. Maybe a very big thing. Which is why I’m stealing this idea and passing it along to you to use in your newsletter.


Got referrals? Great! Here’s how to get more.


It’s makes sense to focus most of your attention on your clients and professional contacts who regularly send you business. But there are many other people who can send you business.

I’m talking about

  • Prospective clients. Folks who signed up on your list, attended your event, downloaded your report, or talked to you about their case.
  • Former clients. They hired you once and while they might not need to hire you again, they might know people who do.
  • Social media connections. Even if you’ve never met them or talked to them, you’re connected digitally and that gives you permission to communicate with them, which can lead to referrals.
  • Professionals, business owners, consultants, experts, and others in your niche or target market who don’t know you, or know you but have never referred, and others who don’t know you but are open to meeting you.
  • Your business clients’ employees, vendors, and other business contacts. Your clients know a lot of people who know a lot of people and have influence with many of them.
  • Friends and relatives. They have neighbors, co-workers, businesses they patronize, and more, who might need your help today or one day.

According to people who have studied the subject, the average person knows 250 people. You probably know more. If each of those people knows 250 people—do the math. That’s a lot of people in your extended network. An untapped source of referrals.

Why not tap into it?

You can do that by simply educating your network. Make sure everyone knows 3 things about you:

  1. What you do—your services, practice areas, problems you solve, benefits you deliver. Many don’t know what you do or they don’t know everything you do, or all the ways you help your clients.
  2. Your ideal client. Tell them what a good referral looks like for you. What do they look like? What do they do for a living? What are their problems and desires? And, what are the life events that typically trigger their need for an attorney who does what you do?
  3. Your content—your book, blog, channels, seminars, etc., and how to access it. Many in your network might not be willing or able to refer clients to you, but they might do the next best thing—refer their contacts to your content, directly or through social media. That can lead to a lot of new business.

It’s also good to educate your network about what to do when they recognize someone who might need your help. What should they tell them about you? What should they tell them to do if they have questions or want to hire you?

Most of the people you know have never sent you a referral. Many are willing and able, but don’t know how.

Educate them and you might awaken an army of new referral sources.

Step-by-step instructions


How to build a big law practice without advertising


Some attorneys do a lot of advertising. They invest heavily in media and consultants, generate a lot of leads, and build systems to help them convert those leads into clients.

But that’s a big stick to swing and not everyone can swing it. Or wants to.

Successful attorneys are also good at getting referrals, and that’s something every attorney can do.

But while that doesn’t take a lot of cash, it can take a lot of time.

You need a base of clients and contacts who have referrals to give and who like and trust you enough to give them, and that doesn’t happen overnight. But you can start small and eventually get big.

And if you get a few things right, it doesn’t take as long as you think.

What do you have to get right? Besides keeping clients happy?

Happy clients will naturally tell others about you, but they’ll do it more often when you prompt them.

So, prompt them.

Educate them about how to recognize a good referral for you and what to say and do when they do. Ask them to introduce you to the other professionals they know. Provide them with information they can share with friends.

And stay in touch with them.

People are busy and don’t necessarily think about you, even when they talk to someone who needs your help. When you stay in touch with them, you remind them about the problems you solve and benefits you deliver and they think about who they know who can use your help.

Simple dimple.

They share your content with friends, co-workers, neighbors, or clients. They mention your name and give them a link to your website. They tell a story about what you did for them or someone they know.

You get more traffic to your website, more opt-ins to your list, more calls and appointments, and more new clients.

You also get more repeat business.

Getting referrals isn’t complicated. But if you wait for everything to happen on its own, it might be a minute.

Don’t wait for referrals to happen. Take some simple steps and make them happen.

How to get more referrals


Clone your best. Forget the rest.


No doubt you have a favorite referral source or two. You know who I’m talking about. The ones who regularly send you good clients and cases. The ones who introduce you to people you need to know and do other things to help your practice grow.

They’re low maintenance, highly profitable, and you wish you had more like them.

Seek and ye shall find.

Instead of trying to meet “anyone” who can refer business, set your sites on cloning your best referral sources. It’s better to have a few studs than dozens of people who might try but can’t deliver.

The most effective way to increase referrals is to focus on your existing referral sources.

Get to know them better. Learn about their niche. Meet the people they know and work with. They’ll lead you to more referral sources and opportunities.

This will require time and energy, which is why you should focus on a handful of people who have already proven themselves rather than the many who haven’t.

Invest 80% of your “networking” and relationship-building time with your best sources.

You may not be able to reciprocate with referrals, but there are other ways you help them. You might have information they want or need, do other things for them or their clients or family, or introduce them to people who can.

Help them prosper and they’ll do (more of) the same for you.

How to get more referrals from lawyers and business contacts