Farming for law firms: getting a higher yield from your client relationships


To be productive, a farm needs acres and acres of land. Rich top soil,  seeds planted a few inches under the surface, within reach of the sun’s rays, regular water, and the loving care of the farmer. The farmer knows that each seed can yield only so much, so he plants lots of them. More seeds, bigger harvest.

A farm is “an inch deep and a mile wide.” Unfortunately, so are many law firms. They plant a lot of seeds, going wide instead of deep, collecting fees and moving from new client to new client. But while a seed planted in the Earth can only yield so much, clients can yield far more than the fees they initially pay.

Each client can also:

  • Hire you again
  • Hire you for other services
  • Provide referrals
  • Introduce you to prospects, referral sources
  • Promote you via social media
  • Send traffic to your web site
  • Recommend your newsletter, ezine, blog
  • Distribute information by and about you
  • Invite their colleagues to your seminars
  • Provide information to you about their industry and/or key people
  • Give you testimonials and endorsements
  • Provide feedback about your marketing

The big money in a law practice is not the initial harvest, the fees earned on front end. The big money is earned on the back end. You may earn $10,000 from a client today, but $100,000 over their lifetime.

To bring in his big crop, the farmer must nurture his seedlings. So must you nurture your clients. Communicate with them. Appreciate them. Acknowledge them. Give to them. Build strong relationships with your clients and they will bear much fruit and continue to blossom for many seasons.

A farm is an inch deep and a mile wide; a law firm should be an inch wide and a mile deep.