The best way to market your law practice


I read a book once about book writing. The author gave some sound advice. He said to write the book you can write, not the book you think you should write.

Some books are harder to write than others. A how-to book, especially in your area of expertise, is much easier to write than a historical romance novel, for example, especially if you’ve never written fiction.

Write the book you can write. Let others write the books they can write.

The same is true for marketing your law practice. The best way is to do what you can do, not what you think you’re supposed to do or what some expert says you must do.

If you allow yourself to do what you can an do, you may actually do it. You don’t have to learn something completely new and different or force yourself out of your comfort zone, you’re doing what you already know you can do.

You’ll do it better. And stick with it longer. And get results, which will inspire you to continue. As you grow, perhaps you’ll add something new to the mix. And then, you’ll be able to do things you previously could not do. Instead of forcing yourself to be something you’re not, or do something you can’t, you’ll grow naturally and you will enjoy the process.

Where do you begin? With something that feels right to you. Yes, feels. Don’t assume that because you have experience with something that this is where you should begin. You might have a lot of speaking experience, for example, but if you really don’t enjoy speaking, you shouldn’t do it.

Here are some common marketing tactics for attorneys. As you go through this list, imagine yourself doing them and note how you feel.

  • Networking with other lawyers
  • Networking with prospective clients
  • Writing blog posts and articles
  • Finding and engaging prospective referral sources on social media
  • Working with your clients to foster repeat business and referrals
  • Radio advertising
  • Youtube videos
  • Writing a newsletter
  • Podcasting/webcasting (e.g., interviewing other professionals, authors, etc.)
  • Creating websites to attract search engine traffic
  • Self-hosted seminars
  • Joint venture marketing
  • Pay-per click advertising

When you think about some of these tactics, you feel anxious. It’s not a good feeling. You find that your thoughts want to intrude and tell you why you shouldn’t, can’t, won’t do that.

With others, you feel lighter. More relaxed or more excited, but better. You can see yourself doing it, or at least exploring it further.

Trust those feelings. If something feels good when you think about it, it’s probably something you should do.

What if nothing feels good to you?

You can continue doing what you’re doing to bring in clients even though you don’t particularly like it, but to be honest, if there’s nothing that feels good to you, you might want to re-think the idea of being in business for yourself.

Yes, you can hire someone to do some of your marketing, or you can partner with someone, but those are really only workarounds. Marketing is an extension of you and your commitment to your clients and if you can’t find a way to express that commitment in a way that feels good to you, perhaps that commitment doesn’t really exist.

On the other hand, maybe you just need more information.

I find a lot of lawyers who say they don’t like marketing don’t really have much experience with marketing. They made up their minds early on that marketing wasn’t for them and they’ve spent years believing this to be true and acting in ways that are consistent with that belief.

If that’s you, do yourself a favor and take another look. Do some reading and try some new things. You may find that they’re not so bad and you’re not all thumbs and that there are some things you’re actually quite good at and enjoy.

The best way to market your law practice is to do what you can do and you can do more than you think.

The Attorney Marketing Formula will help you to choose the best marketing strategies and tactics for you


“The best thing I did was to stop trying to build my practice”


Attorney marketing colleague, Stephen Fairley, had an an interesting comment on one of his recent Facebook posts. I want to share the comment, by attorney Jules Cherie, along with my thoughts on the subject.

Here’s the comment:

“I know that many people will disagree with me, but the best thing I did was to stop trying to build my practice.

I find that just taking four or five personal injury cases per year is the best way to live both professionally and personally. You have more time for your clients and you have more time for yourself. You are always ahead of the defense and they can’t keep up with you. You also have less overhead. The more cases you take the more staff you need to manage them. This creates a mini-bureaucracy and then there is less personal contact with the clients. I like it when the phone DOESN’T ring.

I would also recommend that everybody read The King of Torts by John Grisham and take note of a character in that book by the name of Mooneyham. Contrast his practice to that of the protagonist.”

Here are my thoughts.


I assume Cherie’s new cases are coming in via referrals. If these are from clients, he gets them because he has built a career of serving those clients and earning their trust and gratitude. If they are from attorneys and other non-clients, they are the result of years of building his skills and reputation and relationships with those referral sources.

He isn’t building his practice today (marketing) because he doesn’t need to. He did it over many years. He planted seeds and is now reaping the harvest. Good for him.


Knowing what you want, e.g., big(ger) personal injury cases, helps you to know what you don’t want (e.g., everything else). This is good. Specializing is good. Low overhead is good. Having little or no staff to manage and pay is good.

On the other hand, there is no leverage in a business model like this. It’s all about you and what you do. You don’t earn income off of other people’s efforts. If you get sick or want to slow down or retire, your income stops.


Four or five big(ger) personal injury cases can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. The same is usually not true for divorce or estate planning and many other practice areas. If you earn ten thousand dollars per case or client, you’re going to have a lot of clients or cases to earn six- or multiple six-figures. This may or may not require more overhead and more “marketing”.

You can get big(ger) personal injury cases through advertising and other means, but the biggest and best cases usually come from referrals. To get those referrals you need to be very good at what you do, and many attorneys are not, or if they are, don’t yet have the reputation or connections (pipeline) built to get those referrals.

Although I’m sure Cherie is extremely selective about the cases he takes, he still has risks. Losing even one case, or a judgment or settlement well below expectations, could have a significant impact on his income. He also risks losing whatever costs he might invest in building the case.

On the other side of the risk equation is the fact that one very good case could bring in millions of dollars in fees, more than enough to make up for any loses he might sustain. In addition, there is arguably less risk in handling bigger cases with significant exposure for the defendants and their carriers, and thus potentially greater settlement value, than small(er) cases which are often not worth litigating.


Cherie’s practice has many positive aspects. It allows him to focus on doing quality work without the many distractions and burdens associated with running a higher volume practice. As someone who ran a high volume PI practice, I clearly see the appeal. But this business model isn’t for everyone and those who would like to adopt it need to remember that it’s not something that can be accomplished overnight. It takes a long time to build your skills and reputation and make the connections needed to enjoy a small volume referral-only practice. There are no shortcuts.

When I was practicing, I didn’t have time to read fiction. Now that I do, I’ll have to pick up a copy of The King of Torts and learn more about what I was missing.

Leverage is the key to earning more without working more. That’s what The Formula is all about.


Some perspective on marketing legal services


You often hear me say, “marketing is everything we do to get and keep good clients”.


In terms of time, it’s mostly the little things we do every day. It’s the way we greet our clients and make them feel welcome. The emails and letters we send to former clients to stay in touch and remember them during the holidays. The articles and blog posts we publish to educate people about the law.

Marketing is also bigger things. Creating a new seminar or ad campaign. Scoping out and joining a new networking group. Recording new videos for your website.

And everything in between.

Most of the little things take little or no time to learn or apply. They are a natural extension of your values and personality, not the application of technique. Treating people with respect is part of who you are, not something you learn in a book.

Creating content for your website requires some time, but not an inordinate amount, given that it’s mostly writing things down you already know and do.

Bigger projects require more time and resources, it’s true, but you don’t do them every day. You outline a new presentation, create the slides or handouts, rehearse, and you’re done. Maybe it took you a week or two, but now you have a new marketing tool in your arsenal you can use over and over again.

Bigger projects can serve you long term. Getting involved in a new networking group, for example, takes extra effort initially, and may take months to bear fruit. But that group could eventually become a major source of new business (and friendships) for you, and last for decades.

Do something marketing related every day. 15 minutes is good. Reach out to a few former clients or other professionals with a note or email and watch what happens. Once a month or so, work on a bigger project. A 30 Day Referral Blitz, for example.

Whenever possible, invest your time and resources in creating things with a “long tail,” like new relationships, new content for your website, and new ways to grow your email list.

Marketing legal services doesn’t have to be daunting. If it is, you’re not doing it right. Sure, there are new things to learn and new things to do, but mostly, its about attitude.

If you’re struggling in your practice, start by examining your attitude towards marketing. If you don’t like marketing, if it’s something you force yourself to do, you will continue to struggle. If there are things you like and things you don’t, great–do more of the things you enjoy and are good at.

Marketing is a lot like lawyering. It takes place mostly in your head.

The Attorney Marketing Formula comes with a marketing plan.


Marketing a law practice 15 minutes a day


One of the biggest challenges with marketing a law practice is finding the time to do it. Fortunately, there are many marketing-related tasks you can do in just 15 minutes.

For example, in just 15 minutes you can expand your network. Here’s how:

  • Go through your desk drawers and find all the business cards you have accumulated. Also find address books and contact lists (professionals, business owners, prospects, etc.)
  • Look for these people on LinkedIn and add them to your network; update the invite email that goes to them with a personal reference (e.g., where you met)
  • Do the same thing with your other social networks, adding Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc., to LinkedIn, or vice-versa
  • Once you have done this, spend 15 minutes a day commenting on your contacts’ posts, asking questions, or sharing resources (your own and others).

Marketing a law practice doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or overly time consuming. The key is to commit to doing something every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes.

Want more traffic and more referrals? Offer your contacts something they can share with their contacts. Here’s how.


Random acts of marketing legal services


A new study suggests that investing at random is as effective as hiring expensive financial advice. As reported in Wired, a physicist and an economist in Italy seem to have proven that throwing darts at stock listings can actually bring decent returns.

What if marketing legal services works the same way?

What if instead of hiring expensive consultants to manage their marketing, lawyers simply chose marketing related activities at random. Instead of trying to figure out the perfect strategy, they just kept busy?

I like this idea. You don’t need to hire experts and gurus or go to expensive seminars. You can ignore the “method of the week”. Just do something, every day, to reach out to people you know and people you want to know.

Call or write to someone. It doesn’t matter who. They don’t have to be your best client. It doesn’t matter if they can’t send you a lot of referrals. What happens next doesn’t really matter because over time, everything will average out and you will at least get average results from your efforts, if the analogy is true.

But hold on. Since most attorneys do no marketing, or do marketing very badly, your random acts of daily marketing should bring you results that are much better than average.

So, here’s what you do. Get out your calendar and schedule 15 minutes every day for marketing. Mark this time on your calendar as an appointment with yourself. If someone wants to see you at that time, you must tell them you have an appointment and you’ll have to see them a little later.

Now, keep that appointment. Every day, do something marketing related. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something.

Scroll through your contact database and pick someone at random. Call or email them and say hello. If it’s a client, say thanks for being a good client. If it’s someone you met at a networking function three years ago and haven’t spoken to since, tell them you just found their name and wanted to see how they are doing.

It doesn’t matter who you contact or what you say. These are random acts of marketing, remember? Just keep busy and do something every day. If you get stuck, go find a chimpanzee and when he points at something, do that.

Marketing is simple. Lawyers are complicated. Stop thinking so much and do something.

Marketing is simple with this and this.


Stop complaining. Attorney marketing is not that difficult.


Bitch, bitch, bitch. Enough already. You don’t know how good you have it.

I’m talking to the attorneys who whine about how hard it is to get clients but aren’t willing to do anything about it.

It’s not laziness. It’s ego. They’re too school for cool. They say marketing makes them uncomfortable.

You want more clients and you expect them to magically appear because you’re good at what you do?

Wake up and smell the empty bank account.

Being competent and working hard for your clients isn’t enough. Most attorneys are competent and work hard for their clients. If you want more clients to find you and hire you, you have to do more.

And it really isn’t difficult.

I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give you a list of things to do to bring in more clients. It’s a short list. Take a look and see what you think:

  1. You need to smother your clients with love and attention so they never even think about leaving and so they tell all their friends about your greatness.
  2. You need a web site with lots of high quality information, so people can find you through search and through sharing of your information, see proof of your capabilities, and sell themselves on hiring you.
  3. You need to stay in touch with the people who hired you before, reminding them that you are still available to help them and the people they know. And you need to stay in touch with people who don’t hire you right away so that when they are ready to hire an attorney, or they know someone who is, you are the one they call.

This isn’t hard, is it?

Love your clients. Educate prospects. Stay in touch with everyone.

Do these three things and you don’t have to do much else.

Now, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this something I CAN do?
  2. Is this something I have the TIME to do?
  3. Is this something I WANT to do?

I know you can do this. And it doesn’t take up that much time. The real question is, do you want to do this?

If you do, great! Let me know how I can help.

If you don’t, that’s okay, but please don’t complain. It makes me uncomfortable.

Marketing really isn’t difficult. Let me show you. Click here.


What separates the million dollar attorneys from the rest?


Why are some attorneys earning seven figures and others are just scraping by?

Are they smarter and harder working than the rest? Do they have better connections? Are they just lucky?

I’ll bet you think I’m going to say million dollar attorneys are better at marketing and promoting themselves than average earning attorneys.

But that’s not always true.

Sometimes, they really are just lucky. Or smarter. They often do have better connections.

Sometimes, those million dollar babies are more attractive. Better looking, whiter teeth, the whole shebang. Sometimes, they’re more attractive on the inside. People want to be around them, hire them, help them.

And sometimes, they’re crooked. They lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top. And then they go into politics.

Anyway, some attorneys earn big money and don’t know the first thing about marketing. They never needed to and they never will.

God bless ’em.

Now, what about the rest of us?

Most attorneys work hard and do good work for their clients. But that’s not enough to build a big practice anymore. It’s too unpredictable, and too slow. We can’t wait for things to happen, we have to make them happen.

Yep. Marketing. Getting our story told to more people. Sharing information with prospective clients so they know about the law and their options and can make better decisions. And treating people right so they want to hire us again and tell everyone they know about our greatness.

Marketing isn’t easy. You have to work at it every day. Not all day, but every day. Talk to someone. Write something. Read something. Do something.

Yeah, I’d rather be lucky. And better looking.

Maybe in my next life.

Marketing isn’t easy, but it is simple. Follow these instructions.


Marketing is easy. Here, let me prove it


Marketing: “Everything we do to get and keep good clients.”

In keeping with that definition, and the premise that marketing is easy, here are three things you can do right now to help you get (or keep) good clients:


Write down the names of three “good clients” you have or had in the past. Send them an email that says, “Happy New Year–Just checking in. Hope things are going well. Talk soon. DW [your initials].


Write down three ideas for a blog post or article. Here, I’ll get you started:

  • “The strangest case [client] I ever had”
  • “3 things my clients always want to know”
  • “How to help your lawyer save you money”


Describe a category of professionals who might be a good source of referrals for you. Go to google or your favorite social media channel and do a search. Find three names of professionals with web sites within a few miles from your office. Find something you like about their web site or practice. Maybe it’s their header or logo, an article, or the way they describe what they do. Or, find something you have in common. Maybe you went to the same law school or undergrad. If nothing else, you’re offices are “right around the corner” from each other.

Send them an email and tell them what you like and/or what you have in common. Ask a question or ask for a recommendation. “Where did you get that great header?” “Can you recommend a networking group nearby?” “Would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog?”

You have now “met” one or more local professionals with whom you can begin the process of networking. Go buy them some coffee.

There, I told you marketing was easy.

Want more ideas? Go here.


Are you planning to make any changes this year? Before you do. . .


So this year I’m planning to make some changes. How about you?

I’m looking at things that didn’t work well and eliminating them or looking for ways to make them better. I’ll get more information, ask for help, or try things a different way.

But I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that. No sir. Instead, I’m going to look at the things that did work and do more of them.

You should, too.

For example, if last year you got a lot of referrals from a letter you sent to your clients, maybe you should think about sending them another letter. If you got a lot of sign-ups for your newsletter when you added a couple of videos to your web site, you should probably think about adding more videos. Or, if you met some good new referral sources on LinkedIn but none on Facebook, it sounds like LinkedIn is where you should spend your time.

Most people focus on fixing what’s wrong. They work on their weaknesses. The smarter, more leveraged strategy is to work on your strengths.

Don’t ignore your weaknesses. But don’t spend a lot of time on them.


Take a few minutes and write down three things that worked well in your practice last year. Then, look for ways to do them again or do them bigger or better or more often.

Find the spark in your practice and pour gasoline on it.

Have you read The Attorney Marketing Formula? Click here to find out what you’re missing


Why Bill Clinton wants to touch you


Have you ever watched how Bill Clinton shakes hands. He doesn’t just clasp your right hand in his, he also touches your arm with his left hand. During the conversation, as he makes a point, he might reach out again to touch your arm or put his hand on your shoulder.

Clinton’s use of nonsexual touching is, arguably, one of the reasons people seem to like him so much. (No comments about his alleged use of other kinds of touching, however.)

According to psychologists, touch “can influence behavior, increase the chances of compliance, make the person doing the touching seem more attractive and friendly, and can even you help make a sale.”

Tests have shown that when touched, people are more likely to comply with requests, more likely to provide help, and more likely to buy. And touching more than once seems to increase these results.

Indiscriminate touching, however, could backfire. In a school or work place setting, any kind of touching could be misinterpreted. In some cultures, touching is generally less welcome than in others. And some individuals don’t like to be touched under any circumstances.

By and large, the rewards are probably worth the risks. Just use common sense when meeting someone new. A pat on the arm or the shoulder is probably safe. A lingering full body hug, probably not a good idea, even for Bill Clinton. Especially for Bill Clinton.

Earn more in 2013. Click here to learn more.