How to grow your law practice by laughing at stupid people

NYC Mayor Bloomberg has done it. He convinced the board of health to pass a ban on sodas and other sugary drinks being sold in public venues in cups bigger than 16 ounces. The vote was 8-0, with one abstention, the latter a doctor who said the ban doesn’t go far enough.

Can you believe the arrogance of these people? “We don’t care what people want, we know better. It’s for their own good.”

Can you believe the stupidity of these people? Like nobody is going to figure out that they can order two 16 ounce Cokes and call it a day.

As a lawyer, you can write about how this won’t pass constitutional muster, you can file lawsuits, or you can get angry and join protests, and many lawyers will.

Me? I’d have some fun with it.

Yes, it makes me angry to watch the erosion of freedom and common sense in our country. But I’d rather laugh than cry.

So, if I practiced in NYC, I might hand out 17 ounce cups with my firm’s name and phone number on it, and offer free re-fills at my office. I might sponsor a soft-drink drinking contest, like Nathan’s does with hot dogs. I might make a Youtube video where I offer to sue the city on your behalf if you get injured on your way for yet another refill.

Have some fun and get some clients. And thank Mayor Bloomberg for making NYC a healthier place to live and work. After all, laughter is good for your health.

How to grow your law practice by establishing routines

Lifehack has a post today on improving productivity by turning important tasks into routines. The idea is that you are more likely to do something when it’s part of a regular routine, just like you do, for example, every morning when you get ready for work.

How might this be applied to marketing?

We know it’s important to regularly reach out to clients and former clients, via email, regular mail, phone (and possibly, social media). The return on your investment of time, in terms of repeat business and referrals, is tremendous. A few minutes a day spent connecting like this could bring you thousands of dollars in additional revenue every month.

Arguably, there is nothing more important to the growth of your practice.

It’s important, you know it’s important, you WANT to do it, but somehow, you’re not doing it. Life keeps getting in the way.

What if you established a new routine whereby every day at lunchtime, before you eat or before you leave for a lunch meeting, you take ten minutes to connect? You send out ten emails, make three phone calls, or write and mail a handwritten note.

Easy stuff. And because it’s your part of your daily routine, you do it.

At first, you schedule this ten minutes on your calendar. You see it there every day, reminding you to take action. You have an app send you an alarm. Later, when you’ve been doing it for a month or three, when it has become a habit, you won’t need to be reminded. It’s as much a part of lunchtime as eating.

Make a list of marketing activities you do, or know you need to do. Look for ways to make them routine.

Marketing is easy. The hardest part is remembering to do it.

The smartest way to grow your law practice

the smartest way to grow your law practiceSo, what’s your plan for growing your practice next year?

Before you take on anything new, there’s something you should do first.

The first thing you should do is make a list of everything you have tried in the past. Go through your calendar, your notes, ask your staff, and write down everything you did that could be called “marketing”.

What meetings did you go to? Whom did you meet for the first time? What did you write? Where did you speak? What did you mail?

Put everything that worked on your list, and everything that didn’t.

It’s easy to identify what worked. If you track where new clients come from (referrals, ads, seminars, web site, social media, etc.), all you have to do is look at your stats. If you don’t track this, go through your new client list and see if you can reconstruct what you were doing just prior to being hired. (And make a note to start tracking every new client from now on.)

It’s not as easy to identify what has not worked, but it’s just as important. Do the best you can with this and in the future, keep a marketing diary and make an entry every day about anything you did that day that could be construed as marketing.

Don’t forget repeat clients. Keeping your clients happy, keeping them informed about the progress of their case, communicating and building a relationship with them, all have marketing implications.

And don’t forget referral sources. Those coffees and lunches, thank you letters and Christmas gifts are also part of your marketing mix.

Also, check your web site stats. Where is your traffic coming from? Which key words are bringing not just clicks but clients.

Making these two lists–what’s worked and what hasn’t–is one of the smartest things you can do in marketing (or anything else you want to improve) and you should do this before you even think about doing anything new.

The reason? The 80/20 principle, which tells us that the best way to achieve more is to, “do more of what worked in the past and less of what didn’t”.

Now that you have your two lists, you can identify the things that have worked for you and do more of them. You’ll find the time for this by cutting down on or eliminating those things that have not worked or haven’t worked as well.

You may find that eliminating things that aren’t working is difficult, especially if you’ve been doing them for awhile. This is common for all of us. Our fears prevent us from letting go or we tell ourselves we just need to get better or do it longer and the results will kick in. If we spent money on something, it’s even harder to let go because we get attached to earning back our investment.

Trust the numbers. Let go of what’s not working, no matter how much time or money you’ve invested.

Yes, sometimes you will let go of something too soon that could have been a big winner for you had you kept going. But what makes more sense, hanging on to things that might work or cutting them out in favor of doing more of what you know works?

If social media hasn’t brought in new business, for example, it could be because you’re doing it wrong and with some training and experience, you’ll get better and you will get lots of news clients, just as many attorneys now do. But our time is limited and if it’s not working for you right now, I’d rather see you put social media aside and do more of what your numbers tell you, unequivocally, has brought in most of your new business last year.

You can go back later and try social media marketing (or whatever) again. I’ve let go of things that weren’t working for me and been successful when I tried them again. But right now, when you’re looking at your plans for the new year, start by doing more of what you know works.

It’s the smartest way to grow your practice.