Who says you have to charge all clients the same fees?

I’ve had penthouse offices on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. I’ve also had storefront offices in not-so-nice parts of town. I charged different fees at each office for the same services.

And why not? Why not charge more at the office with higher overhead and nicer furniture? Why not charge what the market will bear?

What about clients in the same office? Can you charge some clients more than others?

Of course.

If a client gives you a ton of work, why shouldn’t you give them a break? If you provide elite services to some clients who are willing to pay a higher fee, why shouldn’t you?

Insurance defense firms and firms that handle subrogation and collection charge less per matter because of the volume of business they get, less than they would charge if you walked in with a single case.

Living trust mills hire outside lawyers to do the legal work. The lawyers earn less per client than they charge their regular “retail” clients.

By the way, you could do something similar no matter what your practice area. Joint venture with an attorney in a lower-end part of town who doesn’t provide the services you do. He brings in the clients, you do the work, and maintain your other office where you charge higher fees.

(Verily, make sure your bar is okay with this, yada, yada.)

Anyway, people pay different fees for the same goods and services every day. Ever buy a hot dog at the ball park?

Clients will pay different fees, too, because they’re willing to pay for convenience or prestige, or because they like and trust you and don’t want to go anywhere else.

How could you charge more (or less) for your services?

More ideas for joint ventures with other lawyers

Put this in your pipe and smoke it

Suppose I am a notary who works near you. I call you and offer to provide my services to your clients for a few hours each week, at no cost to you or your clients.

Interested?

You can promote this as an added benefit to your clients. You can put “free notary services” in your advertising and on your website and attract more prospective clients.

And it won’t cost you a dime.

I’m willing to do it because it lets me introduce my services to lots of new clients.

Do we have a deal?

Okay, you like the idea but you’re not getting calls from notaries offering this.

Well, you could ask someone in your office to take the class and become a notary, or you could do it yourself. That’s good, but how about thinking bigger?

How about picking up the phone and calling some notaries, to see if they like the idea of getting some free exposure. Why is this better than doing it yourself?

Because some of their notary clients will need legal services.

And there you are.

Many real estate agents are notaries, and open to a bit of creative marketing. Or you might partner up with a real estate attorney who has a notary in the office (assuming you don’t compete with them). Accountants, escrow officers, mortgage brokers, and banks also have notaries.

If free notary services doesn’t work for your practice, find something that does.

Make a list of the types of professionals and small businesses that target the same clients you target. Contact them and see if they have a free or discounted service you could offer to your clients. Or a free consultation. Or free information.

Then, see if you can do the same for their clients.

Are you picking up what I’m laying down?

More ways to work smarter

Advertising on the rocks with a twist

Suppose you are a criminal defense lawyer who handles DUI’s. Would you like to have local bars pass out a flyer to all of their customers, advertising your services?

Try this:

Contact the owner of the bar and ask him how many cocktail napkins he uses each month. When he answers, tell him you will supply him with the same napkins free of charge. All he has to do is allow you to print your name and contact information on the napkins.

They get free napkins, you get advertising to a very targeted market, at very low cost.

Let’s say you handle personal injury cases. What if you approach auto insurance brokers who mail calendars to their clients and prospects, and make a similar offer. You’ll pay some or all of the printing and mailing costs, in return for adding your name and contact information.

Do you do estate planning or family law? Contact real estate brokers who mail calendars and note pads.

You get the idea.

Find other businesses or professionals who target the same market you do, and show them how they can lower or eliminate some or all of their advertising costs.

What’s that? You don’t advertise? Even the word makes you nervous?

No problem. Call it a joint venture. Offer to pass out their calendar or note pads or other items, in return for passing out your report, checklist, or planning guide.

Want more referrals from other lawyers? Get this

Bundling isn’t just for political campaigns

I just got an email with a great offer on a “productivity bundle”: “For just $59.99, you can unlock one-year subscriptions to Wunderlist Pro, Pocket Premium, Evernote Premium, and LastPass Premium.”

If you’re interested, here’s the link.

Now, put on your thinking cap. How could you use bundling to market your services?

Find one or more compatible service providers–lawyers in different practice areas, (including lawyers in your firm), a CPA, a financial planner, or a business owner–anyone with a product or service your clients or prospects might want and need–and create a bundle that each of you can offer to your lists.

It might bring in more clients but it will definitely get your name in front of a lot of prospects and help you build your list. It’s also a great way to deliver added value to your clients.

You could offer a “entry level” service, a review package, or a maintenance contract. Or you could also do this with information products. (If you handle litigation only, this is probably your best bet.)

Your ebook, video course, recorded seminar, checklist, form set, or anything else, combined with something similar from other professionals, all bundled up and available for a small payment, or even free.

Of course putting this together is a great way to meet other professionals and start building a referral relationship.

Check with your handlers to make sure you are allowed to bundle services with non-lawyers. And note that some professionals (i.e., insurance, securities) probably cannot bundle their products, but they may have a service or information product that would work.

Talk to another professional and tell him or her your idea and see what they think. You only need one other participant to create a bundle, but I’m betting that once there are two of you, you will quickly find others who want in.

Simple, inexpensive, and oh so powerful marketing for lawyers

How would you like to have five or ten local businesses or professionals passing out your report, brochure, or other propaganda to every one of their customers or clients?

Okay, here’s what you do:

  1. Make a list of categories. What type of business or professional has customers or clients in your target market?
  2. Make a list of candidates. Go online and find websites of businesses and professionals in those categories in your market. Put a star next to the names of those who have a newsletter, blog, mailing list, or social media followers.
  3. Contact each candidate and tell them you have a proposal that could be to your mutual benefit. Basically, you’re going to hand out their literature to your clients and prospects and they’ll do the same for you.
  4. Create a handout. This could be anything with your name and contact information on it–a brochure, report, coupon, gift certificate, free consultation offer, or anything else. Have them do the same.

Print the handout. Create a pdf version, too, for email lists and website visitors. On your handout, add a different code for each cross-promotion partner, so you can see which ones are sending you the most business.

Now, all you have to do is pass out each other’s literature. When your supply gets low, notify your partner so they can provide you with more, and of course, you want them to do the same.

Okay, that’s the idea. Simple, isn’t it? But very effective.

You may have to contact ten or twenty candidates to find a few who understand the power of this idea, but you only need a few. Why? Because a cross-promotion carries with it the implied endorsement of the cross-promotion partner (so make sure you choose good quality businesses and qualified professionals). A handful of partners passing out your information to hundreds of people every day could bring you more business than you can handle.

Marketing for lawyers doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Cross-promotions allows you to leverage the lists of other professionals and businesses, bringing targeted traffic to your website and hot prospects to your phone.

For more ways to get traffic and clients by leveraging OPL (other people’s lists), get this.

How to get more clients with joint venture marketing

John Jantsch shared a great marketing idea today and he used attorneys as an example. The idea is to get together with other professionals and businesses who target the same market you do and create a content-filled blog as a resource for that target market.

So the small business attorney pairs up with an insurance broker, an expert in employee benefits, a CPA, and a marketing expert, all of whom contribute articles or blog posts speaking to the issues business owners want and need.

The site or blog will get search engine traffic, attracting prospects who will learn about the individuals who write the posts and the services they offer.

Jantsch provides recommendations for WordPress plug-ins that will help you organize and run the blog. Here’s another post I saw today that recommends 15 plug-ins for multi-author blogs.

But what if you’re not up to the task of organizing and running this little venture just now? Is there anything else you can do to utilize this idea?

Yes there is and thanks for asking.

You can organize a one time collaboration where you and other profoessionals contribute articles, posts, reports, audios, or other content. You can put that on a web site that won’t necessarily attract a lot of search engine traffic because the site wouldn’t be regularly updated, but it would be a tremendous resource for each of the contributors who send traffic to the site.

You can put the content on a cd or dvd or in an ebook and use it as a reward for opt-ins to your regular web site. Or as a gift to people who attend your seminar, webinar, or teleconference. Or as a giveaway to your clients and contacts, encouraging them to send copies to their friends and contacts.

You can also organize a live event in your local market, with half a dozen speakers, each of whom invites guests.

The value of a collaborate marketing effort like this is that each of the participants is repsonsible for creating only their article or report, but each of you benefits from the content of the others. In addition, with each of you sending visitors to the site or otherwise distributing the content, each of you will get the tacit recommendation of the other professionals, as well as exposure to their clients and prospects.

If even a simplified version of this idea seems like too much work to take on right now, find one other professional or business owner who targets your market and do something together.

Send an en email to each other’s lists, offering a free consultation or a free report. Do a guest post for each other’s blog or newsletter. Invite each other to attend a networking group you belong to and introduce each other to centers of influence you know.

Cooperative marketing is effective because it instantly exposes you to a large group of prospective clients, all of whom have the implied or explicit recommendation of a professional they know, like, and trust. It’s a great idea no matter how you go about it.