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Kick Start Your Law Firm Marketing in 2018

December 11, 2017

Filed under: Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management — Tags: , — admin @ 9:23 pm

Many attorneys struggle with dedicating enough time for law firm marketing. I recently posted about holiday marketing strategies.

Here are a few quick tips to help you position your practice for a great start in 2018.

I think of marketing in terms of strategy. If done properly, you won’t have to worry whether you’re doing enough of it and then play catch up when you think you have fallen behind somewhere around August.

Keep It Simplelaw firm marketing

Small, thoughtful moves made throughout the year can yield more than sporadic efforts without a marketing strategy. Make a plan, commit to it, but don’t overthink it.

Stay in Action

Consistency is key. Review your marketing strategy from 2017 and highlight what worked. It might be a good idea to double down on those things for the new year. It can be something as simple as writing articles on LinkedIn regularly, to setting referral goals for the month. Just be consistent.

Be Yourself

It is always best to be yourself in your marketing. If people feel like you’re being inauthentic they may not trust you to be transparent in your work. This would defeat the purpose of your practice. Your marketing efforts are an opportunity to establish trust. Stay true to yourself (your brand) across all your marketing efforts.

Be Selective

Every client isn’t a yes. And if you’re managing your business effectively, you can put yourself in a position to say no to clients who aren’t the right fit. This will save you time and money, allowing room for your practice to grow. Yes, sometimes less is more.

Get Guidance and Accountability

There are times when you simply can’t figure it out yourself. This happens to everyone.  The work of transforming your practice will come from the effort you put toward your action plan. If that’s something you struggle with, then I strongly encourage you to invest an hour of your time in a Practice Growth Diagnostic™. It is simply THE most effective way to determine where the holes are in your practice and what actions you can immediately take to improve your law firm’s profitability. Your ultimate success lies in your hands.

Here’s to a great 2018 and hoping it’s a transformation for you personally and professionally!

Law firm owners can get a head start on 2018

November 9, 2017

Filed under: Enjoying Life,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Stress Management — admin @ 5:16 pm

The holiday season is fast approaching, and I’ll bet you’re tempted to look back over this past year with a critical eye. Whoa there. Take a deep breath. Let’s look at your goals.

Acknowledge the things that went well in 2017. And, while it’s good to take note of the things that didn’t go so great (i.e. any frustrations, tolerations, or breakdowns), don’t dwell on them. Instead, use this line of thinking to propel your law firm into 2018 with momentum.

Possibly the best way to assess your practice’s past year is with an annual Practice Growth Diagnostic™ . It is the most comprehensive method to determine what is working well in your practice, what isn’t or needs attention, and how to strategize for the future. Check it out.

3 Things You Should Do

Set your practice up to win in 2018.

If you’re already wondering what you can do to prepare for next year’s challenges, I’m inviting you now to attend a no-cost webinar I’m presenting on Nov. 28 (12 noon Eastern) called “The 3 Things You Should Do NOW to Give Your Law Firm a Head Start in 2018.”

I’d also like to recommend a short exercise. Pull out a notepad (or use your computer or smart phone to start a new document).

Wrap Up 2017

Write down what you consider to be your practice’s three biggest accomplishments for the past year. Under or next to each item, write down the top three actions taken that generated this great result.

Is there anyone you should acknowledge who helped make these achievements happen? Probably, right? Make a note on your January calendar to speak with each person (not email!) to express your gratitude for their part in these successes.

Next, list all the little things you tolerated the past year. These could include staffing issues, daily interruptions, failing to find time for marketing, or hanging on to a troublesome client that you know you should have let go. As you write this, you will begin to see some of the small – but draining – matters that sapped energy from your practice.

The first step to addressing these kinds of distractions is acknowledging they exist. The second step is to choose at least one of these “tolerations” you’ve been putting up with that you’re annoyed enough about that you’ll commit to eliminating it by taking a specific action by a set deadline. Are you willing to commit to getting rid of more than just one?

Launch Into 2018

Finally, write down the goals you’d like to accomplish in 2018 both personally and financially. Give this part of the exercise some time, and don’t worry about making it perfect in one sitting.

This is going to be a “living document” you can refer to throughout the year, making additions and subtractions as needed. These goals are the foundation of your 2018 action plan!

Include the first action steps will you take to move towards achieving your personal and financial goals. If you feel like this is an area where you could use some reinforcement, please contact Atticus.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Yes, you CAN ask for referrals

October 13, 2017

Filed under: Marketing,Practice Growth,Referral Sources — admin @ 4:41 pm

If you own a law firm, you need to make asking for and receiving great referrals a daily practice.

I’ve often heard a deep sigh of discomfort from lawyers when the topic of asking for referrals comes up. But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable.

If you are doing great work, of course, that will speak for itself. Many clients will be grateful and eagerly spread the word about their satisfaction with your firm. But what about the people who hired you, got what they needed, but fail to mention your firm to their friends and family when the need for a skilled attorney arises?

It’s a fantasy to think every client will remember to recommend you. So, it’s your job to remind them. This can be done in a manner that doesn’t feel like selling or desperation.

Asking for a referral is a stumbling block for many lawyers, but it’s not impossible to overcome. It’s as simple as changing your mindset. This is where your marketing strategy comes into play.

ReferralsBe strategic in asking for referrals

Pay attention to where your clients are coming from. One way to do that is to implement a “Thank You” program for referrals.

Engage with your referral network, meet with them, reach out to them on a regular basis. Whether that engagement comes via an email, a phone call, or meeting over coffee, touching base regularly with referral sources strengthens your bond and will reward your practice in ways that set you apart from the competition.

It’s less about being sales-y than about controlling the narrative of your interactions with clients. This is where many lawyers tell me that they hate marketing and throw up their hands. However, effortlessly asking for referrals and setting follow-up meetings are skills that can be practiced and perfected.

It boils down to this – if you are exactly where you want to be, then keep doing what you are doing. However, if growth is what you seek, you must step out of your comfort zone. Set yourself up for the win!

4 ways law firm owners can maximize holiday marketing

September 19, 2017

Filed under: Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Referral Sources — admin @ 12:22 pm

Fall is here and it’s time to begin implementing your law firm’s holiday marketing plan.

Wait, though. You do have a holiday marketing plan, right?

If you do, great! Let me know what you plan to do and the results you’re shooting for this year. I’d love to compare ideas.

But if you don’t, then I’ve got some great tips below to get you started.

Committing to creating your firm’s holiday marketing plan goes a long way to strengthen your law firm’s referral network and grow your practice. In doing so, you can enjoy the season and strengthen your business relationships.

This isn’t about buying the biggest and most audacious gifts to stand out from the crowd. It’s more about acknowledging your practice’s top referral sources and strengthening those relationships. I have heard ideas that range from law firm owners dressed as Santa Claus delivering gifts to throwing parties with eggnog and snacks. It’s all about what you feel is the best way to say thank you.

Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the holidays while building relationships for the year ahead:

  1. You may feel like you don’t have enough time to do some or any holiday marketing. If you have someone you can delegate these tasks to, do it. If not, hire a holiday marketing assistant. Developing and implementing your marketing takes time, but the payoff can be invaluable to your practice.
  2. Do more than just send everyone on your firm’s address list a holiday card that will potentially go unread. Take an opportunity to acknowledge top referral sources and key clients who generated revenue. Remember, a referral source who feels your gratitude can add thousands of dollars’ worth of business in the years to come. Research what these specific people may like. This makes it possible to say thank you throughout the year if you don’t want to save it for the holidays. This is a great way to show key clients and colleagues their value to your firm!
  3. While you may not want to hand deliver gifts to your referral sources and clients, there is still an opportunity to set up a face-to-face meeting with referral sources. A simple lunch or dinner can strengthen bonds with a valuable client or referral source. In addition, there is nothing like having a clients who become your friends. They become rabid fans and believe in what you do. That kind of marketing is a cornerstone of growth.
  4. The end of the year can be hectic. But it is also a good time to focus on the following year’s goals. Be strategic. Do you have a marketing plan in place for the next year? Are you comfortable with where your firm is going? What changes would you like to implement for the future? So, set aside some time to set next year’s goals – everything from doubling client referrals to growing your social media following. Write it all down. Plan your work and work your plan!

I want to reinforce here that your extra efforts on holiday marketing can be the foundation for next year’s marketing goals. Set yourself up to win!

Beyond what I’ve shared above, there are many options for maximizing marketing and time during the holidays. The keys are to be thoughtful, sincere and focused. This bit of extra effort pays off in increased revenue and good will toward your firm.

Don’t want growth? Keep thinking about it

August 15, 2017

Filed under: Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management — admin @ 12:03 pm

I don’t procrastinate, ever. I just think about stuff for a very, very, VERY long time. I don’t actually act on anything.  I’ve found thinking about things to be very beneficial and recommend this strategy to small law firm owners and solo practitioners as a way of protecting their egos.

Let’s pretend I have a new marketing idea. All I am willing to do is think, “For this to be perfect outcome, what would have to happen?”

For the outcome to be ideal, which is what I want, the best thing to do is to think about it, strategize it, plan it and then think about it some more.  All the permutations and obstacles to my new idea fill my mind. And then, I spend time thinking about those.

Here are the key benefits of the “think about it” strategy:

  1. You can never be wrong. If you don’t take action, then you can always be right.
  2. You can keep your opinion, assumptions, and beliefs. Of course, action and actually testing an idea out is where the rubber meets the road – and that’s where all learning occurs – but by continuing to think about it, you could always just adjust your plan.
  3. I don’t have to learn anything (See No. 2). I mean, why bother? Learning requires risk and can be very frustrating. Acting is too ambitious.
  4. You don’t have to be accountable. This is a big one. If you keep thinking about it and don’t take any action, then no one can hammer you because you took action.
  5. You don’t risk energy or money. Sure, you waste some time thinking things over, but it’s totally worth it, right?

The truest thing I can say about the results of the “think about it” method is that nothing ever changes. Life stays the same. Your complaints of today will be your complaints of tomorrow. You know them well. They are like old friends. Your weight stays the same. Your fitness stays the same. And, so do your income and results.  There is no growth.

I think Abraham Maslow had it wrong. He said, “You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”

I love it. Safety is where it is at, right?

If you don’t want to grow your practice, then use the “think about it” strategy to avoid any form of risk, loss of money, embarrassment, or failure.

And, go one step further: Take no action from this blog. Instead, think about growth for a long, long time. It is a lot safer.

[In case you read this post and you’re not sure if I’m being serious, just think about it.]

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