How to Create an Insurmountable Competitive Advantage
Are you looking for a way to become the obvious choice when a client selects a lawyer?
Would you like to remove any competition from your market niche?
Does the possibility of tilting the playing field in your favor intrigue you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the audio program below may be the most important 30 minutes you invest this year.
That’s not an exaggeration.
In this 30 minute podcast I provide you with a step-by-step guide to creating a body of work that will make you a clear leader in your market.
And the best part…
It only take a few hours each month.
On this f-r-e-e podcast (listen on the player below) I outline the program I use with my clients to develop an insurmountable competitive advantage.
And just in case you think I’m teaching something I’ve never personally done, consider this:
I’ve used (and continue to use) this exact system to:
- Write two books
- Create 800+ articles for my website, RainmakerLawyer.com
- Develop, produce and record 64 podcasts in the past 14 months
- Develop, produce and record over 260 videos
- Create an email newsletter with over 50,000 subscribers
- Create a social media following of over 65,000 connections
- And much, much more
So those numbers are great, but what does this mean?
Well, whenever someone considers working with me I point them to this massive body of work and they immediately recognize my superiority. After all, none of my competitors can come close to my level of expertise.
As a secondary benefit, if people ask me for free advice, I point them to all of those resources and I never waste time with someone who cannot afford my services.
Here’s What You Should Be Thinking
Don’t you want to have a dominant body of work like this?
Wouldn’t you like to lock out your competitors and move to a class all by yourself?
Don’t you deserve higher fees based upon the value you provide through your expertise?
You do not need to invest anything but your time. I am investing in you by providing this remarkable, resource.
All I ask is you share this valuable information with someone else.
Pass it on.
Like it on Facebook.
Share it on Google+
This remarkable system is yours to use immediately. Listen below right now:
Limit Risk in Your Strategic Marketing Plan
There are three areas of strategic risk for a lawyer looking to grow his practice. It doesn’t matter if you are a solo practitioner now, if you want to advance beyond the ranks of a solo and develop a law firm that enables you to make a great living and live a great life ® you must embrace diversity in your marketing mix for your law firm.
I’m not talking about ethnic, racial or other sociological factors. I’m talking about diversity in the form of revenue and how that revenue is produced. You must incorporate diversity into your law firm marketing plan in the way you deal with clients, employees and marketing tactics.
Let’s take a look at each of these and formulate a plan for addressing the risk associated with them.
It is tempting to work with a few clients as possible. After all, it is easier to invest your time and attention in a handful of clients. The prevailing belief is: Direct attention from you will result in a deep relationship and enhanced client lifetime value.
In reality, diversifying your client base is the key to long-term growth. You need to spread your revenue over as many different clients as possible. The ideal number for maximum amount of business from one client, I order to mitigate risk, is somewhere between 10 and 20% of your total revenue.
While some practice areas will always be subject to economic fluctuation, maintaining healthy client diversity will protect you from much of that fluctuation.
As your law firm grows you will need to hire employees and associates. These folks should be responsible for the bulk of the legal work in your law firm. If you want to grow, your team should be able to execute 80-90% of the work necessary from client intake through to closing letter.
This is a constant evolution and solo practitioners never adjust to it. But if you want to build a law firm that produces seven-figure revenue and can someday be sold, your involvement must be in a high level strategic capacity.
As your firm grows and evolves and the work is transitioned to other attorneys and staff, there can be the tendency to shift the bulk of the work from you to one other associate. This can be dangerous. A good metric to help you stay on track is 20%. This means, make certain no one employee is responsible for more than 20% of the firm’s work, client relationships, or billing.
Again, in small law firms, this can be difficult, but this is the goal.
Marketing System Mix
Small law firms are often dependent on one form of media for attracting their clients. The internet and search engine optimization are a perfect example of this. Many law firms invest their entire marketing budget in this area and the minute a change is made to a search algorithm, their client flow is stifled.
The rule of thumb I provide my clients is the rule of 10%. This means your clients should come from at least 10 different sources, with no one source making up more than 10% of your client attraction methodology.
Here is the marketing mix from one of my prosperous clients:
Percentage of Revenue Last Year by Media
- Search Engine Optimization – 9%
- Bar Journal Advertorial – 4%
- Direct Mail to Referral Sources – 8%
- Email Newsletter – 3%
- Client Direct Referral – 10%
- Attorney Referral – 10%
- Networking Group 1 – 7%
- Networking Group 2 – 8%
- Charitable Group Leadership – 6%
- Internet Advertising (ad words) – 5%
- Banner ad on industry website – 3%
- Printed newsletter – 2%
- Direct mail to cold lists – 2%
- Speaking engagement referrals – 5%
- Social media direct referral – 4%
- Personal networking group (created by this firm) – 10%
- Business originated by staff – 4%
A few things stand out:
First: The number of different marketing methods is impressive. This particular law firm has one person who is dedicated to managing marketing activities and that person handles execution for about one third of the initiatives listed above. The remaining 2/3 is executed by outside contractors and freelancers.
Second: The attorney in the above scenario is the CEO of this firm. He oversees the work and approves all client correspondence and interaction but he rarely executes any of the day-to-day legal activity.
This firm has two senior associates, two junior associates and two paralegals. The firm does do both transactional work and litigation. They have three primary niche markets and they produce close to $3 million in revenue each year.
Finally: It took three years of continuous improvement to get the marketing to this level. When I started working with this client 80% of his business came from two sources.
What Does This Mean for You?
Your law firm must constantly work to diversify all activity. Putting all your eggs in one basket has never been a good strategy. Set up your systems. Then hire people to manage those systems.
Here are some additional articles that will help with this process:
This is a great primer on diversifying your client base. In this article we discuss the three types of diversity and why each is important.
This article answers the oft-asked question: How much Time Should I spend on law firm marketing. The answer may just surprise you.
This is the post most attorneys find when they search for “How do I get clients as a lawyer.” It contains some great information on attracting clients and it will help you get started.
What Makes a Client Qualified to Work with You?
Attracting the right clients is what law firm marketing is all about. You need to attract clients who have three specific qualities. Each client must have:
- A Problem You Can Solve/ A Condition You Can Improve
- The Ability to Make a Decision
Here is a brief video that describes these three factors of client attraction and selection.
If you want your law firm marketing to be effective, you must strive to attract clients who have these three qualities.
Attorney Niche Market Dominance
Everyone wants rapid results.
It’s as universal as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.
Achieving market dominance – becoming the firm everyone thinks of when a topic comes up – is not easy but there is a formula to creating this situation.
In every industry and in every market there is an underserved need. If you can find that need and fill it, you will develop a great reputation. In fact, that reputation may be so powerful you may be able to dominate an entire industry. Need examples?
FedEx was originally created to deliver paychecks for the Federal Government. The company now dominates global package delivery and logistics planning.
Google was developed in a garage as a way to organize the internet in order to help people find information. This behemoth not only fulfills its originally intended purpose it also provides web-based software and email to 30% of the Fortune 500.
IBM was originally a company that built office hardware (including typewriters and clocks) but has transformed from that into the leading manufacturer of computers and printers (in the 1980’s) and then again (late 1990’s through today) into an information technology consulting powerhouse.
What do these three case studies (and hundreds of others like them) have in common?
The companies first dominated a narrow market niche and then transformed in order to dominate an entire industry.
You can do the same thing, even if you are currently one person in a law firm with a bare light bulb and a computer.
Today on The Valtimax Podcast I provide you with the blueprint for this kind of market dominance.
No, I can’t help you become FedEx or IBM. That part is up to you. But I can help you identify a market that needs your services and I can help you design an approach to gain a stranglehold on that market.
Listen to this radio show and take action. The world is yours. Let’s get started.
It Is Your Choice: Take Action or Face Extinction
Whether you realize it or not, you are at a crossroads.
We face stagnant economic growth, rising unemployment and inflation and an unprecedented crisis of political leadership. Your wasteful government has been on a drunken spending spree for 10 years and has awakened with a massive hangover rendering it useless to anyone looking to build a business.
During this period of economic upheaval the legal industry has changed right before our eyes. In most areas of practice, billing has been trending downward. The number of kids graduating from law school is up by 20%. Average income for an attorney in a small law firm is down 25% since 2006 (according to the American Bar Association). More lawyers, working for less money, means increased pressure on everyone just to get by.
To make matters worse, snake oil salesmen knock on your door everyday offering you’re the next elixir that will cure your ills. Charlatans promoting Search Engine Optimization, Facebook, Twitter and Legal Matching services pick your pocket while they shake your hand.
So the government cannot help you. Your industry is a shambles. The people who say they are experts are literally stealing your money.
Where do you go for help? Who can you count on to help you get through this mess?
Look in the mirror.
Believe it or not this is the time to make great money as a lawyer. Here are three things you can do, right now, to take control of your future.
Your clients and your referral sources trust you. Invest in them. Invest your time in helping them improve their lives and their businesses. Send them referrals. Talk them up everywhere. Help them become successful. You will be amazed at the return on this investment.
In the Far East this is called Karma. In the movies it is called paying it forward. In some business circles it is called “givers’ gain”. I call it good old fashion relationship development.
Help your clients and referral sources succeed and you will benefit in the long run.
Communicate Frequently with People Who Can Invest In Your Services
People forget us 10 minutes after they meet us. It’s human nature. Studies show that someone must interact with you a minimum of seven times before they will remember you. This means you need to communicate with people often. How often? That depends upon what you have to say.
If you have something interesting to share with me every day, I will listen to you. Most people feel the same way. There is no such thing as over communicating. Just don’t be boring.
Keep Your Promises
It is better to commit to nothing than to make a commitment you cannot fulfill. In this day and age, people are willing to commit to just about anything to land a new client. Don’t be that guy (or gal).
When you commit to something, you must live up to that commitment. Do what you say you are going to do. This includes showing up, on time, for meetings.
It’s sad, but this is actually a differentiating factor in today’s society.
Does this three step process sound overly simplistic?
Don’t confuse simplicity with ineffectiveness.
Try this three step plan for 90 days before you invest in the latest internet advertising scam or social media platform. You don’t need new technology, strong governmental leadership or a roaring economy to make a great living and live a great life as a lawyer. You just need to apply some commonsense and take action.
Start now with these ideas:
Here is a great article about how anyone in any practice can use direct mail to boost conversion. Read it and then do something with it.
Remember High School? Which girl got all the boys? The one who “played hard to get.” Do that and you will get more clients.
All great legal marketing contains a call to action. You must have one. This article will help you get started.